November 21st, 2004

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I'm having problems accessing my email regularly. I'm having fewer problems with Livejournal (though still having some). The webmail interface for email keeps telling me "Error. You must be logged in to access this page." whenever I try to compose an email.

Please be patient if I don't respond to your email. This is the reason why, not that I dislike any of you.
India

Jodhpur

Last day in Jodhpur. First, I'll give you my vacation whine of the entry. The first night at this hotel, I was sitting at the desk writing postcards, when I heard a zap noise from the bathroom. I looked in and saw sparking. Thought it was odd because I hadn't noticed a mosquito zapper when I checked in. But mosquitos are rampant in the area and malaria is a problem, so I thought the hotel might have had a zapper. Then I realized that the sparking was running up and down the pipe leading to the hot water heater for my room. It started smoking within 15 seconds. I grabbed my key and ran to the hotel office (no phones in the rooms at this place). They quickly sent someone in who was able to shut off the power to the heater. No hot water. No matter, I could survive one morning without it.

After they left, I wrote some more postcards. Then I heard a loud pop from the heater. Extremely loud. M80 loud. And then water started pouring out. So I shut off the water.

The next day, I returned from my tour of Mehrengarh (impressive fort), around 3 o'clock. No one had even started to work on it yet. So down to the office I went. Hotel called someone who came in about an hour later. They worked on it until 9 p.m. Of course, problem was more than just electrical now. Now the tank itself was pretty much shot. This being India though, you don't replace things, you fix them. The tank needed more work than they were capable though. So no hot water for a second day.

Got back from my tour of some of the outlying villages today. This was about 12:30 p.m. Nope, still no one working on it. They've been working on it for several hours now and I've just been informed that they've got it working, but that it will have a slight week for a week or two. I don't care about 2 weeks from now. It's been hopefully heating water for an hour now and I'll be able to shave tomorrow. I'll check when I get back to my room to test.

Jodhpur has been nice. Not as many things to see here as in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur (collectively known as the Golden Triangle). However, the fort is impressive. Huge. Massive. To my knowledge, no one ever took that fort in battle.

Today the guide took me out to visited a village about 20 km from Jodhpur. Still a canned package, but still interesting. Got to watch a rural potter making some clay jars. Also visited a farming family that is doing subsistence level farming, and sells a little milk or other things at the market. The potter and the farmer both keep their places set up for visitors. The guide brings people by occasionally, and the families make a little baksheesh in return. Even an extra 50 rupees every couple of days for the privilege of visiting and taking a few photographs is a big difference in a farmer's annual income. I think the potter makes a bit more from his pottery though.

I've been offered opium twice in Jodhpur now. Officially it's illegal, but according to the guide the government tolerates the locals using it in tea or in small amounts. No charge for the opium from those who offered it. Not exactly a shady drug dealer thing.

Tomorrow, head to Ranakpur.