Diwali – Day One. Part Two. Not so bright.

I found Vix  looking a bit shifty in her Raybans at the breakfast table this morning, peeping over her shoulder she explained the hotel staff had questioned her about our late arrival back last night and broken back door, I could see the manager walking through the restaurant towards us.. Feeling honesty was the best policy at this juncture no point in cooking up a convoluted story before my cup of coffee had kicked in, we had broken the lock on the back door and may as well fess up (Camera fades to flashback of the previous evening)…

After dinner I met Vix with some friends who were entertaining a group of Kiwi gastronomic tourists on their last night of a 10 day tour of India led by Peta Mathias. Their corker of an apartment spread out over the top of an arched gate house leading to the lovely Narain Niwas Hotel. I got talking to an Australian jeweller working for the infamous Gem Palace who had been on my list of people to get in touch with in Jaipur which inturn led to 360 degrees of chat with everyone on the terrace, the Diwali fireworks still going off all around us. Vix and I eventually left around 2am no rickshaws to be seen, only abitrary space invading men appeared from time to time to investigate us so we returned to the terrace not before one car load of the aforesaid called us  (in Hindi accents) ‘You dirty bastards!’. That’s a new one. Normally during day time in Jaipur it’s basic questions, like ‘Where do you come from’, and ‘How do you like India?’, never anything sinister, just smiles and waves. After a few phone calls it was clear no taxi’s were coming, which left us with 2 options a) walk back to the hotel – approximately 20 minutes. b) sleep on the terrace, which meant probably no sleep followed by dawn mosquitos and full sun. Er? Walk back I think. The Aussie jeweller lived behind our hotel so she was our escort, the other friends assured us it would be fine to walk back, nothing happens to tourists in Jaipur, the other trick would be to wear scarves over our heads then hopefully a rickshaw would stop for us because we’d look like Muslim women, Hmm? I only had my blue tie dye kaftan to wrap around my head so I’d be pushing a slightly different look to your average Muslim sister after dark. A few minutes into our expedition we crossed over a large junction stepping out of the way of an oncoming white car that deliberately steered in our direction, we moved the opposite way, it followed suit. The car passed by but I felt a wee bit spooked. Minutes later another white car pulled up at our side, I couldn’t tell if it was the same one but I wouldn’t be surprised. The Aussie reassured us with an irritated  ‘don’t worry they’re just drunk dick heads’, shooing them away.  Keep walking… keep walking.. always good to have a ballsy Antipodean to hand in these situations. The car kept along side, the passengers leant out the windows muttering in Hindi at us –  I stared straight ahead (with my not quite right headscarf on) trying to maintain decorum while looking a bit of a wierdo, it wasn’t the time to trade Glaswegian style late night insults. Again they drove off, not far ahead they did a u turn and went in the opposite direction. We were at about the half way mark now, I for one really wanted to be back in my hotel room, not in a dark near empty street. Keep walking, keep walking….a car approached from behind and slowed right down, don’t look back, a second later it accelerated right up next to me, an arm grabbed across my back, and dragged me forward but not enough to make me fall, I screamed and they sped off. Buggery bollocks!… my heart now head butting my chest, palms sweating, walking, walking, walking faster…this wasn’t the Diwali I’d been looking forward to. Thankfully the Aussie came to the fore with her powers of reassurance, ‘I promise you they won’t do anything, they’re just dickheads honestly’. In my heart of hearts as much as this was unnerving I just had to remind myself I wasn’t in downtown Rio but in safe Jaipur and I would be back in a matter of minutes at the hotel. B.U.T when we arrived at the back door of the hotel the gates were bolted shut.  The Aussie got on the phone to the hotel reception but they couldn’t grasp the concept of us being at the back door and didn’t come to let us in, we couldn’t face the idea of walking out onto the street again so our protector set about the lock and actually rammed the door open bending the bolt in the process Terminator style!.. I’m amazed no one came out to see what was going on. We thanked her big time and parted company. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so pleased to lock the door and put my head on my pillow not before I caught a sight of myself in the bathroom mirror with my smudged bindi and pant wettingly ridiculous head gear. Over and out.

This entry was published on October 27, 2011 at 5:50 pm. It’s filed under hotel/places to stay, India, myhibi.com, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Diwali – Day One. Part Two. Not so bright.

  1. Sarah, loving your posts – you make it all come alive! Partly in hysterics and partly terrified for you! Speak soon, xLu

  2. Dear Sarah
    Hooray. Look out world. Looking forward the dresses that hide the wobbly bits.
    Love of love

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