So I think I experienced my very first Indian “is that what I thought it was?” arse grope. Now, this has happened to most women I’ve met whilst travelling here but it doesn’t normally happen to me. Despite the fact I have tits that could have kept the Titanic afloat, having short hair and tattoos confuses the men. It’s rare that I get unwanted male attention. But yeah, I was on the roof at City Palace before I headed down to find the next audio guide stop then realised I’d missed out, like, three on the roof so I climbed back up. The guard (they have one in every room) was sitting by the small entrance and as I got to the top of the stairs he greeted me with a huge grin and as I passed him I’m preeeeeetty sure there was some leg/arse stroking action but it was one of those really subtle brushes. Was it accidental? Did it even happen or has the heat melted the rational part of my brain? I decided against smashing his face into the wall, just in case, but when he came over uninvited to take my camera so he could take a photo of me then snuggle in for a selfie I figured that yeah, there was probably something a bit untoward and I think he tried for another maul as I went back down the stairs. So many different kinds of gross. Some people should have their fingers chewed off by a rabid monkey.
Apart from that one gropey guard, city palace is a slightly pricey but pretty cool way to kill a couple of hours because they have a free audio guide and I do love an audio guide. You learn some of the best stuff with an audio guide. Like, no defender of Jaisalmer Fort has ever been taken alive because when defeat seemed unavoidable they just topped themselves. Death before dishonour and all that, yeah, I get it, but couldn’t they have found a less gruesome way than burning the women to death? I mean, what’s wrong with the “let’s all drink this poison together” approach favoured by deluded cult leaders the world over? But nope. Jauhar, as it’s called, involves the queens and princesses (during an elaborate ceremony of course, Rajputs do love a good ceremony) getting dressed up in their wedding garb and throwing themselves onto a fire. Then the men flung open the gates and tore into the enemy, killing as many as they could before being killed themselves which basically sounds way less horrific than jumping onto a fucking bonfire!
There’ve been three in the history of the fort and two of these were whilst they were busy getting their arses kicked by the Mughals. The third time they didn’t have time to incinerate their womenfolk so they just cut their throats instead. They got off lightly if you ask me.
The thing is, they’d fight from dawn until dusk then chill out and relax and play chess. With the enemy. So you could have a perfectly civilised game of chess with a dude and talk about whatever blokes talked about back then in the absence of cars and football and real ale, then the next day you could bump into each other on the battlefield and he could run you through with a massive pointy killing device before you can say, “Dave, what the fuck, dude, I thought we were pals!”
The Mughals and the Rajputs were pretty much enemies most of the time. The Muslim Mughals were stronger and more powerful than the Rajputs and a bloke called Maharawal Sabal Singh was the first maharaja to acknowledge this. He was a contemporary of Shah Jahan, better known as Taj Mahal dude, who reigned with an open mind anyway and tolerated all religions. There were marriages between the two sides and as the Mughals loved education and learning this was a good time for Jaisalmer. But you know how women in India have to cover up? That’s not a Hindu thing at all, that’s a throw back to Muslim rule called purdah, where a woman must be covered or hidden to “protect her from the lustful gaze of men.” So basically, because blokes can’t keep their paws to themselves it’s the chicks who have to cover up rather than the men having to have their dicks nailed to a plank of wood until they learn to control themselves. Ha. Yeah. Sorry. Still pissed off about the creepy guard on the roof.
Aaaaaanyway. There are some Jain temples within the fort too. I really wanted to check them out but ladies, you need to keep your womb in check for these bad boys. No menstruating women allowed and I was bleeding like a stuck pig assuming the pig had been stuck through its cunt. I know there’s no real way they’re gonna be able to check this but it’s a respect thing really. If I ask someone respectfully to not do something and they do it anyway I’m not too happy about it and to be fair there are a metric fuck tonne of Jain temples in India I can put in my eyeholes once my uterus has finished wringing itself out.
Other things to do in Jaisalmer apart from trekking through the desert on a creature capable of emitting gas bad enough to floor Sri Lanka would be to sample the delights of the bhang lassi shop because you can do that here without finding out what the inside of an Indian jail looks like. To be honest, this hadn’t really appealed to me. You can get “special lassis” all over Rajasthan and people who’ve done them have ended up being awake all night, lying in their bed staring at the ceiling. They’re too fucked to function but too fucked to sleep. It does not sound like fun, it sounds more like some manner of horrific limbo. But whatever, beverages laced with marijuana are totes the done thing here so I went in with an Austrian guy from the hostel. He got himself a strong one whilst I went for a chocolate flavoured medium one because I don’t generally consume weed and I was pretty sure this would hit me like a fucking brick. A really, really large brick. Probably a brick which happens to still be attached to the rest of the house. You can buy cookies here too if you like, or just bags of weed which, by the shop guy’s own admission, isn’t very strong. So I sipped my lassi which was absolutely fucking delicious and didn’t taste like drugs at all then we headed back where I started to pack for my early start the next day aaaaaaand hello, brick. I’ve been expecting you. It hit me all at once, my brain turned to cotton wool, my muscles forgot how to function, I stumbled over to my bed and promptly passed out. Yeah nah, think I’ll stick to vodka ay.
And in other news, there’s a new leader in the Best kachori In India competition which I just made up. This bad boy can be found at a dhaba not too far from the first gate and it’s awesome because it’s full of sauce and freshly cut onions, chillis and garlic. Because who needs to smell pretty in the desert?
Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India
Stayed at: Mystic Jaisalmer