My host family in Jaipur
I was really sad to leave Goa, I’d had such an amazing time there and already miss everyone I met there. From Goa I came here to Jaipur and met my host family! I’m staying with Mr and Mrs Goyal (I’m being polite by still calling them Mr. and Mrs. but the real truth is that I cannot remember their names, and it’s gone too far for me to ask them again!) They have a 15 year old daughter called Ridhi, (thankfully I remembered her name!) and she’s a really lovely girl who speaks perfect English. They welcomed me into their home, with a Bindi and a lay of flowers, and showed me to my own room, which has a comfy double bed, a huge ensuite bathroom with running hot water.. I am in heaven! The family signed up to host volunteers when Ridhi’s brother went off to university to give her the chance to meet new people and practice her English! They’ve been doing it for about a year now and have already made me feel like part of the family.
I’m glad I’m only staying here for a few days… if I stay any longer I’ll be the size of a house! Mrs Goyal is so lovely and motherly, she’s always bringing me Chai and cookies, cooking me huge courses for breakfast lunch and dinner, and constantly filling my plate up when I’ve nearly finished my first helping. The food she makes is absolutely delicious, but so calourific! Everything I’m eating is carbs! For breakfast today, I had a potato sandwich and rice!!
Yesterday was the first time I had to do some exploring of my own around this interesting and surprisingly western city. I did some shopping at the markets, but became exhausted with having to haggle for everything… they can see in my eyes that I want it, so I end up only getting about 50 rupes off the hugely inflated tourist price! So I decided to go to a shopping mall so I could find something, try it on and buy it! I ended up asking around the many faces that were staring at the only white girl in the middle of the city, where the nearest shopping mall was. Everyone was so helpful, I ended up having a crowd of about 10 people around me, either trying to help or just curious about what was happening. The crowd ended up flagging down a tuk tuk for me, giving him directions, and even haggling down the price for me! I finally bought some really nice Indian Kurtas.. they’re the long tunic top with baggy cotton trousers and a scarf, and a big warm jumper for my trip to Himachal Pradesh. It was more expensive than if I’d bought it at the market, but the simplicity of the shop made the extra money very worth while!
It’s very interesting to see how an Indian family live. There is always a different member of family at the house, a different party for them to go to each night and a new colourful sari worn each day. They’re always happy to answer my many questions about their culture, traditions and religion and I’m really happy to have had a small and exciting glimpse into their every day lives.