Jodhpur: “I look back on life—it’s funny how things turn out. You, the creator of beeping sirens and honking cars, yearn for the solitude of the mountains. You, a connoisseur of fast food, now gaze at water that took years to gather natural minerals as it trickled its way down from the Himalayas to within your reach. And I, some of the purest water in the world, stand here, trapped in a bottle. Come, enjoy the irony.” — actual label text from Himalayan brand bottled water, sold by Tata in India. Possibly the strangest marketing tactic I’ve ever seen.

Udaipur: Shopped at Sadhna, a store linked with the twenty-year-old cooperatively owned Seva Mandir that provides livelihood to 625 women of rural, tribal and urban slum areas; beautiful fabrics and crafting:

Online: Enjoying my friends’ blog in which they travel the world exploring many of the issues that also occur to me as I travel, from a critical progressive ethos. Latest entry is about the Tourism Industrial Complex and why tourism is pretty evil:

In my belly (Rajasthan): Kachora, malpura, dal bati, besan gatti, pineapple-ginger juice, whiskey & coke, papadums, yogurt, pizza, lots of bottled water (not all in one day, of course!).

Air India flight: Um, I’ve never heard an airline safety spiel begin with “Ladies and gentlemen, this is a seatbelt” before.

Hyderabad: Scandalized the tailor by requesting a barely-above-the-knee skirt. He actually asked my father’s permission before agreeing to make it!

Mumbai: Went to the opening of Azaad Bazaar, India’s first LGBT store. Loved the rainbow rickshaw magnets and t-shirts saying “Straight like jalebi” (search for “jalebi” in google images and it will make sense!):

Off to Jaisalmer tomorrow… busy busy!

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