If you are ever happen to have a few days in Jaipur and you want to cut through all the crap of trying to get around yourself or worse still ending up with a tour party can I suggest ‘Super Salim’, autorickshaw guide and driver and for Elka, new best friend. Elka is a shrewd judge of character and doesn’t suffer fools gladly, with Salim she warmed to him immediately, an unusual occurance.
Anyway we met Salim outside the Umaid Mahal hotel after being brought from the train station to the hotel by taxi and being told by the taxi driver that the rickshaw drivers who hung round the Umaid were a particularly tricky bunch who were under no circumstance to be trusted, more un-trustworthy than the Delhi rickshaw boys. I immediately sought them out, as it is no different here in India than anywhere else in the world, ‘always believe the polar opposite of anything a taxi driver say’s to you’.
Jaipur is known as the Pink City because of the overall colour of the original enclosed city’s wall’s and buildings. It is laid out in a grid pattern with wide avenues and boulevards. It is easy to get around and has some interesting bazaars. But like all bazaars you have to either like all the tat or have the stomach to wade through it and find something half decent. They all start to look alike and to be perfectly honest I much prefer pushing Elka over the broken streets and roads and open sewers outside of the shops than go into them. I leave the actual shopping to Lisa.
I mean it when I tell you that Salim is a totally cool unpushy guy who on more than one occasion was thinking the exact same thing as myself and Lisa. Come to some arrangement that makes both parties happy, but remember they make a lot of their income from commissions so if you want to steer clear of the tourist spots make it clear to your driver that that’s what you want and pay them a little more, it makes sense and everyones happy.
A.C. & Non A.C. Taxi & Auto Rickshaw 24hr