Friday, September 21, 2012


This morning we left Bangalore and headed to Jaipur.  If you are ever flying on an Indian airlines, please stop by the market first and get a garland of Jasmine to put around your neck. . .the smell is indescribable on the airplane and we were even on a brand new one.  YUCK!

Anyway, we landed in Jaipur and I love it!  THIS is what I thought India would be like!  What a rush!  We had the afternoon unplanned (we are officially on a tour starting tomorrow. . .private tour where apparently I am a V.V.V.V.I.P.--Wow!) and so we asked our driver to take us shopping!  We drove through the pink city (we'll spend the day there tomorrow) and to this store that is in the Guiness Book of World Records as the best hand knotted carpets in the world.
The store was an experience (a good one).  They showed us how they dyed materials used for scarves and table linens and clothes and then we got to do it!  Amazing!  They stretch the silk and then have these stamps made from wood and the die is all fruit, vegetable and flower juices.  Below is a picture of me stamping the material (Wendi took the picture and caught me right as I realized that stamping the stamp with my fist--as asked to do--really hurt).

I had to line the stamps up because this particular design took four stamps to make.
The wooden stamps.
Before setting the colors.
My finished product.  I clearly didn't line the green up very well, but all in all I think it is a great first attempt!
Next they showed us how they hand weave and knot silk and wool carpets.  Oh my goodness.  Absolutely amazing!  It takes three people three to twelve months to make a carpet and they are breathtaking!

Once we saw them being made, we were taken into a huge hall where they showed us a zillion carpets.  They just kept rolling them out and they were (are) beautiful!!!  The pictures do not do them justice!

Maggie riding her magic carpet.  We feel like we are in Agraba (from "Aladin").  Its amazing!
So, I bought this carpet.  Not this exact one.  They are tweaking a color or two and changing the size for me, but it will be almost like this one.  I can't believe it!  I looked for the perfect carpet in Saudi last Spring and didn't find one and this one was "it" at first sight!  I'm so excited!  I'm nervous and feeling grown up and giddy and overwhelmed all at the same time!  My own custom rug from India!  Wow!  I'm getting a custom hand made carpet (two actually) and I cannot wait!  I told Maggie that when I die she gets it because this is her India trip, too!
So, we left that store and headed home only to run head on into a street parade.  Seriously, think of Prince Ali's parade when he was going to meet Princess Jasmine.  Seriously.  It was spectacular!

Hey! Clear the way in the old Bazar!
Hey you!
Let us through!
It's a bright new star!
Oh come! 
Be the first on your block to meet his eye!
Make way!
Here he comes!
Ring bells! Bang the drums!
Are you gonna love this guy!
Prince Ali!
Mighty is he!
Ali Ababwa!

Yes, now you are in the mood for these pics!

This was just in the middle of the street!  I got so excited that I just hopped out of the car (without thinking one bit). . .hopped out into 4 million people and 4 lanes of out of control traffic. . .just hopped out and dodged Tuk Tuk's and mopeds and buses and headed for the parade.  Not thinking, but so worth it!  This parade on top of my "I Love Jaipur" rush and my "I just bought 2 custom hand made rugs" high. . .what a night!

More stories tomorrow!

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