May 16:  Jaipur

Awake at 7am due to alarm anxiousness, out of bed at 8am.  I slept pretty well except for the cold waking me up.  The AC was icily blowing right on me, even though I turned it up to 21C and then unsuccessfully turned it off.  Then I walked out of my room into the heat and remembered "oh yeah...India".

We left around 9am for Amber Palace.  Whenever I forget the name of this place, I just think of the piece of Amber from that House episode

Palace from across the way.

According to Gabi I'm no worse than the #3 creeper among the guys.  So I have some leeway.  Or a lot of work to do.

We got a local guide in here who has been working there since 1959.  He's either an albino or has that Michael Jackson disease.  Before we started our tour of the palace, Janie informed us that her friend married her Gap tour leader.  My two regrets in life:  going to La Salle University (not much of a college experience) and not starting my travels earlier, because I would have loved to be a tour leader when I was still accustomed to poverty, because there are other benefits.

Main gate of the palace.


Amber Fort battlements on the hill.

Another Hall of Public Audiences.

Wide shot of the Hall.

Hall detail.

Saffron garden for the broads.

Town of Amber.

There are steps to get up to the fort, but they're not steep at all and I didn't break a sweat.  If you're exceptionally lazy like these assholes, you can ride an abused elephant instead.  Elephants are fun to watch from behind.  They remind me of a fat chick walking in heels.  Or Odessa with a fluffy ass but trimmed leg fur.

Garden with Amber Fort in the distance.

Amber Fort.  It's probably cool up there.

Hall of Public Audiences and garden.  At this spot someone took a photo of me (5'7.5") and Abdulla (5'6") against this backdrop and Gabi said we looked like a Thai family.  Ouch!

Courtyard where the maharaja's wives and concubines would assemble and he would select one to shag.  A eunuch would take the message down, and she'd ascend a secret passage that we went through.

Of all the useless stuff we'd been offered so far by random poor people (like drums and evil puppets), a guy on the way down from the palace took the cake.  He wanted to sell me 10 for its equivalent in rupees.  First he asked me what the exchange rate was, and I had a sheet in my bag for just such a situation, but I told him I had absolutely no use for euros.  He said something about not being licensed to exchange them.  I don't think he was trying to scam me, but I already have 50 from my Greece trip sitting in a jar for 3 years.  I don't need any more.

Prior to getting in the tuk-tuk, I found my pen from the KL Tower from last year in my bag.  Odd that I didn't notice it on 2 trips since then.

Jal Mahal lake palace on the way back.

We went to the Rainbow Restaurant for lunch.  I had chicken jalfrezi, which I've seen on menus but was always reluctant to try.  Best Indian meal ever.  Had butter naan too.

Abdulla got a dosa large enough that we all took photos.

We found out that Gabi is the first human in recorded history who doesn't know her own height.

All the girls and Izaak went to the textile factory.  On every tour there's one day when I bite the bullet and go shopping with the girls, and that day wasn't today.  So I went back to the hotel with the other guys.

Cows on the road back to the hotel.

Pig.  We saw way more pigs on the way to Amber Palace in the morning.  PIGS!

Returned to the hotel at 1:30pm and laid out by the pool.

Action shot of a bird diving and skimming the pool for a dip.  Hey, have you heard?  I was fairly certain that everybody had heard.

This is an allusion to three photos from the past.

I tried to tan and get some color on my chest, but within 5 minutes I overheated, and the ground was even too hot to walk on, so I covered up, had a beer and wrote in my journal.  I tried to get another beer from the kitchen and the guy brought out two, saying two are better for health.  After he said he was joking I still paid for both.  I agree that two is better than one.  I imagined sipping one beer through a straw and barely getting it down, only to have the Indian guy say "one more" in anticipation.  Then Internet 3:32pm-4:22pm, then the 3 Ss.  Walked around nude in my room a bit, which as I've told a few people is a big benefit to paying extra for a single room.  In dressing and undressing I noticed that my sandals were falling apart, and that all my socks were getting bloodstained on account of the blister.  The Curt Schilling of tours, if you will.

We then went out to a Bollywood movie.  I wasn't sure what to expect, since my knowledge of Indian acting is limited to Priya Rai videos.

This is reputed to be the classiest movie palace in Jaipur.  It's comparable to classy American theatres.

Title screen in Hindi.  My camera missed the English version, but the film is Love_U...Mr._Kalakaar!, which had just opened.  It was pretty much all in Hindi but the plot was surprisingly easy to figure out.

I feel like Brody bootlegging this thing.  Which reminds me of going to Mr. Brody's house to return my Little League uniform and communicating with him through a 3rd-floor window.  I'm guessing he was drunk and/or nude.

Back at the hotel 9:30pmish, or 9:30ishpm.  Some of us got dinner.  I asked what the difference was between the mutton curry and the Rajasthani special mutton curry.  The waiter said the latter is spicier.  I got the latter.  I felt like Dave Foley asking for a beer.  Then a few of us drank by the pool.  Bed at midnight after 2 more Kingfishers.