Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Matrimonial ads

The matrimonial section of the newspaper was one of the first things I came across when I arrived in Delhi.
At first I thought it was very funny, (the Love Important one is GREAT), then I felt a little outraged at the arranged marriage concept. After learning a little more about it, I feel a little less outraged.
The main factors taken into account when arranging a marriage are age, height, personal values and tastes, the backgrounds of their families (wealth, social standing) and their casts and the astrological compatibility of the couples' horoscopes.
A marriage in India is about the marrying of the families as well as the 2 individuals.
Normally the wife lives with the husbands family, which is another relevant reason why they need to get on with each other.
In India, 1.1% of marriages result in a divorce compared with over 45.8% for the USA. This is most likely because divorce is frowned upon, but that can't explain such an enormous difference.
Many young, westernised Indians would actually prefer their mothers to pick their wives.

My softening towards arranged marriage has come from the simple reason that having similar backgrounds and values makes life a little easier and the relationship a little less complicated - there are less contentious issues.
I think that if Dan and my parents were into arranging marriages , there's a good chance we would have landed up together anyway (except that Dan is a month and 5 days younger than me - yikes).

Wikipedia has some interesting points on the subject.

Mosquito decoy

I made fake blood for a shoot at work the other day.
After half an hour a mosquito got curious and came to check out the little droplets.
He hung around for about 15 minutes, tasting and checking out my concoction.
I don't know if this shows how tenacious the Indian mosquitoes are or how good I am at making fake blood... long as they're not biting me!

My fake blood mixture consisted of:
Heiz Ketchup - no All Gold in India - boo
Red and Blue food colouring

My Indian mosquito bites thus far: 47 in three months and counting.
I left the office window open for 1 hour as the AC wasn't working and we now have a colony living with us.
I use Peaceful Sleep everyday, but still, they bite me. A colleague reckons the Indian mosquitoes dig my repellent.

I love India

This place is a photographers dream.
I see at least 10 things every day that could make incredible photos (if I stopped to take them).
Here are some I did stop to take.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How to negotiate like an Indian

Negotiating in India is a necessity. I am VERY bad at it.
The people I deal with always leave smiling.
Hopefully these tips will be helpful.

Talent or exploitation?

The Four Year Old who Ran Forty Miles

I'd vote for exploitation.
And it turned out I'd be right.
Here's what happen next.

My first Hindi words

And according to Nusrat, the Hindi translation for 'Excuse me' is 'Hello!'

Monday, April 13, 2009

Indian Summer It's the beginning...

39 degrees in April. WTF!

HOW TO BEAT THE INDIAN HEAT (before it beats the crap out of you):
- Wear loose, light cottons
- Wear light colours
- Don't wear make up
- Always carry water
- Be all old school and carry a hankerchief
- Drink nimbu pani or coconut water or other cooling drinks

- Use a parasol... mmm, parasol, great word

- Abuse your AC (but always keep a big bowl of water in the room)
- Keep a spray bottle of water in the fridge, (this can double up as a cruel joke).
- Swim swim swim - most hotels have memberships for their pools.
I'm down with The Qutab Hotel.

- Wear a hat. Especially a stylin one like I bought for my brother at KM toilet.

- Go on holiday to one of these places
- Stay inside and play abusive games
- Stay inside and google Indian Summer

Sure, we can fit a couple more!

This is a tame example of the motorbikes in Delhi.

Panicker's Travel Company

Imagine... an Indian travel company tailored for people who panic(k)...
Tranquilizers, airbags on every seat, airplane vomit bags, itinerary where every minute of every day is organised, double flights are booked just in case, the guide is also a trained psychologist... Genius.
Unfortunately their site doesn't demonstrate such a cool sense of humour.