Saturday, January 20, 2007

First Day

The apartment is in South Delhi in an area known as Defence Colony. I am sitting in the sun on my terrace, a rather grand word for the balcony that I have, that overlooks a sort of roundabout/intersection with a little hut in the middle and the intersection is a spaghetti of power and phone lines, and hawks are hanging in the air, making their lazy circles, looking for whatever it is hawks look for. I woke up to this morning to the sounds of honking, which pretty much every vehicle does as it goes around the little hut, I guess to warn driver they can’t see that they are coming. I wonder if with all that honking any of it actually makes sense anymore. I am on the 2nd floor (3rd by US standards) and have a bit of a view over the intersection and trees. Everything is in shades of beige and grey, including the air. Just across the street is a sort of compound with a grey tent-like structure that looks as if it will fall over if someone touches it. Not sure what it is yet, but will investigate later…

At this very moment the streets below are very busy with every type of vehicle you can imagine… In addition to the normal cars and busses, here are rickshaws (small 3 wheel taxis that are probably closer to mopeds wrapped in a shell with a little seat that fits 2 ok but I have seen 4 or more crammed inside – they are usually green or black with yellow tops, made mostly of tarps like you would find on a jeep), motorbikes, tractors, bicycles carrying anything you can imagine (I saw one this morning with 5 big propane tanks attached to it) and then there are the people who walk in the street due to a lack or at least apparent lack of a sidewalk and just beyond the tent like structure, there is a cow sunning him or herself on the side of the road. My first cow on this trip. I am officially in India now! While the traffic is supposed to go around the little hut, it quickly becomes clear that many people decide to take the short way and drive into oncoming traffic to speed things up a bit. The honking never ends, but thanks to my iPod, I have an escape, at last from the noise.

Everything seems to have a layer of dust on it and it is slowly sinking in that this is my new home. I was told last night that the other flat I will move into at the beginning of February will have me back in civilization. Until now, it will be taxis or our driver to get around.

I went to take a shower this morning and waited and waited for the water to start turning warm, which never happened. I am adventurous, but not really enough to prop myself up under an icy shower and after a bit of experimenting with the various switches, I found the one that turned on the hot water heater and managed to squeeze out a 3 minute shower where before the warm water was used up. I am hoping that the short time was due to the heater only having been on for 10 minutes or so… I will check into that later. I did remember to brush my teeth using the bottled water, but then force of habit took over and I rinsed out my toothbrush with tap water. I guess I will buy a new toothbrush later today or perhaps just boil the one I have… Part of me is just wondering if I should not just get the inevitable out of the way, but I am tired and want to hold off the whole bathroom experience for another week or so when I am feeling rested and a bit more comfortable.

One thing I find funny is that everyone is dressed for winter. There are fleece coats, gloves and heavy coats while I am sitting in a t-shirt, and sandals, sunglasses and feeling very warm and cozy. I think it has to be about 21 degrees Celsius (70-ish Fahrenheit, I think) In a month or two the temperature is going to go through the roof,

I will go into the office for a bit today, just to say hi to the team and then I am hoping to just head into the center and get lost in the crowds. Monday I start work, beginning with Hindi classes at 8 in the morning. 90 minutes each day, I will be studying Hindi which I am really excited about. I am looking forward to ordering my first meal or taxi in a local language.

I do wish I had someone here to share things with. I keep seeing things and wondering what would Ulco, Nik, Marco or someone else think of it. And speaking of Nik, I could definitely use a well shaken cocktail right about now… I know it is only noon, but it is happy hour somewhere in the world and well, is it ever too early for a drink topped off with bubbles? Guess I will have to make due without them and head to Connaught Place this evening to see how they shake things up in India.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Fashion Fairy (!)
    Sounds like you have hit reality with a large thud - get a large alcoholic beverage down ya and you'll start to unwind quicker. The Hindi classes sound kooel - what dedication 8 am every morning! When and where in March did you say that Elephant festival was on again...Anyway, I'm thinking of you - this is your very own Elephant adventure ; ) x

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