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Adventures from Here and There

Goodbye India July 26, 2012

Filed under: Travel — travelchokri @ 12:10 pm
Tags: , , ,

I leave India tomorrow. I know I’ll miss it for sure. Geneva will seem rather bland. And small. And no good food and no McDonald’s and Dominos delivery! I won’t get pushed and shoved on the metro, causing me to lose my shoe. And which old ladies will give me dirty looks when I watch movies on my iPad that show ‘ adult ‘ scenes that I was not aware of. No more shopping. Nothing to buy in Geneva. And can I make deals with the auto drivers? Nada. I will miss my favourite antique store in the Red Fort, Tularam, where I spent time amongst the antiques, listening to the shopkeeper talk history and his mother, about modern life. No one to practice my Hindi with. And I busted out words in Gujarati that I didn’t even know I knew! Whose going to call me Madame? No more women in colorful Indian suits. No more men seen spitting or peeing on the side of the road. No more messy Hugo. And no more places to hang out after 7pm, when everything closes in Geneva. How about the many temples and gorgeous hotels? And no more red velvet, but I’m alright with that! I will move out of E52 in Saket area. Hand in the old skeleton like keys. Leave behind the Time Out Delhis. And my tin box from Nepal. No room in the suitcase for that. No more dodging traffic and having to run across lanes frantically. No more bag and body screenings everytime I use the metro or go to the mall. Hauz Khas galleries will be missed. And having to find Airtel recharge for the mobile at the worst times, no more! Goodbye to the young boy at PVR near my place that sells me jhanjar (anklets that have bells). And no more American shows in English! The crazy cat that rips apart my garbage will be history. She’s still super skinny, despite the McDonald’s fries I leave behind for her! Oh my goodness, no more mangoes, mango shakes, mango sandwiches, mango soup or mango paneer! And those Bihar bananas are the best I’ve had in my life. Yes, you will be missed India. I will never forget the flight from Gujarat to Delhi. Second worst ever. And cant forget the friendly flight attendant who buckled mine and mansi’s carry ons into the seat next to each of us. And how he played along when we told him they were our children. He even brought bottles of water for them!

But I am looking forward to the beautiful summer in Europe. I have a month to enjoy it. Wearing nice clothes and carrying fun handbags.  No one will look at me funny if i walk around with wet hair. I wont have to worry about sewage smells or jumping over liquids on the streets. I will see blue skies and mountains and breathe in fresh air again! Maybe my sinuses will unblock. Fresh, white chicken and great salmon again! And chai lattes from starbucks! Walks near the jet d’eau. Seeing friends and catching up on the drama over the last 3 months. And yes, many visitors coming through in August! A normal toilet that works all the time is the best. French instead of the other many languages spoken in India. But thank god no more hooting! That is the worst. Dude, there is nowhere to go. Stop hooting! One lock on the door only? Yes, no more bolts and chains and grills on windows. Such different worlds.  No matter how many times I do this, I am still amazed, as if it is my first time to such places.

Things to see and do in Delhi
Red Forth! Chandni Chok, Lotus Temple is supposed to be amazing, though I did t end up there, Khan Chachas for kebabs, Oberoi Hotel to chill, Hauz Khas village for everything, Humayun’s Tomb, GK 1 for shopping of all sorts, SouthExtension 1 for sarees, Try Frontiers. Khan Market for many things. Geetanjslis for spa services. Dili Haat and INA for local market experiences, take the metro, have a coconut, Connaught Place to wander, Wenger’s for dessert, Modern Art Gallery, Kingdom of Dreams…never got to it but hear it is worth seeing, Silver Line for jewelry, Turtle Cafe in Khan Market for books. Great carrot juice there too. Fabindia for organic products and cotton kutis, DLF and Emporia Malls, Mamagato for great watermelon martinis, Elma’s  in Hauz Khas for dessert, Napa Dori for great travel bags. Go to an all you can eat and drink buffet on Sundays. There are many. Great mangoes. ESP. during the season. Global Desi for  funky kurtis. Forrest Essentials for natural face products. Lodhi Gardens.

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India Days continued July 9, 2012

Filed under: Travel,Uncategorized — travelchokri @ 9:42 am

Written a couple of weeks back….and continuing….

Delhi is hot as hell. I guess I am here during the monsoon season. Weird, almost each visit to India has been during these months. A colleague from Geneva was in town last weekend. We went to Chandni Chowk, the Red Fort and the Pacific Mall on Saturday afternoon after sleeping at The Taj. Wearing sleeveless today. No one else on the metro seems to be. Girls do not walk around with wet hair…like me! Maybe they think it looks too oily….the days can be tiring with the heat. Right from the am it’s bloody hot. I walk 5 minutes to the metro, then have to go through security. The great thing is I can be in the ladies only car. However, it is packed. Transfer onto another train after 30 mins of riding and pushing my way through the crazy crowd. Always get shoved as there is no concept of waiting for people to get off the train first. At some of the stations you see men run to get a seat. I’m not kidding. My colleague who was visiting from Geneva thought I was joking, until she saw it herself. It’s such a hoot. I want to film it but no cameras are allowed. Though I’d love to do a flash mob on the metro and see what happens. Maybe wear a saree….that easily comes off…and then underneath I’m wearing the shortest shorts and a tank top. Of course i have to wear a few janjhars on my ankles…and maybe a bhindi too. So ya, back to my journey. Then i get off and have to try to run across the road to the middle without getting hit. Then i usually have to wait on the island until traffic is not so bad and then run again to get to the other side! Then i walk about 12 mins to the office. By the time i get there, im soaked in sweat. It sounds like the stories some of our parents used to tell us…’I used to walk miles to get to school’.

I’m sitting at a place in Hauz Khas village called diva piccolo. Going to have dinner here tonight. It looks like I will have to head out to Bihar and Gujarat again to do some documentation. And I will be here for a week more than planned. So basically ill be here for another month…more. It definitely is not easy here.

I haven’t  picked up any more Hindi than I already knew. today I saw men fighting on the bus. The bus driver was getting a beat down. It was not nice. My arm hairs stood up. Yes, I’m in India and I have not waxed my arms. Girls here hate hair on their body. I don’t feel full at all. That meal was not satisfying, which is unusual for India. I am usually satisfied with the portions and the quality of food in India. There is too much good food here…most of the time overly spicy though.

It’s the following day now and I’m on the metro. Feeling tired. Not sure when I’ll sleep like normal again. Insomnia has overcome me this past half a year. There’s always something to do. 1am, lets read. 2am lets watch tv. 3am, lets post pics on Facebook, 4am, maybe I should get 3 hours of sleep at least. After I leave India I’ll head back to Geneva. Figure I should go home for a bit. Then the states for a weekend. Then back to Geneva. I’d like to see some more of Europe while it’s summer.

On Saturday, I ended up going to the national art gallery, khan market, then INA market. I definitely cannot buy my chicken and fish from there, even if it’s more fresh and less expensive than in the shops. I don’t want to see live chickens being slaughtered, heads of animals and the flies, my goodness! Not my scene. Later that evening I went out for dinner with a few friends. We went to a restaurant called the yum yum tree. I met a girl there from the states and ended up going to a German diplomats residence with her. Wow, to see how the other people live. The house was massive, on a lot of land and had a fabulous pool. Him and his wife throw parties there often. The crowd was mixed. And the dj preferred playing African music for most of the night. Some songs reminded me of Kenya. the unplanned nights always turn out to be the best. Yesterday, I went to the park hotel for an all you can eat and drink brunch. 4 hours of both. We then hit the pool, where there was a private party with about a hundred Indian kids. The average age mus’tve been 22.
It is now Tuesday morning and I’m on the first leg of my journey to the office. It doesn’t seem as brutally hot today…well at least not this morning. Last couple of days have been long, trying to get a report done on our end in India, so that we can pull together 3 countries and do a final report in Geneva. I miss that I’m not in Geneva for the summer. My handbag smells like chicken. Probably cus there’s chicken in it. Not a live chicken or a head of one. Just cooked chicken breast.