Sunday, December 25, 2011
Christmas in the Thar Desert
December 25th, 2007
Once again, I woke up to see the sun and moon, once again, switch horizons since I'd last seen them.
It felt strange waking up Christmas morning in a desert. It's always the one time of year that's difficult to be away. I decided to dig into the bag of Rajasthani bud as a surrogate for Christmas Champagne.
We headed out on our camels and the whole world seemed to invert. Seated on the camel, everything seemed to move around me as though it floated on the perimeter of a bubble, slowly dripping into my perception. Crows flew silently above, followed by the sound of their wings flapping the hot air. I asked the guide if he would sing his songs one more time, and this time they were deeply enjoyable.
I looked across the desert and thought about what it must be like at home, houses strung with lights, Christmas trees, Christmas songs, Christmas ads on the radio, people watching Christmas movies. There wasn't much sign of Christmas here. Then it struck me... Riding through the desert on three camels, nothing back home was nearly as Christmasy as that!
By early evening, we made our way back to the road met the rickshaw driver to bring us back to the Jaisalmer Fort. I gave our guide a tip, the also gave one to his nephew, and told him it was just for him. He looked at his uncle to see if it was true, that he could have that money, and his uncle bobbled his at at him. His face lit up with excitement and I had a feeling he would be asking his uncle to join him on the next trek.
When we made it back to the fort, it was just Christmas morning in Nova Scotia, so I was able to Skype with my parents and send some pictures from the trip.
We ended Christmas day with fantastic Italian food at Jaisal Italy, a small restaurant just outside the gate. We had wood fired pizza and some great pasta. After two and a half days of desert food, it was right up there with lobster and Christmas turkey!