Monday, August 31, 2009

Funny Things!

It's been a while since I've done a "Funny Things" post, so I thought it was about time :)
This picture (below) makes me laugh for a few reasons. It's funny just because there are a bunch of cops crammed into this rickshaw... but it's funniest to me because there is a cop sitting in the front seat with the driver - which is against the law! haha! I have a picture of the cops breaking the law ;)
Another rickshaw picture :) This guy was headed to the bus or train station with is luggage. He looks a little funny all crammed into this rickshaw with his luggage... but look closely at the bottom of his pant leg ...
I've never seen a zipper at the bottom of a pair of pants before - not sure why it's there or what it's purpose is - but it makes me laugh :) Would you zip your pants closed or the end of your pants together? hmm...
Misspellings always make me laugh :) This is on a middle of a busy road... I think it's also funny that it used to say "parking" at the top... hmm... haha!
This one may not be that funny, but it makes us laugh :) Usually with alphabet books, Xx is usually "xylophone" or "x-ray"... this one has Xylophone but also has X-mas tree! haha! That makes me laugh :)
So one Saturday morning we went to the Netherlands Embassy for a garage sale (sounds weird hunh?). They were selling and auctioning things off - it was pretty crazy! There was something that stood out to me in the picture below that made me laugh...
Here's a closer look... yes, tire chains... you know for snow?? Hmm... for a semi-arid HOT city, that's a funny thing to try to sell :) Sure, we have a couple months that are colder... but not cold enough to snow muchless to need chains on your tires :) haha! (it's like trying to sell tire chains in Mexico or Northern Africa or something :) haha!)
Just thought I'd share a few things that make me laugh :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Around Town

I bring my camera with me everywhere - you never know when you're going to see something interesting :) So I have a bunch of pictures that I've taken randomly around town :)
These guys were sitting in the parking garage - I thought it was fun the way they were sitting :)
This is the broom guy :) He goes down our street every day selling brooms, squeegees and a few other things like that on his bicycle :)
There are certain times of the day that the buses are very crowded - especially if it has been raining. You can see the guys hanging out of the bus - one guy only has one hand and one foot to hold on with!!
This monkey was chillin' on some parked cars at a market the other day :)
You never know what will be on the road. There are always different carts (like the one below) on the roads. This one was a motorized bicycle with a whole family on the cart :) It was cute :) It was really fast too, this was the best pic I could get of it :)
This is a slum in an area of the Capital that we'll be hanging out more in. It's a lot smaller than the one that's shown in Slumdog Millionaire - but it's still a very big one.
Here's a close up in the slum - I attracted a lot of attention with my camera :)
This is one of my favorite markets. These guys are dying and drying dupattas (scarfs) they're making. I thought it looked cool :)
I love these things. I can't remember what kind of metal they're made out of ... it's black and REALLY heavy and they inlay silver designs in it - it's so cool! They make animals, vases and all kinds of cool stuff. They way a TON though! This guy was inlaying the silver at his booth - it was neat :)
I like this picture :) We were out buying fruit & veggies at our fave veggie store :)
So that's a bit of our life around town the last couple of weeks :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Friends :)

This is just a very random post of some of our friends... Here's our buddy Deepansh (above & with another friend below). They came over the other day and got to play the Wii for the first time :) They really liked the boxing :)
My friend AJ was over the other day and wanted to do some Mehindi (henna) on my hand :) Aashini was very interested in it :)
Our friend AJ was just recently making a film. One of the days we were there with her, she was shooting at a kid's play place :)
It's a fun place down the street from us called "Kid Rock" :) It was funny, they had REALLY loud kids music playing while they filmed.
While they were filming some of it, Aashini got to play :) Here she is dancing to the loud music :)
The ball pit was crazy! I don't think I've ever seen a ball pit with big balls like that before :) Very fun :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dosas!

I always seem to crave something random while pregnant. Last pregnancy it was cricket & guacamole burritos - this pregnancy it's Dosas! In our country the food in the North is very different from the food in the South. Dosas are Southern food. Most people here up North don't make Southern food their homes very often, so you have to eat it out :) One of my fave place to get Dosas is Haldirams. It's yummy :)
So what is a Dosa? A Dosa is basically a crepe made from rice and black lentils. There are many different side dishes that are served with it. This one is served with Sambar & Coconut Chutney. There are a bunch of different kinds of Dosas but my favorite is the Masala Dosa :) They used to serve potatoes on the side of some Dosas a long time back, but then at one time there was a potato shortage, so the cooks would mash up the potatoes and mix in spices and onions with it BUT since many devout Hindus and Jains in that area don't eat onions, they hid them INSIDE the dosa (like the picture below).... and now it's the "Masala Dosa" :)

Dosas come in all shapes and sizes - you can even get HUGE ones for you and your entire table to share!Anyway, just thought I'd show you one of the fun things I love about food here :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Car Fun!?!

We have a car! Some friends left the Capital and we got their car. We've had it for about 4 months now and it has really helped us out! We have been traveling a lot over the Capital lately (which is 621 sq miles - half the size of Rhode Island) and it has been hard to take rickshaws for that far or try to get a taxi for the day, etc. So it has really helped us out a lot and we've been able to do a LOT more! yay!
Here's our car - it's a Tata Sumo...When we first got it, it really stunk inside! I'm not sure what the smell was or what made it go away either :) In the evenings, people on the street sell Jasmine flowers on strings and peddle them to you while you're sitting at the traffic lights. They smell awesome and people put them in their cars to make them smell better :) We use them a lot!
So, with having a car comes new & interesting adventures too... for example, we locked our keys in the car the other day :) We didn't mean to (but who ever means to - haha!). When you put the car in drive, it automatically locks. Well, Adam turned on the car the other day to get the AC going while we got Aashini in the car. For some reason (even though the car wasn't in drive), when Adam closed the door, the doors locked. So... we were stuck in a parking garage with our car running with the keys in the ignition... nice! Adam was going to run home while I sat with the car, but the "Engineers" for the parking garage came to the rescue and broke into our car really quickly! haha! We're glad we have a lock on our gear shift - that was too easy to break into!
Driving in the Capital can be quite crazy! On the road at any time there are cars, bikes, motorcycles/scooters, busses, etc. There are also animals - dogs, cows & buffalo with the occasional Camel & Elephant. There are lines on the road, but they aren't used. Pretty much with traffic, your job is to fill in the empty spaces in front of you. Your job is to look forward and drive. You honk your horn to let people in front of you know you're behind them. It's pretty fun :) Traffic jams aren't fun though! The other night Adam got stuck in this traffic jam (below).... it was raining so the streets were full of water and traffic was moving slow, so people were going whenever the wanted (not paying attention to the traffic lights). There was one cop there (our friend was surprised that there was even one there - he said that the police don't work in the rain! haha!). It was crazy. Adam was stuck for 2 hours and not moving, so he parked his car and walked home and came back to get it a couple hours later :)
You can see in the pic above that everyone is outside of their cars trying to direct the traffic - haha! Quite the adventure :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

7 Years!

7 years! It's hard to believe that we've been married that long already :) A lot has happened in those last 7 years! Before we got married I had never lived outside of Tallahassee, FL (except for a few summers abroad). Since we've been married we've lived:
1.5 Years - New Orleans, LA
1.5 Years - Slidell, LA
1+ Years - M-Town, South Asia
3 + Years - Capital City, South Asia
We've lived together in the Capital longer than anywhere else since we've been married :)
Adam - YOU ROCK! It's been an awesome 7 years! :)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

McDonald's!!!


So I've had some questions about McDonald's here in South Asia and what it's like :) McDonald's is really cool in the ways they adapt to the countries or cultures that they're in. In Hawaii they sell SPAM, rice & eggs as a part of their breakfast menu. In Thailand they have a Samurai Pork Burger. In South Asia we have our own special menu items too... ACTUALLY the entire menu is pretty much different than in the US. Why?? They don't serve beef here in our country at McDonald's. Here's a look at our menu...There are actually more vegetarian menu items than there are meat items. The green circles to the left of the item means it's a Veg (or vegetarian) item. The red circles mean it's "non-veg" or meat. Vegetarianism is very important to many people here in this country, so they take it very seriously at McDonald's (as well as many other restrauants that sell both veg & non-veg items). Vegetarian and meat dishes are prepared in separate areas of the restaurant in respect for vegetarians, and cooks preparing vegetarian dishes wear distinctive green aprons. Here's a close-up of the list of some of the menu items. In case you're wondering what's in some of those menu items...
- The McVeggie sandwich starts with the oh-so-familiar sesame seed bun. In between the bread, you'll find a vegetarian patty that is made from peas, carrots, green beans, red bell pepper, potatoes, onions, rice, and seasoning. This vegetarian burger is garnished with lettuce, and has mayonnaise made without eggs spread thickly on the bread.
The Aloo Tikki is a Potato Patty with peas and spices.
One of my favorites is the Veg Surprise... I have no idea what's in it :) haha!
Here are a few other menu items that aren't on the other menu:

Anyway, just thought I'd pass this on. It's fun to see things that are the same but different from the US :) Aashini loves McDonald's!

Monday, August 03, 2009

BATS!!! & the Window Mosque

The other day Adam and I were looking at Google Maps trying to find a specific place when we saw something kind of strange on the map. You can see it in the bottom right of this picture - it looks like a strange checkerboard...
At first I thought it was a mistake on Google maps (an area where they couldn't take a picture of or something) but then we found out it was a place called Khirki Masjid (Window Mosque). It's really close to the hospital, so we thought we'd check it out after an appointment the other day.
You have to park on the main road area and walk through the Khirki Village to get to it. Tucked deep into this village is the mosque. Walking up to the gate we saw buffalo, dogs, cats, birds and heard a Peacock (although it was REALLY close by, we couldn't find it)...
This mosque is really unique and is really old. It was built between 1351-1354. It was built during the Tughlaq Dynasty by Khan-i-Jahan Maqbul Tilangani, who was the Prime Minister at the time. He built 7 mosques that were really unique - this mosque included. He is very interesting. People say that the reason he was so interested in building mosques was because he was a Hindu that became a Muslim and wanted to prove himself true to Islam. This mosque is unique because most mosques have an open courtyard without a roof and this one has a crazy checkered roof!
This mosque is deserted! It's considered a historical place, so people aren't allowed to worship there anymore and the only people that would go here are school groups (rarely) and tourists (even more rare). When we walked it we notice that some of the areas were really dark. It was pretty crazy looking inside. On the far left we heard a lot of commotion. We weren't sure of what we were hearing. At first we thought it was rats (and you know how much we like rats)...
Now, I've lightened the picture above and cropped it a bit to show what we saw...
BATS!!! TONS of BATS!! it was crazy! The whole area was full of bats!! There were thousands of them! it was so cool! Aashini (our daughter that loves snakes) loved the bats! She was so excited and kept pointing and saying: "bat!! bat!!" And... in case you're wondering, yes, we do know that bats can have rabies - we didn't get too close (for too long anyway) :)
It's a really neat old mosque with a really neat history. If you're into architecture it's actually a very important place. It has been considered a precursor to Mughal architecture - pretty cool!
The architectural society of our country has been working to restore a lot of these old monuments. The problem is, many of the people doing the restoration have gotten lazy. In case you're interested, the mortar used for the restoration is supposed to be 33% lime, 66% sand but instead, it has become 50% lime mixed with 50% brick dust and resulting in PINK-looking architecture :)
They have a lot of work to do in one of the back corners where the roof has caved in.
You can see the roof in this close-up from Google Maps (it's the top right corner). Google Maps is cool!
Anyway, it was a really neat place to check out. We had fun exploring :)
Aashini had fun too :)



More adventures to come!