Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Picture This

I was quite the little tourist today and it wasn’t even Seven Cities day (That’s tomorrow and I’m trying to figure out a way of not going: Humayun’s Tomb and Safdarjung’s Tomb are so annoying! And I’ve been to both places twice and was miserable both times. Not really feeling the return trip for a third time, thank you). But on with our story… The Organization… well… they organized a trip to the new Temple in town: Swaminarayan Akshardham. And it was, if I may be so bold as to say, rather cool.

First of all, the place is wickedly clean if ridiculously run. They are militant about what you can’t bring onto the premises: no purses, no phones, and no freaking cameras! I’m sorry but the best way to advertise a new monument, which this is, is to let freaky expats like me take photos and brag to our friends back home about the cool places we’ve been (The photos on this blog have been borrowed from their website).

Unlike most sites around here, there is only one price to get in regardless of whether you’re a local or not: this is a good thing. Your 125 Rupees get you the mini movies, the Imax movie, and the boat ride. The mini movies are kinda lame, but since we went as a semi-organized group, we actually got to see these in English. They also weren’t really movies – they were more like animatronics dioramas. The minis were lame but seemingly informative.

Why only seemingly? Because the Imax (whose volume was on full blast) rehashed all the minis in one biggie. Lame but air conditioned so I expect it will be rather popular in summer.

(To Big Bro S: You will, I’m sure, be pleased to hear that we’re totally headed here during your visit!)

The Temple was built to honor Bhagwan Swaminarayan who became like a super cool yogi by the age of 11. We learned about his teachings and how everywhere he went people thought he was cool, deep, and way in touch with God (OK, they put it differently and brought up Hinduism a lot but that was the gist of it.). Despite what Grumpy Lady kept complaining about, they were not trying to convert us. It was actually quite interesting and explained why they got together to build a massively amazing monument/temple.

After the dioramas and movies, we went on the boat ride where we learned that Indians were the first in flight, invented the 0, algebra, and modern democracy. If you think I’m kidding, please understand that even I couldn’t lie about this. It was too funny for words. A Disney ride with revisionist history. What more could you ask for in a Temple ride?

The Temple itself is amazing (Have I said that already?). The workmanship on this thing is worthy of the Taj Mahal or Notre Dame. Along the outside of the temple are carvings of animals including lions and thousands of elephants of various sizes. There are also bronze reliefs on each side of the temple depicting different important moments and vignettes in Swaminarayan’s life. You can’t look at these and not be in wonder at the 11,000 workmen and artisans who constructed the temple and surrounding buildings (Weird but cool fact: they buried the architectural blueprints and design details under the temple so that if anything ever happens to the building in the future, the future people can fix it correctly).

Inside the Temple, the detailed carvings go on forever in literally every direction. The walls, pillars, and even the numerous domes are an art lover’s paradise. You could literally drown in the detail work: from dancing Ganeshes and celestial musicians to marble carvings of Swaminarayan himself with avatars and deities. I must again pout about my lack of camera because there were photo ops everywhere. How am I supposed to prove that I was there without a photo of me looking like a local tourist gone amok wearing my jeans, baseball cap, and salawar kameez top?

Ok, so you’ve heard me gush. You’ve listened to me rave. Now read about my doubts. This facility is only 6 months old, and while the grounds are fabulous (I haven’t even touched on the beautiful gardens) the washrooms are already gnarly beyond belief. *shudder* I admit that they’ve taken great care of the place so far but what is it really going to look like in 5, 10, or 100 years? I’m afraid that it may well turn into many other such sites around here: it will be in disrepair, gross, and vaguely sad. People will remember how wonderful it was in 2006 and reminisce about the beautiful place it once was.

Maybe I’m a pessimist or maybe I’m simply a seer – you know me well enough to know which is more likely the correct guess. Either way, get your cute Dedicated Reader butts to the Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple. It’s worth the drive to Acton.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Call Centers R Us

The Crazy Insane Lady at the Washington Post is at it again. I realize that this article is from a few months ago but since I just read it, we’ll count it as current events. Crazy Lady decided to write about Call Centers in Delhi, the general outsourcing trend, and how it is affecting people locally in India. Not a bad topic considering that Lou Dobbs and his ilk go on and on about this topic as if BPOs were a plague of locusts.

Now I can come at this from several different angles: after all with nine-plus years working in Call Centers in both Canada and the US, I know just a little something about how they work. Plus, as somebody who lives (if only temporarily) here in India, I have a slight feeling for the local viewpoint also. Which leaves me with the delicious question of: Where to begin?

Paragraph 5 it is…
The Indian twenty-somethings laboring in these call centers not only work together -- they also drink together, dance together, date one another and, most important, understand one another. Their jobs compel them to cultivate American pronunciations and keep up with U.S. pop culture. They have their own hybrid vocabulary. ("No probs, yaar" means "no problem, my friend.") And they have boundless expectations about where their new careers can take them.
Hello, are you daft?! People in India are not a subspecies of homo sapiens, they are remarkably like you guys back in the Real World. Do people in Crazy Lady’s sacred offices at the Washington Post not work together, hang out together, participate in a bit of interoffice dating, or, God forbid, understand and get one another? Because no matter where I’ve worked, that’s been going on either in front or behind the scenes whether it’s at the local Barnes and Noble or Hubby’s rarified offices in downtown DC. Is it really news that it could happen in India??

I could comment on how different jobs have different forms of slang that go with them but Ms. Crazy Lady might not understand that since she also doesn’t seem to realize that people in India have been saying “No probs, yaar” for ages. After all, generally speaking, you spend more time at work than you do at home with your own family and you have to find new things to say to one another at least once in a while.
And in a best-selling novel, "One Night @ The Call Center," two BPO workers quit to open their own company, saying they were sick of working all night for Americans in jobs with no potential.
Written by Chetan Bhagat, whom CL should have cited, this is honestly a great book. If any of my Call Center friends want to read this I can bring you a copy back. While filled with some things only people in India would fully “get,” it is also endlessly hilarious when taken simply as a Call Center book: things like evil customers, the internal joy you feel when you realize that the phone system is down, and much more. That said, CL has way over simplified the plot of this book. Hell, she managed to give away part of the ending. Good job, CL.

On to page two…
Because of fears of customer identity theft and security breaches, agents leave all personal items -- pens, phones, any scraps of paper -- in lockers upon entry. They operate in highly regulated environments, including drug testing and monitored phone calls. "Tailgating" -- following someone through a door without scanning ID -- is forbidden.
Thank God that not one single company in the United States, the Washington Post included, uses drug testing. How rude and invasive would that be? *sarcasm meter will now be turned off *

Monitoring phone calls is, I hate to tell you, a vitally important part of Call Center and work reality everywhere. Doesn’t your boss at Job X ask to review your work to make sure you’re doing it correctly? Well, the recorded phone call is basically the same thing. That’s how I check that you’re doing your job up to standards (And despite what some former Team Members thought, not random ones that I made up). I, for one, am pleased that CL doesn’t need an editor to check up and review her work. Thank goodness for perfection.

Warning: Rant Ahead…

CL then goes on to mention that being a Rep is a damned hard job. She doesn’t say it in so many words but I’m here to tell you it is. Here’s the thing Mr. Desk Jockey, when you’re having a bad day or you’re tired or sick, or whatever, what do you do? You might slack off a little or even spend a paid day goofing off since you’re ahead on your current project. Rep World is a little different. We have stats that must be maintained daily – one day of goofing off can mess me up for an entire month. (Not to mention mess up my entire team’s stats!)

We have to take calls for 7-plus hours a day with no breaks in between. “Not Ready” and “Make Busy” time negatively affect my stats, which negatively affect me and my job and even you Mr. Caller. After all, if I’m in Not Ready with my head down for 30 seconds because my boyfriend broke up with me that means that you’re on hold waiting for me for 30 seconds. You and my boss can fight over who is madder at me later. In case you think I’m exaggerating, just ask the many people I have sent an email or pop-up to demanding to know why they’ve been in “Not Ready” mode for 2 minutes. It’s true.

End of Rant.
Supervisors motivate members of their teams with positive feedback and occasional gifts for good performance. As Khaneja offered a tour of his floor, decorated in balloons and a NASCAR theme to celebrate a new client, he gestured toward a glass case displaying employee perks: a silver flask, an Adidas T-shirt, Brut cologne.
I feel bad that Crazy Lady was never given a perk or gift by her boss. Here’s a *hug* from me to make up for it. Is it so difficult to think that Indian companies wouldn’t provide employee perks? Are such Call Centers supposed to be heartless sweatshops?
The Long Island iced tea plus an order of fish and chips totaled $13, a bit more than the average weekly income in India. But Pundir, the daughter of mango farmers, earns about $20,000 annually. "It is good money at the end of the day," said Pundir, who abandoned her MBA studies because she saw a better career path in call centers. "In 4 1/2 years, I've risen through the ranks."
I did a wee bit ‘o research into this before I began this blog and let me tell you that Ms. Mango is one very well paid Indian Call Center Representative. Nearly all are paid much less than that – try 20,000 rupees per month. Which isn’t to say that they’re being under or over paid – the cost of living is much different here than it is back home. That is just a fact of life. I can buy groceries for a week for under $10 including veggies here; I can barely get the staples for that back home. Different countries, different standards of living. One isn’t better than the other – they’re just different.

There were a few more things to mock in CL’s article but I feel that I’ve been mean enough already. Since today’s blog will trackback (unlike my previous jibes at her) she’ll probably actually read this… or not. It isn’t that she hasn’t done her homework, I’m sure she has. The cubicle photo in the article is very reminiscent of my cube in Maryland (Not the really great big one Lady J, the little ones before that). It is simply that she seems to think that her audience and her subject are both very stupid. India is too silly to realize that America is subverting its culture with outsourcing and America is too naive to realize that things on the subcontinent are more like they are at home than some people think.

“Thank you for being a Wandering The World customer. This is Delhi Typ0. How may I help you?”

Saturday, March 25, 2006

A Muse Me

Have you ever had writer’s block? Not just “I don’t know how to start/work on/finish this essay” type writer’s block. I’m talking about full on “I can’t write a sentence that inspires me to write another let alone read the first” style writer’s block. If you know what I’m talking about, well then high five my friend. If you don’t know what I’m talking about – you suck and may the Muses desert you in your time of need.

That’s write… err… right, I have had a severe and unrelenting inability to compose anything even slightly readable. It isn’t as if I have a grave shortage of topics: India itself provides me with a multitude every time I step outside, from annoying beggars who can’t take a growl for a hint to stupid workmen who think that I haven’t managed to pick up any Hindi in the last 9 months and don’t understand it when they insult me to my face. No, there’s lots to talk about – I just don’t know how.

Shall I describe how perfect the weather is despite the fact that the thermometer reads 35 degrees Celsius? But then I’d have to admit that I’m forever sweating when we go out for walks in the afternoon. Of course that would require a moment of honesty in admitting that I don’t actually walk outside much unless I have to. Which would require a bit of self-defense since I’m not a lazy git (Shut up, Hubby!), it’s just really bloody hot outside and I hate sweating. But then I’d look at my initial statement about the nice weather and realize that due to my spate of honesty, I’d have to scrap the entire blog due to the fact that its premise, while partially true, isn’t entirely true unless one takes into account how lovely and cool my apartment can be. (Of course then I’d have to admit and realize simultaneously that that was the longest run-on sentence ever.)

So you can see where this abandonment by fickle Muses is getting on my nerves. I mean, it isn’t as if I’m trying to comment on anything quite so intellectual as the Shrub’s many wars, the annual seal hunt in my Maple Leaf waving home of Canada, or even something as silly yet intriguing as South Park’s Chefgate. I just want to wax poetic (dang I'll even take unpoetic) about the hotness of cricket players in Australia, the blissfulness of eating at Il Diva in GK2, and Hubby’s weird new obsession with the movie Shaun of the Dead.”

So Dearest Reader, I apologize for my lack of blogs this week, I did, after all, promise to write to you more regularly. But until Little Miss Muse gets back from her vacation, I am without ability to write coherently or even incoherently about anything of interest to either of us. Sorry ‘bout that.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Command Me

This is now my 3rd attempt at writing a blog today. The first one was a really whingy explanation of why I still don’t have hot water after all these months. (Although it did include an amusing anecdote about tricking/gifting hubby with a one night stay at the Oberoi Hotel so that I could use the shower there.) The second was an angrier version of the first and included a laundry list of reasons as to why I hate my landlord and his condescending attitude toward women and me in particular.

Since this is now Blog 3.0 I have decided to try and put a happier spin on the fact that my apartment is falling down around me. (No hot water, the light in the kitchen doesn’t work, the lights in the stairwell have been dead for eons etc.) But I’m not sure on exactly how to do that.

Then somebody sent me these Commandments for Expat Living. I’m not sure what the source material is so I apologize for not giving credit where it may be due. In the mean time, I thought I’d share these new Commandments and my thoughts on why some of them are almost as silly as that “honor thy mother and father” nonsense the first time around. (Just kidding, Dad!)


1. Thou shalt not expect to find things as thou hast them at home for verily, thou hast left home to explore different things.

I realize that I left home and civilization behind me but Hubby promised that I’d have freaking hot water like you guys do in the real world!

2. Thou shalt not take anything too seriously, for a carefree mind is essential for a healthy body.

I’m not too sure about the carefree mind part but I’ll buy the not taking life too seriously part for a lakh.

3. Thou shalt not let other expats get upon thy nerves, for one or both of you art likely to be transferred soon anyway.

Why didn’t somebody tell me this one months and months ago? Is it my fault that not everybody is perfect like me? (No comments from the Peanut Gallery please. Just be nice Devoted Readers and agree with me for a change!)

4. Though shalt refrain from acting exceedingly high and mighty, for thou art the same person you were before you had maids and drivers.

I’m not entirely sure that I believe this one. Not having to argue with Hubby about whose turn it is or isn’t to do the dishes and who left all the “stuff” lying around the living has helped create a happier marriage with at least one less fight per week. That makes me a better person… Or something like that.

5. Thou shalt not buy everything you see; thou already hast a houseful of things stored in your home country.

I am so positive that Hubby paid them to put this one in here. One little painting (or two) does not a spending spree make.

6. Thou shalt not sit and mope and feel unwanted or unskilled; there art many people who would be grateful for your donations of time and energy.

I believe that we have already had the discussion about how I don’t do good deeds. Ok so I do give my time to charities and several organizations here in town – but I do it out of boredom and a desire to be needed. Of course that may have been the point of Commandment… On second thought, never mind this commentary after all.

7. Thou shalt not worry, for he that worrieth hath no pleasure and few things are ever fatal.

I worry therefore I am.

8. When in India, thou shalt be prepared to do somewhat as the Indians do.

Some things. Not all. Trust me, if you guys knew some of the local customs (ex. How to wipe after going to the washroom.) you’d follow my example and vote real world over India world.

9. Thou shalt not judge the people of a country by the one person who has given thee trouble.

Again, something I think Hubby asked them to put here. I get it. I learned my lesson. I agree. Are you happy now?!

10. Remember that thou art a guest in foreign lands, and he that treateth his host with respect shall be honored.

I have no problems on this one. I treateth my host with oodles of respect – when She treats me the same way. Grrrr No hot water. Grrrrrrr

Now go forth now, my children (aka Devoted Readers), and spread the Good Word. For God created the Exapt - and it was good.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Typ0 Mahal

Today’s episode of Blog doesn’t really come under the heading of current events. Hell, at this point almost a year has passed since Hubby and I started our Indian adventure. When we started this little sojourn it began as a brief two-week trip to Delhi in the blisteringly hellish heat of June. It was under these oven-like conditions that Hubby and I set out for that great Mecca of Indian travel: the Taj Mahal.

The Taj (as everybody here calls it) is located in the town of Agra, which, as Hubby has often opined, is a bit of a dump. Agra Fort and the Taj are both World Heritage Sites and therefore quite well maintained – but not so much with the town they’re located in thus Hubby’s dumpish observations. That said, they do have good, strong beer in Agra from what we’ve heard.

Before I get too far into the history of Taj I’m going to interrupt for a moment to once again describe the heat of that late June day. Now, you may have realized by now that there are no photos of either Hubby or I on this blog as a rule but especially not of this trip. Why? Because, as my mother so kindly pointed out upon seeing them, there isn’t a single one where I don’t look bloody miserable and/or ready to die from heat exhaustion.

So back to our story... Agra is a long, four-hour drive away from Delhi and requires that you either get up at 5 a.m. for a day trip or leave at 10 a.m. and spend an entire weekend. Having done the former, I highly recommend the latter. Doing Agra as a day trip is a long ass, tiring day. But I will admit that it is probably worth it in the end.

First off I’ll share a bit of boring history that will explain, once and for all, why women are the stronger and smarter of the species. (Please note that this is the Delhi Typ0 version of the story and may or may not reflect a great deal of actual history.) Basically on her death, Mumtaz, the beloved wife of Shan Jahan, told her husband that in addition to never marrying again he also needed to build her a kick-ass monument. So being the incredibly powerful king (and whipped husband) he was, he shrugged his shoulders and set to building his now famous monument to love: the Taj Mahal. It took over 20 years and a lot of big time cash to build the Taj but it still wasn’t enough for our Shah, he wanted a second mausoleum: this time in black. You’ll note that there is no second Taj Mahal in black and this is basically because his son got pissed off at his father’s spending policy and overthrew him. But really all that isn’t important because in the end Mumtaz got her snazzy death digs!

Cool facts you may not have known about the Taj: it isn’t actually entirely white. Many of the marble inlays are really beautifully colored but you can’t see it unless you’re really close up. The detail work in the carvings is phenomenal in and of themselves but especially when you consider that this thing was built before modern conveniences that would make the process, even today, still cumbersome and time consuming. Go Indian ingenuity!

After you go through the gates (which have a fancy official name that I can’t remember in my current un-inebriated state) you’re confronted with the wonder that is the Taj Mahal. When we went back in June the water feature in front of the mausoleum, which is so often pictured as iridescent blue, was rather dirty and greenish. The gardens that line the approximately 1 kilometer walk (it may be more or less than this but we were so hot it felt like 10) were beautiful and lush. There were no pleasant breezes to mark our journey but we didn’t initially even notice this as we were so entranced by the beauty and wonder of the Taj.

It should not be forgotten that this beautiful building is in fact, a mausoleum – dead people hang out here. So as you finally reach the building, you are asked to remove your shoes and walk barefoot on the steaming hot marble tiles. Unfortunately, from this point, we don’t have a lot to share. Because of the heat we walked in and stayed only long enough to appreciate the beauty of the place then we walked out and I whined until we found some shade and respite from the Indian Oven. (Basically I whined for about 5 minutes as there is no shade to be found anywhere on the grounds.) (Hubby wants to note that he thinks that it was closer to 15 minutes. Hmmph!)

I’ve seen photos of the Taj Mahal before and thought that it was pretty but seeing it in person gives me a whole new appreciation for its status as a Wonder of the World. This thing is huge. And it isn’t just hunks of marble stacked up, this building has detail work and intricacies that would be amazing if they were fashioned today let alone back in the mid 1600’s.

Long story short (too late!) when you come visit us, you have to see the Taj Mahal: just not in late June when 40 degrees Celsius has people commenting on how mild the temperature is that day.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The New Nerd King

I used to tease Hubby that he was the King of the Nerds. I was wrong.

SALEM, Va. - A high school student Tuesday recited 8,784 digits of Pi — the non-repeating and non-terminating decimal — likely placing him among the top Pi-reciters in the world.

Gaurav Rajav, 15, had hoped to recite 10,790 digits and set a new record in the United States and North America. But he remembered enough to potentially place third in national and North American Pi recitation and 12th in the world.

His ranking should be verified by the Pi World Ranking List within two months.

"I'm kind of disappointed, but I guess I did OK," said Gaurav, a junior at Salem High School.

But his mathematical feat won the praise of others, including the math and computer science teacher who got Gaurav interested in it.

"I'm still stunned," said Linda Gooding, one of three contest judges. She then joked, "That's a couple more than I can do."

Gaurav began memorizing Pi while a student in Gooding's class. Gooding holds the competition every year, and said she expected students to learn about 40 digits. Gaurav recited nearly 2,990 the first time.

Gaurav's parents promised him an Xbox 360 video game console if he had reached his goal. His father, Jogesh Rajav, jokingly offered to get him "an Xbox, but no game."

But Gaurav ultimately turned town his mother Seema's offer to buy him the game system anyway because of their deal.

He will try for the record again in May.
There are so very many things to mock here: from the giving back of his Xbox, to the mere fact that there is a society of people that actually think that he is cool. This kid is oh so very scary.

King Hubby of the Nerds has been deposed. Long live King Gaurav of the Even Bigger Nerds!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holi

Hubby is home from work today in honor of the messy and colorful holiday known as Holi. (Pronounced like holy.) There are actually religious and historical references I could give you to explain Holi but that’s pretty boring and I don’t feel like looking it up on the Internet.

Holi, for those of you who haven’t experienced it in person, is an annual festival of color. Basically, everybody goes outside and throws rainbows of paint on one another so that by the end of the day, you look like a color chart from pink and purple shoes to blue and orange eyebrows.

The methods used for dispensing the colors vary and include Supersoakers (I kid thee not), special Holi paint spatter-ers, colored paint dust, water balloons, and basically anything people can get their hands on. Yesterday, and for the last week or so, Khan Market was abuzz with people buying water pistols and paint tubes for today’s revelry.

It really does look like fun and everybody wears old clothes to ensure that there are no hard feelings. Oddly, there actually appear to be rules to this occasion. Our car, to date, remains unmolested, as does our door. We are not participating and people are generally respectful (if disdainful) of our killjoy attitude.

Needless to say, Hubby and I have locked ourselves inside the house. We have been enjoying Holi by watching the adults and kids in the park across from our apartment bedeck each other in paint. So far, the doorbell has only rung twice and we’ve been careful to assure ourselves who was there before opening the door. A better plan in theory than in action it turned out.

When the second bell sounded, we looked out the window and saw a car parked directly in front of our door. Figuring that it must be somebody we knew or at least something important, I sent Hubby down to see what was up. That is when he got Holi-ed.

Two of our friends, Kiwi and her Indian husband, took it upon themselves to make sure that we fully immersed ourselves in Indian culture for the day. Kiwi used perfumed powder paint to streak our faces Holi pink while Indian Husband, in his own paint spattered HSBC shirt, laughed at us. We thanked them by serving them mango juice and snacks before sending them off to see their next victims.

Holi is now almost over. The only evidence that this day ever passed is the splotches of paint that dot the roads and Holi-dyed shirts hanging from laundry lines. All in all, this may well be the coolest Indian holiday we’ve experienced.

Happy Holi.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

My Deal with God

I agreed that I would try to be more like bran and post here regularly now that I’ve turned over a new curry leaf… or something like that. Tomorrow is a HOLIday (a joke I’ll fill you in on later) so I thought that I’d take you site seeing then. For today, I think I’ll stick with something you’re all a little more familiar with: a Typ0 has been drinking again story.

Every year around this time the Catholic Church likes to remind us that we’re enjoying life too much. As punishment for our happiness, we Catholics are asked to deprive ourselves for 5 weeks (aka 40 days and 40 nights) of that which makes us most joyful. They call this relaxing time of year, “Lent.” (Well, that might be the deprivation talking as opposed to actual theology but it’s pretty close to the jist of the thing.)

As Lent Eve (aka Mardi Gras) dawned, I was sick as a dog and on antibiotics, which meant in addition to taking a week to get well I was unable to drink alcohol for a week or so. That in mind, I reflected on things that I could give up for Lent that wouldn’t kill me… err… I mean that God would find a deserving and suitable sacrifice.

I thought about chocolate and realized that with at least 2 possible weeks of PMS during Lent even God would consider that going above and beyond. I next contemplated giving up making the bed, to which Hubby observed that I never do this anyways and it probably wouldn’t count. Darn loop holes! Hubby then piped up that my Coke (aCola) habit was keeping that company in business and could do with a short break. I thought about it and rejected this idea since I don’t think that anybody really wants to know what I’d be like without my morning caffeine jolt.

As I popped my 3rd Flagil of the day and thought about washing it down with a glass of Rum Punch it occurred to me: I would give up alcohol for Lent! After all for the first week of the holiday I couldn’t drink anyways or I’d end up in the hospital. This medical loophole seemed like a good forfeit for God.

I would now like to flash forward to that Friday… I still couldn’t drink and Hubby and I visited our new favorite Vodka bar with some friends. I had a Coke and everybody else had Vodka. (Except Hubby who had wine but he’s weird so we won’t go there.) After finishing up the evening sober we went home and planned our lovely, alcohol (for me) free weekend. How fun.

Let us now hurry onto the following Thursday. I started the morning at the Organization office working on the newsletter and sipping a can of Coke. After getting little to nothing done, I decided to go to lunch with my friend Letter at TGI Fridays in Basant Lok. While not a great restaurant it was near the Airtel office and I had a bill to pay.

Letter and I were seated and handed the cocktail menu. At this point all I could remember was that it was Thursday and I had been off my antibiotics for the requisite three days. This in mind, she and I each drank two Santa Fe Sunrises (aka frozen margaritas) with lunch. Some time in the middle of the first Sunrise I realized my oops and ordered my second. Double oops!

As Hubby and I got ready for dinner that night I confessed my alcoholic sin. Oddly, Hubby was ecstatic. He announced that my new Lenten promise would be to give up pop. Of course, I had already had a can Coke that day so that seemed rather like a cheat but one I was willing to take.

Well it took for about a day at any rate. That’s when the lack of bubbly happiness started to make me grumpy. So I made a compromise with Hubby and God: I would give up regular pop and only drink diet soda.

So God, here’s the thing, giving stuff up for five whole weeks is way, way too hard. You can’t actually expect anybody to succeed at this sick endeavor. It is now the 3rd (?) week of Lent and I’m on my 3rd Lenten promise. I promise to keep this one up for as long as possible if you promise to keep “Becker” off the airwaves here in India. Deal?

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Return of Slacker Girl

Ok, I admit it: I’m a giant slacker girl. I have not blogged or emailed anybody in months. Flog me, beat me, or, worse yet, deprive me of chocolate: it is nothing less than I deserve for ignoring you my wonderful friends, family and dedicated readers.

I could give you excuses like: I’m lazy, or I’ve been blah, or I finally found some semblance of a life. All of these excuses would be true to a point but taken together they’re closer to the truth than I’m likely to get in this venue.

So what’s been going on in my life? Well, I’m pregnant. No, no I’m not! Mum, please stop hyperventilating I’m kidding! I swear I would call you before I announced such a thing online... or at least SMS you.

The truth of the matter is that I have become a true Delhite in the last few months. I love Delhi and I love living here. I’ve been taking parts in tour groups, joining societies and getting myself voted onto the boards of organizations. And, of course, I’ve been practicing my favorite of all hobbies: doing lunch. We have really cool friends here and have been participating in sports (Ok, that one is Hubby not me), and going out to dinner and evening drinks (That one is me!) with alarming regularity. Lest my parents worry, we have also been eating-in more and rediscovered the joy of cooking.

Which, of course, brings us to the news many of you may know by now. We are moving again. In just a few months, our wandering will take us to Nairobi, Kenya for span of time I hope will exceed the brief flash we’ve spent here in Delhi. This move has made Hubby very happy. I just hope that will sustain him when I go into insane mode during the packing phase of our relocation. Muhahahaha!

You guys are probably wondering what this means for you. Well, strictly speaking nothing. I mean you’re not the ones who are actually moving. But in a deeper, sweeter manner of speaking it means that you can all plan to go on safari and visit us in Kenya.

I have also pledged to be a better Blogger Bitch while we get ready for the big day. Which means that you can look forward to lots of stories about traveling in India, the seedier sides of Delhi, how I broke my Lenten promise because I’m a lush but then re-promised something else only to tweak it again to make it easier, and even stories about how I can’t wear a Sari without supervision.

I sincerely hope that you will all forgive me for not blogging and, worse yet, not emailing those of you to whom I owe emails and letters. I am… I was a lazy slacker. But no more! I have turned over a new leaf and will heretofore be known as… well whatever the opposite of lazy slacker is. :D