I said at the beginning of this month that the intention of trust would be an interesting one, well it definitely has! Just in the past few days I have been a few very different examples that have really tested my intention.
It all started on my overnight bus to Mumbai from Goa. The sleeper bus was due to leave at 5.30pm and arrive there at 6am. However we were hurried on to a normal bus, with no beds and told we would change buses later. 2.5 hours later after driving up and down, round and round, clearly stalling for time we indeed did get moved to a sleeper bus in the next town. Finally after a little bit of day dreaming out of the window I settled down to sleep. 6am came and went, we didn’t even seem to be near Mumbai. 9am finally it seemed like we were there, 10.30am still driving through Mumbai…..11am the bus broke down. No explaination, we were just dumped somewhere in the suburbs of craziness. Luckily I met a lovely man from Peru who I ended up sharing a cab with along with a Spanish couple.
Verdict: I can’t trust the bus to get there on time, however I can trust God/the Universe to throw people in my way to help me out and I can trust myself to deal with any situation.
So finally arrive in Mumbai, after 1.5 hours of trying to find a room (the lovely man from Peru carrying my backpack for me in the midday heat), I decide to go by the waters edge and have a look at the Gateway to India. I started chatting to a seemingly pleasant Indian business man. I would usually ignore chatting to the usual Indian boys who want to take my (and every other Western woman) photo all the time but he seemed safe. I was being open, going with the flow and agreed to have a juice at the side of the road with him. That was all fine, had an interesting conversation about the state of relationships in India and then he walked me back to my hotel where I was going to meet my friend Polly.
He asked if we could meet for dinner but I explained it was Polly’s last night in India and I doubt we would meet him. We swapped numbers just incase. I felt after he had bought me a juice I couldn’t really not give him my number even though I know we wouldn’t meet again.
Polly arrives and we go out for a nice cold beer. At 6.30pm I receive the first text from him asking us to meet outside the Taj Mahal Hotel (where the terrorist attack was) at 7.30 for dinner. He would be waiting for both of us. To which I responded politely thank you for the offer but we have somethings to do and then are having early nights. His response was to tell me he was sure we could meet for a quick dinner. I was a bit firmer this time saying “no we can’t!”.
That was that, or so I thought. Polly and I went into a restaurant to have some dinner and to my shock I spotted him standing right outside. So I panicked and slid over in the booth out of his eye sight. He stood there for ages, looking up and down the road, seeming like he was on his phone. Polly joked saying “he is looking for you”, and I think maybe he actually was….. When we go back to our hotel room I received another text “Hey, I seen you when you were in restaurant at my back and you were hiding yourself, was there anything wrong by side?”. What??!!!!
I of course ignored it and that was that.
Verdict……Do not trust strange men I meet on the street and give out my phone number! It can be foolish to trust people until they have shown they can be trusted.
The next day I said farewell to Polly and went off to get a 17 hour bus to Udaipur in Rajasthan. The taxi driver said it would take an hour, but he got me there in 20 minutes so I was there by 11.10 for the 12 noon bus. I was just dropped off by traffic lights on a busy junction and told the bus would collect me from there. There was no travel agency sign, no bus stop, just a few buses waiting in a line with nothing on them to say where there we going. I stood around for a few minutes then moved into the shade. Some of the men that were hanging around the buses asked where I was going and told me the big bus standing there was indeed my bus. They whisked off my luggage into the hold and told me to get on. I found my bed and went to get of the bus for fresh air as I still have 40 minutes to wait before we were due to leave.
To my surprise and fear they bundled me back on the bus and all got in, the bus took off. I was saying, but it’s not due to leave until 12? There was no one else on the bus!!!! The man was getting very cross with me by this stage and told me that they were only waiting for me, they could wait til 12 if I wanted them to but it was the right bus. So I decided to just give in and trust them. I said I quick prayer to keep me safe and settled into the journey ahead.
It was all fine, thank God! Verdict; sometimes you can trust…..it’s so confusing!
You would think that would be enough of a test of trust within 24 hours or so but oh no… Next up I arrive in the beautiful Udiapur, after a quick nap and delicious breakfast on the roof top of my guest house I go off to visit the City Palace, amazing. After a bit of sightseeing I spot a very small art shop down a pretty looking alley way. I wander down to have a look. The artist seems like a very friendly sweet man and proceeds to show me all of his intricate art work. I love the paintings on the back of old postcards which he informs me are all 500 rupees (just over a fiver). I imagine framing them and having them in my new flat when I get home so I plan to get a few if I can haggle him down a bit. He accepts 1000 rupees for 4. I skip off happy I have got him down to half price.
How ever……just walking around today I see they sell these type of old postcard paintings eveywhere. Of course I can’t just leave it, I have to go check I couldn’t have got them for cheaper. To my shock everywhere else seems to sell them for 50 rupees!!!!!!!! I have been totally ripped off by this sweet man who introduced me to his wife and said to come back for chai one day as friends. I stormed back there to tell him he is a bad man, but no surprise his shop is all locked up. He has probably gone on holiday with my cash!
Verdict; haggle harder and don’t always trust seemingly nice people until you know them a bit better!
OK I will give you just one more example to show how it has been difficult to trust in every situation this month. Yesterday a man who ran a massage place nr my guest house had been trying to stop me all afternoon. Eventually in the evening I relented and stopped to have a chat to find out about his massage. He proceeded to press different pressure points on my hands and where I said it hurt he was telling me everything that was wrong with me. He then showed me a feedback book and he had many rave reviews. They all seemed to say just don’t think about it, go for it, the massage is amazing etc I decided I would have a massage later this afternoon as he seemed very good.
This morning I asked the owner of my guest house if he thought the massage man was any good. He promptly told me not to go. Apparently there have been many reports of this man touching women inapproproately, apparently awakening their “sex point”?!!! One girl that stayed at the guest house reported him to the police and he actually spent a couple of nights in prison because of it!!! Thank goodness I checked about this man…..
So as a conclusion to my month of Trust, it’s a very tricky subject. I used to think I was wrong for not being more trusting but actually as just the past few days have proved I do think that mainly people need to earn your trust. I think it can be very foolish to trust everyone you meet until you get more of a sense of them. I am actually being sensible to be cautious!
I think the key aspect of trust is to trust yourself, trust your instincts – what you feel in your heart and stomach is usually a good indication. Also trust in God/the Universe, what eve you believe. No matter what gets thrown my way I trust it’s something for me to learn and that I will be ok.
All this aside I have to say I am totally in love with Udaipur, it’s just so beautiful and has such a lovely atmosphere. I just love all the paintings around all the door ways, which I think are for good luck. Creativity is just brimming over here. Being by the lake just creates such a calm tranquil vibe even though the narrow streets are busy with shops and rickshaws.
My next intention is being healthy, this is just perfect timing as I start my yoga teacher training course on 10th April. So in April I am not going to have my regular fix of Bounty bars (my new chocolate obsession!) and am just generally going to eat and drink what ever is good for me.
I’ll leave you with a couple more pics of Udaipur!