Mission: To respond thoughtfully and responsibly to my experiences of drinking and dining at restaurants with regard to the quality, service, preparation, presentation and overall experience received thereat. The standpoint is one who respects the crafts of the chef and sommelier and who seeks to understand their choices in the kitchen and cellar and grow in knowledge. In this, I will seek to be fair, reasoned, direct and constructive and aim to keep my ego in check on our mutual journeys through the worlds of food and wine.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


IWFS Delhi Agra and Jaipur Day Six
Saturday 4th March 2017 - Drive to Jaipur

Can't seem to find any photos for this day. Remember taking some, though also recall they were pretty naff. Maybe they got binned. So it goes. Maybe they will show.

Having packed the night before, rose quite early to a bright sunshine day. Lenglui and I would be spending quite a few hours in a car driving to Jaipur with new friend Richard who would join and share the costs. Car had been organised by new friend and tour organiser Arun Varma - well recommended if you find yourself in Delhi or Agra and in need of tours being organised 
(arunallways@gmail.com, arun@allwaystravels.com, mobile +91-99100-23342, office +91-11-45666999)

We lugged the cases to breakfast and parked them near reception. Got some nonsense email purportedly from Paypal about password change which generated a massive panic and me trying unsuccessfully to call Singapore to block it. It looked totally genuine, phone and all,  though I could not access the email from which it came. Ultimately turned out to be a phish scam. Bloody good one though. Cost a damn fortune in phone calls, though. Hope the bastard emailer's next shit is a fucking durian. 

The organisers had kindly arranged for framed photos of shots taken at the Taj Mahal to be given to all the members, which was most thoughtful. Thought it seems there was one ingrate who had decided that the photo was not a nice one and consequently determined not to take it. So, closing an eye to the weight, I souvenired it for the homeward trip as a gift for someone. 

We said our farewells to friends who were going back to Delhi and onwards. Found organiser Arun talking to our driver and settled with him in cash (we needed to unload some of the rupee). Bags got loaded and then off for a five hour drive to Jaipur which went pleasantly fast thanks to Richard being a good storyteller and talking about his travels and life. Also our driver was quite a talker and knowledgeable about Delhi and Agra and Jaipur and the roads between them. Lunch was halfway at the appropriately named Halfway Hotel which was a wooden style cafeteria with chairs and tables, a fridge for drinks and a cashier and toilet area. Food was more bread, though I seem to recall we had snagged some of the lunch boxes from the bus and scoffed them with a cup of instant powder coffee. There was a shop attached which was pretty grim and expensive and which we left undefiled by not buying anything. Then it was back in the car for the last stretch to Jaipur.

The day was bright and the roads were dusty from the fine orange misty grit that got churned up by the cars. Occasional massive trucks coming at you from the wrong side of the road caused occasional panic attacks, but they seemed to turn off way before any smash. And the cows - young, old, crotchety, dumb - and mostly in the middle of the road between oncoming traffic on both sides. Our driver told us the reason for this was that the cows have learned they do not get bitten by mosquitoes when they are between two way traffic. The mozzies cannot get to them because of the dust and air turmoil. Maybe the moo is not so dumb…

It was about three pm when we reached Jaipur. We seemed to have bypassed the central part and heading south. I was trying to follow a map in the guidebook that pinpointed our destination, the Jaipur Hilton. The roads were much longer than they looked on the map. Eventually we got to the hotel (which looked like a fortress of concrete and walls) and unloaded the bags through the hotel scanner and through to reception. Our driver advised that he would go get something to eat and come back later and help us "do" Jaipur by night. Swiftly through reception, got the wifi password, and up to the room to shower off the long drive. 

Pleasant enough room, though can't remember much about it now. Had a view over the back part of the town - pretty low rise as I recall. Working town.

We figured to have something to eat before Jaipur By Night so as not to have to stop somewhere that perhaps might be a bit dodgy, so we went to the bar and ordered beer and pizza and some sandwich thing and scoffed down the bar chips and pretzels. Very pleasant bar area, though service could have been better - the barman seemed to have wandered off when I needed a refill and one of his colleagues eventually came to my aid and rescue.

Our driver arrived and it was off into the urban jungle of Jaipur. Got a few stories from him on the way which were interesting at the time but now lost in their mists. He drove us to a scarf shop which was pretty poor quality and a bit overpriced compared to the friend in Delhi. We bought some T-Shirts to be sociable but not as big a spend as I think our driver had hoped. Then it was a drive through the streets where we came across a wedding - all noise and bangs and the bride on a white horse being led by the groom. We also stopped at a place to buy some Chana Chow, recommended by driver who said he was buying for his son. They proved very tasty - good fire with low salt. We bought up various types to pass as souvenir giveaways to friends back in KL. Jaipur by night is pretty dark but hugely alive with humanity and cars. Again, the intensity of it all eventually got to me and I was glad when we got back to the hotel and the silence of the TV. Sleep came quickly. 



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