Over the Top & Out the Window


Tod's fever broke overnight but now I'm sick with digestive issues. Par for the course, but rather annoying.

Hall of Winds, Jaipur

This morning we walked around the "pink city" of Jaipur with our group, ending up at the Hall of Winds, a five story facade of screened windows that the ladies of the court used to view the city since they were not allowed out in public. They peeked out the windows onto parades and markets without being seen. After our walk, we just couldn't face the aggressive touts, so we caught an auto back to the hotel and rested during our free time.

It didn't help me much. As we waited for the car to come around for our visit to Ladli, I nearly fainted. Then in the car, I suddenly felt hand-over-the-mouth, wild-eyed sick. Our travel companions screamed "Stop the car!" just in time for me to vomit out the window into traffic. Then I escaped out the other side of the van and disgorged my recently sipped orange juice all over the curb. No idea what caused it, but that's India for you.

Our destination, Ladli is part of the i-India NGO project. Ladli gives free vocational training to young girls from the slums and streets. They make lovely beaded jewelry and sell it to visitors like me. The founders of i-India are an Indian couple with backgrounds in sociology and journalism. They began their good works by going out and teaching kids on the streets. Their projects have grown into mobile school vans, healthcare and sanitation, shelters and vocational training for hundreds of street children every day.

Jaipur at Night (click for larger version)

In the evening, we had drinks at Tiger Fort with a view out over the city. The twinkling lights were beautiful, but the sounds carried up from below were better. We could hear not only a background rumble of city life, but people laughing and singing far below us. Such cool acoustics that I regretted not having my recording gear with me. You'll have to go yourself and have a listen.

Then we went to the Raj Mandir cinema to take in the 9:30 showing of a new Bollywood movie, Don. The theater is decorated in over-the-top pink art deco, like a fancy frosted cake. We had seats in the Diamond section (90 rupees) that had us sitting in a luxurious upper balcony. We had a great view of the audience below us, who hollered and cheered throughout the movie. We were worn out, though, and left the three hour film just before intermission, so we missed out on the snacks and chai that I saw being prepared in the Diamond lobby.


Is there any way to travel in India and not get sick? As much as we're all enjoying your photos and stories, the idea of being ill dampens desires to travel in India.

No ... no way to travel in India without getting sick! A friend travelled through India for 6 months and only ever drank mineral water (the expensive one in glass bottles not the everyday water in plastic bottles). He thought this was the trick to staying well while travelling in India. Well he did stay well for ... most of the trip but in the last week he was soooooooooooooo sick. If going to India go for as long you can as that way your periods will of sickness - you will be sick! - will be far out-weighed by the many many awesome experiences you will have.
P.S. Welcome back Tod and Kristen! :-)

If you travel in any developing country you are likely to get sick, even if you are very careful (as Adrian's friend discovered). Knowing that, I'm prone to just dive in and fall ill sooner so my body gets used to the local microbes. Travel illnesses are part of the deal. You trade full health for stunning experiences. I'll take the experiences any day.

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