Sunday, May 18, 2008

Greetings from: BHUJ

Traveling in the well-known cities offers you a safety net. You can draw upon the experiences of former travelers; better yet, you can meet fellow travelers and caravan. Bhuj, however, offers no such luxuries. As I walked through the city, the heat staved off bravely by occasional breezes, I felt like the only foreigner for miles around. And I probably was, too.

But it’s made bearable because the people here are exceedingly friendly. I’m ashamed to admit it, but India has made me paranoid and suspicious. When someone approaches me, I try to figure out what they want from me, what his angle is. But here in Bhuj, people seem genuinely curious. They stare at me (not a problem, since I tend to stare right back), simply because I’m a novelty; I don’t think many tourists come this way. But people are generous with their smiles, with their good-natured humor.

The women’s clothing here is a riot of prints; from what I understand, the different patterns denote different tribes, ethnic clans. It’s beautiful -- the full-throated colors, the draped layers, the jewelry.

They sell a brand of bottled water here called Blister -- no kidding.

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