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Jaipur Trip: Day 2

November 7, 2010

The second day in Jaipur was quite fun. There were only Julie and I, as Sam and Nolan went to Agra to see the Taj. We already planned to visit interesting places for the girls: the Anokhi museum and shop, and the Bazaar–for more shopping.

Realizing that these places are quite far, we hired a rickshaw for the day. He was a good man who hung out near the guest house we stayed at. We started at around 10 am with a breakfast at a place he recommended. Then we head off to Anokhi museum, northeast of the Jaipur pink city. We strolled around the north town for over half an hour trying to find the direction. Apparently the Anokhi’s website was not updated with the latest address :-S. Google maps neither. Good thing we called the museum and the person there talked directly to the rickshaw driver.

Anokhi is a producer of arts and crafts, originally in Jaipur, using the block printing techniques. They produce high-quality clothes and accessories, with beautiful fabric patterns and styles. The museum was particularly a delight to visit as it had more product samples to see, including a few artists who make the print blocks and do the printing.

An artist was making a print block

An artist was making a print block

An artist was stamping the fabric

An artist was stamping the fabric

I really love fabric printing, particularly one made with traditional techniques. It is so vintage :). I hope to see more places like this back in Indonesia, and buy more batik clothing right from the artist villages.

~ ~ ~

Julie and I were both very satisfied with the museum visit. The next thing we visited was the Amber Fort, which was on the way from the city to the museum. This was also a great sightseeing place. What was interesting was that on the surrounding hills, there were several stairs and small forts. They looked like long staircases from Amber fort.

At the entrance to Amber fort

At the entrance to Amber fort

The walls on the surrounding hills

The walls on the surrounding hills

On the main hall

On the main hall

The inside of the fort? The main room was beautiful with artistic walls and ornamental carvings. The rest of the fort was HUGE and totally confusing. We entered from one door, and it leads to another, and another, and so on. Not long after we started, we were lost and did not know how to get out, or to get back. There was no sign whatsoever. We followed other people and just tried to go to the direction we came from.

~ ~ ~

From the Amber fort, our last stop was the Bazaar. This was where we bid goodbye to our rickshaw. It cost Rs 300 for 7 hours of trip for two. I think it was a pretty good deal!

And then, another round of shopping! The shops at the Bazaar were quite crazy in trying to get buyers. When I passed in front of their store, even though I was not looking at them, they would yell, “Come look inside! What do you want? Pashmina? Bags? Come in, come in!” I was not very happy with it, because I knew how forceful these guys could be. But I was looking for a traditional bag and a pair of sandals, plus we tried to shop for shawls for Sam and Nolan to bring back home, so we went into some stores. In about 2+ hours, we went into 4 stores, and I got 2 pairs of Alibaba pants and a handbag. I was quite happy :).

I had an interesting experience in the last shop I went into, which was where I got my bag. I was about to leave without any purchase, when the shopkeeper kept calling me and offering me a lower price. “But I did not like anything,” I persisted. Julie, who waited outside, took a look and got interested. Since she was then looking at some bags, I continued the same. At the end, each one of us bought one bag. The shopkeeper then said, “Please stay here for a bit. They are bringing us chai.” Oh wow, now they even hosted us with chai! So we chat for another 15 mins. The one guy was from Kashmir and he was very delighted to meet us. He even gave us his phone number in his home in Kashmir, just in case we visit Kashmir in the future. “You should call,” he said. “I will invite you for tea and show you around.” Wow, quite an experience.

That was a tiring day. Julie and I decided to go back to the guest house, to take a shower, before heading out for dinner. On the way home however, we took the wrong road and stumbled upon another guest house, which had music and dance performances on the rooftop. I shouted for joy, “Julie, let’s see it!” The food service was slow, but the performance was beautiful. What a lovely evening it became.

Julie and I at the dinner restaurant

Julie and I at the dinner restaurant

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