About Town in Udaipur
I’m starting to really like Udaipur and I haven’t really felt that about anywhere we’ve visited so far in India. I feel I’ve already become acquainted with the legless beggar who wheels himself to the end of the footbridge everyday and always says, ‘See you later’; and the lady cooking on her rooftop next door who waves as she’s making chapattis or chai. The shopkeepers almost take no for an answer and the kids are friendly and want to find out where we’re from and talk about football. I like that I’m already in with the illegal beer seller who can fix me up with a bottle of Kingfisher to drink while I write the blog. It’s actually a pleasant city to walk around even allowing for the mad driving.
On our morning stroll today we came across these little guys:
I don’t fancy their chances of making it although many thousands every year do. Of course the thought of pocketing one crossed my mind but they said if I tried they’d get their dad …
I didn’t fancy my chances either so I backed off.
Having narrowly escaped a mauling I took my life in my hands again by jumping on the back of a scooter and heading off to market with Robin. Robin’s wife Mary would be teaching us to cook later so I asked if I could help with the shopping, little knowing it would involve going two up through the narrow, crowded streets of the city.
Actually it was fun and worth it as Robin took me to a fantastic produce market. Every stall had a beautiful display of absolutely fresh produce. Herbs, spinach and peas could only have been picked this morning. Other produce, none of it refridgerated or specially packed could only have been a day or two old. It was obvious that every stallholder was proud of their produce, with everything looking clean and well presented and happy to give me tasters of fresh carrots and radish. And this is here every day of the week. For this I have to come to a developing country.
Of course things are changing in India very rapidly with recent ecomomic progress and this is leading to the adoption of different ways of eating and shopping. Dehli has plenty of fast food chains; Starbucks, MacDonalds and Domino’s are all here. Ready meals are beginning to appear and the latest news is that Tesco announced last week that they would be entering the Indian retail sector, accompanied by concerns from political parties that this would lead to the loss of family run businesses. Let’s hope they learn lessons from us and take measures to protect their traditional local markets like this one.
The choice was incredible. These mini aubergines would be in the pot within hours. This is how Robin and Mary and much of the rest of the city cook. Buy today, cook today.
This market was in the Muslim area of town but used by everyone. Robin and Mary are Christian. There’s very little religious tension.
Now these caught me by surprise as I’d never seen them before. Add a comment if you think you know what they are.