We would give the Chhotaram Prajapat’s Homestay six and a half stars, if we could. Blast you Trip Advisor. It all started with Chhotaram picking us up at the airport.
The Jodhpur Airport has basically one gate and one baggage claim. They wheeled stairs over to the plane so we could walk out onto the runway, president style. I seriously felt like Trump, don’t kill me for mentioning him.
We drove in the back of his desert jeep for a while through the city, and then into a more rural environment. As we drove past huts, little kids waved to us with giant smiles. Once we reached the homestay, we walked to this courtyard area. Chhotaram’s mother greeted us and put red stuff and rice on our foreheads. Not gonna lie, that freaked me out a little bit; but it came right off so…yeah. Don’t ever come at me trying to paint my head, it will not end well for you.
We had two huts made of clay and cow dung with thatched roofs. They were actually extremely nice. They even had wifi…weird.
Later that evening, we walked through the village passing lots of kids. They all got really excited when they saw us. I kind of got some weird looks because of my braces, though. Very few tourists were there, seriously, basically none.
We climbed to the top of this rock and watched the sunset over the desert, extremely pretty, by the way.
I’m not absolutely positive what we ate for dinner, but it tasted good.
Two film makers/writers were staying there as well, along with a french couple. The film makers (who were super interesting and friendly) had the cutest son. They called him RuRu, he spoke practically perfect English. The next day we drove around on a village safari; spotting peacocks, a black buck, deer, and blue bull.
We experienced close up an Opium ceremony (don’t ask, seriously don’t ask…EVER). We saw inside the shepherd’s home, and held their baby goat. We walked around the village bazaar and temple.
My mom and I were fortunate to have one of the filmmakers and an artist who was visiting share with us their talent at henna, and Chhotaram’s mom showed our mom how to dress like Rajisthani women, which was odd to see.
The only thing I even remotely didn’t like was the fact that Chhotaram’s wife had to wear a veil when in the presence of him and his family. I see no reason why that should be necessary, but I guess it’s tradition. (Start singing a chorus of “Tradition!!!” from Fiddler on the Roof.) A sign of respect I will never be showing.
We weren’t really looking forward to India, but now it’s been our favorite part. The homestay was an amazing experience, so if you ever found yourself in Salawas, go stay there for a couple nights. It’ll be totally worth it. But beware, you might die from the pure marvel of seeing Chhotaram’s dad’s mustache. Greatest thing ever. – Ella