I don’t know what it is with me today, but as much as I try, I just can’t content myself with where I am. The city is stunning, the views, grandiose. It feels incredible exotic, as though the city came straight out of a story book. It’s everything one would dream of when thinking of desert towns. Yet… I’m having a hard time having that be enough.
See, there is a boutique hotel right next door to our hotel. The entrance, on our street, consists of an old rock wall and a giant wooden gate – no signage. But I had a feeling that there was something special behind those gates, and sure enough, a little web research later I had discovered Raas. While it’s a beautiful hotel, it had what I was after: a pool. Did I mention that this is a desert town? Well, it’s HOT!!!! I really, really wanted to dip in a cool, clear blue pool.
We decided to stop by the hotel today and inquire about their restaurant, and if one could pay a fee to use to pool (as is often possible in India). We got the guard to open the gates, and walked in to the minimalist reception area. To see the menu, one had to go to the restaurant, so a staff member walked us there. All I have to say is this: OMG. The place is even prettier than the pictures. It’s like an oasis within the old city! It’s a fantastic mix of traditional architecture and modern, it’s well done, classy and timeless.
The downsides: while the menu reads wonderfully (Thai laab! Mutton burger! And other delights hard to get around here that I’ve blocked from my memory to ease the pain), it’s really expensive. It would have been no problem had it been our 200th day, but sadly that has passed. The other downside: they do not let non-guests use the pool. With that, we had to leave the hotel, and I think that I left my good mood poolside.
We decided to go out for lunch at a nearby rooftop restaurant, and from there we could see Raas’ pool, with people swimming merrily. Torture! I realized that no matter how pretty this city is, it just wasn’t enough for me today. Today, I wanted a day of lazy luxury. Somehow, my body and brain were screaming to be lying by a pool, drinking cocktails and throwing Rupees into the wind. Today, I didn’t want a regular day filled with regular restaurants and bad food. I didn’t want to be overheating. I didn’t want bad service. I was really, really craving what I have now dubbed a “Ginger Day”.
Oh well. Hopefully this feeling will pass and I will be able to enjoy our simplistic yet extravagant lifestyle again. Please let it pass before tomorrow, otherwise our long, sweaty bus ride will feel much longer…
Ok, I’ve figured it out. What’s getting me down is not that I need a day of luxury, and that it didn’t happen. The real issue is that I am tired of all of the restrictions that either we, or others, impose on our trip. I’m tired of having to compromise, of being told no.
When you’re at home, you do what you want, mostly when you want. You eat when you want, dress as you want. If you feel like splurging on something, you do. If you want a hot shower, you have a hot shower.
What’s getting to me is that because we are going for so long, and are so responsible, we don’t allow ourselves treats that are superflux, like a nice bottle of wine or a luxurious hotel room. We would feel too guilty about it if we allowed ourselves things like that. And what’s also getting me down is all of the things over the last month that I haven’t been able to do for religious reasons. Cover your head there. Act submissive there. Don’t eat meat. Don’t eat beef or pork. Don’t drink alcohol. And then all of the other things, like hot water deprivation, consistent bland food, lazy service, crappy internet.
I’m tired of not being able to work like I want to, to not be able to take a pleasant shower, to not be able to have a good meal. It’s getting to me… it looms over me like a great wall of impossibility.
I figure that I’ll be stretching my “Ginger Day” over the course of the next few weeks, chiseling away at the wall one brick at a time with small treats to myself. At worse, I’m really counting on Eastern Europe not having some of these silly restrictions on food. Yes, I think that after a good, medium-rare steak and a bottle of fine red wine that I’ll be all better.