New Delhi, Weather from Weather Underground

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Not the typical girls' weekend

Late summer 2010 a friend proposed a moms' only trip. Woo-hoo! We had been in India for three months. I hadn't been out of Delhi/Gurgaon. I thought, It's about time for a nice relaxing, pampering beach vacation. Then she said, "I'm thinking Dhaka in Bangladesh." My reaction must have been wide eyed and a little shocked looking. Bangladesh had never even been on my radar. I wasn't even sure if I knew where Bangladesh was. Safety, health, visa issues, and on and on went through my head. Then the adventurer in me took over and said, "Ok, Bangladesh. This could be interesting." So Bangladesh it was for a much needed long weekend away without kids or spouses.

We splurged a little and stayed at a nice hotel which had a lovely restaurant and nice spa services. The massage was much needed after taking the above ride on a bicycle rickshaw.

What can I say about Bangladesh?
It's dirty, noisy, smelly, and altogether foreign. At the same time, it's amazing. The people were warm and welcoming. They were kind. They were helpful and interested in us. From what I can see Bangladesh still does not get many foreign tourists. The people aren't jaded and thinking about what they can get from these "wealthy foreigners."(Yes, all over the world people assume that if you are American, British, Australian then you must be filthy rich) More often than not, the people wanted to know why we were visiting their country, what we thought of it compared to the west, and if they could show us around. It was extremely refreshing.

Before traveling multiple guides and people said to be sure and see the Bangladesh Rickshaw Art. We searched and searched, walked up and down many streets and back alleys, asked, pointed, and tried to find the street where this is all done. No luck but just visiting and traveling around Dhaka is a live, moving gallery of Rickshaw art.
The drivers are very proud of their rickshaws and the artwork on them. These men in their dhotis or what looks to us like a wrap-around skirt work very hard for small fees ferrying locals and tourists alike around the city. In among the traffic, smells, and noise, they zipped and got us from place to place. It was nerve wracking at times but a fabulous way to see and feel Bangladesh.

Stayed tuned from more photos and observations from Bangladesh....

Saturday, August 27, 2011

INA Market

It is so easy to get in a rut no matter where we live. We end up going to the same spots, shops, and cafes. Every so often I need someone to give me a kick start to get out and see more of Gurgaon and Delhi. This is written with thanks to a friend who recently pushed me out of my comfort zone. I have finally made it to INA Market in South Delhi. From bharat online, "The INA Market of Delhi has its full name as the Indian National Army Market....It is famous as a food bazaar of the capital city of India. From fresh seafood to meat to spices to vegetables and fruits, you can get anything and everything related to groceries here. Shopping In the INA Market is a unique experience, since it is one-of-its-kind." Unique experience?? Definitely unique but even that word doesn't seem to cover the idea of INA.
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If there were only a way to incorporate the noises, smells, crowds, and simple hustle and bustle of INA into a blog. See the youtube video at to get a better glimpse of INA than my pictures are able to share.

How fresh do you want your chicken?? Eggs on top of live chickens in cages in front of chickens being butchered. Note the man in back wearing blue striped shirt who almost has his bare feet in the chicken he is cutting up. Maybe a little toe adds flavor?
We were able to find some of the freshest and nicest looking fruits and veggies at INA. I found broccoli and quite a few other veggies that are hard to find closer to our house. Above my friend is giving the spinach a close inspection. She is fanatic about her fruits and veggies and wants them with "No marks. No marks, at all." Listening to her say this, I kept thinking, "You do realize we live in India, right?"
Cars parked upon cars. It took us fifteen minutes just to get out of our parking space once the shopping was completed. So glad we have a driver that was doing the vehicle maneuvering and not me.

All in all an enjoyable experience.
Bought tons of fresh fruit and veggies that lasted almost two weeks.
Found Dr. Pepper and was thrilled.
Hung out with someone who always makes me laugh.
Experienced more of the amazing-ness of India.

Visit the campus

I was reminded recently by a stateside friend that I often refer to the beauty of the the girls'school campus. I was also reminded that I have never shared many photos of said school. Since little one is only in school three hours this year, I spend large chunks of my weekdays on the campus. Thankfully, the campus has wi-fi, a nice library with a/c, and a fun and funky little cafe/hang out spot. Here are just a few views of the campus. I will try to get more throughout the year.

(credit for above photo goes to Rebekah....almost every day she has to stop at the map and make sure we know where we are going)

The above mentioned cafe. They have the best chocolate brownies I have found in India so far :)

To finish it off, I just had to add a photo of the monkey we saw on Friday. He comes in to chase off the wild monkeys who have decided that the school playground is a cool place to hang out. After chasing them away he pees all over to mark the territory as his and hopefully they don't come back.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What a difference a year makes.....

Let's see.....this time last was starting, we were living in a hotel crossing our fingers every day that our apartment would soon be finished, and trying to track down our shipment from the US. The little one started at a local preschool and big sister in grade 2 at AES. She was sure she would need me close by so I spent the first two days wandering around the school campus. Don't get me wrong, it is one of the most beautiful school campuses I have ever seen, but there is only so much to do. Especially, when you are a new parent and know, if I remember correctly, one other parent. At pick up time, little one was usually sleeping and I would stand off to the side watching all the other moms and dads catch up. Hearing, "How are you? How was your summer? It's so great to see you." It actually made me a little sad and lonely. Thankfully, we have been through this, and I kept telling myself that this too will pass. Even though my head knew this, it still is never easy being the "new kid."
Fast forward a year and she doesn't even look back when heading for the gate on day #1. The little one was telling me, "It's OK mama. We can do this without you."
We go through the gate and check out the class lists and actually recognize multiple names in each of the girls' classes. I look up to see friends I haven't seen all summer. Sigh of relief. I am no longer the new kid. I now belong. That seems petty and elementary schoolish but was actually how it felt. We knew where we were going and even stopped to help some of those lost looking newbies who still have "V" for visitor badges. (Sidenote: getting rid of the "V" badge and getting the real one with your photo is another huge step.) I even helped give tours of the campus to new parents this summer and somehow got roped into being a room mom before classes even started. Hmm...maybe it is time to not belong quite so much??