Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Typ0’s Internal Dialogue

In a not completely unshocking turn of events my package from Amazon *still* hasn’t been delivered. To remind those of you who are new or have forgotten, I placed my order well over a month ago. I am not frustrated. I’m not angry. I’m not even bitter. (Ok those last three sentences may have been lies. But I’m trying to subdue the emotions so I still get credit.) In any case, I’m not blaming this on India (whom we all know still has it out for me!) and am trying to take this in stride. I’m learning patience. (Ok that last part was a lie. But I’m trying!)

My lack of books and DVDs, of course, is the good news. (Darn sarcasm gene just won’t take a break!)

Due to the fact that the mail service in India is *slighly* unreliable (by which I mean that it’s a big, non-working joke) Hubby and I will be unable to send out Christmas cards this year. We realize that we’ve never bothered… had time… Darn it, there is no way to gloss over our cardless past. At least this year we have a semi-good excuse. And we feel bad about it. (Sort of. )

Anyways, that was the bad news.

So as not to end this on a typical Typ0-is-being-a-sacrcastic-git note I’ve come up with more good(ish) news. I've even decided to turn off my internal dialogue of sarcasm for an entire pargraph. (Yup! We went with an external dialogue of sarcasm instead.)

The even better news is that “Becker” wasn’t on this week. Is this just a temporary reprieve because I am being rewarded by the Higher Powers for not being too, too bitter about my lack of package from Amazon? Is the evil demon of bad acting that is “Becker” doomed to return next week when the Powers realize that I really am bitter? The sad truth is that I don’t know. I’m just willing to grasp onto this sweet joy of the “Becker”-free week.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Damn It’s Cold!

I live in New Delhi, India. I live in a country known for being wickedly hot. That said: I am so freaking cold right now it’s not even funny! Nobody told me that India was cold. I didn’t plan for shivering weather.

It’s warm enough during the day that a light, if long sleeved shirt, keeps me nice and warm and toasty. Right now; however, it is almost seven in the evening and I’m sitting in my living room trembling from the chill. My feet are encased in slippers and I’ve wrapped a wool shawl around my shoulders to ward off the worst of the cold.

I brought a few sweaters but I figured that they would be for those times that we visited Canada or the US during the winter. You know: went to a cold country during a cold season. Not for wearing in late November in India.

Fine, I admit that I may be overstating the cold a *tiny* bit. But I’m in India for Pete’s sake! It’s supposed to warm. Most people here seem to have small space heaters for their homes: one for the living room and sometimes one in their bedroom. But I refuse to give in and buy a space heater. I don’t live in a cold country so I don’t need help keeping warm. My shivering will do just fine, thank you!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Vous n’m’avez jamais vue

I attended a live mini-concert recently that reminded me how much I enjoyed the music of Edith Piaf.


Allez, venez, Milord!
Vous asseoir à ma table;

Il fait si froid, dehors,

Ici c'est confortable.

Laissez-vous faire, Milord

Et prenez bien vos aises,

Vos peines sur mon coeur

Et vos pieds sur une chaise

Je vous connais, Milord,

Vous n'm'avez jamais vue

Je ne suis qu'une fille du port,

Qu'une ombre de la rue...

Pourtant j'vous ai frôlé

Quand vous passiez hier,

Vous n'étiez pas peu fier,

Dame! Le ciel vous comblait:

Votre foulard de soie

Flottant sur vos épaules,

Vous aviez le beau rôle,

On aurait dit le roi...

Vous marchiez en vainqueur

Au bras d'une demoiselle

Mon Dieu!... Qu'elle était belle...

J'en ai froid dans le coeur...

Allez, venez, Milord!

Vous asseoir à ma table;

Il fait si froid, dehors,

Ici c'est confortable.

Laissez-vous faire, Milord,

Et prenez bien vos aises,

Vos peines sur mon coeur

Et vos pieds sur une chaise

Je vous connais, Milord,

Vous n'm'avez jamais vue

Je ne suis qu'une fille du port

Qu'une ombre de la rue...

Dire qu'il suffit parfois

Qu'il y ait un navire

Pour que tout se déchire

Quand le navire s'en va...

Il emmenait avec lui

La douce aux yeux si tendres

Qui n'a pas su comprendre

Qu'elle brisait votre vie

L'amour, ça fait pleurer

Comme quoi l'existence

Ça vous donne toutes les chances

Pour les reprendre après...

Allez, venez, Milord!

Vous avez l'air d'un môme!

Laissez-vous faire, Milord,

Venez dans mon royaume:

Je soigne les remords,

Je chante la romance,

Je chante les milords

Qui n'ont pas eu de chance!

Regardez-moi, Milord,

Vous n'm'avez jamais vue...

...Mais... vous pleurez, Milord?

Ça... j'l'aurais jamais cru!...

Eh ben, voyons, Milord!

Souriez-moi, Milord!

...Mieux qu' ça! Un petit effort...

Voilà, c'est ça!

Allez, riez, Milord!

Allez, chantez, Milord!


Mais oui, dansez, Milord!

La-la-la... Bravo Milord!

La-la-la... Encore Milord!... La-la-la...

(I apologize for the lack of correct accents. They didn't translate well into Foxfire.)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I am so embarrassed

My pride in being a Canuck is rivaled only by my pride of being Mrs. Hubby. He may not be a Canuck but he is wonderful. I hum my anthem in French and eat poutine with zeal. I prefer Harvey's over Burger King and Blue over Bud. I am Canadian!

Today; however, I was forced to step back and blush along with those from my strong maple leaf bedecked land who retain their sanity. (I was going to say the sober ones but that would only leave me with 10 people this upped it to at least 16.) In a sadly public venue one of Canada's former Defence Ministers went off the really, really deep end.

I think that my favourite part of the article was this little gem of a quote:
Mr. Hellyer went on to say, "I'm so concerned about what the consequences might be of starting an intergalactic war, that I just think I had to say something."

My people stand strong today knowing that our former leaders are trying desperately to keep us safe from ET.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Yankee Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our friends and family back in the States!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Shopping: Delhi Expat Style

Expats in Delhi seem to be a breed unto themselves. Or at least the ones I’ve met thus far. As far as I can tell, Hubby and I are some of the most normal people in Delhi. How scary is that?

The Delhi Network is one case in point. I went to the monthly meeting last week and received the monthly newsletter. One of the topics in the newsletter was advice on buying and cleaning your gems. Yup I said gems. I immediately pointed out how utterly ridiculous this was. Everybody looked at me like I had two heads and spiky horns. They thought I was nuts and told me that buying gems was good way to spend a few hours and that if I hadn’t done it yet then I was a freak. Ok they didn’t say the last part but it was definitely implied.

I’m sorry but I don’t own “gems.” I certainly don’t go out looking for the perfect emerald and deciding on the ideal setting for it and the matching diamonds that I got a steal from the same gem merchant. Go figure but I’m more normal than that. That said I’m willing to become less normal and join the gem buying revolution.

Assuming of course that Hubby doesn’t kill me first.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Wandering the World

By now you’ve probably noticed that we’ve been wandering Delhi more than the world. I promised more than that in the blog title and I want to deliver the goods to you my faithful readers. Here’s the problem though: I’m stuck in Delhi whilst Hubby wanders throughout the globe.

Hubby’s Travels in 2005
Sri Lanka

Typ0’s Travels in 2005
Sri Lanka

Ok the last two are later in the year but you get the picture. I’m stuck at home while Cutie Pie racks up those frequent flier miles and sees just how cool a world we live in.

So here’s my plan: in 2006 I’m going to get my travel on! I’m going to become Hubby’s cuter (chubbier) shadow and join him on some of his cooler ventures into the global community. Then I’m going to return here and share the dirt with you!

What do you think of the plan? Too ambitious? Too tacky? I know it’s going to be too expensive. But these are the sacrifices I’m willing to make for you, Reader. You’re that important to me. (Or something.)

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Great Knitting Wonder

The knitting business is starting to pick up. No, I don’t have a business. And no, I still knit so slowly that turtles are starting to challenge me to races. But my lack of skills… err… fame is starting to become well known here in Delhi. Scary huh?

Every Friday I go to my knitting group out in Gurgaun where this week I finally finished the scarf I gave Hubby for Christmas ’04. It will now be his birthday gift. =P My Thursday knitting group is currently on hiatus until the new year since everybody is super busy with things that that don’t involve me. (How rude!)

Later this week I will be conducting not one but two knitting workshops. Yup, for reasons that defy logic people have asked me to teach them to knit. Me who invented her own cast on. Me pretty much invented her own knit stitch. (Rumor has it that it’s either a purl or a backward knit. Ooops!) But who am I to say no to willing students.

I’m even thinking that I may start my own weekly knitting group. The Goddess Typ0’s Knitting group. It has a certain ring to it, don’t you think? Well, we can work on a name later. =)

Happy Knitting!!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Is it Supposed to Hurt?

My move to Delhi has warranted many firsts. My first time living in a developing country. My first time making Gold Status with an airline’s frequent flier program. My first time having curtains made and hung to order for my home. On Saturday I added another first to that list: my first ever massage.

Earlier this year I discovered the bliss of the facial. For you boys reading basically a facial is me paying somebody to buff, moisturize and mold my face. Done right it should also include at minimum an arm massage and leave you wishing you could spend the rest of your life with your facialist. I always left my facial looking, and more importantly, feeling years younger. (I also always felt the need to shop for frivolous things after a facial. Weird.) The three or four I’ve had were blissful experiences that made me wonder why I waited almost thirty years to enter a spa.

Saturday morning, my friend called me and asked if we were still on for spa day. Sure why not! We arrived at a really nice women’s only spa in Mulcha Marg that was a slice of civilization in the midst of the chaos of Delhi. We initially booked for one facial and one massage: each of would have one or the other. At the last minute my friend suggested we both have massages. Cool! I’ve never had a massage and it sounded like a cool idea. I am a naive little blogger.

Despite my discomfort with the whole “naked” part of the massage I hopped up on the table and put my head on the towels that my masseuse, Evilina, had arranged for me. Then it started: the pain. The agony. The massage.

I’ve always carried my stress in my back. It’s not like my back is doing anything else! So when Evilina began to massage my back it initially felt nice, the way you assume a massage is supposed to feel. But then she started grinding her thumb into my back and I actually cried out in pain. “Too hard? No, you have knot.” I may have had a knot but if she kept that up I soon wouldn’t have a back.

Over the course of the next hour she ground her thumbs into my back, legs and arm muscles. My cries of pain were ignored and treated with looks of disdain. Don’t get me wrong, some of the time it was nice and relaxing. But a lot of the time it hurt.

When we left the spa I asked my friend point blank, “Is a massage supposed to hurt?” She looked worried and said that it wasn’t. Oh. I put the pain my back aside and we left for an enjoyable lunch at a local wine bar. A few glasses of wine later and the sharp pains in my back hadn’t disappeared but I cared less. Even waking up in pain the next morning didn’t deter me from contemplating my spa future.

You see, after much introspection and despite my time in traction I have decided to give it another try. If it wasn’t supposed to hurt it must have been a fluke. I hope.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Harry Potter Mania

So I went to see GOF on Friday night. WOW! Amazing! Spectacular! I know that most of you say that I write in exclamation points and superlatives too often but in this case it’s warranted. The movie was almost everything that I could have hoped for. A 3 star effort for director Mike Newell’s first foray into the world of Harry Potter.

I won’t post plot points here since most of you have either read the books or read other reviews that have already told you the story. Besides, as Hubby puts it the plot of all the HP books is that Lord Voldermort threatens Harry’s life and then Harry has to find a way to survive. Unlike in past forays into the world of HP; however, this time Harry is on his own. When push comes to shove his friends aren’t there next to him.

That was the problem with this movie. In the book his friends help him prepare for that final confrontation by learning and practicing curses, counter curses and the like. In the movie it just sort of happened: Harry doesn’t seem to prepare for any of the competitions at all. In fact, his success in all of them is due to a bit of serendipity and others giving him the answers. Harry has survived to star in six books because he works as part of a team. Buffy didn’t make on her own: the Scooby’s helped her. Harry’s friends are his Scooby gang and this movie minimized the importance of that fact. No wizard is an island, not even the Boy Who Lived.

As a fan geek there are definitely things that are missing that I wish could be put back in. Events and ideas that I feel are key to GOF and the entire HP universe. If you’re fan geek like yours truly, shoot me an email and we’ll debate the missing gold (How will the twins start up their shop now?) Dumbledore’s sudden mean streak (What was with him pushing Harry?) and the lack of important revelations. (Karakoff, half-giants and animangi come to mind.)

Basically this was a great movie. The Weasley twins began to show the spark that will make them part of the greatest scene in the next movie, OOP. And Snape and McGonagal were unexpectedly some of the wittiest characters in the movie, often providing the best physical and verbal humor. Despite the over use of special effects the Harry Potter series is proof that a good story is its own reward. Whether you’re a fan geek like me, or a friend being dragged against their will like Hubby; you’ll enjoy this magical movie.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Great Expectations

Guess what I’m doing tomorrow? Come on you get three guesses. No, I’m not going to finally get a job. Hardry har har har. Next guess from the peanut gallery? No, my sarcastic friends, I’m not going on that much needed diet. Anybody have a serious guess here?

Fine I’ll tell you:

I’m going to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire!

Yay! *bounce*

That’s right, even though I live about a five-hour plane ride from anything resembling civilization. And even though I don’t have enough hot water at any one given time to both wash and condition my hair. I can still see GOF (as we fan geeks call it) on opening night! How cool is that?!

Stay tuned on Saturday for my review of what is sure to be an awesome movie. (Eek! I can’t wait! Yay!!!)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Small Miracles Part Two

In previous blogs, I’ve mentioned how after three and half months of living in Delhi Hubby and I still hadn’t cooked dinner in our own home. Well, Hubby made an amazingly yummy salsa one night but that was the extent of our forays into the kitchen.

The problem wasn’t know-how. We have lots and lots of cookbooks. (Although none written by my mother. Hint. Hint. Hint.) And it wasn’t lack of talent. Hubby is a phenomenal cook: from simple falafel dinners to Ethiopian Stew he’s practically a professional chef. Although I don’t have Hubby’s skills, I do enjoy putting together a nice Sunday dinner of a wild mushroom risotto or the like. It wasn’t even a lack of desire to cook. We are both so sick of restaurant food; and so desperate for a home cooked meal we were only a week or so away from begging friends to use their kitchens.

The sad problem, dear reader, was that we have a gas stove and nary a drop of gas to get it lit. *sigh* This is a problem that, after living in our apartment since early August, has finally been resolved. Yay!!!

Yesterday, after weeks of promises the gas guy finally arrived. He hooked us up and now when I turn the knob on the stove I get a snazzy blue flame. Now, like my Neanderthal ancestors of yore, I will turn raw meat into dinner over the flame of life.

So if you’re in Delhi on Sunday night, give us a call and you join us for a dinner of pasta with Mario Sauce, bruchetta and maybe even a home made carrot cake. Let the cooking begin!

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Delhi Zoo

Driving around Delhi can often be akin to enjoying an Indian Safari. Wild animals usually found on farms or zoos wander freely in the streets of this major metropolis. When I say streets please note that I mean the streets where people drive not some special roads designed for livestock. Car filled streets with wandering cattle.

Hubby and I have a term for the most common animal seen on the road: RCS or Random Cow Sighting. When we first arrived back in June it was a random event. We were awed by the weird cows that wandered out in front of our car. We smiled indulgently when a small herd of them stood in the middle of the road and seemed to almost wait for the traffic to thin out enough to cross to the other side. But they became less random and more of an everyday occurrence.

The bulls have been known to gore people who get too close. It actually happened to the driver of a friend of ours. Not fun or pretty we’ve been assured. When the cows started to over run some of the more popular roads the government tried to intervene: they offered a cash reward of 2,000 Rupees for every cow that was delivered to the city cow depot. It was a nice week. I’m positive they let all the damn cows back out since the problem seems as bad as ever.

Lo betide the person who accidentally hits one of these menaces. Remember the cow is sacred here. No eating beef and definitely no running it over to create dinner.

Less common but no less weird, are the random camel, white horse, and elephant sightings. These are slightly more common now that it’s wedding season and its traditional for the bride and groom to arrive at the wedding atop one of these creatures. The drivers of these animals are usually quite responsible and keep them to the side of the road so they can’t be hit.

Our final animal menace is the street dog. Not cute fluffy puppies sitting in yards and growling occasionally. These are rather mangy looking dogs that look like they adopt fleas to keep them company on Friday nights. The number one rule of Delhi Dogs is to avoid them. This can be difficult since they’re everywhere from the expat hangouts like Khan Market to local dives like INA Market.

So next time you’re at your local zoo gawking at the caged animal; or you’re visiting your friend’s farm and wishing that you hadn’t volunteered to help during the harvest season remember Delhi. You can see all these sights for free just by remembering to wake up and walk outside your front door. Only in Delhi.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Dreaming of a Hot Shower

I hate to give you mental images that will keep you awake with horrible nightmares for weeks but it can’t be helped. I love taking long, hot showers. Hubby calls them my Three Act Showers. You know the ones: five or ten minutes of standing under the water letting the pounding stream of water massage you into something that resembles a human being. Then you shower in the many, many stages that allow you to continue enjoying the hot water. Rinse and repeat anybody?

These were my weekend showers back in civilization. I dreamed of Saturday morning so that I could enjoy this thirty plus minutes of heaven. During the week I was lucky if I managed five or seven minutes after I had finished hitting snooze for an hour. But on Saturdays there was nobody rushing me. I could sing all my favorite songs from Les Miz and Disney movies and nobody cared. The Three Act Shower is the height of living in the civilized world.

Damn I miss it!

Each of the three bathrooms in our apartment has hot water heaters that must be turned on at least 20 to 40 minutes prior to actually showering. A quick flip of a switch before you eat lunch… err breakfast… and you’re supposed to be set for a shower. Of course, if you enjoy showers that last more than three minutes then you’re in the wrong place.

The guest room shower is good for at least five and a half minutes if left heating long enough. The only problem is that the guest room is on the main floor and we’re on the second. The master bath water heater doesn’t work at all and the shower we use only gets about three minutes; one of which is lukewarm. *sigh*

I have been reduced to taking ice cold showers lasting no longer than it takes to get clean and then hopping out. The true lameness of my pathetic existence is lies in what I’ve been asking Hubby to give as a pre-Christmas gift: one night in a hotel here in Delhi. I’m so desperate for a hot shower I’m willing to pay obscene prices for the privilege.

I am almost positive that Heaven has a shower with an endless supply of hot water. Heaven and the Taj Mahal Hotel.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Shoe Gods

I took Hubby out and about today and I discovered the weirdness that is shoe shopping Delhi. We wandered past the outdoor shoe “boutiques” and into the main part of GK1 M block in search of that elusive and endangered quarry: the cute shoe.

For the most part cute shoes come in three varieties here. First you have the really god-awful shoes. The GAS have sequins and sparkles glued and sewn all over them in unattractive patterns. They’re incredibly popular here for whatever reason. *shudder* These come in two height choices: hooker heels or so flat you can feel the pebbles on the ground. After convincing Hubby that I was not a stripper and didn’t require shoes with clear 5-inch heels, I moved on to the next shop.

Store number two had yet another selection of shoes fit to be worn on the Corner. Right when we were about to leave; however, the sales guy showed us type number two: the thong song shoe. I realize that a goodly number of women all over the world love these shoes. For those of you in the dark about thongs I’m not talking dental floss between your butt cheeks; I’m talking about dental floss between your toes. I find these shoes really uncomfy and not just because I have hard to fit feet. Besides, I read this incredibly gnarly article in British Cosmo over the summer about this girl that got really sick because of thong sandals. No thanks!

After perusing the collection of shoes at stores three through five I finally realized that shoe type number three was the slightly ugly shoe. *sigh* These are the shoes that don’t have sparkles and aren’t thongs. They have a nice low-ish heel and a strap that goes across the top of my foot. I have a super cute pair of shoes like this that I got in Toronto over the summer (Thanks Mum!) but couldn’t find even remotely as cute here. Bummer huh?

Deciding that it was time to bite the bullet and at least try on the cutest of the Type Threes I turned to the stalker… er… sales guy standing a half a foot away from me. I showed him the shoes I wanted and gave him my approximate shoe size. That’s when he looked to heaven and called out to God. Ok, so I’m exaggerating a little.

All the shoe stores here have these holes cut in the ceiling. No back rooms of shoes here: it’s a person sitting in the heavens throwing boxes of shoes down to the plebes. After almost getting clocked by a falling box, I sat myself down and watched the show.

The sales guys called up in Hindi what size they wanted while waving the shoe of choice around frantically. The person in ceiling would magically find the shoe in a matter of moments and the down the box would float into the hands of the correct sales guy. Very occasionally a box would be thrown back up, but not often. It is a floorshow not to be missed when you visit.

The weirdest part was: I never saw the great Shoe Man in the Sky. Men called out. Shoes fell to earth. It was a very surreal experience; not unlike visiting Sacre Coeur or the Blue Mosque. Ok maybe it was a little different… But not much! Shoe shopping in Delhi is truly one of life’s great mysteries.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Rememberance Day

In Flanders Fields
by: John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

India Does it Again

I believe that I’ve commented before on the phenomenon that is India’s ability to know when I have plans. Well India struck again! *pout*

The new driver called out sick today. This is actually a rather impressive upgrade from the previous driver who didn’t call when he decided not to come to work. Of course, he also just stopped showing up. Hopefully this isn’t the first step toward Driver Number Five. *sob* I really like DN4: he’s a nice guy and an incredibly safe driver. But once again, I digress.

I recently joined (got seriously horn-swaggled and conned into) joining a women’s club here in town. A brief clarification: I joined of my own free will. I agreed to help out by working on their newsletter of my own free will. I attended the board meeting this week of my own free will. That’s where the con job started: the current Newsletter Lady announced that she was escaping Delhi in a month or two. Not to fear though, she had found her replacement. That’s when she pointed at me. When did I go from volunteering to help out to agreeing to run the thing!? So I ended up spending most of my week at the Organization’s office and it’s actually been fun. I’ve met people that, after I fix and tweak them, might actually be cool. j/k

One of the other club’s I joined, the Delhi Network, meets once a month. (Next week in fact!) This club has all sorts who attend and I’ve found several fun people during the meetings. It was through this club that I met my knitting groups, which have been a weekly source of fun and something to do. In yet another in a series rather lame attempt to make friends in Delhi, I randomly called up one of the women I met at the DN and arranged to get together to do lunch. Lame but successful it would seem.

I think I’ve laid the groundwork for today’s schedule: lunch with my DN friend followed by working at the Organization for a few hours on this month’s newsletter. And now I have no driver for the day. I must be the luckiest girl in Delhi… or something.

After canceling lunch I sat down to figure out how to get out of going to the office… to no avail. *sigh8 I need to get a three wheeler (tuk tuk) to the office and hope that I don’t get eaten to death by the mosquitoes on my way. *double sigh*

How is that India knows when I have plans? Why does India hate me so much that it has to wreck my plans on such a regular basis? What sacrifice do I have to make to stop this endless stream of TYP0 directed meanness?

Ok enough of me feeling sorry for myself. It’s lunchtime and I’m hungry. Plus I haven’t seen Rashid from McDonald’s in almost a week. Hmm…

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Live in the Moment

I found this picture while looking at various blogs on the Internet. I don't know who the person is or even where the photo was taken. A beautiful if slightly chilly day spent on the beach. Did the man climb down those rocks or was there a path? Did he want to scare the birds or was he paying tribute to their freedom?

The man just seemed so free and happy that I had to post the picture here and share his bliss with you.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Springtime Shawl

This is one of the few knitting items that I've actually managed to finish. I've included the pattern because I didn't know what else to write about today. Enjoy!

Size 12mm needles
5 balls of Malizia by Estelle Premium Collection

Pattern Notes:
This pattern requires you to wrap the yarn around the needle twice, as if to knit, on several rows. Whenever this is done, you end up with 2 loops for each stitch rather than one. Instead of 36 stitches on the right needle, you will now have 72. This stitch will be described as Yarn Over (YO).

Cast on 36 stitches
*R1 Knit all Stitches
R2 YO each stitch (Remember you should now have 72 stitches on your right needle)
R3 Knit each YO stitch together. (You will end up with 36 stitches on your right needle)
R4 YO each stitch as in R2
R5 Knit the first loop of each of YO stitch and drop the second. (You will end up with 36 stitches on your right needle)

*** Continue pattern from R1 through R5 until ready to cast off.

Cast off as follows:
R1, R2, R3
Cast off loosely.

To finish:
Weave in ends.
Cut 22 strands of yarn each to 40 inches. Fold in quarters and attatch evenly to the ends of the shawl.

Final Notes:
I used four balls to make the shawl and used the 5th for the fringe. If you wish to make the shawl longer, cut the pieces for the fringe first. You can then use all of the excess 5th ball of yarn for the body of the shawl.

Monday, November 07, 2005

And They Call Me Crazy

Crazy Washington Post Blog lady is at it again. Seriously she has no sense of reality whatsoever. First it was like she was visiting a country that wasn’t India. Now it’s like she lives full time in a country that isn’t America. Her most recent blog is about cell phone usage in the States versus “mobile” phone usage here in India. Let’s break down her blog insane idea by insane lack of idea.

Crazy Lady believes that nobody in America has ever heard the term SMS used to describe text messaging. Now maybe it’s because I had first hand experience, what with my actually owning and operating a cell phone in both countries, but I knew that. It’s also written right on your cell phone bill. Granted, few people can actually read those things but that’s hardly the point – it’s there!

She goes on to make fun of Indian English (please don’t get Hubby started down that road) and then uses the term “acronym-cum-verb.” People in India use the term “cum” to join any two words to make them a single compound-word. A few examples for you: server-cum-bearer (housekeeper), atm-cum-debit card (I have no idea since these are synonyms.) Don’t mock something and then not realize the irony of your own Indian-isms.

One of my favorite parts of the Insane Blog is the amazing idea of using your cell phone to vote for your preferred singer on American Idol. AT&T Mobile, now part of Cingular Wireless, back in the States should really try this idea out. Oh wait they did. Even Jim Cramer, in his book “Jim Cramer’s Real Money” notes that his daughters’ friends voted on AI using their then AT&T Wireless phones. (Hardcover pages 60-61) Jim Cramer is the good kind of crazy and even he knows that you can text-in your vote on these shows. Maybe Crazy Blog Lady (CBL) doesn’t have a television back in her cave in D.C.

Show of hands: how many of you wonderful readers have a downloaded ringtone onto your cell phone? (Dad that would be the weird song that that sounded the first time you tried your new Motorola.) Exactly! Everybody downloads ringtones in the real world! In CBL’s world she has to fly all the way to India to hear a downloaded ringtone. Ok, it was a weird Hindi song (Salaam Namaste maybe?) but it’s just a downloaded song. I get text messages on my cell phone twice a day telling me about this “phenomenon.”

India a crazy-cum-wonderful country that has mobile phones. Thank god I moved halfway around the world to find out about this new innovation!

An All-New Episode of Blog

One of the toughest parts about living in Delhi has been the television. And before you start on me, I realize that I’ve waxed poetic (and not so poetic) about this topic numerous times. But it’s an important issue! You all know how much I love my TV.

Take Gilmore Girls for example. Rory dropped out of college since I’ve been here. She and Lorelei aren’t even talking to each other. *sob* How am I supposed to maintain a good relationship with my mother when the best mother/daughter team ever is on the outs. *sniff* Not to worry though, they actually show GG here. Of course, we’re still on season one (!!) but its something.

How about Amazing Race? I miss coming into the office on Wednesday mornings and calling my friend, D, to break down the amazingness of the previous night’s episode. Not only can I not call D to discuss the show, but all the amazingness is gone. Arguably the best reality show ever conceived; AR jumped the shark without me there to guide it. *doublesob* That said, the current season of AR is actually shown here as it has a HUGE following. What you get on Tuesday night I get on Thursday. That’s more current than some of the news on CNN World.

Smallville is another show that desperately needs me around to guide it. Aquaman was the freak of the week recently. That’s just sad.

If you’re wondering how I keep up with all my TV shows thank the Internet. I read all of the spoilers (preshow) and break downs (post show) online so that I can be as up to date in the lives of the survivors on Lost and the “ladies” of Wisteria Lane on Desperate Housewives.

A note about those two shows. I refused to watch them when we lived in the States on the grounds that I don’t follow trends I start them. Big words for a girl stuck to choose between an all-new Becker or an all-new Lost. I think that we all know that the former is never, ever going to be watched in this household. (Barring of course the Apocalypse of which my watching Becker would be a sign.)

TV is a great medium. Of course, if the medium truly is the message then I’m in big trouble. I think that I’ll go find a good book to curl up with. And maybe if I’m very brave I won’t even have the TV on in the background. Nah!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Small Miracles

We finally cooked last night!

A few clarifications regarding the previous paragraph: Hubby was the one in the kitchen. And we didn’t exactly cook but we (he) did create food. Very yummy food if I may be so bold.

Making anything with fruits and vegetables here is what I might politely describe as a pain in the a$$. First you chop up your veggie of choice. Then you dunk it in the chlorine and water solution to soak for 30 minutes. You’re not done yet unless you like the taste of the local swimming pool. Now you need to rinse off the veggies. Please note that you must use either filter or bottle water for these steps as tap water may be worse than the problem you’re trying to fix with the bleach solution.

After all the chopping, soaking and mixing we finally had an extremely tasty and home made salsa to enjoy. Hubby, ever the attentive and perfect husband, prepared the terrace (only two matches to light the mosquito coils!) and we sat out and enjoyed our salsa. To accompany this fine taste Hubby imbibed in a bottle of Castle beer and I sipped at my Ceres and raspberry vodka.

So next time you think to accuse that we still haven’t cooked here in Delhi just remember today’s blog. We may not be able to use the stove yet (damn gas people!) but we can still put together a mean treat.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Delhi the Beautiful

Every so often I look around me and notice that Delhi isn't really all that bad.

The people who put Delhi together wanted a city that was beautiful to the eye as well as the spirit. The photo to the left was taken back in June near the Gandhi Smriti. Does this look like a developing country to you? Me neither.

Beautiful trees showing off more shades of green than a flock of peacocks line almost all the major roads here. Shabby buildings are almost hidden by the intense grandeur of foliage that shades the dingy streets of Delhi. The odd brown and grey squirrel can be seen hopping from branch to branch. Hubby says that they're actually rats but, romantic that I am, I prefer to think that they're squirrels.

The tree to your right grows in an unassuming corner of the gardens at the Nehru National Museum. I admit that I'm a bit of a tree nut but you must admit that the knarly bark of this wizened tree makes for a beautiful spot to lunch under.

Don't get me wrong, Delhi can be ugly. There are days when I want to cry when I see the beggars on the streets that come up to my window asking for a spare Rupee. Children with missing or broken limbs tap on my window each day; their plaintive expressions tearing into my heart.

One of my favourite streets in all of Delhi is Niti Marg. It borders the back of some of the larger embassies on one side and Nehru Park on the other. During the day this street reminds me a lot of Mississauga for some reason. Mississauga but nicer. Just a few blocks away at the intersection of Africa Avenue and Ring Road are some of the most persistent beggars in town... and the ones that most often break my heart.

Yes, Delhi is beautiful city but hides a sad underbelly of poverty.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Battle of the Mosquito Coil

Have you ever bought those coil things that are supposed to repel mosquitoes when you’re outdoors? They’re really easy to use: you light one end and then it smokes for hours and hours and keeps the evil minions of Satan (aka mosquitoes) away from innocent angels like me.

Have you ever tried to light one of those mosquito coil things? It is incredibly difficult. Or so Hubby would have us think. After all it took us two good hours to light one today. Two hours, one box of matches and a dozen or so curse words later and the coil is an ashy pile of stuff that doesn’t repel anything.

I love Hubby; I think that we all know that. But he’s not the handiest guy to have around. He did buy me a box of Jelabi today, though. He’s cute like that. He can buy me Jelabi but he can’t light a mosquito coil. Everybody has their strengths and lighting matches just isn’t Hubby’s.

The ongoing battle of Typ0 versus the mosquitoes continues. I will win the war… Someday.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

For Whom the Bell Tolls

It’s practically a requirement that if you’re an expat in Delhi you’ll have at least one if not more people working for you. Most people have their help live in quarters attached to their own apartments. That’s just a bit too close for my comfort, thank you. I’d give you horrible mental pictures and examples about my walking around naked but I can’t afford to pay for all the therapy you’ll need if I go down that particular lane.

Last night Hubby and I got a glimpse into what people who don’t have our inhibitions do with their servants. Before I paint this portrait of domestic life in India, I need to remind my friends at CW about the lovely parting gift I was so kindly presented: the crystal bell. The jest, for the rest of you, was that I would use the bell to call my servants. Now on with the story…

I spent last night with a local (non-expat) couple we’ll call Mr. and Mrs. R. I should note for the record that they’re very nice people who have taken me under their wing and treated me beyond well. Tuesday being Divali, we began the evening with fireworks on the terrace. Who set off all of these highly dangerous fireworks: the houseboy, Ramma. He almost got clipped several times but we four had a lovely time watching the results of the pretty pyrotechnics.

Later in the evening, as we sat enjoying drinks that Ramma refilled whenever Mr. R called out to him I noticed something. The room had been beautifully decorated for the holiday with lit candles in every nook. As I beheld this lovely scene I noticed that one flicker was a little higher and more evil looking than the others. Yup, one of the tea lights had gone berserk and was about to set the apartment on fire. Not to worry, dear reader, we called Ramma to put out the flames.

Later as sat down to dinner I noted the small gold bell sitting on the table next to Mr. R. I ignored my curiosity and continued to eat the amazingly yummy dinner. Before long we required more Palau since Hubby had eaten enough for 3 starving children and was still hungry. Mrs. R called for Ramma who couldn’t hear her as he was doing dishes in the kitchen. Not to worry: we rang the bell. A melodious tinkling sound or two later and Ramma had fixed the rice problem.

When the dishes needed to be cleared we skipped the calling out part and went right for the bell. Dessert time? You know what to do: ring the bell. More Indian Cotton Candy sweets for Typ0: ring the bell.

Please note that I’m not condoning this behavior. But I’m not saying that the R’s are bad people either: they’re not. They’re highly cool people, thank you. I just wanted to share this story of the bell and its many uses. And leave you, dear friends, secure in the knowledge that should anything dangerous need to be done; we’ll call Ramma.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

It's Tuesday and that means...

Happy Diwali!!