Hello all. We hope this message receives everyone well.
First, here is the real scoop on India: If you have garbage, just throw it on the ground. Driving lanes on the road are merely suggestions. The animals are homeless and eat garbage. Some even eat other animals ( Usually the meal is deceased). People are very friendly and don't necessarily want to rob you, but do want to sell you something, anything, really, really bad. Bear in mind that we have only seen large city life for the most part thus far, and everything isn't all bad, it is actually fantastic.
We are finishing up our stay in Udaipur, Rajasthan and are heading for Mumbai today. We enjoyed Udaipur very much. The stay was very relaxing except for Karen's cold. The pace is slower than Jaipur and Delhi, and we had some good relaxation time.
The train ride to Udaipur was a little stressful. We inadvertently booked tickets on our overnite train in a 3 tiered sleeper class. This means that your bunk is one of three stacked on top of each other, folding down from the wall. I don't know if this creates a visual image for you, but ultimately the quarters are cramped.
There was one man who was acting peculiar on the train in our coach. Karen was asleep, in the bunk above him, and he was walking around her, acting fidgety and awkward. As I was drifting off to sleep I would wake up and look over. The man would stop whatever he was doing, abruptly and suspiciously. At one point he was standing over her. Another time he was touching the bottom of her bunk. Whatever he was doing it seemed suspicious. I decided to stay awake and after awhile the man started talking to me, offering me peanuts, and offering me cigarettes. It seemed like he was trying to save face because I had caught him in suspicious activity. Thankfully the man got off the train at a station before ours so I was able to get some rest.
Once we arrived in Udaipur it was smooth sailing. We stayed in an awesome guesthouse with a rooftop restaurant and a nice view. We even had our own bathroom and shower! We spent our five full days here resting, touring, dining, and even did a little bargain shopping.We toured the city palace and a five hundred year old fort. The treasure was a Jain temple at Ranakpur. The temple is hand carved out of marble and the detail is jaw dropping. Even with all the tourists there we were amazed at how peaceful it was. On the way to the temple we were driven through the country side. We were able to see villages and farmers going about their daily business. Karen also got to see some dogs eating a dead cow! I missed it, but I did see a roadkill of decapitated monkey. It was pretty awesome. I can only hope that there are as many animal anomalys awaiting us in Mumbai.
Namaste! - Riley and Karen