We were content to linger in Jodhpur. We had a good friend in Ajay and free Internet access was something we could really take advantage of.
Although the chaotic congestion of Jodhpur's streets bordered on danger, we really liked it there. The heart of the city thrived with life and commerce. The old part of town—its narrow hilly footpaths lined with sky blue buildings—offered a welcome respite to the chaos elsewhere. It was in the old section that we were staying—the roof deck of the guest house commanding wonderful views of the old town below and fort above. Only the distant sounds of a marching band—evidence of yet another wedding—reminding us of the vibrant city streets to the south.
One night we had a wonderful dinner prepared by Ajay's mom at the family's home. Ajay and his friend Pradeep rode Evelyn and I there on the backs of their scooters. We clung perilously to our respective seats as we wove quickly through traffic and out into the less congested avenues. A short detour took us past the immense and brilliantly lit maharaja's palace and around to Ajay's home; a new home as of three days prior. His dad had just retired from the army and thus the family had moved.
We sat crossed-legged on a platform with Ajay and Pradeep as Ajay's mom brought on dish after dish of savory curries and sweets. We were encouraged to eat at least three times as much as we usually do. And then came desert—cakes soaked in sweet syrup and topped with whole chili peppers.