Tuesday, January 1, 2013

udaipur: more WPIDK than we can count

After saying bai bai to Mumbai (couldn’t resist), we took an overnight train to Udaipur, a town built around some peaceful lakes.

Ah... The view from our room.

We needed peace, as you can see from our travel “portraits.”

The first thing we noticed about Udaipur was the massive quantities of WPIDK. This is a “code name” we made up, in Mumbai, to surreptitiously comment on the foreigners around us. If you haven’t guessed, the acronym stands for “White People I Don’t Know.”

English quiz: Which line is grammatically correct?

It’s not like there aren’t white people around India, but living in Mussoorie sometimes tricks us into thinking we work with or know every white person around. Mumbai certainly had some WPIDKs, but Udaipur was packed. It’s like there was some website saying, “If you’re white and sort of hippy-ish, visit this place and wear baggy pants!” They flocked all over the touristy part of town we stayed in.


One of our best days in Udaipur was spent wandering around City Palace, a beautiful relic from the city’s early rulers. As you’ll see if you check out our facebook page, we (read: Melanie) couldn’t stop taking photos. Around every corner awaited another view of the lakes through some sculpted stone window.

Lake Pichola through the windows

Mustachioed sun. Sweet.

We also enjoyed taking a peaceful boat ride around Pichola Lake. The boat dropped us off on one of the two small islands, upon which is an extraordinarily overpriced café. We had our mediocre $4 coffees, wandered, and then boated back to the mainland. The fresh air felt great!


Udaipur was a city of firsts: first fort palace in Rajasthan, first Indian boat ride, and my first real bout with good, old-fashioned food poisoning. (The offending food came from a restaurant claiming it was “organic” and “healthy.”) I spent an entire day cooped up in our hotel room, cleansing my system of everything. Chris was an amazing help, and I’m thankful that we’re taking our time on this trip; losing a day to illness didn’t prevent us from fully enjoying the city.

What is that, you say? Why, my friend, it's the world's largest turban!

One thing we learned from this experience is that the English-language movies playing on Indian TV are absolutely horrible. We have no idea who chooses the movies that make it here, or what standards they use, but you end up with everything from Baby’s Day Out to Rush Hour 3 to Three Men and a Little Lady. Needless to say, I watched many inspiring pieces of cinema as I recovered from my illness.


One last Udaipur shout-out. We stayed at a lovely guest house called “Dream Heaven” with a great rooftop restaurant. But the best part of our stay had to be this guy: the fattest dog we’ve seen in India yet. He was always laying outside our room or at the restaurant, soaking up the sun. Such a sweetie.



  1. Ah, Melanie! I miss you! This was hilarious. Hope you're recovered from your food poisoning, though. Yikes!

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