Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Curry for breakfast

We had Idli for breakfast - fluffy rice sponge things - and sambar, a veg curry and chutney, a coconut sauce. I also had a masala omelette which was good.

We booked a tuk tuk to go into the city to the palace. Tuk tuks are everywhere tho not as widespread as motorbikes. I think the main things a vehicle needs are good steering, really good brakes and a working horn. The horn is in constant use, to move people out of the way, warn of your approach - vehicles have written on the back "use horn please" and everyone does, except for traffic police who use whistles.

The palace is huge, we only get to see a fraction. The gates to the temples are very ornate, the palace itself is laid out in wide gardens and painted and gilded with many domes.

Inside is a wealth of stained glass of peacock feather pattern, inlaid tiled floors, painted iron columns, paintings and some silver doors which are beautiful and intricately detailed.

After that our tuk tuk driver took us to a silk emporium, I was measured for a couple of tops which will be delivered to the hotel tomorrow!

Then on to a carpet shop. I got rather carried away, that's all I'm saying!

And then to the Market. Stalls piled high with vegetables freshly arrived from the country, piles of coloured coloured powder, it's a riot of colour and noise.

A word about the street hawkers. The hawkers sell all manner of things, and will follow you for ages - an hour in one case. The price will start at, say, 300 rs, and steadily drop to perhaps 100. And then the quantity offered will go up until instead of 1 thing at 300 you're being offered 3 or 4 at 100. And you thing "ach, it's only a quid" which it is, but as soon as you weaken you'll be swamped. I didn't buy anything and we still had 4 following us. 'you're not English, you're Israeli' one said when didn't buy, not sure about the significance of that! But I didn't want a snake charmer or bangle or shiva's whistle...

Back at the hotel we had another delicious dinner.

And then it rained. Drenching, hammering on the roof rain, with thunder and lightning - proper monsoon rain. We were safely under cover eating capsicum masala and paneer makhani.

And so to bed, the rain hammering, the ceiling fan gently whirring, the horns decreasing as night fell and traffic lessened...

On the move...

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