Around the mountains
The day after the incident we were woken up by one of the staff serving us “bed tea”, which is a nice custom I learned about from the book I’ve been reading recently called City of Djinns by William Dalrymple (highly recommended!). They just brought us chai in a pot with some cups on a tray and left again. So nice! We headed down to breakfast and it was again tasty and then we...
Where we learn how important chimneys are
When we arrived at the train station, our driver promptly found us and escorted us to his car. The car was very nice and the two hour drive to the hotel was without issue except Jason felt a little ill on the way. We still don’t know if it was a bout of car sickness inspired by the hundreds of switchback turns while going through the mountains, the stone-cold (and mine had a hair in it)...
So as I mentioned, we went up to Uttarakhand to the village of Dhancholi to stay for the weekend and get some fresh air. But we had to get there first! We took the infamous Indian train system and it wasn’t half bad. In fact, the most frustrating part is booking the darn tickets because the websites to do such things either hang up during critical parts (like when your credit card charge is...
This weekend we took a break from Delhi to go to Uttarakhand and spend some time in the mountains among clear air and blue skies. There are some interesting stories I will write up (like where I learn the value of chimneys and all about bed tea) and lots of photos I took, but until then, here’s this panorama I put together in Photoshop. Click for full size (really big but worth it).
Painting wooden forms
There are a couple of ex-pat forums/mailing lists I frequent regularly and somewhere in mid December, a thread popped up inviting people over to paint on wooden forms. I have been wanting to get more into art recently and on the trip so I signed up. It turns out it is run by a lovely lady who used to live in Russia and learned Matryoshka doll painting techniques there. She learned the techniques,...
This week we visited the Baha’i House of Worship, more commonly known as the Lotus Temple. This is an amazing piece of architecture designed by Fariborz Sahba to evoke a lotus flower. It has nine sided symmetry in a circular shape as stipulated for Houses of Worship in the Baha’i religion. Like the other seven (there used to be eight but one was destroyed) Houses of Worship in the...
Hmmm... (part 2)
We got (hamburger) buns and made hamburgers! They were awesome! But, hmmm….
Photos at night
Here are a couple of photos I took from our roof terrace one night.
On being sick
So since we’ve been in India, between Jason and I we have been sick (either stomach or sinus illness) five times. We have been here a little over six weeks. As I type, I am recovering from my second cold which left me bedridden for two days and cancelled all of the things I had planned on doing this week (meeting with a volunteer manager at an orphanage school, going to a painting class,...
Things we take for granted in the US #2394
Our stovetop is not like the stovetops in the US. It is a standalone unit with a tube to a propane tank. You turn the burner on and then have to light it each time with a lighter. Well, recently our propane tank ran out (in the middle of cooking rice, doh) so we had to figure out what to do. Luckily there was a spare tank under the stove so after we figured out how the connecting mechanism worked,...
Post office adventure
The Christmas package sent by Jason’s parents was the subject of much excitement, but also dread because we have no idea how the Indian postal service works. They sent the package out in plenty of time but we didn’t end up looking for it until a few days after Christmas (sorry, guys). I guess we were hoping that the mysterious postman would finally show up with it but it was getting...
So we found grapes! Happy grapes that didn’t look like they were rotting! But hmm, do you notice something strange about them? How about this? Unless E.U. means USA in French, I think there’s some questionable marketing going on here….
A Christmas Miracle
How corny is that post title? Well, now that we have that out of the way… Jason’s amazing parents sent us a package for Christmas. After a post office adventure (different post), we finally received it and it was soooooo amazing. Inside were two stuffed and labeled stockings! And candy I recognized! Oh, American candy!! And wrapped gifts! I started tearing up just as soon as the box...
Qutb Minar (Part 3)
This monstrous pile is called the Alai Minar and was built by Auladdin Khilji, a later ruler, in the early 1300s. Khilji expanded the existing mosque to be exactly double the dimensions as previously. The Alai Minar was then planned to also be twice the size of the Qutb Minar in every dimension, but the ruler died soon after the construction started and it was never completed. This is what...
Yep, it rained
And thundered. You may have guessed but it doesn’t rain very often in Delhi’s dry season. That would be now.
Qutb Minar (Part 2)
Along with the famous minaret in the complex, are ruins of other old buildings. The area hosts the remnants of several gateways, tombs, a mosque, a college, and the beginnings of a second minaret. This complex is interesting to historians and architects because it showcases the first (I think) example of mixed Hindu and Muslim (specifically Ghurids) architecture. The stone pillars are square,...
GUYS, IT MIGHT RAIN TOMORROW!! THIS IS CRAZY.
Qutb Minar (Part 1)
On new year’s eve we decided to join a photo excursion organized on an ex-pat forum to one of Delhi’s many historical sites, the Qutb Minar (Ku-tube mi-NAR) complex. We met at 7:30am (or were supposed to, we arrived about 15 minutes late, sorry Arvind) to beat the crowds and get an early start on the day. It turned out (as is common here) that the fog/pollution was very dense in the...
Dilli Haat Part 3
So I posted most of my pictures of fabric, but there are a few more photos worth showing (I think)… Here are some of the vendors we saw. The top guy had an all white booth. Which, I’m not sure if you can tell from the other pictures (sarcasm), but let’s just say he was the only one. It was so calm for the eye to come across his booth and just rest on the warm whites. I also...
The addresses here are pretty different. The format is like this: G6/463 Vasant Vihar* New Delhi 110026 It took us a while to get used to this, but it CAN take someone right to your house! Still, no street name—only the large thoroughfares are named. The most important part is the name of the neighborhood, or “Vasant Vihar”. This tells drivers which area of Delhi...
Dilli Haat Part 2
So, I mentioned there were fabrics at Dilli Haat. Silks, cottons, wools, cashmere, in every color. The fabrics were hung… Click through for bunches more pictures… Fabrics were piled… And fabrics were embroidered. Oh, the embroidery. I was/am SO impressed by the embroidery. How many millions of stitches goes into each of these pieces. Look at that last red...
Dilli Haat Part 1
In Delhi there is a market called Dilli Haat. It has been recommended to me by basically everyone who knows about it and my creative tendencies. Even so, it took me a month to get there and I had to be persuaded to go by M when she came back in to town. Well we went. I’m pretty sure my face looked like this the whole time. M just took me there to show me around and to show me a place...