THE EXOTIC CAMEL FAIR

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People camp here for the duration of the fair, just like our own fairs. But they have no electricity or laundromat.

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She is obviously older and Ranvir explained to us that India has only a guess at their population, that is changing now. He asked her, Mother, how old are you? She said, I don’t know, but I think I’m about 70.

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This man has a food booth with huge pots of wonderful smelling  broth or soup.  One pot I could see rice and lentils and we another with vegetables in a rich gravy. But we watched him serve a customer and he used this dirty rag to clean the stainless steel plate he used to dish it up. It didn’t bother his customer.

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In this booth, a couple cooks naan sitting on the table with a portable adobe stove.

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Then we meet what we in the U.S. would call a snake oil salesman. He sells bottles of elixir, (as good as viagra) some to ingest, others in pill form or a salve to rub on your skin  to cure just about everything.

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The Chinese have wonderful herbal medicines, and the herbs are very impressive as he explains to us how things work.  So several of us try his arthritis oil. Oh, well. My bottle cost me in rupees the equivalent of 16 cents.

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This young man is training a beautiful black horse.

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The current fad is to get animals to walk on their hind legs. Ranvir asked him how much he was asking for his horse. Not for sale. He plans to make it a champion and will breed it someday.

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As we walked this dusty road, a parade walked by us.

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This man casually leads three camels. They seem to be very docile animals.

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These two are all decorated and beautifully groomed just like my daughter did her horse at our fair. The similarities tickle memories.

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I took a picture of this woman by a heavily patched tent because of the stuffed animal on the top. I asked to take a picture and a young girl immediately reached up and hauled it down for me to see. Again, a slight commonality with an American fair.

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Ranvir talked to some animal buyers. He told us these guys don’t look rich. But they can plunk down $10,000 dollars for an animal-in rupees, of course.  He asked several of them how much they paid. One man we met was crying the blues because he sold his animals for $2,000 dollars and doesn’t have a bank account and no way to cash it. He couldn’t even buy anything to eat or drink. He asked us to give him rupees for his check.

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The man with the cane is showing off and dancing all over the place. Ranvir warned us people at the fair might ask you to pay to take their picture, but don’t pay any more than 20 rupees. I asked and he said 500 rupees. So, I said no. He then began his dance.

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Then he came right up to me and let me take his picture for free. Ranvir said, “He’s drunk. They come from small villages and this is the event of the year for them. So, they drink and party and have fun.” Another similarity of our fairs.  Too funny.

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We found a show ring where the horse has been trained to walk on hind feet.

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And then made to dance on a bed. A drummer keeps up a cadence. These horses are a unique breed called twist eared rajasthans.

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Remember our bad actor from the camel yard? Here he danced on the bed as well. I’m short and got buried in the crowd and couldn’t get the picture.  Ranvir said dancing animals on the beds is something new this year.

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This man is loading up sand into a truck. He has just met Hugo.

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Hugo wants to help. And he very quickly shoveled a load of sand into the pan.

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He does have flair for entertainment. He would be a hit at our fair in  Angels Camp.

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Everything gets decorated for the fair, machines, tents, animals.

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Back at camp,  I sit out and enjoy the dancing and the music.

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A magician struts his stuff.

 

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Theo retired early. We both gratefully  curled up with the hot water bottle delivered to each bed at night.

 

 

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