Treasure Hunt at the Amber Fort

Everyone in India blows their horn continuously, regardless if there is anyone else on the road. I took a train to Jaipur yesterday, looking forward to a quiet respite from the din. Alas, the train driver took it upon himself to sound his air horn every mile or so. I think making noise is the national hobby.


I met a German couple who put me onto an app called WalnutPay. It’s a crowdsourced map which flags working ATM’s and their last known status. So this morning I recruited a young guy called Talim and his tuktuk. We sat in a layby, refreshing the app and swapping stories. 


Suddenly an ATM across the city flagged as active four minutes ago, and we scrambled to get there before the locals emptied it. On our first try, we were a few minutes late. Our second, and I couldn’t find it. Third time lucky and we find a tiny queue, and replinish of 2000 rupees. The rationing guard shows me out as he knows my foreign cards can be used multiple times a day.


I spent the afternoon at the enormous Amber Fort. When Europe stopped building castles because of cannons, Indians just decided to make them so big as to be cannon proof. I also chance upon the Marharaga’s step well, a swimming pool which can be filled as either a diving pool or a bath for the King’s elephants.

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