Saturday, March 15, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
We did have a really great Thanksgiving feast. It's always really nice to share our American traditions with our international friends.
Then look who I found in south Delhi for a night of giant Indian family dinners and a few beers?
Thursday, February 7, 2008
I know it has been a long time since the last post on this blog. I have received emails, phone calls and death threats that if there isn't a blog update soon, I better make sure to double-lock the door at night. Lucky I knew that none of those sending those lovely letters of encouragement would ever be able to find my new apartment, let alone give directions to it. Not succumbing to any pressure that was put forth in those friendly pieces of communication, I have now posted the best blog entry in the history of the blogosphere - purely on my own terms.
Enjoy, rejoice, praise, do a "puja" (look it up). Here it is. Strap on your seat belt. Get a cup of coffee. Heck, grab a box of tissues. This is going to be a hair-raising, emotional, maybe life altering experience that I promise will be well-worth your time.
Let's assign your reading homework at the beginning. And I don't want to hear any complaints! I'm sure only 20% did your reading from last time. I know how this works. I have teacher friends.
First, an article on the monkeys of Delhi. Our Deputy Mayor actually died a couple of months ago because he fell off his terrace after a number of monkeys attacked him. http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/11/08/america/letter.php
Second, an interview with the Vice Chairman of DLF, India's largest real estate developer. And interesting look into the massive development, infrastructure and commercial, that is taking place in India and the equally massive challenges in doing it.
Third, an article that I have kept for a long time and keep forgeting to share. It's an op-ed entitled, "Iraq - Whose Oil is it Anyway?". http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/03/13/opinion/edjuhasz.php?page=2#top
Alex and Tina arrived on the 19th of December, after a short (wink, wink) layover in Tokyo. Awaiting them at my casa in New Delhi were Marina, Emily and my friend Dasha (L-R), who was on her way back to the US after having spent the last six months in Kabul.
Their first couple days in Delhi we got to see some cool spots like the Qutab Minar, one of Delhi's oldest and coolest monuments, originally built by a Mughal Emperor with an inferiority complex.
Among the coolest of well over 300 photos that were taken during Alex and Tina's time here in India.
Back in Pushkar and with a few hours to kill before we boarded our night bus to Agra, we roamed around the city looking for interesting places. We even found a hostel I had been renting out and didn't even know it. Some foreigners were having a difficult time finding it though, so I thought I would help out.
We finally made it to Agra and the Taj Mahal to celebrate Christmas. More than once I have thought that it was really cool that we celebrated Christian's most important holiday at a famous Muslim monument in a predominently Hindu country.
Tina was so excited to finally have made it to The Taj that she could hardly control herself. She just kept jumping and yelling "yippeee!!!" Alex caught one of her spontaneous acts of jubilation.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Well, the plan was to take a nice 13 hour train to Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, a small, dusty, brown tourist town about 60 kms from the Pakistan border where we would embark on an amazing Indian Jones-like camel safari. Of course, things are never that easy.
After we missed our first train (due to small error made by the travel agent where he told us the wrong train station - no biggie), we improvised and took three consecutive sleeper buses. To say the least, we were simply excited to be on our way to meet our camels.
We finally settled down though and the 21 hour trip to Jaisalmer actually ended up being quite fun.
Greeting us in Jaisalmer was the amazing Jaisalmer fort. Everything is the color of sand...
What you can't see below is the giant cooler my camel (the youngest and presumably the strongest...or simply lowest on the camel food chain) that got stuck carrying a big cooler with food and ice.
On our first day, we were accompanied by four people, two men and two boys, 7 km to the camp where we would sleep that night. Parbu, pictured below, goes to school from 10-1 p.m. every day. Then at 4 p.m., he walks tourists like us 7 km to a desert camp, sleeps overnight in the desert, wakes up at sunrise and walks back (at least 7 km, although I don't know exactly where his school is) to town in time to go to school at 10 a.m., then he does it all over again.