Jaipur, India
After leaving Ahmedabad, I headed north to the city of Jaipur. Population 2.3 million. The train left at 6AM, and was at least 2 hours late, for a total of 14 hours on the train. It was Sleeper Class though so I had my own place to lay down and sleep. I checked into a guesthouse where I hoped to meet up with some other travelers, as it has a restaurant within the facility. I got up this morning and met Johan, from Sweden while getting breakfast. We decided to hit the old city section, which had some sites including an astronomy complex, an old palace, and some other old sites that don't really mean much to Westerners. So we enter through the old gates and are chatting along the way about this and that. I tell him how in Ahmedabad I almost got run over by a motorcycle (I didn't write about this yet). The motorcycle came from the wrong way, going much faster than normal traffic, and clipped me on the arm. Had I been 6 inches closer to the road it could have been very bad for me, the two idiots on the bike, or for all of us. Not more than 2 minutes after this story another bad accident almost occurred.

Some girl on a smaller sized motorcycle ran into me from behind. She did not clip me, she did not scrape me as she drove by, but full on, bulls-eye, 100 point shot, hit me square in the back. I was completely stunned. Did someone just hit me?! She must have braked because I did not fall over at all, just kind of rode up on the front side of the bike, her front tire between my legs. My camera was in my hand too, but I didn't drop it. I did get a couple small cuts on my hamstring, and was a little shaken up, but otherwise I am fine. I turned around and a younger girl, was looking back in amazement. I kind of backed away, still in shock, checking myself to make sure I had all my limbs. She hesitated, saw that I was in one piece, and just drove away. I still cannot believe that I was hit by a motorcycle and only have a couple cuts.
We proceeded to go see the sites of Jaipur, which were interesting. Got some fried bread and vegis for lunch from a street vendor, which were pretty good. Took some back alleys, in places not too many Westerns probably venture to. Enjoyed some Coke in the shade on a bench. Just another day on the trail.

As I go along, and check into places and look for places to eat I realize that two years in AmeriCorps has made me pretty cheap. I want cheap stuff on this trip. If it is cheap, then chances are it is less touristy and more authentic. At least with the food this seems to be true. If I have a choice between (A) a $2 room with a toilet and a hot shower and (B) a $1 room with just a squat toilet and a bucket shower, I will take (B). I didn't come to India for the luxuries of toilet seats and comfortable beds. I am a simple man and I want the bare bones accommodations. If it has a lock on the door, a hole in the ground somewhere nearby, and is relatively clean I will take it. The place I am in now is about $6.50/night and that is too much. Maybe I will ease up on my standards or maybe I will get even tougher. I am not quite sure how it will play out.

After 19 hours straight on an Indian Railways train and being hit by a motorcycle I can sleep anywhere for a night. Mom and Dad, don't worry, I won't go anywhere too unsavory.