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January 5th

The next morning we woke up early and loaded up in the cars and headed to Jaipur.  It was about a five hour drive and the traffic was pretty crazy at times.  To add to the chaos there were, cows, dogs, goats, monkeys and carts pulled by camels clogging the road.  We stopped at a rest area type place and I listened to a man play a traditional Indian instrument while his daughter danced.  We finally arrived in Jaipur to our Hotel Glitz and were greeted with a lei of marigolds.  After a tasty lunch we headed to some of the historical sites of Jaipur.  First we hit up a giant complex of astronomical devices devised by the King of Jaipur in the 1600s.  We saw the largest sundial in the world which is accurate to two seconds as well as devices mapping the zodiac, north star etc.  We then headed to the city palace and learned about the history of the Kings of Jaipur, including one who was supposedly 7 ft tall and 500 lbs.  We saw this guy’s pajamas which were pretty impressive.

The tour guide took us to a gem shop where we went in the back and saw some guys polishing gems.  Then we went to a block printing textile shop and saw the process of printing the fabric.  These shops were neat but the tour guide brought us there on commission and the salesmen were pretty annoying.  We found one of the main shopping drags in the city, a street lined on both sides with little shops selling all kinds of textiles and trinkets.  It was really neat and I met some engineering students from Jaipur and talked with them for a while.  They really wanted to be my facebook friend so we exchanged contact info.  The shopkeepers all hollered at us to come to their stores and would even follow us down the street.  This trip has been good for practicing assertiveness, although sometimes the best thing to do is just ignore them.  We all returned to the hotel and watched some Indian MTV, which is way better than our MTV – actual Indian music videos, not reality shows!  Then we met in the dining hall for a group meal and watched some traditional Indian music and dancing, which was really neat and beautiful.  A few of us stayed up after and had a really interesting talk about our project.  In the morning I awoke to the beautiful sound of the Azan, or Muslim call to prayer echoing through the streets of Jaipur.  Now here I sit on the balcony working on this blog and watching the pink sunrise over the fort clad mountains encircling the city.  Hope everyone is doing well! Bye for now…

 

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Last modified on September 10th, 2015
Posted on March 31st, 2013