Jaipur; Holi discomfort, Batman!

Holi really takes it out of you. I don’t know if it was the fine powdered colour or what, but we’re both destroyed today. Arvind claims that the colour is toxic, and I believe it. We’re both incredibly dehydrated, and my hands, lips and eyelids are all cracked and crusty. Bad enough, that, but the skin condition that has been plaguing me since Varkala has now reached new heights of discomfort. I have a horribly itchy, red rash all over my lower body and my hands are swollen, hot and cracking. There are tiny white water blisters all over the insides of my fingers, and under the ring on my right hand is a circle of raw, oozing flesh where the skin has disintegrated completely. I’m a little worried I don’t think I’ve ever before felt such consistent whole-body physical misery.

We’d asked to stay with Arvind for three days, and that time’s now up. He was good enough to rent us a vacant room in his guesthouse for what I suspect is about half the going rate - it’s by far the nicest room we’ve ever stayed in here in India. A true child of the desert, though, Arvind treats water conservation with life-or-death intensity, and so we’ ve had no running water at all during the day. Still, given the two previous long, exhausting days and how bad we both felt today, we didn’t leave the room until evening when hunger forced us out into the streets and we’d eaten every scrap of food we had.

Kuldeep called during dinner and chewed me out for not calling the night before to say we’d made it back safely. What a dad. He very forcefully invited us to come and stay with him the next day. I was reluctant, to be honest. I like him and his family a lot, but Jhotwara is a long way away and I really just want to move on from Jaipur. In the end he started shovelling on the guilt, saying he was sure we could spare one day from our long trip to come and see his family, and I gave in. He demanded we come in the morning to say goodbye to Yannick, who was catching a bus to Pushkar. I’d have much preferred to go in the evening and see some of the things we’d missed in Jaipur - and I didn’t think Yannick especially needed to say goodbye in person - but there was no way to get around Kuldeep without being rude and so, helpless, I admitted defeat.

Chris Liberty - Dispatches from a Gentleman Adventurer
Being the internal dialog of a vagabond who chased his own tail across five continents for 4 years and 2 days from May 2008 to May 2012, in search of something that never really became clear.
This travelogue comprises 16,426 photographs and 402,515 words in 307 dispatches written from 335 places in 52 countries on 6 continents around the world.
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