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Udaipur and I had big plans.
And by big plans, I mean I was going to see and do lots of stuff. I couldn’t tell you exactly what kind of stuff, because in case you haven’t worked out by now, I don’t actually plan things and so believe me when I say I had no idea what Udaipur had to offer. That is until I hopped off my bus from hell in the middle of the night and arrived at the saving grace otherwise known as my hotel. The lovely man at reception gave me a booklet jam-packed with information and all the best places to go in and around Udaipur and it turns out, there’s a lot to do in Udaipur.
But yeah, I only had 2 days in Udaipur so I really was going to make the most of it. I swear I was.
Then the monkey situation happened and my plan to make plans went out of the window.
My first day in Udaipur was mostly spent huddled under my ceiling fan, alternating between hot and cold flushes, shaking like a leaf and cursing the very existence of every monkey to have ever walked the face of this earth, Curious George included!
I’ve made it sound like I was in the middle of some horrifically painful
werewolf weremonkey transition which to be honest I may as well have been.
See, two days prior to my arrival in Udaipur I received the first of what will be a marathon five-session course of Rapibur injections, with a nice little Tetanus booster alongside it. Literally it was along side, along my side – they jabbed me in my side. Have you ever had a needle in your hip?! It’s the most oddly comfortable thing! So strange.
Before I continue, let’s just get something straight: I’m not consciously afraid of needles. My body, however, as a mind of its own. As far back as I can remember, whenever I get an injection/piercing/tattoo, I faint. Unless I take preventative measures such as downing a can of coke and Mars bar before going in (soz to all you dentists out there, I’m a monster) or lying flat on my back for at least ten minutes post-injection.
If I stop myself fainting though, without fail I will feel like absolute hell. It’s as if keeping myself conscious makes all the bad stuff bubble up inside me for 48 hours until it disappears, just like that but fainting just lets it all out in one quick and easy burst. Like a balloon. Fainting is popping a balloon with a needle *POP* there and then, but not fainting is like when you have a helium balloon that just slowly deflates over time.
Anyway, I didn’t quite fancy being the strange white girl who provokes monkeys (I DID NOT PROVOKE THE MONKEY!!!) and then collapses on the floor like a pansy, so on this occasion I did everything in my power not to be that girl. 600ml of coke, a weird Indian wafer, three minutes of deep breathing and a lot of counting backwards in Hindi later and I waltzed out of that clinic feeling all swish like Danny from Grease.
But bloody hell did I pay for it for the next two days!
There you go – that’s a good 500 words or so detailing how my body is stupid. You’re welcome.
By Day 2 in Udaipur I was feeling fine and dandy and ready to go off skipping through bazaars and eating all the spices and doing all the fun things. But of course, the universe hates me and wouldn’t want me to have any actual fun, and so it just so happened that Day 2 in Udaipur (and the first day of actually feeling like a human again) coincided with my second lot of Rabipur jabs.
This time I fainted, and it was glorious.
The man who had the privilege of jabbing a needle in my arm this time spoke even less English than the last guy, and my Hindi doesn’t stretch as far as to say ‘Please let me lie on this nice comfortable wooden bench or you’ll have a paler than pale unconscious girl flat out on your floor soon enough’ so I risked it for a chocolate biscuit. I guess I should actually say risked it for a chocolate ice cream, because when I came around a few seconds later with this doctor’s head uncomfortably close to my face (I could count his freckles) he sent his assistant nurse lady to buy me an ice cream, assuming that the fainting episode was due to heat exhaustion and not the fact that he’d stabbed me with the pointy end. But hey, free ice cream! WINNING!
And there’s another irrelevant 200 words for you, this time describing how I got free ice cream. Again, you’re welcome.
That’s the end of my long rambling explanation about why I didn’t actually get to see much in Udaipur, which to be honest could have been paraphrased as “I did not feel well and had lots of injections so stayed in my room like a hermit” but where’s the fun in that?!
Moving on swiftly… fortunately, I did manage to see at least something in the city, and that something happened to be ‘the‘ thing to see in Udaipur – City Palace Complex. The only reason I actually went here is because the Charitable Dispensary that did the deed of stabbing my arm was just inside the entrance. How many people can say they fainted inside a palace, huh? Gold star for me.
The main part of the Palace is now a museum, and the entry fee for this is something like Rs. 600 but I was miserable and grumpy with an achy arm and didn’t fancy spending the afternoon walking around stuffy rooms pretending to know what I was looking at. Also, I think I made it pretty clear in 2 Days in the Pink City of Jaipur that I don’t actually pay for things unless I really really want to see them. And on this occasion? The museum I did not want to see.
Luckily there is an option for anyone like me whose attention span doesn’t stretch further than 5 minutes when it comes to museums unless there are dinosaur bones, dead people or Quentin Blake illustrations involved, but who still want to check out the complex. A “Complex Only” ticket to just enter the grounds and wander around the outside of the buildings is available for either Rs. 50 or Rs. 30, I can’t remember. Super cheap, and you could easily spend a whole afternoon wandering around.
There is another option too for those inbetweeners who don’t like museums but want more than just a leisurely stroll around the grounds.
City Palace Complex is situated on the banks (do lakes have banks or is that just rivers?!) of Lake Pichola, and for just Rs. 400 you can take a nice little boat ride across the lake, taking in the whole panoramic view of the Complex, snapshots of day-to-day life in Udaipur and just experiencing nature at its best. Except it’s an artificial lake so lol @ you nature. The ride also includes a quick stop off at Jag Mandir, a palace built smack bang in the middle of the lake which these days has of course been converted into a luxury hotel/resort.
The boat ride is a great option for those who want to see the sights without having to put too much effort in. Like me and my achy arm and sulking self.
I’ve droned on for way too long now about completely irrelevant stuff so yeah, sorry and that. So now I’ll zip it and leave you with a bunch of pretty pictures of City Palace Complex, Lake Pichola and Jag Mandir. Although to be honest it’s mostly pretty doors and stone elephants.