Veg or Non Veg?
AH... it's so refreshing to be in a place where I feel that my diet is the default. All the restaurants here make distinctions on their menu between vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods. Often they will have two menus “Veg” and “Non Veg”. I love this. Of course I am still trying to be mindful of dairy, eggs and honey products but at least I always have a head start. My dosa count is 2 so far... think I should tally it up for the full year?!?!?
This is a dosa....Mmmmmmm.
The car horns are insane in Delhi. It seems that everyone is honking at each other from every direction on the road. Cars here honk to get you out of the way and also to let you know that they are moving close to your car... close is an understatement. I can see clearly marked lanes on most roads but they are not strictly followed like back home. It is common where there are two lanes to have four – five streams of traffic. The cars, trucks, motor-bikes, rikshaws, cyclists and some pedestrians are all using the same space (… most streets DO have sidewalks) and they all sort of just flutter about and cut across at their whims... but they beep to let you know first....haha. I know when it is approaching sun up in Delhi because that's when the beeping becomes more frequent. I am writing this blog now from the roof of the ISI Residence and I don't think that there has been a single second where I could not hear a horn somewhere in the distance. :)
I snapped a photo of traffic on my way out to dinner one night...
Mera naam AnnMarie hai.
So far we have had two hindi lessons and it's not soo difficult. We are split into two groups (7/8) and taught Hindi for 3 hours on most of our training days. Hindi has many different sounds and pronunciations that are so different from any language I have studied before. One of the harder ones for me involves rolling your tongue back in your mouth and hitting the roof, gums, or teeth (yes, these are distinct sounds) with the underside of the tip of your tongue.... give it a try. Some in the group have come up with some tongue-ercises to help strengthen it. I have already been able to practice some of my Hindi while exploring Delhi. Most people that I have encountered are enthusiastic and like to help me say things correctly while others just reply back to me in English...
Also, we were given a brief lessen in Indian sign language by Jennifer, a sign language interpreter vounteer and Pintoo, a VSO India employee who is hearing impaired. I can now sign the alphabet in two languages!! I am picking up words left and right as I have always been keen on signing. I think I may try to learn some on my own so that I can have more in depth conversations with Pintoo at our next trip to the VSO office on Wednesday.
Friday night was the VSO welcome dinner. The staff at the India VSO office took all the volunteers out to dinner at a South Indian restaurant... hence dosa number 2. It was great. During the dinner I had the opportunity to practice my Indian signing skills with Pintoo... I learned some news signs and I am getting better a reading and signing the Indian alphabet more quickly although it is really painful to communicate by spelling everything out no matter how fast do it. After-wards some of us stayed near the restaurant to visit a bar. (It is not really acceptable for women to be drinking in public in India but it seemed OK at this bar so I had a whiskey sour.) The bar had many levels and we mainly hung out on the roof top which was full of bean bag chairs and Christmas lights. After one very expensive drink we called it a night with a crazy cab ride home where we nearly ran over a cat near the hostel.... there was a collective 'whoooooooooaaaaa' as we swerved to avoid the kitty.
Me, Pintoo and Jen all enjoying a much welcomed drink. ;)
India Gate and Connaught Circle
The other volunteers and I took a trip to the Indi Gate and Connaught Circle on our first Saturday. We stopped at the Gate first and had a quick look around and snapped some photos, it's a momument... what else can I say? We then made our way down to Connaught Circle which is at the heart of New Delhi. It literally is a cricle too... look it up on google maps. This is where they have a lot of shops... mainly for tourists so the prices are a little high. The girls and I were eager to get to a scarf shop and we found one with a pretty good selection at a reasonable price (40rs per scarf... which would be just under a dollar. ) I purchased two... one blue, one green...they are Indian cotton. We strolled about the shops and stopped for lunch at an Indian/Chinese restaurant. I had a delicious fusion dish which turned out to be what I think is equivalent to veggie “meat”balls. They were balls of mashed veggies that were fried and prepared in a spicy schesuan sauce and they were delicious... a little burny but it was actually something I could handle. Mmmm, afterward the girls were tired and headed back to the hostel. I decided to stay to find some books and find some books I did... had a good read too :P
A market place near the circle.
I have decided to base my blog titles from song lyrics... lyrics from songs that I have listened to in and around the time of the post. I think this will help convey my mood and what I'm feeling... seems like something I would do eh? I have subtitles anyway... it seems that I have a little to say about a lot of things so this format seems to work best for me. Also, try listening to the songs I use for titles, I think it will help us stay connected. :)
Song from title: My Favourite Chords by The Weakerthans