Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In love...

We just got back from a little trip to Rajastan, visiting Jaipur and Agra. Everyone goes to Agra to see the Agra Fort (photos to come) and the Taj Mahal. I knew the Taj Mahal was a beautiful building, but I thought I'd seen enough photos to not be too impressed in person. Boy was I wrong! It's an amazingly beautiful building and definitely worth a trip to Agra to see it. Seeing it is like falling in love, you can't believe it's for real. We arrived really early in the morning to avoid all the crowds. It was a hazy morning, but as the sun warmed, the haze wore off a bit and we got to see the Taj in all is splendor.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rainy Taxi

Apparently, outside of the monsoon season, it's not supposed to rain in Delhi. So hearing the rain come down late the other night, I was surprised. And, in the morning it continued. I took a taxi on an errand and this is what it looked like:

No windshield wipers! Pretty scary, but we made it there in one piece. The rain stopped by mid-morning and for the first time in a long while, I saw the beautiful blue sky. No smoky, hazy winter-polluted grayness, just blue. It didn't last long, but it was much appreciated. I think the rain threw everyone off that day. Our curtains were supposed to be delivered and installed that afternoon, but "due to the bad weather", I was told over the phone, they would be coming the next day...oh, well, but it makes my wonder what happens during the monsoon.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Well, hello there...

A typical Sunday at home when suddenly I hear Dorian screaming, "ELEPHANT, ELEPHANT!" And, just across the street there's the elephant. Am I surprised? Being in Delhi and having seen elephants, cows, horses, goats and camels on the street, not so much. It's a birthday party and our nice neighbor invited us to join in the fun. All the kids loved watching the elephant and feeding her bananas. The camel was relaxing here, while the elephant got all the attention. But, later, the kids wanted to ride the camel and not the elephant. Dorian didn't ride either, as much as I begged him to ride with me.

The bouncy castle was a big hit and seems a staple at Delhi birthday parties.
I'm used to simple birthdays, like a play date with some cake. But, here it's a whole different level...what will we do for Dorian's birthday? Will he ask me for an elephant? Is it too much for a four-year old? Questions I never ever thought I'd be asking myself...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Business Cards

As I've mentioned before, we get a steady stream of vendors stopping by the house to sell their wares. I have a fairly nice stack of various business cards. The most common are for people selling woven baskets, mats, outdoor furniture and chicks. Chicks are window blinds, which I guess might be short for chicken, but I've never heard anyone refer to them as chicken. And, now I'm wondering why...must ask the all-knowing Raju. In any case, this made me laugh:

Saturday, December 5, 2009


You know how sometimes things don't always work exactly as you'd like them to? Well, I find that most of our outlets work only when plugs are in like this:

Scary, no?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Man of the house...

As soon as I found out we were moving to New Delhi, I started trying to find out as much as I could about anything having to do with New Delhi and India. I read fiction and nonfiction, contacted friends who had been to India, did research online and read blogs. While I realize that everyone's experience is their own, it was interesting to know about their different perspectives. At times I was overwhelmed with all the information I was getting and realized that it's hard to imagine something you've never experienced. I was full of anticipation upon arrival and, quite frankly, expected the worst. We have been more than pleasantly surprised and, although it's only been just over three months, we are very happy here. Of course, some things are more challenging, but we try not to get hung up on what's different or what could be improved i.e. the continually leaky faucet in our bathroom or no hot water in the boys' bathroom. One thing that we were very unsure of in moving here was the fact that people, in general, have house staff. When we moved into our apartment, we quickly realized we needed someone to deal with the endless stream of people knocking at our door, but also primarily to go to the market and clean. Admittedly, going to the market is something I could do myself, but it's not always a place I want to take Arthur. It can be dusty, dirty and hot. I could also clean the house myself, but New Delhi is a very dusty city and the house needs to be thoroughly cleaned everyday, especially for a little baby who's crawling all over. So, we hired Raju. He told us he does everything and he does. He cleans, goes the the market, irons and cooks dinner most nights. And he does more...two weeks ago I bought some chicken at our local market, not only was one of the chickens past its prime, I was grossly overcharged. The next day, he went to the store, worked his magic and came back with some good fresh meat. He also had some not-so nice words for a man who sold me a broken bamboo mat. Raju looks out for us and I appreciate it. On Monday, however, I realized how truly luckly we are to have him working in our house. I ate something I shouldn't have (stupid me had a drink with ice) and I paid the price...for two days. When Raju came to work on Monday, he saw how sick I was and new exactly what I needed--dal, rice and yogurt. Okay, not exactly the combination I was thinking of as my stomach cramped, but he made it so I ate it and, amazingly, it helped. When he finished cooking that afternoon, he spent time with the boys (which is not part of his job) and held Arthur so I could help Dorian with his dinner. Raju, already helps us so much on an almost daily basis, I was so touched that he would step in and help me when I needed it most. Thank you Raju!