Friday, March 21, 2008

Hawa Mahal

On our first full day in Jaipur, we wanted to explore the old city, inside the pink walls. We told this auto-rickshaw driver where to let us off. Instead he took us zig-zagging through town to a "handicraft" store where he gets about a 15 percent commission! This is a common scam we read about and couldn't believe how easily we had fallen victim to it. Here is Patrice doling out the exact cab-fare.
We made him take us back to the hotel and later took a different rickshaw to the old city. This time we showed him the exact spot on the map and that worked.

We visited the Hawa Mahal, "Palace of Winds". It's five stories with latticed windows. It was built by a Maharaja so that his harem, forbidden to appear in public, could see festivals and other happenings in the street below! We walked around the colorful bazaars in that area.

In the afternoon, we took some things to the post office to mail home. We didn't think anything about India could surprise us anymore but we were wrong.! They measured our 2 packages, ripped pieces of cloth, took out a needle and thread, and hand-stitched the cloth into a slipcover to snugly wrap each package. Then the ends were stitched shut - amazing!

We saw a puppet show in the hotel's garden in the evening. We really like the Madhuban Hotel and the owner Mrs. Dicky Singh.

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