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11/30/2012

Getting high security plates

A few months after buying a car, you need to get your “high security” plate.

It seemed obvious to the Hyundai staff that they were not the ones giving me the plates and they would not have even told me hadn’t I insisted. They laughed a lot, but finally wrote down the details…

I could tell another adventure was coming up…

 

I understood why they were laughing when I arrived to the place. I appreciated that they had given me enough details for my GPS to find the place. Because the shop was tiny. But you could guess it was there by seeing at last twenty guys pressed against the railings and holding some papers in the air.

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I tried to mingle in the crowd – I am not easily scared! And I was half hoping they would be nice enough to let a foreigner go first. No such thing. We were fighting for our lives there. But I managed to catch the attention of an employee and he let me inside, took my paper, and asked me to wait in my car.

I waited. When they arrived to put the plates, I went out. One old fatty came to me and started speaking to me, too fast and too loud. I finally understood that he wanted me to remove my bag from the passenger seat as the window was open and somebody could easily fetch it!

In any case, five guys started fighting – God knows why – and I went back to the safety of my car…

But my mission was accomplished! Next: the pollution thing and the driving license. Need a few weeks to gather the energy...


 

 

11/28/2012

The LIT lady gang of Friday nights

It took me a long time to find friends in Delhi…

There are a lot more foreigners in Delhi than Mumbai but one party with French people where I must have been tired or something, and I was done with them!

 

I had kind of become friend with my broker. But one day she invited me for dinner with her 2 kids and she somehow scolded us all for not thanking her for cooking. It is not like I had not already thanked a dozen times nor offered to help! Anyways she was desperate to open a crepe restaurant with me and though it is not a bad idea, I didn’t feel it…

 

Then, one day, a work relation of mine offered to go for drinks instead of our usual work lunch. Not knowing what to expect, I offered to go slow and order some wine. Seeing our face, I said, well, we could also order Long Island Iced Tea (LIT). I had found the magic word!

 

To put it back in the context, the Long Island Iced Tea is a killer cocktail with: 13% gin, 13% vodka, 13% white rhum, 13% triple sec, 13% tequila, 26% Coke, 9% lemon juice. And she drank 3 of them like it was milk!

 

Though we were still a bit shy with each other, we decided to meet again the next Friday. Chasing LITs led us to climb a lot of stairs – as bars in Hauz Khas are in very high altitude and not all of them serve our drink. To end up the night, we were denied the entrance of the Buddha Bar (B-Bar as they call it here, in respect for Buddha) because they don’t allow walkins. First time ever I was thrown out of anywhere. I have entered so many places in salwar kameez and flip flops but here no, even well dressed!

 

We decided again to meet the next Friday, at her “club”. A few of her friends joined us. Among them two sisters. And with them, the LIT lady gang of Friday nights was born!!


So we have X., 36 years old, entrepreneur, married, one kid, not happy with her husband.

Y., 36 years old, childhood friend of S., entrepreneur, married, 2 kids, super happy with her husband.

Z., 32 years old, sister of Y., marketing manager, divorcee (of a Mallu – from Kerala) and a Leo like me.
And me, 30, the foreigner, going through a “Gorilla on the loose” phase.

A nice array of girls, really!!

 

And we all cherish our Friday nights!! If by tragedy we can’t make it all of us, we make it on Thursday or Saturday!

We even thought of making it on Tuesdays as well but since we all work, it might be difficult…

 

Cheers!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

11/24/2012

Tir(ing) stories

For those who follow, I have been driving since June.

I have become expert in overtaking these bloody cycle-rickshaws but I still get a shock when the car in front of me suddenly pulls out and I find myself face to face with a cow, or a zebu, quite numerous in my industrial area.

My car is my freedom. I love it. I love driving. But more than that, it was quite necessary in such a big and spread city as Delhi. Here you get space (compared to Mumbai) but the price for it is that there are not too many things at leg’s reach.

But my car has also brought its share of hassles. Firstly you need to wash it every day otherwise you don’t recognize it. For instance, I have not been washing the roof of it for some time and it looks like it is wearing a white wig. Classy… Obviously, no one washes their car themselves – for 8 euros (500 rupees), anyone can do it for you. But I haven’t taken the time to look for someone and beside I like this intimate moment with my car. Except that it usually happens that I am in a rush and well-dressed when I have to wash it…

Small other hassles are there, like when an asshole flattens your tires regularly… The first time it happened, I didn’t realize I had a flat tire. A colleague of mine had to tell me. Alright, I had realized that there was something wrong, could just not figure out what exactly. So what do you do with a punctured tire in India huh?? Since I am a girl and quite tired, I would have liked to sit and cry like if the world had collapsed.

But a colleague of mine and our watchman took care of it and changed the tire. Then I went to the petrol pump but they didn’t deal in tires. They told me about a place that seemed very far – no change I would ever find it. So I listened to my conscience and went to the petrol pump next door. And here he was, the tire walla!

I was a bit ashamed to see a twelve year old change my tire in the dark night but he did it very well! It’s okay if I am not good at everything… He could not find a puncture and put back the tire. All this for 30 rupees (less than half a euro).

The next morning, the other tire was flat. I just went back to the tire shop and he took care of it. I go back regularly since I haven’t found out who does this…

And the best part of the story is that I take things with philosophy. I think six years ago, I would have blown a fuse and made a big scandal in the neighborhood.  Now I just go to the tire walla…