Bundi is a small town east of Jodhpur. Most people stay here for weeks or months to relax. It does not have all the craziness of all the other cities in India and you can see that immediately. People are extremely friendly and they want to shake your hand while saying “welcome to Bundi”. There are no more than 10 tourists here right now, so everyone is very curious with us. Still, I wouldn’t spend more than 2 days here; I do not understand people who stay at places like Bundi for weeks, what the hell do they do in a daily basis? No idea. For us, travel time is limited and needs to be maximized, traveling to the other side of the world to do nothing sounds terrible to us, but I guess it’s a matter of opinions.
Because its low season, most places are closed. It was extremely difficult to find a place to eat, we ended up in a rooftop of a house where the family cooked for us some omelets and Raita (garlic yoghurt with vegetables, Eitan’s new addiction). By the way, Eitan is having a really hard time taking his Malaria preventive pills on time, as you cannot take them with any calcium (milk, yogurt, etc..) as it prevents the absorption of the medicine. Most of the delicious Indian foods contain some sort of milk, from Lassis (yogurt drink straight from the gods), raita, or chai tea… If Eitan gets Malaria, blame the Indian food!
This town is famous for its wells, known as Baoris, there are about 50 of this around Bundi. We walked to the most famous one, Raniji Ki Baori (or Queen’s Step well), is thought to have been constructed in 1699 A.D. by Rani Nathawat Ji who was one of the wives of the ruler of Bundi. This is Bundi’s most well known step well with plenty of features such as an arched gateway, nice terraces, pillars, sculptures as well as naturally enough, steps to look at.
But the next one was even better, this one is basically a square full of stairs. It looks like a surreal painting or an 8-bit Videogame and it was pretty fun to walk around it. I wanted to take a photo from the other side but 10 seconds timer was not enough for me to reach Sarah without slipping and falling into the well, so here is the cool attempt.
We walked around the local market where everyone was saying hi to us but in a friendlier way than some of the bigger cities. We sat down at a juice place to drink a fresh mango and pomegranate juice. We asked for no ice since this place seemed very local and we didn’t want to get sick but that resulted in getting a very warm juice (fruit in India sits in the sun all the time) so it wasn’t that good.
Eitan had some trash he needed to get rid of, so he asked a shop owner if he had a trashcan; The guy just pointed to the street and told Eitan to just throw it there, in front of his store. Eitan said no, he will not help pollute the city and put the trash in his pocket. We just wished, that maybe he would think, even if it’s for a second, that “well, maybe if we don’t throw our trash in the street and use trashcans instead we would have a clean city like the first world”, but we are dreaming; he most likely thought I was just crazy for keeping trash in my pocket.
We walked through the local market in search of a screwdriver for Eitan to fix his computer, it was a very difficult task for some reason, but we walked thought other interesting things!
Nothing better than the mango cart! We bought two Mangoes and the scale was very old school with separate weights!
We walked back to the guesthouse to get ready for dinner, we didn’t know where to go as all the suggestions on trip advisor were closed. We ended up walking around and finding a restaurant where a very friendly family welcomed us. They cooked everything fresh for us and was absolutely delicious. They even went to the local market while cooking to buy some of the ingredients! We tried Masala lady fingers which is what they called Okra here, it became one of our favorite Indian dishes immediately.
They sat with us for an hour later to chat, we learned a lot about arranged marriages in India (they were married when he was 11 and her 9 years old). They shared their interesting life story and how they want to visit Israel (many tourists from Israel come here). These were the first people we have met in India who genuinely seem happy and to have a decent life.
We walked back to our hotel after our 4 hour dinner. We stopped at this amazing Chai tea place, this time it tasted too much like ginger that your throat burns but it was still really good. Krishna, the owner of this little shop, has been here making tea for 15 years. He prepared each tea individually; he even explained the process step by step so we could learn how to make it.
The wall is full of hippie paintings and travel quotes; I really liked this one that said something like this: “If you think adventure is dangerous… try routine, it’s deadly”.
A very bad day for Eitan, just today:
- Stepped on cow shit…. Twice.
- Dropped his phone and broke the screen…. No more phone (but it was already basically broken).
- Laptops adapter broke…. No more laptop or blog.
- Booked a room without A/C by mistake….. 110 degrees out and we are cooking ourselves in here.
And our incredible family friend Ret Turner passed away, which was really sad for us here. There are moments when being far from home when traveling is challenging and this was one. Sarah was up until almost 1am messaging with her family and luckily for internet we still can be connected when something like this happens.
Bonus Pic Of The Day: Have you heard of Cardamom (Elaichi in Hindu)? this delicious seed often used in middle eastern cuisine is one of my favorite flavors in the entire world. I was very happy when I discover that in India they sell Cardamom/Mint flavor Tic Tacs! With the price of 10 Rupees ($.15) per box I had to buy them all!