I was collected from the chai wallah shack outside the ‘bus station’ and escorted (dragged) to the bus by a particularly grumpy old man. The bus wasn’t even close to the standards of the one we’d taken from Hospet to Chaudi. My berth looked like a painful cross between a cage and a coffin. A brutal way to spend my first hours alone.
Within the first half hour off the journey three Indian men had opened the door of my cage in order to indulge in a little staring! I necked a few diazepam to stave off tears and induce sleep.
Seven hours later the driver was hauling roughly at my ankles. We’d arrived in Ajmer, 3 hours early. At 5am. I was unceremoniously dumped onto a dark street before the bus drove off. I wandered a little in search of an elusive rickshaw. Alas, it wasn’t to be. I did find two German girls curled up by the road side. They looked very young and were clearly a bit frightened. One of them was in tears. I joined them, offered them my very best words of encouragement and then together we found ourselves a rickshaw to drive us into Pushkar. What should have been a straight forward 30 minute journey descended into a complete farce in a matter of minutes! It turned out that our driver wasn’t a driver at all. He was, in fact, the extremely perverted delivery man for all of Pushkar’s newspapers. After about a million stops the rickshaw was all but bursting with papers. They were literally crammed into every available space, including our seats. I ended up sharing a seat with the driver, the tiniest German girl balancing precariously on my lap. I had to insist on another stop so I could lecture and threaten the driver regarding his persistence to fondle the tiny German’s legs. Then there was another stop so he could apologise by gifting us chai. Then there were a hundred more stops so we could deliver the papers, pray to various shrines and feed some cows (for good karma apparently!). When the rickshaw was finally emptied of news we were dropped off at our guesthouse. I’m currently sitting in the garden with a chai and a maaza waiting for a room to be cleaned for me. Fingers crossed it happens soon. I am shattered.