the water ways were extraordinarily peaceful. the slight splash of the oar, the gentle wind made it ever so easy to fall into the loveliest daydream. we would slide through the water and in the distance we would see another shikara arrive. the dude in the shikara: o so friendly, making pleasant conversation, genuinely interested in our well being… all this prior to flashing open his wares; either flowers or jewellery or papier marche or perfumes or even groceries to our houseboats. they would hard_sell the life out of their wares, i guess the were really desperate but really it was quite irritating. just like telemarketers, these men had their never-give-up attitude, their fake accents, their constant barraging. mr wonderful [the flower guy] had cool sayings painted on his boat but even he was just like the rest. hmmph.
we decided to go for the sunrise lake market that has local farmers bartering vegetables and fruit with each other in the middle of the lake. we had to get up at 5 [in the bloody cold] and ride in the our shikara towards the spot. as the sun rose you could see the mountians surrounding the lake and it was really pretty.
the actual market was so-so; it was not quite as special as we expected to be. there were just as many sleepy tourists in their own shikharas and our telemarketers [vultures] as there were locals doing their veggie barters. the market even continueses in winter when the lake freezes up and the temperature is -25 degrees, crazy!
our shikhara rower proved to be quite the rockstar of shikhara rowers as he made kashmiri kahwa [yummy chai!] right there and then. we were the envy of all the tourists. later he the proceeded to rip a few extra hundreds from the initial decided amount, so that left a bad taste.