Wednesday, January 24, 2007

India Day 5

It is amazing how fast we as humans adapt to our surroundings and situations… 5 days in India and my sense of normalcy has taken a complete U-turn. Cows in the street are no longer a novelty. Electrical outages are no longer anything to even think about, you just continue on. Yesterday I was in a meeting with about 7 people and all the electricity went out. Everyone just used the lights from their mobile phone displays until the generator kicked in and the electricity came back on. My evenings at home are often spent with a minimal of electricity, meaning that one light in each room works as well as the television, but the electrical sockets, wireless modems, hot water heater, stove and refrigerator do not work. Funny how the TV is given higher status than hot water and cooking. Every morning when I wake up, the first thing I listen for is the sound of the generator. If it is going, then I know there will be no warm shower, which then means jumping under the cold water and getting it over as quickly as possible. Things like shaving are done whenever the opportunity arises (hot water availability), so the whole morning ritual that I used to have does not exist. My iPod keeps me entertained when the power goes out and it gives me the down-time I may not normally take to just relax and read. I have come to a point where I expect the minimum when I get home. The traffic is no longer a surprise for me, it is just what it is and it has quickly just become a fact of my everyday planning and routine, like switching on the water heater if I want a warm shower, knowing that 3 minutes is about as long as it is going to last.

I have gone through all the clothes I brought in just under a week. I had every intention of buying things once I arrived, but so far have been working 14-16 hour days, so no chance of stocking up. Just sent everything to the laundry today for the first time, so we will see what awaits me when I get back home.

The air is very heavy and gives everything a tint of brown or grey. It is like looking though dusty sunglasses all the time. The constant honking of the horns I almost don’t even hear anymore unless I am trying to find some quiet for a phone call. The drums and celebrations or whatever is going on outside my window at night don’t keep me awake and brushing my teeth with bottled water seems like the most normal thing in the world now.

So far I have not had any stomach issues, although I have been eating up a storm. Chau Mein (so spicy it melts your lips off), Alooka Paratha, Rosogulla (a sweet white ball that looks a bit like a ball of rice, but actually have no idea what it is) Jalebi (it is a sweet, fried, gummy worm looking thing that tastes a bit like a sugary donut), bread omelets (which is exactly that, an omelet between pieces of bread… yummy!)… saag (spinach dish) murg (chicken) curries, nan, roti and anything else I can get my hands on. I think I will leave several kilos lighter than I arrived.


  1. Hi, I am living in Gurgaon Delhi the past 19 months. I enjoy your blog! E-mail for contact?

  2. Hey Robb,

    Good to see that you have been able to upload the occasional blog entry in between the power outages...

    This is just a short note from your former collegue to let you know that I'll recognize a bit of irony when I see it :-D

    Groetjes, ./j