Saturday, May 29, 2010

When it's hot outside...

We stay inside...and Dorian shows Arthur how to paint. His first attempt below, apparently, he paints better in the nude:

Or, we just sleep, whenever, wherever:

But, thankfully, Xavier has agreed to us accompanying him on a business trip to Sri Lanka. So, watch out beach, here we come! Yippee!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Doll Museum

I was lucky enough to tag along on Dorian's final school field trip of the year. His class visited the Doll Museum. It is two rooms lined with dolls from all over the world. In one room, there were the dolls from outside India--Germany, France, U.S., Guatemala, Australia, Spain, so many more countries were represented, too many to list. Then in the second room there were mainly dolls from India as well as some special exhibits set up, like the man on the moon, a jungle scene and a German mountain top railway station. But, my personal favorite was the doll showing how to put on a sari. Unfortunately, photos were not allowed in the museum, but I got a few shots along the way.

The kids loved riding the bus. And, to be honest, it was quite an experience for me too! The bus was huge. We were actually looking down at the city buses when stopped next to them at red lights. We bumped along and seemed to own the road. I much prefer riding around in our car, but it was fun to have a new perspective for a while.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Summer season, not a good season...

No truer words have been spoken, except maybe throw in the winter season too. Our housekeeper, said this to me about two weeks ago, as Dorian, Arthur and I sat there with runny noses and coughing. One thing about moving to India for us, is how unprepared I was for the amount of physical ailments our collective bodies would have to deal with...from coughs to colds to stomach bugs to fevers to fatigue and now..rubella.

I know many new parents hesitate on whether to vaccinate their little ones or not. But, knowing that we travel a lot coupled with finding out we were headed to India, my husband and I said, without hesitation, bring on the vaccines! Well, some good it did us...Arthur's come down with Rubella aka German measles aka 3-day measles. Honestly, I knew nothing about it, except that when I was pregnant I knew I didn't want to catch it. But thanks to our wonderful pediatrician and the internet, I now know a little something. Apparently, it's not all that serious. It starts with a mild fever, then a rash and the lymph nodes are swollen at the back of the head, near the neck. After three days, the rash goes away, hence the 3-day measles name. He's contagious for one week before the rash appears and one week after. Oh boy, now I'm trying to think of all the little kids he's been around in the last week. Luckily (now I can say luckily) he had a fever last week and I kept him home.

Poor spotty tummy:

But, true to its name, 3-day measles, on the third day the spots started fading and his good mood started coming back.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Finders , but not keepers

When I found out we were moving here I bought some children's stories about India for Dorian. Some are about festivals, some are about animals and some are about traveling and experiencing India. They are all interesting and I was surprised the other day when I saw one of the stories come to life. It's s story about a man that travels to India and at one point loses his wallet. A young boy finds it and runs after the man to give it back to him. The traveling man wants to give the boy a reward for his honesty but the boy refuses. The moral is: why should the boy get a reward for doing what was right? He was listening to his conscience.
Well, the other day I was waiting in line for an ATM inside a bank. It was pretty crowded. A man two people ahead of me bent down and picked up a 100 rupee note. He left his spot in line to bring the money to a woman working at the counter. Wow, I thought. How many people have found money lying around in public places or on the street and kept it? I mean, in the States we say "find a penny pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck." We associate finding money, i.e. some one else's loss, as our luck.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday Nights

Tuesday night has officially become pizza night. I'm happy because it's something we can do together (with, of course, help from our friend Raju). And, both boys enjoy making it...well, actually, I make the dough and the sauce, but they really enjoy eating it.

Cheese grating is particularly fun to do:

And to watch:

The pizza is so big...or is it our oven that's so small?

Good enough to eat!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

For a Good Cause

A group of lovely expat women, some of whom I am lucky to call friends, have put their creativity and smarts together all in the name of a good cause. They are the Fading Ladies. They create a limited number of t-shirts and 100% of the proceeds goes to a cause of their choice. The group began with adults' shirts, then recently branched off into children's wear. Here are some of the cute tees for the little ones:

The sale of these shirts goes to the Arushi Girls Shelter. Great shirts and a great cause. Check out their websites: and create new t-shirts on a monthly basis!

Monday, May 10, 2010


We are in the midst of summer and have been in 100+F/40+C temperatures since mid-April. It's hot and dusty. We stay inside a lot. But, when we do go out, I so enjoy seeing these beautiful yellow trees called Amaldas in Hindi (my all-knowing driver told me).

Their bright yellow flowers would brighten anyone's day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hard Work

Delhi is a city in constant motion and part of that motion is people outside at work everyday--doing very hard work. I've looked through the photos I've taken over the past few months and came across these pictures:

Scaffolding, wooden and tied with ropes, all by hand:

Sweepers at Humayan's tomb:

I'm not sure what they're doing but it must be important for so many of them to be working on the same project:

Ladies carrying huge sacks at Safdarjung's tomb:

Pushing and pulling on the streets of Jaipur:

Taking a rest from field work in Rajasthan:

Curb repair on a very busy street in old Delhi:

What you don't see here are the stadiums, parking garages and street scaping being done for the Commonwealth Games in October of this year or the metro line extension construction...which means lots of people working very strenuous jobs and, now, in 105-plus temperatures.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bumper Cars

In Delhi, the streets are packed with cars, buses, rickshaws, bicyles, carts, basically anything with wheels. There are about 15 million people in Delhi and it feels like there are at least that many vehicles. With all this movement it's a wonder that I've yet to see a traffic accident. But, the other day, after dropping me and Arthur off at the pool, our driver called "Madam, I've had a small accident." Okay, so I have no idea what to do. I go out to the street to see what's going on. I see our car whose bumper guard (luckily we have one) was scratched up and look a bit further to see the other guy's car that was dented from our bumper guard. What I understood from the conversation was that our driver was backing out of the parking lot (yes, into oncoming traffic, quite normal here) and the other guy ran into our car. As the two drivers were talking a crowd of about 15 men gather around. I'm standing there with Arthur in his stoller feeling very uncomfortable. I offer to call the police, which I'm told is not necessary. I am told that the other guy's insurance will cover damages to his car, but maybe not 100% and then we'll have to pay the rest. I was thinking that this was his way of getting me to give him money, so I said that we wouldn't pay but our insurance would. So, I called our insurance company and start going through the process of making a claim. After what seemed like an eternity of going back and forth and having multiple men from the crowd and/or my driver relay to me what the other driver was saying. The two drivers exchanged phone numbers (I wrote down his license plate number and car model) and the guy drove off.
It's been 5 days and we've not heard anything from the other driver. I did have to make another long phone call to our insurance company to cancel our claim only to find out we have to write a letter cancelling it. Since the damage is so minimal, we didn't want the claim to be filed and our insurance to go up. It's been more than a scratch on our new car, which was probably bound to happen at some point, but quite an experience with a crowd of men gathering, which I've heard can often turn violent especially if someone has been injured, but also a hassle with the insurance company and a waiting game to see if we hear back from the other driver. Out of all of this, though, I'm just so relieved that no one was hurt. And, now that it's happened, I will be more prepared for next time. Hopefully, there won't be a next time.