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08/20/2012

About getting stranded and Indian hospitality

 

Four days after I got my vehicle, I had a dinner with a client in Bab-el-Oued (more than 20 kilometers from my place). And at night. And everyone telling me that it is not safe in Delhi (not safe for a girl to drive, not safe to drive at night because of the drunks who drive crazy).

 

Blessed be my Blackberry and Google Map! I arrived at my destination safely, and only 9 minutes late. Well, when I say my destination, I mean I reached the area of my destination. And when I was dialing my colleague’s number, my battery died… Oh f... And what am I gonna do now? I turn around for 20 minutes, hoping to find the restaurant by miracle. To no avail. I thus think to go back home but it would mean leaving my customer waiting for one more hour before informing him that I was cancelling and it is really not done!

 

On top of everything, it is past 8 PM, all the stores are closed...

I find a well lit electronics shop. I break like mad and park like a Parisian, enter and ask for a Blackberry charger. They show me a store opposite the road. I can’t find it. I go back to the store. I must look desperate, shaking my phone and my car keys because they offer me a seat and a charger!

I therefore spent the following twenty minutes waiting for my colleague watching Rocky on TV with the store guys that probably closed late that day just for me!

 

This is why! This is why I like the India.

08/02/2012

Martine at the wheel

Once upon a time I decided to stop struggling (like walking for half an hour in the industrial area / open air loo when there is a strike, waiting for half an hour under 45 degrees because the rickshaws are full etc.) and to buy a car. Yaaay! A car! 

 

Once I had explored the various options of cars in my budget, I went to the showrooms. And there, I was offered to try the car! Whaaat? What do you mean? What for? Oh! You think I'm gonna drive the car myself?? You’re maaad! I don't know driving on the left hand side to start with and secondly have you seen the traffic?

The sales guy probably understood nothing of my protests and simply gave me the keys and sat in the passenger seat. Well, if you take it like that my friend, let’s go!! But don’t complain if I break it okay?

 

I was so energized by this crazy adventure, that I did not only drive one car but two! And without any accident!

 

Then I decided on the car, paid etc.

 

India,Delhi,driving,car,trafficAnd one day, I had to pick it up. Past the ceremonial of the signatures, a guy asks me if I want a swastik (the Hindu cross). I hesitate for a second, it would be funny to see the car pooja (ceremony) but if it takes too long I will be stuck in the traffic and since this is the first time I am driving alone, not such a good idea...

I did not escape taking photo with my vehicle (immediately printed and framed, I kid you not), flowers and caramels. I am a little disappointed they did not sing the song (see the checklist of delivery below)...

 

India,Delhi,driving,car,traffic

India,Delhi,driving,car,traffic

 

The drive back home went well... Apart from when I had to make a u-turn and the steering wheel started to swing from top to bottom... Ooooops... And also when I had to remove the key (there was a small feint)...

I did so well that I now hesitate to take a driver! If the Indians can drive, so can I! (No offense here, in India you can buy your driving license, no need to know how to drive…)

 

And in the next morning, I hesitated a lot between going back to my rickshaw stand or driving. But like when you buy new clothes you are not sure of, it is better to wear them immediately. So I drove!!

07/30/2012

Seeing life in orange...

Here is what happens when I decide to do things differently... And dress up funny to see the Taj with my friends!!

We throw in a few ideas, most of them impractical since my friends are visiting and don't have so many clothes... And it so happens that it is only in orange that I have 3 tee-shirts!! So here we go, we will be the orange team!!

Taj002.jpg

But the story doesn't stop here... Everyone seems to have had the same idea!!

Taj001.jpg

Well actually it turns out the Shiva processions from Delhi to Haridwar have started and Agra is on the way... And the pilgrims' colour is orange...

So much for being oranginal!!

Taj003.jpg