Thursday 19th October 2017 (Day 22)
The cooking class was incredible. Shashi’s cooking class. The woman is incredible. Her husband dies when she was 32 and due to her cast in Hinduism, tradition meant that she had to remain locked in her house with her face covered and no interaction from people for a whole year
She said people came to her house from 7am and cried and mourned whilst she sat in the corner, face covered, in silence. Once they had left, she would cook for her family. She was not allowed to work in this year and therefore had no income. Her son had to lie about the cast he was in so that he could work as a Rickshaw driver and earn money for the family.
Her son gave her the idea of starting a cooking class for tourists telling her how great a cook she was. However, she didn’t know Hindi, let alone English. She spoke the local language of Rajasthan. This incredible woman learnt both languages HERSELF and started these classes. They are now booming. She can never marry again as her cast won’t allow it.
We were in the class with two other couples. Dave and Jenny who were in their 70s, live in Richmond, were retired and travelling for 5 months after retiring from social care. Dave was crazy, lovely and funny and the life of the party whilst Jenny hilariously rolled her eyes at everything he did from behind.
The other couple were around 30 and on a holiday in India. She ran marathons and they both ran every morning in the Indian heat. They were also lovely and we had the funniest night. We learnt how to make Chipati, 3 different curries and Parathas. The 6 of us went for beers afterwards and Dave took our email for dinner in Richmond sometime.
This morning, we got a 6 hour train to Jaipur. We were sad to leave Udaipur, it really is the Venice of the east and actually reminded us a little of Greece!
After the 6 hour train journey, we arrived and got a rickshaw to our treebo hotel. Jaipur looked very big and empty. We were tired and grumpy and Nick left his Raybans somewhere so it wasn’t the greatest start, however, we walked into the Pink city to take a look around. Everyone seemed hostile. Upset. Like we had injured their loved ones. It was Diwali so everyone was stressed and it was crazy busy but an 80 something year old man called me a slut. WTF. Not only was I wearing trousers and a vest but I have a bright promising future Mr Coffin dodger.
Anyway, we briskly left that area and went to take a look at the Royal albert palace. Pretty, but that was all. Now what? We weren’t impressed at all. We went for dinner at a fancy hotel rooftop so we could maybe see the Diwali fireworks but nothing! Loads of firecrackers and no fireworks. We decided to go back to the hotel and sleep off the bad mood/day. Maybe that would help.