Kota – south east Rajasthan

kota rajasthan header

I stayed in Udaipur longer than intended due to the fall down the stairs and the swollen eye. But on Friday I set off for Kota on the train. I had been going to go to Ajmer first but decided to cancel that as I still didn’t feel 100% and I wanted to get back to Mickey’s and relax a bit and let my eye heal. I may feel 30 years old but the truth is that I’m 60 and I was getting tired. The same tuk-tuk driver that helped me with the medical issue took me to the station. The train got me in to Kota late, around 23:30. A tuk-tuk ride got me to Hotel Navrang that I’d booked on the Oyo app.

Kota navrang hotel
Navrang Hotel in the distance
Kota isn’t known for its tourism like other cities such as Jaipur, so finding a hostel had proved impossible but Oyo had come to the rescue with a fairly well priced hotel that was clean, comfortable and great value for money. Not far from the station and only about 1km from the town centre and Chatra Vilas Gardens, which are super and very restful.

Kota – day one

Being in a hotel is different from being in a hostel. In a hostel there are fellow travellers to talk to about sights and where to go. Hotels you are on your own. The staff of Navrang had rudimentary english so quizzing them wasn’t much use. I googled a bit and the following day I set off looking for breakfast and in the direction of the Chatra Vilas Gardens. The garden charges 5/- entrance and it is a paltry sum to pay for the maintenance that they do there. The place is a great for getting away from the noise, not that Kota is that noisy compared to other cities. I wandered around the gardens and took some photos of the old buildings and the small train that tours the gardens and then headed for an attraction I’d seen on google, the Seven Wonders.

Kota gardens
Garden inhabitant
The Chatra Gardens has one border on the Kishore Sagar lake, the Seven Wonders is on the opposite side of the lake. In the middle of the water is a palace called Jag Mandir which is closed to the public but well worth a few shots with a long lens. The palace is a beautiful red stone monument built by one of the queens of Kota in the year 1740. Rounding the lake I arrived at the Seven Wonders. It was closed until 14:00 and as it was only just gone 11 I decided that I’d give it a miss. The Seven Wonders is a recreation of seven of the world’s most famous structures, in miniature. They comprise:

  • Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the redeemer
  • Pisa’s Leaning Tower
  • Paris’ Eiffel Tower
  • Agra’s Taj Majal
  • Rome’s Colosseum
  • Egypt’s Great Pyramid
  • New York’s Statue of Liberty

To be honest, I have seen 4 of the 7 in real life so, while they are really well done and well exhibited, it wasn’t a problem for me to give the gardens a miss. It was very hot and there was no shade, so a walk around the outside of the lake and a look in at the structures was good enough for me. They are supposed to be beautiful at night when lit.

Kotah Garh, the City Palace

Kota City Palace Kotah Garh
Kotah Garh from behind
I then walked on to the edge of the roughly rectangular lake and caught a tuk-tuk to Kotah Garh, the City Palace. Kotah Garh is situated on the eastern bank of the Chambal River at the centre of south-eastern Rajasthan. The oldest part of the palace seems to have been built in the 13th century with numerous later additions. The shame is that it is all being left with rudimentary maintenance. There are sections of the palace that I imagine are positively dangerous judging by the outside. The entry on this page explains more of the detail and would bore you if I repeated it here.

I walked around the Kota palace for a couple of hours being shown the Maharaja’s bedroom and other sights, taking pictures that you can see here, and feeling sad that this beautiful place was slowly falling apart. And then I headed for the river Chambal and the back side of the palace to look over the river and see the Kota Super Thermal Power Station and to take some more pics.

By now lunch was calling, so I headed back round to the entrance of the palace where I’d seen some shops and food stalls. I ate my lunch and had a drink and decided to head back to the hotel to rest, I was still feeling a bit wobbly and my fat eye certainly wasn’t helping, it was hot and I needed a sit down. It’s quite tiring trying to navigate with only one eye.

Hospital in Kota

In Udaipur they had told me that my stitches needed to come out in a week’s time. That would make it a Monday or Tuesday. I’d noticed on Google Maps that the hotel in which I was staying was only a few hundred yards from a government hospital. So I decided to stroll in on Sunday morning to see if I could get some information or, indeed, have the stitches removed. I could see in the mirror that the wound was pretty well healed. I walked up to the reception and asked if anyone spoke english. A tall bearded young man said he did. I explained the situation to him and he said “come with me”. Off we went. He took me to a consulting room and barged me to the front of the queue and had a doctor examine me. The doctor wrote something on a paper and I was marched off to another room and made to lie on a none too clean bed. Well this was a government hospital. The stitches were taken out there and then and I was marched off to the dispensary where I was given some medication. That simple!

The young man asked me if I had some time to sit and talk. Well I was a day ahead of the game now so I said yes. His name is Sarvendra and his english is pretty good and, I was told, learned from… Facebook! Maybe I’ll have to revise my opinion of that data mining company. We chatted a while and it was still early, probably not even 09:30. Sarvendra asked if I’d like to meet him after his shift finished at 14:00 so I agreed.

I went back a little before two but Sarvendra didn’t finish until a bit after three. I was then taken on the back of his bike back to his house to meet his parents, uncles, cousins and all. Selfies with the white man all round. I was fed some lovely food too. I then was taken to another relative’s house and a guitar was given me to play. The strings were old, corroded and knackered. The action appalling. The machine heads rusty and really the guitar was all but unplayable. But I managed to coax some sound out of it and by the reaction received, it was probably the first time anyone had made any sort of music on it. I don’t know what India thinks of blues but that’s what they got. So after an afternoon of being the point of interest, I was taken back to my hotel in the late afternoon where a date was made for a road trip the following day after work.

Road trip to the countryside

Kota people
Sarvendra, Tutu and me
The Kota road trip was great. We were accompanied Manoj and Tutu too, friends of Sarvendra’s. We headed out of town to the southwest to see the new Hanging Bridge. As you can see in the photos it is still something of a novelty and the place was crammed with people wandering around in what amounts to motorway. I have to say it was an impressive structure and all the better for being able to see it walking instead of in a car. My positively favourite bit was the guy leading the camel. There aren’t many countries in the world where you get camels as part of the motorway traffic. There are a couple of pictures. The hanging bridge seen, we mounted the bikes and headed south again.

Nahara Singh Mata Temple and lunch

Kota temple
Washing hands
Out in the countryside now we came to a temple in the middle of the jungle. Sarvendra tells me it is called Nahara Singh Mata temple. It’s not as built up as the usual Hindu temples and really comprised of a couple of buildings by the side of a stream. The stream oozed out of rocks in a mini waterfall where we washed our hands and feet before entering the temple building. Many temples here require you to remove your shoes as a mark of respect and in the heat and humidity here it’s often a relief to do so. There were loads of monkeys around and you have to keep your eye on bags, cameras and the like, the monkeys apparently have a tendency to pinch things.

Kota temple and food
Rajasthan food at the temple
Over at the second of the two buildings there was a crowd of men preparing food. Sarvendra told me that these guys look after the temple and the area. He went over to talk to them and a second later I’d been invited to dine on traditional Rajasthan food. The men and boys were delighted to serve me food. They gave me an old fertiliser bag to sit on and dusted of a plate and served me with dal, which was gorgeous and some small balls of flour to be dipped in the dal and also included a large ball which was sweet. The whole lot was delicious. I’ve never been anywhere where the people are so friendly and accommodating to strangers. Naturally I had to pose for the selfies again but in my photos you can see me and the food and the gang that fed me.

The Baroli Temple Complex near Kota

Kota - Baroli temple
Baroli Temple Complex
Next stop on the road trip was the Baroli Temple Complex. These temples are some times known as Badoli Temples. There are eight temples here within a walled area. Built during the Gurjara-Pratihara Empire in the 10th–11th centuries. They are one of the earliest temple complexes in Rajasthan. They are also supposed to be the most perfect examples of their age in this part of India. I’ve linked a wikipedia entry here but one of the facts that is mentioned is that a carved stone image of the god Nataraja (dancing Shiva) was stolen from the Baroli temple complex in 1998. It has been traced to a private collector in London. However, the statue has not been recovered so far. So we can see the greed culture of the west is alive and kicking and a source of embarrassment to all. There is a good PDF here if anyone is interested.

Quote from p20 of the PDF

The carved stone idol of Natraj was smuggled out of India, and a police case registered as far back as 1998. The Rajasthan Police carried out an ‘Operation Black Hole’, and the statue was located in London with a private collector but remains unrecovered to date. Whether efforts after such a long a lapse of time will succeed is a moot question.

My view is that the collector/thief should be named if the police know where this idol is. It can hardly be libel or slander if true. My money goes on someone with incredible wealth and no concern for anyone but his/her self.

The Rana Pratap Sagar Dam

Kota dam
Me at the dam
Final stop on the road trip was the Rana Pratap Sagar Dam, 53.8 metres (177ft) in height built on the Chambal River at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan. Its main function is hydro-electric power generation but it is also associated with irrigation projects too. The power station was officially opened on 9 February 1970 by Indira Gandhi. The dam and power plant are named after the warrior Maharaja Rana Pratap of Rajasthan. The Chambal river (once known as the Charmavati River) runs north-northeast through Madhya Pradesh, then for a time through Rajasthan and forms the boundary between Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh before turning southeast to join the Yamuna River in Uttar Pradesh state.

And that was the end of the trip Kota road trip. The next day I was due to leave for Agra but there was a cockup with the tickets with the agent booking it a day earlier than asked, for Monday night instead of Tuesday. At this point I’d had enough, I’d been on the go for the best part of a month. Tuesday morning I went to the railway station in Kota and booked myself a ticket on the sleeper train back to Mickey’s. I was tired and I wanted a rest. The constant moving and running around had exhausted me and I was ready for a few days peace and quiet and the chance to let my eye heal and write up the Rajasthan trip.

Kota dam


Meerut header image

Road trip to Meerut

Mickey decided that a visit to his home town was in order. So I packed a few bits and pieces and stuck them in the car and off we went. Meerut is approached from Satya Dhaam Farm on the main roads either by Garhmukteshwar or Hapur, but Mickey chooses to go cross country. We followed a canal which I understand is fed by the Ganges, along whose sides are acres of mango orchards and monkeys who aren’t keen on being photographed. I saw my first snake, from a distance, no chance of photographing it as it crossed the road, but well over a metre in length.

After about an hour and a half driving we reached Meerut. Meerut is a city of about 1.3 million people. It is also a garrison town and the home to many regiments. The air is way cleaner than the air of Delhi but the noise is on par. That said, it does quieten down at night, unlike Delhi.

Janmashtami in Meerut

janmashtami in meerut
Janmashtami celebrations. The birth of Krishna.
I happened to be there during Janmashtami and independence day, so Meerut was ramping up for the festivities. The streets were being lined with stalls, bouncy castles and much the same panoply as in Europe, but from twenty years ago. The only difference was the use of LEDs everywhere. Janmashtami is the birth celebration of Krishna, so that would make it similar to Christmas for us in the west.

kingfisher beer in meerut
Kingfisher beer. Silly strong at 8% by volume.
Mickey and I went out for a beer in the evening. We picked up a friend of his called Pepe, a nice guy with a good command of english. The government alcohol shops are open at the front but heavily barred. You shout your order through the grill and the booze is passed out. Two beers and a small bottle of rum for us. Mickey opted for an import, I wanted to try a local beer so I had Kingfisher. It seems that beer in India is absurdly strong. This was a 750ml bottle at 8% by volume. Twice as strong as Guinness. I had one bottle and a 500ml can and was rewarded with serious motor-coordination problems.

It also seems that you either stand by the side of the road and drink, or you drive and drink? We did the latter. We went up to the Meerut army cantonment. This area covers a huge area, no photos, and, from what i could understand, is the biggest garrison town in India. It was a neatly kept area with captured Pakistani tanks and the likes on display.

Potato snack in Meerut
Potato snack in Meerut
The next day Mickey was hungover 🙂 I was ok 😀 it was also Janmashtami so there was music in the streets and final preparations being made. Mickey and I popped out in the evening to have a look and take some photos. We also ate a potato snack, I’ve no idea what it was called, that was delicious. We decided not to stop out late as he had planned to take his sons to the Independence day festivities the next day. During the day I took the opportunity of sending photos to the web and trying to catch up a bit with the blog. It’s so frustrating not having the speeds to upload anything but text.

Janmashtami display on the road side
Janmashtami display on the road side
Independence day evening we headed off up the road with Mickey’s boys to the street fair. It was already getting dark and taking photos was becoming difficult with available light (I hate flash photography). So I used the video camera set on “low light” and filmed a lot. Again it’s difficult sending this stuff to the net with no speeds but I finally managed and you can see it here. All over there are little displays and shrines to Krishna depicting his birth and points in his life. They are very similar to the Christian nativity scene or crib figures that are displayed at Christmas. This is a photo of a little display on the side of the road, made by an individual that lives in the room behind the display.

I did manage to video two dances. One for a Shiva and one for Krishna. I’ve no idea what the lyrics of the songs say but I presume that they tell a story. These two dances seemed to be put on by school kids. The rest of the video is really street scenes and the colours of the LEDs strung over the road.

Meerut is a nice city, I like it as much as I disliked Delhi.

Photos of Meerut on Janmashtami and Independence day

Red Fort and Chandi Chowk

Today Virender and I met up to go the Red Fort and Chandi Chowk. But before that to get my Mac fixed. It didn’t happen. We also tried to sort out the problem with my SIM card. That didn’t happen either. I haven’t mentioned before, but Virender is/was a hardware technician, so, with whom better to go?

Firstly we had breakfast together in Nehru Place. It was superb. He ordered two rice dishes one called Shahi Paneer the other Matar Paneer. It seems that paneer is a cheese and the other part is the way it’s prepared. I liked both but I’d go for the shahi paneer the next time as it had a sweetness to it which I’m guessing is because of the cinnamon. One plate and a pepsi 105/-INR (£1.25 or €1,40) and as usual it was huge. I’m only eating a large breakfast and a medium sized snack these days. And mangos 🙂

We then went to the Authorised Mac Repair which I wrote about in this post. And on to an Airtel dealership to try and resolve the SIM issue. I’ve ended up buying a new phone so at least I’m back in contact with whatsapp.

Chandi Chowk – Old Delhi

Chandi Chowk in Old Delhi
Chandi Chowk in Old Delhi
Chandi Chowk electricity supply
Chandi Chowk electricity supply
All the chores taken care of we headed for Chandi Chowk. Chowk means square or place. Chandi Chowk reminds me of some of the street scenes from the film Bladerunner, with Harrison Ford. It’s madness. It is a heaving mass of humanity and quite overwhelming at first. It also reminded me of a Pink Floyd concert in 1974 at Knebworth Park where there were about 250,000 people. The noise is horrendous, it never stops. And you want to see the electricity supply! Chandi Chowk is actually in an area of Old Delhi where the traders have their shops and emporia. The streets a predominantly divided into types of goods. That’s to say one street will sell plumbing goods and another shoes and so on. The variety is endless. Cameras, spices, bangles, surgical instruments, wedding clothes etc. etc. You name it, and there’s and area for it.

Haveli of Mizra Ghalib - Chandi Chwok
Haveli of Mizra Ghalib
man and goats in Chandi Chowk
Old man and goats in Chandi Chowk
This is a place where you keep a firm grasp on your wallet, backpack and anything else. Not that I had any problems but the possibilities are there and I had been warned by at least two people that opportunistic crime, pick-pocketing and the like are quite common. It is very easy to get lost and I’m really glad I came with someone that spoke hindi. The area is predominantly a Muslim area and we passed a number of mosques. It is also the home to the haveli of Mizra Ghalib (1797-1869) one of the most famous Persian and Urdu poets of all time. A Haveli is a traditional townhouse or mansion in India, usually one with historical and architectural significance. Outside the haveli was a Muslim man sitting on his motor bike with two goats. In the middle of a city of 27 million people?

The traders’ market in Chandi Chowk

Chandi Chowk spice and dried food market
Chandi Chowk spice and dried food market
Chandi Chowk bangle seller
Chandi Chowk bangle seller
We took a spin down the dried fruit and spice market road. The scents that assail your nostrils are quite incredible. Plenty of people were sneezing from the pepper and other spice dust in the air, including Virender. The centre of the street is lined with barrows with sack upon sack of different spices and the traders have their little shops on each side of the road. We didn’t stop there too long as there is an almost unpleasant feeling in the upper nose and back of the throat. I had a desire to see the street of the bangle sellers. I had read about it in a guide book and I’ve always liked the Indian bangles and beads. After a few enquiries we found it. It’s almost beyond imagination that a whole area is dedicated to selling bangles but the colours are wonderful to see. The old man in the photo was kind enough to pose for a photo by his stall. He thought it was very amusing as you can see from the wry grin on his face.

Chandi Chowk slide show

If you want to see these pics a bit bigger, press the show thumbnails link and go through the photos manually. Alternatively, for the much bigger, go to my space in FLICKR

The Red Fort

The Red Fort from a rickshaw
The Red Fort from a rickshaw
Gurudwara Sisganj Sahib
Gurudwara Sisganj Sahib
A rickshaw ride later, that was more stationary than moving, we reached the Red Fort. On the way we passed a couple of temples, one Jain temple called Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir which houses a bird hospital and one Sikh temple called Gurudwara Sisganj Sahib which marks the site where the ninth Sikh Guru was beheaded on the orders of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb on 11 November 1675 for refusing to convert to Islam. They are spectacular in their colours and architecture.

Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir
Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir
The Red Fort
The Red Fort
Now I have seen the Red Fort in pictures and documentaries but nothing compares to the “red” in real life. The place is immense and I only had a chance to get a quick glimpse as a) it was getting late, b) the light was going and the photo opportunities were disappearing and c) the noise and bustle of this area of Delhi were quite overwhelming me and I was getting tired and longing for a bit of quiet. I mentioned in the post about India Gate that there has been a new president installed. His first address to the public will be from this fort some time in August, so the whole place was being prepared for this event. A bit of a shame as the police and military presence was huge, crash barriers installed and there was a lot of building, repair and electrical work going on. I will revisit it when I return to Delhi to take in the parts I didn’t get to see.

There is a little video on the video page but you can get there by clicking here

A day in Delhi dehydrated

Indian palm squirrel

Lazy Delhi day

I was lazy again this morning and ordered in the breakfast. I hadn’t slept too well, got to sleep after 02:30 and woke at nine-ish. To try and clear the cobwebs I figured I’d walk in one of the many Delhi parks opposite. On the map it looks like a big park with a road going through or over it. It isn’t, it’s two parks. The nearest is well kept and the second is running amok. You can see it on the map opposite the hotel marker.

indian palm squirrelThe trees are full of Indian palm squirrels. They aren’t too worried about people and you can get quite close to them as you can see from the photo. Their bodies are about 18cm long and their tails are the same. They are sacred to Lord Rama. You can read the wikipedia entry I’ve linked but in a nutshell the light coloured markings on its back are from where Lord Rama stroked him.

The park workers around this part of Delhi seem to predominantly be older women in saris. They sit on the ground weeding and sweeping. The men seem to do the cutting of bushes and moving water lines around.

Delhi is humid in the monsoon season

It’s fiercely humid, we’re in the monsoon season here. One of the most humid countries I’ve experienced. The only others that match it were Brazil and Malaysia. And I thought it was bad in Fuengirola. I’m sweating like mad just breathing and I’m having to change twice a day to get rid of the soaked clothing. At least the clothes dry quickly.

flowering treeHaving walked around the two parks for about an hour I knew I needed to get some water in me to compensate for the sweat loss. I could feel myself getting dehydrated. My tongue was stuck to the roof of my mouth. So I wandered off to the market square that I mentioned in the Imran post. On the way I passed a small shrine set up to Ganesh. The poor God’s trunk was broken off and an urge came on me to get some clay and fix it. I thought he was rather beautiful in his decrepitude.

Shrine to Ganesh
A sorry God Ganesh

The guy at the water stall is beginning to know me. I bought 3 litres, a one and a two, and did the one litre bottle without stopping. I really needed it. As I had another dental appointment booked for 15:00 I came back to the hotel, showered and processed these photos. I had met a tuk-tuk driver with good english on the way to the market and he’d promised to collect me at 14:15 to take me up to the clinic. I wanted to get some grub in me before I went in.

the hot pot
The Hot Pot for great curries
mango drink
Mango drink that’s laced with sugar but yummy
Rajy turned up about 15 minutes early and waited outside for me. I’m probably going to take a spin with him on Sunday to see some of the sights of Delhi, but that’s to be confirmed. He dropped me at the HOT POT, the street vendor I ate at one of the first days. I chose the egg curry. Nearly defeated me again and blew my head off at the same time. Having about 35 minutes to wait I bought a mango drink (600ml again, laced with sugar as I subsequently found out) and sat in the park in the shade of the trees cooling down and drinking it. Have to admit it did taste good and knocked the spots of a coke.

Today’s lunch – 70¢

Curried eggs.

curried eggs
Today’s lunch

One of the many Delhi parks

Delhi parkDelhi park

The dentist laughs

The dentist laughed. The turmeric (curcuma) in the curry had stained the temporary crowns bright yellow. She’s replaced them. It feels weird to have teeth again.

So tomorrow is the big day – bone grafts and the implant pins. Apparently, from the scans and imaging I’ve had done, they can see that my bone has deteriorated and that there is very little space to put the implants without damaging the sinuses. Hence the bone grafts to build up the height. I don’t know what they are going to use, I’m assuming it’s a generic bone material.

I’ve been told to have a big lunch because I suppose I won’t be able to eat for a while. Ice cream I think is on the menu for tomorrow.

FabHotel Regalia

FabHotel Regalia

FabHotel Regalia Greater Kailash

I booked the FabHotel online. There are a number of FabHotels, This is FabHotel Regalia. The pictures of the rooms looked good and the prices were good. I paid slightly less than £200 for 13 nights. The reviews in Booking.com were good and the fact they have good WiFi sold it to me. And the WiFi is good!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, it took over an hour to get here from the airport. This is due to a new bridge being built that causes massive traffic jams.

FabHotel Regalia reception is on the second floor of the building. The ground floor and basement are a gym. Booking in proved easy and I was shown to my room which is right next to the reception which worried me a little. I had specified that I’d like a quiet room if possible because, those that know me, I don’t sleep well.

My room is facing the main road 🙂 I already mentioned the obligatory horn honking. That said the room was cool and fresh with the ceiling fan going as well as the aircon set to 27º. The “bellboy” set up the TV for me. I turned it off as soon as he’d gone. I haven’t really watched TV since 1990 and I saw no reason to start now. Besides TV technology is beyond me these days and the number of channels overwhelms me a bit and I have this blog to write and my ukulele. What more do I need?

FabHotel room £192 for 13 nights
FabHotel Regalia
FabHotel opposite view
The room definitely looks better in the pictures 🙂 but at this price it’s pretty darn good. The bathroom is a little more disappointing. I thought I’d go through the bath when I stepped in for a shower and there are that many taps to control… (I’m not sure what,) that there should be an instructional manual. The place could be cleaner. Cobwebs on the aircon make it look shoddier than it is. The light switches need a good clean from all the other fingers that have been on them and labelling wouldn’t go amiss. There are 5 above the bed for the lighting combination and the ceiling fan and one rheostat that presumably was for the fan but seems to do nothing. Maybe it’s a dimmer for the main light, I’ll play later. The bed is enormous, clean and hard, as I like it.

FabHotel Regalia bathroom
FabHotel bathroom
The bathroom has 4 switches inside and a razor/plug point. Also not sure what the switches are for yet but the main light switch for the bathroom is on the outside, similar to many Spanish houses. All these switches could do with labels.

Interesting to note that although India uses a round-pin plug similar to that which the UK used years ago, the continental plugs that we have in Spain fit. So don’t panic if you forgot an adaptor. My phone charger and power supply for the laptop work. I did take the precaution of bringing a surge protector from Belkin as the Indian power supply is renowned to be erratic.

FabHotel Regalia Breakfast
FabHotel Regalia breakfast
Breakfast in the room will cost you a minimum of 50₹; or INR. I had 1 Aloo Parantha (whole wheat bread stuffed with spiced potato mixture), 1 Gobhi Parantha (the same but with cauliflower) and a cup of chai (tea) that is flavoured with something like Earl Grey, is sweet and comes with the milk in it. It was super-good. This lot cost me 170 INR (about £2) and they probably got it for a quarter of the price from a street vendor. But it was convenient today.

Street vendor for food.

greater kailash road

Street vendor for breakfast

greater kailash market square
Streets empty at 10 am
I went in search of breakfast navigating the traffic with no mishap, walking in the road as the indigenous people do, down to the marketplace where Imran took me last night. It seems that it is a night time or afternoon place as most of the shops were shut when I got there at about 10:00. I bought my breakfast from a little street vendor in roadside food stall set up under the trees and sat by the roadside eating it.

street vendor breakfaststreet vendor mango juiceI don’t know what it was but it was very spicy and cost me about 10p. It seemed to be a slice of bread filled with vegetables and covered with a thick batter of egg. It was very good and pretty filling too. I then went in search of a drink. I was tempted by the coconut milk served in it’s green fruit case but I opted for a huge mango juice that was considerably more expensive at about 40p. But it was delicious. I’m sure that as I get used to this country the prices will come down.

Dental appointment

Dr. Priyank Sethi
I had my first dental appointment at 14:00. Thinking they’d have a quick squint in my mouth and I’d be out of there I hadn’t bothered to eat. I was seen fairly promptly and it took nearly two hours. My dentist is Dr Priyank Sethi a friendly, approachable, clearly spoken man that took the trouble to explain a lot of things to do with the various forms of dentistry and implant options that were open to me. I liked him immediately.

Street vendor for lunch

I was sent out with one of their staff to have a 180º scan made of my mouth (it cost £5) and told to go get lunch and come back at 16:00 for the evaluation results. So I shot across the road from their practise and had an egg curry from another street vendor. His operation was on a much more professional level 😉 That cost me about 34p and it very nearly defeated me it was so big. Talk about spicy, aside from the relative humidity, up in the probable 90% area, I burst out in a formidable sweat. Needing to get some fluids in me I searched out another street vendor that sold coke for a bit of a sugar/caffeine jolt. The bottles here are 600ml, not half a litre, and was charged the princely sum of 40p. I shall be going back today when they start my dental treatment.

MacBook Pro gone wrong
New MacBook Pro needing repair after less than 2 months.
Because I’d eaten so late I decided to give the evening meal a miss and get on with this blog only to arrive back at the hotel to find that my brand spanking new MacBook Pro had developed a problem. It appears that I’ll need a new motherboard, graphics card or possibly screen. It’s going to be fun finding an accredited Apple dealer over here to get the thing repaired. I have none of the purchase documentation with me, one doesn’t expect a £2000 computer to go on the blink within 2 months. I don’t know if I’ll lose my programs for processing photos or video. I hope not as they are on the hard drive. But I guess there is a chance that this may be one of the last entries in this possibly short lived blog.

But I’ll have new teeth 🙂

New MacBook Pro needing repair after less than 2 months