I hope that everyone had a lovely Christmas. We attended a quaint Christmas mass and visited a Jaipur-based mission dedicated to serving the mentally retarded. A few of the nuns there had worked alongside Mother Theresa...what an amazing, selfless group of women. It made us all reflect on the true meaning of the season. I've been wanting to talk more about the poverty and suffering that we have seen here as I feel that I have really only portrayed one side of India, but I haven't yet found the words to describe it. Soon though...it is a very real part of India and deserves reflection.
So as promised, I would like to take you on a quick tour of the markets of Udaipur. I have to say that one of my favorite things about India is the markets...the piles of spices, colorful stalls of flowers, crowded snack vendors. A trip to the market is an absolute feast for the senses.
The markets are broken up by vegetables, fruits, dry goods, spices, tea, baskets and textiles. All of the household shopping can be done at once, like a lively, crowded supermarket!
The very best part? Witnessing the art of haggling. If this were an Olympic sport, Indians would be unbeatable. It is a true art form here, and there is no better place to take it in than at the marketplace. Of course, as a white foreigner, I would get taken for all I was worth if I tried to jump in there...so I send Vijay to do my dirty work. He lives for bargaining and in all honesty, I think that this is his favorite part of traveling to India. We all have to listen for hours after as he regails us with stories of how he miraculously weaseled out the lowest price in all the land.
I don't tell him this...but my money is on the other guy. I am sure they have him pegged as a westerner the minute they lay eyes on him. But who am I to spoil his fun!!??
I hope you are all having a fabulous holiday weekend! I will be back tomorrow with an extra special post...hope to see you then!