Friday, September 24, 2010

Rain, rain go away...

Last year when we arrived in Delhi at the end of August, it rained for about 2 days then stopped. It is now almost the end of September and we've had rain almost every single day. Now, we're no strangers of a rainy season after having lived on Reunion Island, one of the rainiest places, especially during cyclone season. But, this rain in Delhi just seems we stay inside a lot and paint and dance and play hide and seek. Recently, Dorian, who has been wanting more counter space for his kitchen (don't we all?), found a box and decided to decorate it for his kitchen. He spend at least an hour with sparkly tape and markers very carefully getting his box ready for his kitchen:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

CWG continued...

It's hard not to talk about the upcoming Commonwealth Games, especially when there are continuous changes all around us, literally.

While driving home the other day we stumbled upon this stop light installation and I thought it was pretty amazing:

Then again on another street near our neighborhood and while it was raining:

While I am amazed at the lengths to which the city of Delhi is willing to go in order to make the CWG a success i.e. put in new stoplights, a detail that I'm not sure will go noticed by those visiting, I was so saddened to hear the news yesterday of a foot bridge collapsing near one of the main stadiums and the complaints of the althetes who have already arrived and are not happy with the condition of their housing. The Games are due to start on October 3rd and it feels like we're in a holding pattern to see what will happen next.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Metro

The Delhi Metro has been under construction and now will extend about 45 km to the south of Delhi to Gurgaon and the airport. It has been chaotic as streets have been dug up, dust flies and markets as well as houses have shifted. The whole thing has seemed like unending mess but magically as the Commonwealth Games approach the streets are looking cleaner, flowers and grass have been planted and people are coming and going from the new metro stations. Near us there are a few that have recently opened. I was happily suprised one evening to see lights and flowers on the inaugural day of this metro stop:

And, it's nice to see people using the Metro after seeing others work so hard for so long on its construction.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Recent signage

Back on my sign kick while driving around...

This one for the Commonwealth Games:

The above sign in various sizes and versions featuring different sports have popped up all over town--side of the road, bus stops, even the exterior of the public toilet. This one has the tiger mascot.

And this quite possibly is the best sign ever:

If you don't see it (sorry took it with my phone from the car), look just above the two men on the left...Incredible India, indeed!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How to eat a cupcake

Step 1: get so excited you smear it all over your face:

Step 2: decide you don't like chocolate on your hands, so you find another way:

Step 3: happiness:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

CWG lane

Since moving Delhi just over a year ago, we have seen CWG everywhere--Commonwealth Games. The city has been under constant construction for the upcoming games. And, the most recent project has been to create a Commonwealth Game lane. When I first saw the street signs, I was so surprised. In a city where lanes seem optional (granted, I don't drive here, so I don't understand the complexities and nuances of driving), I just wondered how it will all go down. Well, we had a taste of it the other day. On one of the main roads near our neighborhood, from 12-2pm the Commonwealth Game lane was closed. There were policmen standing every 100 meters to keep cars from sneaking over. Apparently, it was a trial run to see how things would play out. I'm not sure what the concensus was, but it was pretty much what I expected--bumper to bumper, three or four cars in a space for two lanes. It was quite impressive to look over and see an entire lane completely empty. I like to think it is just a minor inconvenience to something larger that many locals are proud to host (at least the people I've spoken to).

Reporting from the empty CWG lane:
This is pretty much what it was like:
I like the "brace for long snarls":

Thursday, September 9, 2010


It has been a much rainier end of August/beginning of September than last year. Seriously, lots of rain. That mixed with the enormous construction projects throughout Delhi for the Commonwealth Games--stadiums, parking garages, new metro lines, street beautification, road work--meaning large holes in the ground that fill with water, create the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. And so recently dengue is quite rampant in all parts of Delhi. It's bad and I'm paranoid and nervous. Then, today I read that the people who drive the trucks around and spray against mosquitoes were on strike. Great. Oddly, though, as we were coming home from school I saw huge wafts of smoke near the entrance of our neighborhood and I thought it was a big fire. Nope, the mosquito spraying truck had arrived! I had never been so happy to see mass amounts of chemicals being spewed into the air. We hurried home, quickly shut the door and stood by watching...

But, of course, it's raining again. Does that mean the chemicals will wash away?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

On the way to a playdate..

We were recently on our way to a playdate and we were going to be early. I had added in too much time for Delhi traffic and so we had some time to spare. Luckily, our driver knew just what to do. Near to where we were going was the College of Arts. Wow, didn't even know about it. We pulled in, parked and he walked around with us, showing us the outdoor sculpture. Actually, he really wanted to show us the Queen Victoria sculpture, so that's what we saw first, then we just wandered for a bit. Arthur waved to the students and Dorian found a stick. Everyone was happy.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Being a young woman

I honestly I have no real idea of what it is like to be a young woman in India. My only glimpse of a young woman's life is through my conversations with our babysitter. She is a sweet 21-year old university student. I'm so lucky to have her live near us and to be available most anytime I need her (and if she's not she'll send her sister). She and I will sit and talk sometimes if Arthur is sleeping or Dorian is otherwise occupied when she arrives or sometimes we all sit and play together for a while. Other than babysitting, she's helped me put on my sari, made soup when we were sick and massaged my legs when I thought I had dengue and they were aching (I did not ask her to do this, she offered and while I felt a bit uncomfortable about it she said she does it for her family when they are not well).
She has told me about her classes at school. She has mentioned that she and a boy she knows from school wanted to marry but his family would not allow it because she is from a different caste. She said she wants to cut her hair but her father will not let her. He said she must wait until she marries then she can ask her husband. Her life is so different from my upbringing. Not only did I have so much freedom, my parents told me I could do anything I put my mind to (not necessarily referring to my hair, but more about my future). I really enjoy chatting with her. It's made me realize that we come from two separate worlds and I wish I could give her a little of mine.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Firsts Days of Schools

The beginning of September means back to school and it's been a busy week for us. Taking id photos, getting school supplies but most importantly, getting Dorian excited to go back to school.

And, surprise of all surprises, Arthur started school too! It's just a little playschool for three hours a day. It's funny because I never sent Dorian to a playschool. We had a great group of friends in Reunion and always had some sort of activity going on. But, here with play groups it can be hit or miss and I've been to some where I'm the only mom among ayahs and it's a bit uncomfortable for me. Plus, Arthur can be very energetic, outgoing and expressive so I thought this was something he would benefit from and enjoy. His first day was Wednesday. As soon as we walked into the classroom, he was off exploring and playing. He got a little upset when I left, but not too much. And, he was fine when we picked him up, so I think we're off to a good start.

Dorian's first day back at school was today. He oscillated between slight excitement and not wanting to go. Once in the classroom, he was hesitant...until he saw it...the play kitchen. Thank goodness for that! I don't think it would have been so positive otherwise. It'll be a long day for him, so hopefully he'll be just as happy when we pick him up this afternoon.

Getting Arthur ready for his first day...he relaxes and wonders why I'm taking all these photos.

Dorian is ready to go!

Love at first sight...Arthur beelines for the play cars.
Happy Dorian at the classroom kitchen.