Within the first week of our trip, we visited Jaipur and the famous Amber Fort. This place is beautiful and might actually share a spot with Taj Mahal on my list of highlights from India. Regardless of the many steps we climbed to reach Amber Fort, it was well worth it. They had elephants available to help people get up the steps, but being the conscientious travellers that we are, we didn’t even consider using the elephants.
The detail in Amber Fort’s architecture is so impressive and so intricate, it was difficult to take it all in. The wall surrounding the property reminded me of China’s Great Wall (even thought I have yet to see the Great Wall with my own eyes).
Naturally, there were lots of vendors trying to sell us any number of different souvenirs; paintings, quilts, bedazzled pens, greetings cards, pre-tied colorful fake turbans with a majestic train of fabric flowing out of the back.
I can’t speak for Joel, but if my memory serves me correctly, he managed to talk one vendor down to 100 INR for a yellow, red and green turban. That’s about $2.00 Canadian. And you know, by Shiva, he looked good in that darn turban! Joel wore The Turban quite often; it was a committed relationship. From Jaipur to Tordi Sāgar to Pushkar, which is where he came up with his brilliant scheme…sorry, I mean “idea”.
Allow me to paraphrase how Joel so eloquently presented his plan to us, “So basically, I’m tired of wearing this turban and carrying it all around India, so I’ve come up with a game. Each day, a new person will be nominated to wear the turban. They are required to wear it the entire day, all day, until they nominate the next person to wear it the next day and so on.”
Luckily Danielle is quick with the video and she actually managed to capture the tag end of Joel’s idea as he came up with it, while riding on the back of a camel.
With that, The Turban was bequeathed to Tom. And then Dorothee. Lauren. Canadian Steph. Anise. Abhi…who passed it on to Jenn when our group parted ways in Goa. Those of us who continued on together from Goa to Kochi (and more of Southern India) weren’t too sure what to do about The Turban as we were about to adopt a new travel crew and they might not be too open to sharing The Turban. They didn’t know the history or sentimentality connected to The Turban.
I had voiced that regardless of what happened, I wanted to take The Turban home at the end. Unsure what to do, Jenn gave me The Turban to carry the rest of the way, believing that the nomination game was over. But alas, we were mistaken! Turns out Adam is pretty cool and so I, with as much pomp and circumstance as I could muster in the 98% humidity and Alleppey heat, crowned Adam with The Turban and so it continued…for a little while longer, anyway.
Adam then nominated Chris to wear The Turban the next day, as we travelled from Kollum to Varkala. He obviously did not appreciate The Turban as it should have be appreciated, because after a few drinks at our favorite Varkala dive bar, he went back to the hotel and left The Turban behind…just sitting on a random chair in a random bar in Varkala. I noticed immediately and brought it back to my room with me.
The next day at supper, I casually asked him, “Hey Chris, where’s The Turban? Did you nominate anyone?” The look that crossed his face was priceless and exactly what I was hoping for. The perfect combination of thinking, remembering, worrying, and knowing that he had let us all down. He squeaked, “Ah, I think I left it in the bar.” Before everyone else could properly scold him and make him feel guilty, I let him know that I actually had it in my room. He looked more than a bit relieved.
Needless to say, The Turban pass-around ended there. It has now safely arrived in Canada with me and its journey will continue on in the near future, when I eventually visit my new friends England homes. *evil snicker*
There is a good chance that more photos or different photos will be posted/added here in the near future, as I am still collecting from my fellow travellers. Some of us never got an official turn or nomination with The Turban, but we took photos with it anyway.