My lonely planet guide says to avoid Vijayawada and that there is nothing of interest there, but it is a convenient stopping off point to change trains for more interesting destinations. I like it, it’s a regular indian city with zero tourism. Anyway, there is only one city in the area so… Two different evenings in the city.
Vijayawada at dusk – one week ago:
On this particular evening there was an explosion of requested photos, every vendor on the street – the men and women making flower garlands, the people picking up rubbish, street kids…not one single person asked for money, just to see the photo, everyone was very warm and friendly. Questions they asked: “What is your good name?”” What is your country?”What is your profession?” New phenomenon…parents dragging unwilling children over to me and forcing them to have their photo taken, for example:
ONE WEEK LATER…
Vijayawada at dusk last night:
This evening there were many beggars on the street. People thrusting limbs deformed by leprosy in your face, also many requests for photos….
Went inside the poultry and fish market. Open air but still claustrophobic (the poultry was the worst though, am not even going to go there). Something i will never forget. Imagine this place open since dawn (it is now 6 in the evening) with absolutely no refrigeration and a temperature that is always in the 30’s. Flies and mosquitoes everywhere, a stench so putrid it almost becomes a solid mass. Such a contrast, these huge, plump, beautiful, even healthy looking fish, the stench, the silver blue colours and the flies… and everyone very proud of their catch with many many requests for photos. Floor very slimy, had to watch where i stepped, REALLY did not want to fall here.
photo requested by subject: