One of the curiosities of tourism is the belief that, at some point during the trip, white people should be put on decorated animals in order to achieve maximum value out of the experience of NOT BEING AT HOME.
Camels are pretty much the apogee of this. They’re weird, amenable and very much not available in North West London.
They’re also radically uncomfortable and they really whiff. But off we go, on a plod down the road to a nearby village, being overtaken by the old, the afflicted and the blind drunk on mopeds.
One of the things that strikes is that the houses in these otherwise traditional villages all have really excellent toilets. The yellow painted declaration on the one below explains why. One of Narendra Modi’s big schemes is Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which is a grant available to build toilets in households without one. It’s aim was the eliminate the need for people to defecate in fields, a categoric public health and safety disaster. His government claims that 67% of the population (roughly double what it was before the scheme began three years ago) now has a toilet at home.
I used Modi’s kazi in the home we visited and it was indeed excellent. We also all appreciated the buffalo milk chai, particularly John John who strolled up to our hostess, plain as day and said ‘Can I have some more of that buffalo?’ Eddie, meanwhile, couldn’t wait to get his hands on something with four legs. I didn’t mention that my dinner the night before had been a most excellent baby goat curry.