This trip to Jodhpur back in December 2014 was like a big thing for me. I was done with my semester exams for second year of engineering, so we friends had decided to go Pondicherry, something offbeat, rather than going to Goa . However, due to some stupid difference of opinion among us(over which we laugh now) that plan was cancelled. I was determined to go somewhere for a trip. A few months ago, I had taken a liking for cycling and stumbled upon this cycling expedition happening in Jaisalmer. I immediately enrolled and sketched a plan for my trip. Tickets were booked and bags were packed. My first solo trip was going to be exciting.
On arrival at Jodhpur, which has an airport nearest to Jaisalmer, I stayed at a hostel near the airport. This place is very cool as I met a lot of people from all over the world as well as different parts of India. A few of us at the hostel decide to explore Jodhpur. We visited ‘Ummaid Bhavan Palace‘ and ‘Ghanta Ghar’. The area around Ghanta Ghar is a market bustling with local handicraft stores and food joints. In the market we saw a signboard above a stall which claimed it was recommended by many guidebooks and websites. It was a small establishment by the roadside with just a single stove with eggs boiling on one burner and a pan ready to make a variety of omelettes on the other. The only items on the menu were different kinds of omelettes with an old man dishing them out. It was aptly named the ‘Omelette Shop’.
After that we tried the ‘Makhaniya Lassi‘ at a nearby shop. The shop has a legacy and has been serving lassi for generations. Photographs of the bygone era adorn the walls of the shop. The shop itself being located in the old wall which used to be the city limits in the older times. Thick lassi with a dollop of cream and I went into a state of trance on taking the first sip. It was the best lassi I ever had. I had one more serving before leaving for the hostel.
On our way back, we saw this place called ‘Janata Sweet Home‘ which was crowded. We ventured inside and I found it similar to Chitale (Puneites will know) serving an assorted array of delicacies. All of us ordered different dishes, I ordered the dahi wada. It was different because it was served with sliced carrot and farsan, the dahi was not sweet like it is back in Pune. I ate a common and a simple dish, served with a difference in a different city.
On returning to the hostel, I met two French guys Romeo and Simone. I struck a conversation with them trying to flaunt my French speaking skills while they controlled their laughter correcting me in the most polite way possible. They were leaving for Udaipur in some time and wanted to have a light meal, so they asked me to order food for them which should not be spicy as they had to travel. I suggested chicken tikka from the menu, though Romeo did ask me ”tikka stands for spicy, doesn’t it?” from the little hindi he knew. I replied confidently that it won’t be that spicy. So he ordered it and we had a little chat about a hindi movie they saw in the cinema while it was delivered to us. When he saw the red colour of the chicken he looked at me for assurance which I gave him, the first bite that he had, resulted in silence and a small water bottle being gulped entirely in one sip. I just couldn’t stop laughing and his face turned red due to the spicyness. He was cursing me and started laughing as well. He asked me take a bite to understand his pain but for me it was not spicy and he was surprised. I felt bad for him and apologized, he knew that I did not do it on purpose. After he was fairly comfortable, we exchanged friend requests and talk even today.
After my short stay in Jodhpur, I proceeded to Jaisalmer for the cycling expedition. There during my expedition I met a whole lot of new people who became like family. The five days of cycling was a different experience for me. I’ll write about the expedition in a later blog.
This trip has opened new avenues for me in terms of travelling solo. I learnt a lot of new things; like how to bargain, how to save yourself from getting scammed,finding good places to eat and stay. It was very fascinating for me to meet new friends over food in Jodhpur from India and from abroad.It was definitely ..
A journey worth remembering!