Day #7: Pink City
Today we are leaving Jaipur to Pushkar, we have been here since two days. We have been welcomed to the city by Veena who works at the Tushita Foundation. She was introduced to us by Isabel as well as Mr.Jan in Delhi so we could learn more about the Tushita project.
Luckily enough she sent someone to pick us up from the bus station at our arrival two days ago. We had just arrived from Agra and had a terrible trip! Although the morning started magically with us visiting the Taj Mahal at sunrise, it was followed by a six hour bus ride in a bus packed with Indians mostly because of strikes. We started by missing our bus because we were given the wrong boarding point. Then had to catch probably the fastest and wildest rickshaw in Agra to get to the other bus station and we were immediately rushed into a bus that was leaving to Jaipur. No time to assess the situation, no time to actually think whether the bus was a good idea. Antonio had to spend more than one hour standing while I was given half a butt cheek space to sit while everyone was looking at us curiously. The trip was hell mainly because we were both feeling sick. My throat was sore, I was getting a huge rash on my skin, we couldn’t stop coughing and didn't have breakfast. It didn’t take long until the pollution, noise, lack of space, poverty and trash got to me. I was really uncomfortable and at that moment I only wished to be taken away to a green and fresh forest in the middle of Bali.
Fortunately the day had started very well. At 5:30 AM we were stepping foot through the gates of the Taj Mahal. The beauty of this building is not overrated! The white marble is so immaculate that you feel pure and heavenly just by looking at it. The view is breathtaking and we both fell in love with it.
Arriving to Jaipur, we were welcomed at the Tushita volunteers house. Veena was waiting for us for a while as we had missed our previous bus. We felt terribly ashamed and Veena‘s motherly posture made it much worse! But it was only a matter of minutes until we met this strong Indian mother better and warmed into her. The second half of the day was spent visiting the Tushita foundation after having lunch with Veena. I will post something about this project later on as I felt it is extremely successful, well structured and we feel it is worth spreading the word about. What I can say is the foundation offers extra classes to nearly three hundreds kids from three years to sixteen years old and they were some of the most polite, curious and cute kids I have ever met. Me and Antonio fell in love. We had made up for that bus trip and went to sleep happy and fulfilled.
The second day in Jaipur was a full day! Veena lent us her driver to go and visit the pink sand stone city. We went to the intriguing but spectacular Observatory. A place filled with giant astrological objects to measure and calculate time. It was fascinating. We then visited the City Palace where we fell in love with the work of the local artisans that drew complex and colourful representations of Hindu Gods with natural colour pigments. Nevertheless, our favourite site was the Amber Fort. Lost in the hills, this palace complex had beautiful details such as colourful frescos on its walls or the multi-mirrored ceiling in one of the halls. Also, it was the first palace we visited where we could explore every corner and get lost in what was once the royal chambers and hallways.
After the fort we went home to organise the trip for the next days and book ourself an Ayurveda consultation for later that day. Both of us want to learn and experience Ayurveda and because we felt sick we thought it was the perfect opportunity to do it. This was my second favourite part of the day as it felt we were doing exactly what we wanted from our trip: exploring our passions and becoming healthier. We learnt that Antonio is Vata-Pita and was with a Vata imbalance that led to excessive dryness in his body and that I am a Pita-Vata body type with an imbalance of Pita that was causing excessive fire in my body and hence the skin rash and stomach cramps I was having. We were treated to an Ayurveda full body massage: a full ointment of the body followed by a steaming bath of ten minutes.We left the centre with two huge bags of natural pills (that look like goat’s poo) and powders, but we were happy to have the chance to test the real results of Ayurveda.
To end this full day, we went for dinner at Veena’s place. Again, we were late! We felt terribly ashamed! Still, Veena welcomed us warmly to her house, we saw her cooking typical and delicious indian dishes before we rejoiced in this feast of flavour. We went home happy and ready to leave Jaipur. Antonio even got me a bindi for the forehead and Veena two bangles for the arms, so I am now an officially married woman in India. :)