Well i was happy to leave desert but not as happy as i was to leave behind those damn painful camels! We were on our way to the golden temple in Amritsar but we had to stop over for about 8 hours in Bikaner....ah a nice relaxing break we'll have....we thought!
Our train left at 2am and we arrived about 5pm so we paid for a room to dump our bags and chill out for the evening. We found this excellent place to eat, the food was cooked on the street and some tables behind it. You could see it was being cooked, fresh and served straight away, and it smelt great! An old man took our order and i was in awe of him! He had not a wrinkle on his face, a sparkle in his eye, full of live and energy and he took all our orders (8 of us!) without writing down a thing and he remembered exactly who ordered what as he put the plate down in front of us.
I like Bikaner because they people living there are not used to tourists and when this happens ive find this to be very funny. We stopped by a fruit juice place and within minutes we were surrounded by curious men wanting to take 'one snap' of us and just basically staring at us and following us. When i came to India i found this thing quite intimidating as expected if that happened in Ireland but there is not one ounce of menace in this, its pure awe and curiousity...and its funny!
To anyone who is coming to India or who's ever been here the phrase 'where you from' becomes a little annoying at times! Absolutely everyones first opening line is this one So when i would notice an indian man so close to me staring at us i would start of asking: apka-ha hasay eye ho?? where YOU from, in hindi also: ick photo lena hey??...one photo please, went down a treat! and of course the best phrase from goa: Looookkkkiiiinnnnggggg???.....seemed to stun them a bit!
Oh i laughed a lot on the street however when i was walking down through a market a dirty man GRABBED my ass and since working on the movie in Jaipur this ass-grabbing really hits a raw nerve! I started hitting him and shouting 'dirty man!!'. Thank god the others working at the market shared my anguish giving me sympathetic looks.
After the streets it was getting late so we were relaxing in the room when there was a knock on the door and some guy came in going 'hey guys!!!want to be in a Bollywood movie??!!!' I asked is it called Veer by any chance? And yes it was the same movie! We didnt have any interest in doing this again as our visa expiry date was coming up. We said no after a lot of arguing and about half an hour later a tougher, harder looking man came to the room, asking again would we be in the movie and offering more money, the money wasnt the problem we just didnt want to do it! It took a long time to get this guy away.
About half an hour later ANOTHER guy came to the room, kind of a friendly young guy, he came in sat down and we had a bit of a chat before he launched into would we be in the movie. You could see he was really stressed, im sure he was told if he doesnt convince us he looses his job or a hand maybe.... We were tired and NO just didnt seem an answer. One of the group initiated getting rid of him by saying, ok goodbye, go now please... after he realised no amount of pleading would get us to do it he launched into a big threat that we better watch ourselves tonight in this hotel room and when we go outside...etc....etc...we packed the bags really fast and ran to the station just to be on the safe side!
It was a totally typical india day in Bikaner...never a dull moment!