Day 18 [Bikaner] Beyond Expectations

THE STATE OF RAJASTHAN, BEING A DESERT,  is greener than what I would have expected. Trees flourish within the city limits, and fields of wheat fill the countryside. Not the picturesque barren land of sand dunes, and the weather is not that hot during the day, and not chilly at night.

Here in Bikaner, camels replace horses as transport. The tall camels race the roads along with auto-rickshaws, motorcycles and cars. Beware the roads while you walk though, because camel poop comes in big sizes and smells really bad.

Another interesting find here in Bikaner is its popular snacks. Bikaneri sweets are famous worldwide and the Choti Joti Moshi near my hotel sells one of the best in town. I tried random kinds of the sweets and was amazed at how I loved them. Other than the thought of feeding myself tonnes of calories, the sweets brighten my day with gentle doses of spices and crunchy tangs here and there. Spicy nibble called ‘namkeens’ are also popular, and with Rs 60 you can get a 500g bag with a variety of them.

 

Camels roam the roads here in Rajasthan. Here is the typical camel cart that moves way slower than horse carriages.

 

The very green desert after one of the most substantial monsoon season in a decade.

 

Ras Melai – sweet cottage cheese drowned in a thick milky syrup

 

Bikaneri sweets are very addictive. Watch out for your waist line.

 

DURING MY TRAIN RIDE FROM BIKANER TO JODHPUR TODAY, I had an unexpected blow from a metal belt thing which was hanging on the train seat above me. I was putting my backpack onto the overheads when something fell hitting me right in my face. The first thing on my mind was to pray hard that I do not have to see a doctor, the second is a sincere wish that I did not just ruined my face. Lucky for me, I only have a bleeding scrape on my eyelid and a bad bruise on my forehead, not serious enough for a hospital visit.

After all the unexpected surprises (good and bad), I was pleasantly smiling to know that at least one thing was expected. My train was running late again, this time for 2 hours. Even with the waste of time I am getting, deep down inside, I felt contended that at the end of the day, delays are always expected, no matter where you are.

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