Some of our classmates befriended locals, one of whom owned a shop, so we often met up there. Many many wedding processions went by the street it was on. This one was kind of sad; the horse had to pull this thing downhill and its hooves were slipping like crazy; the man in front and ones along the side and in back had to help support the weight of the carriage so it wouldn't go zooming down and hurt the horse.
This is the view from the restaurant I ordered my lunch from the day we left Udaipur. The food was very blah, but the decor and view were gorgeous. There were all these mirrored insets in the ceiling, we sat on what looked like silver chairs with different animal heads molded in them (rams, elephants, horses)... Come to think of it I think I ate every meal except one at an elevated restaurant over the 2 night stay, without even trying to. They're pretty much the norm. They day after I got back my legs were sore from all the stairs we walked up and down. Indian stairs tend to be sooooo steep! Sometimes it would almost feel like I was about to pull a muscle, my legs had to flex so hard.
Shops tend to stay open till 9 or 10 pm and Udaipur felt quite safe, so we did some night shopping. I came across a couple cows curled up like puppies; they were so cute. I tried taking a picture of another one after this, but she lifted her head just as I was doing so. Mooo.
We stayed at the Udai Niwas Hotel, which was pretty centrally located. We were just a hop skip 'n' a jump away from a lakefront, and were surrounded by places to eat, shop and catch rickshaws. The place was gorgeously decorated; I think I'm going to have to use this wall painting technique on my own living space one day! The base was a rich teal with a pale gold sponged over it. There were elephants painted on the ceiling in each corner. Downsides: very poorly lit, no soap, no toilet paper, the television received about 6 channels, all in Hindi, none of them music video channels (which at least could be appreciated without being understood). I feel like the latter two issues are particularly odd considering their clientele seemed to be about 96% foreign. Oh! And another weird downside: the hotel gave us a curfew! We had to be back in by 11pm. One of our classmates' local friends knew the owner, so she was able to get in later without a problem, but for the rest of us it was annoying. Anyway, some other positives: our room had a view of 2 temples, and the restaurant on the top floor was a lovely place to have breakfast.
Note: yes, I did a lot of eating out on this trip. However, I kept all of my meals at or under $1.50. =) Most of the food was pretty blah, but oh well. It was sustenance; I survived.
When Rachel, whose NGO is in a town right outside of Udaipur, told me about the shopping in Udaipur, she said there was a lot of jewelry and clothing made from fine local materials that are more oriented toward Western tastes. The most outrageous item I found: a silver mesh bra. I commented on one I saw hanging outside a shop as Basanti and I passed by, and the shopkeepers heard me! So after that anytime I walked by they would call out "You want bra? All sizes possible!" lololol. We saw it again inside another shop, and asked about the price--2000-something rupees (between $40 and $50). Technically a good price for the amount of silver you get, I guess...