Friday, August 20, 2010

What a difference a week makes

My dreams of moving to the apartment I mentioned last week crashed and burned in a really ugly fire of deception and misunderstanding. When I say ugly, I mean really, really ugly.

The landlord yelled at me. I am still not completely sure why. My coworkers are all witnesses; he went insane right before our eyes.

But that little scene sort of pushed the Shakti team into action. Clearly this apartment thing for a foreigner is a lot harder than they thought – yelling landlord as evidence. Ritu found me a new agent. Said agent took Alex and me to see three perfectly acceptable (actually, quite lovely) and reasonably priced apartments.

Alex Wang arrived last Friday evening. I was supposed to find an apartment before she got here. Oh well.

Sunday was India’s Independence Day. The PM gives a speech at the Red Fort, so we knew we didn’t want to go there.

Instead we had a lovely day at the Lotus Temple (the Baha’i temple here) and then Deer Park. The Lotus Temple is a large building shaped like a lotus flower and built out of marble. Inside is completely quiet (maybe the only place in all of Delhi!) with just the occasional echoing squawk from the few birds that managed to get inside. Very peaceful. Everyone seemed to be wearing their Sunday best, so it is good for people watching.



Then we explored the ruins of Haus Kauz. This is a village they are unearthing in the middle of Deer Park. It is apparently the first settlement (that we know of) in Delhi. The only problem is that young people hang out in the shadows and drink, so we were warned by some nice person to not go to the ground floor of one building.

We took a few minutes to watch the monsoon rains from the safety of a store awning and then had lunch in the restaurant that sits in the park.

All in all a very nice and peaceful day; exactly what I needed after last Friday.




And yesterday, we moved! Yep, I am now in an apartment. And these landlords are totally different from the guy that yelled at me. Ritu was explaining that we need the signed lease and CA can start processing their payment and their reply, “these are merely formalities.” So they let us move in when we haven’t paid them anything.

This weekend we are going to Udaipur by train. I love the train in India. O.k. I love the posh 2nd and 1st class cars of the trains in India. The lowest class car is a bit uncomfortable (I’ve been in that car more times than I care to admit).