Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Normal Day in India

Moth balls have been on my mind.  Mostly cause when we arrived in our apartment last night, the whole place smelled like a large moth ball convention (aka a ton of old man sweaters).  Turns out there were two moth balls in every drain in our apartment, 2 drains per bathroom, 3 bathrooms total - so 12 moth balls that I searched for and tossed out upon arrival.  Opened the windows this morning - problem solved and we were on the way to cleanish smelling non-moth ball home!  Came home this evening after a long day of "shopping" and again with the moth ball smell?!?  Dellip had carefully replace all the moth balls that I had carefully removed (which kinda made me feel bad).  I know enough to know that I have no chance and so have embraced the moth balls.  It's sort of like Easter here but the bunny keeps putting the eggs back and the eggs don't smell very good!  And so it goes, another normal day in India!

Now you might wonder why I put shopping in quotes above.  That's because shopping from a US perspective means, prancing around a fancy mall or down 5th Avenue picking up all that your heart desires with the only problem being funding.  I've learned in the course of my time in India, that "shopping" = WORK.  No big box stores here -- not going to allow it.  If you say leave the apartment in search of groceries, diaper/baby stuff, a printer and milk (not to be confused with groceries).  You have to go the market for each particular  item and the markets are sprawled across Delhi.

Let me just back up to say that when I refer to a market, it's really more like the garment district or the diamond district in NY.  Long, sprawling, open air blocks of very similar products crammed into hundreds of very similar looking stall sized stores with large numbers of men standing outside aggressively trying to get you in their stall.  How do you choose which is best out of the 100?  Good question, no idea.  You just wander until you get tired then buy what you are looking for in as grumpy a manner as possible.  It is at these times that I can see Hamish is considering divorcing me, but I have him trapped because (a) I have his passport and (b) he would have trouble looking after the baby without me.  And so it goes, another  normal day in India.

Today we went to see the attorney who will glide us seamlessly through the citizenship process.  Below is a picture of me at the entrance to the High Court, Lawyers Chambers with the security guards.  Curious picture, you might say.  Well, we showed up for our appointment with the lawyer and who knew that they have a no camera policy.  Our blackberrys which have cameras did not seem to bother anyone, but don't you dare try to get in to see a lawyer in Delhi armed with a lumix.

So, security person says "you can't go in with that" and I say, "ok", and turn around to leave.  What else am I to do?  Not going to dump the camera.  I was just going to call our driver and have him come get the camera - not really going to leave, but I did have that disgusted "I can't believe you are doing this too me" look on my face and it was hot, so the look was amplified.  Enter nearby police officer who says, "that's ok miss, I'll hold your camera for you" and then a gesture towards his pocket and then his watch.

Wow -- now what would you do?  Don't want to offend the officials, but holding my camera in your pocket sir for some imagined amount of time, now that seems strange/weird/wth (note the use of "heck" in the wth; I'm trying to change my potty language ways).  Anyway, I handed over the camera and when we came out of the meeting with the lawyer, there was the smiling policeman and I had to take a photo cause who would believe such a thing.  I truly don't know of any law enforcement officer in the US that would agree to hold on to personal items, in their pocket, for an undisclosed time period just because a woman got a little testy.  And so it goes, another normal day in India.

More later -- Hamish is bellowing at me that we have to go now, now, now.  AND SO IT GOES, ANOTHER NORMAL DAY IN INDIA!!!!!!!!!!!!

No baby news - will update later!!


Me at Gate of Lawyer's Chambers with the police.

Moth balls in drain.

Tea in the outside deck.
New use for stairs to nowhere,


  1. Hi guys

    great to see you settling in to the apartment…. looks great but i wonder in monsoon season will it get flooded??
    Am so eargerly awaiting the news that little one has arrived and hopefully you will continue to blog….. you do it very well! I can smell the moth balls from here!
    Take care
    Paula and Justin

  2. You missed your calling as a blogger! you've set a very high bar!