Wednesday, January 13th, 2016
Not just us, but a bunch of people in our crew felt like they woke up with the plague. To make matters more disgusting, Trevor accidentally dumped his malaria pills all over the dirty floor. I helped Carmel and Benedikt load the luggage on the truck before we headed out to risk receiving a more credible form of the plague. We were going to the small town of Deshnok to visit the Karni Mata temple, also known as the rat temple. Karni Mata was a female Hindu sage worshipped as the incarnation of the warrior goddess, Durga. All the rats are treated with the utmost respect there, however the rare sighting of white rats inside the temple are treated as sacred since they are believed to be the reincarnation of Karni Mata herself.
It was a cold morning, and we had to ditch our shoes to walk barefoot along the cold pavement into the temple. No shoes allowed in temples folks! Socks were allowed, but there was no point. I found that the rats themselves were kinda cute, however walking on rat food, rat droppings, rat urine and pigeon poop was pretty nasty. What made it even more gross was the fact that the caretakers of the temple were trying to clean up by dumping buckets of water on the soiled, tiled floor, turning the mess into a paste. My feet still haven’t forgiven me.
We were all grateful to find tubs full of soapy water to clean our feet in after walking back to the truck. It was now time to head to Jaisalmer, the “Golden City!” A city whose name’s pronunciation I will forever butcher!
After eating lunch at the Mumal Resort, we continued the drive, passing by a house with an airplane sculpture on the roof, a desert oasis in the distance, free-roaming camels, Indian gazelles, and a heightened military presence. There were tanks galore since we were near the Pakistani border. No combat during our trip aside from that going on in the truck:
One of the Golden Girls to Tom, “You’re not wearing your seatbelt.”
“What are you gonna do? Spank me?”
After unloading at the “Golden Haveli” hotel we joined some of the others in separate rickshaws to the gates of the Golden Fort.
We were on a mission to find pizza and beer and started our search entertained by the decorated rickshaws of the “rickshaw run”.
We eventually found what we were looking for at a place called “Ristorante Italiano La Purezza.” There was an incredible rooftop view of the city where we caught a brief firework show in the distance, and listened to the military jet planes fly overhead. Since there was such a large order, it took while to get our food, but it was not a problem. Our waiter, Mohit, kept the beer flowing and was very hospitable. It was a fun night with some of our favorite people, but it was getting late so we had to battle the narrow stairwell back down to ground-level.
Mohit suggested we visit his relative’s book store nearby, which we did. It was a very nice store and I’m absolutely a lover of books, but unfortunately I had too much to drink to focus on reading, and we were all on a mission to find one more place for a nightcap.
We walked by some very funny marketing at a store displaying blankets. Some of the signs read:
“No need for Viagra, magic bedsheet”
“Bed sheet size, One wife ok”
There was also a shirt that read, “Make your boyfriend less ugly”. After a few chuckles, we made our way to the “Kabab Corner Restaurant” for one more round of beers.
Jump Ahead to Part 21: Ali Baba, Camels & The Box Game
Start from the Beginning at Part 1: Don’t Forget to Pack Your Anxiety