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Monday, March 14, 2011



While in India, I went on a camel safari. We camped in the Thar desert overnight. This was an unforgettable experience, in many ways....

I settled in Bikaner, Rajasthan for a few days. The first day I went on a tour of local palaces and havelis. I also ventured to Deshnok to see the infamous Karni Mata temple(also know as the rat temple.... more on this in forthcoming post). Joining me on this tour was a slender, fair skinned Punjabi man in his late thirties. At first glance I assumed he was Persian and also gay. He was neither. I found him a bit odd, but day one went off without a hitch.

The following day, my unforgettable camel safari commenced. Joining Punjabi Perv and I, was a couple Sara and Dave(she was American, he was a Brit). On our jeep ride through small towns, we engaged in a lively conversation about our experiences thus far in India. I complained about people staring and taking pictures of me. She bemoaned about having her breast grabbed. She thought because she was a ginger, she received a little extra attention.  I concurred.

We arrived at the camel station, where we were instructed to select our  desert beast. I picked a young male named Raja(which means king, fitting for someone as regal as myself). It ended up being a wise decision because the rest of the party got stuck with older males, of mating age that kept doing this vile thing. Raja, like me was virginal and had no interest in mating. As I got closer to Raja, I had a change of heart. I wanted to go back to the guest house and not mount the smelly beast. I quieted my inner coward and mounted Raja like a queen( not really I almost fell off). Each of us had our own camel guide. My guide kept leaving my camel unattended to go smoke cigarettes and talk on his cell phone.

Our jaunt took us through small villages(I captured two of my favourite images on this ride). After two hours of riding we stopped for lunch. They cooked us an amazing Rajasthani vegetarian meal. We continued for another two hours. My couter bone was incredibly sore and my right leg was numb. For an hour I wanted to remove my foot from the stirrup to stretch, but I feared Raja would lead me into yet another bush; I would tumble, get trampled by a herd of camels and then they would have to ship my battered body back to Canada and I would end up on one of those shows like "100 crazy ways to die". I kept my foot in the stirrup.

We stopped and our guides set up three tents. They made us  afternoon tea, then dinner. Even though the surroundings were sparse, I had to pinch myself— I was eating dinner in the Thar desert, gazing at the stars, with  Rajasthani folk music in the background, from a temple over the dune. After dinner, they set up a camp fire. Punjabi Perv and I went and sat in front of the fire. That is when the following exchange happened...(insert Punjabi accent in PP's lines)

PP: So do you know where my tent is?

ME:(I turn and look at the three tents wondering where this turdbasket is going)Yeah...Its the one at the end.

PP: Ok good, good. I just wanted to let you know that I can offer you very nice oral sex and also full body massage....

ME: Ummmm.....No, I'm good thanks.

PP: But we cannot have sex because I do not have a condom
(yeah, because that's the reason we wouldn't be having sex)

ME: Yeah, but NO. No thanks.

PP:Shhh. Do not answer yet. Think about for a while. I am very gifted with the oral. You know where my tent is.

I was amused and horrified at the same time. Amused that this would happen to me in THE DESERT. Horrified because we were sleeping in tents, in the desert. I wondered what kind of man would offer to mangia a woman who had been riding a camel for 4 hours and peeing in a bush(my friend Josh said I should've let him at it).

Thankfully Sara and Dave came and sat by the fire. We all chatted for a while. I would catch him looking at me over the fire. When the fire died they went to get more thatch from a small house. I thought F**K! He starts again...

PP: I think they are going to have some fun

ME:No... No they aren't. They are going get stuff for the fire.

PP:No they are going to have fun. The house will shake soon. We should have fun we shouldn't.

When they returned, I asked Sara the accompany me to the ladies room(the bush) and I told her about PP. She said she thought he was a bit weird. She offered to share her tent with me and have Dave sleep in the middle tent.  I declined and said that my pepper spray and pen would be enough protection. We returned to the fire and I stayed for another hour and then retired to my tent. I put my backpack in front of the zip, inside my tent(as Sara instructed). I tried to settle in sleep until I heard something flap in the wind. I sat up in my tent, pepper spray in one hand and my pen in the other. (If you are wondering what I planned on doing with a pen...I planned on stabbing that bitch in the jugular). I settled again, until I heard what sounded like an animal at the back of my tent. I listened for an hour.

The next morning I commented that I thought I heard something at the back of my tent. Dave agreed. PP said "Oh really."
Later on, I looked at the back of my tent, I saw animal footprints but I also saw shoe prints...

We ate breakfast. Dave and Sara continued on a camel safari, while I had to head back with PP in a camel cart. It was a two hour ride in that cart with PP. In that time, I found out he was married with three children...He spewed crap about eating organic and staying away from processed foods, clean, healthy living, blah, blah, blah. Then he said the following "I don't smoke or drink I eat healthy. I'm turning forty but I have the body and agility of a twenty year old." I nearly tossed my breakfast. (Side note:He drank three large Kingfisher beers during the safari and also smoked two potent Indian hand-rolled cigarettes on the camel cart) I called him out on his hypocrisy. He said he was on vacation.... On vacation without your wife and three children. Brilliant. Upon arrival at the guest house I promptly fled the jeep(without saying good-bye)locked myself in my room and took a very long shower...

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