Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I'm on my first work trip for my new-ish job this week, in Pokhara, Nepal! This is the view I get to wake up to in the mornings.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wah wah.

My bathroom is grossing me out. This is one of the things that comes along with living in India. No matter what I do, no matter how much I clean, no matter if I move to a new apartment in large part because my old bathroom was gross, my bathroom will always, apparently, make me want to vom.

Allow me to paint a picture. When anyone in my house flushes their toilet, I can hear the water gurgling past the two nearly open drains in my floor. I don't know why I say nearly...they're gaping holes about 4 inches in diameter, barely covered by flimsy, moveable, metal grates. There is a smell associated with this. The open drain phenomenon isn't just at my house - from what I can tell it is the norm.

Recently that drain became a breeding ground for what I've identified as 'bathroom flies'. There are like 30 of these things floating around my shower every morning. Of course bathroom flies are only one of the species of bugs to have invaded my bathroom. There are ants, too. Lots of them. And, perhaps even more cringe-inducing than ants in a bathroom, these things:

(Apologies for the poor quality photo. But then would you really want a better one?)
It's like a worm inside a concrete shell. Apparently it's called a 'plaster bagworm'. So far I have seen four. If I see more...I don't know. I hope I don't.

Maybe this wouldn't matter that much if I had hot water, which for some unidentifiable reason, I do not. It would matter even less if I had any stable water supply, really. Instead, we run out every evening owing to some ongoing feud between residents of my flat and the maintenance guy. So half of the day my bathroom serves only as a damp breeding ground for numerous species of bugs.

I really shouldn't complain. Before I moved to India, I'd never even had my own bathroom, like I do now. This one has a Western style shower and ample counter space (not to mention hilarious wall tiles depicting pink dolphins frolicking in pink waves). And half of the time I'm at TB's, with a brand new, spa-like, bug-free bathroom. All in all, I could do worse. But sometimes a girl wants to throw a pity party. Thanks for indulging. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Cold Coffee

My latest obsession - Depaul's coffee. Apparently this cold coffee brand is a Delhi institution. It's bottled in central Delhi and then sold at the store there or in certain restaurants around the city. It probably wouldn't pass any safety inspections (bottle not sealed, cold chain unlikely), but omg it tastes so good I don't even care. 

p.s. A note about cold coffee: It's not iced coffee, it's not an iced latte, it's something altogether different and magical. It tastes like a milkshake and has the consistency of chocolate milk. You can get it at any coffee shop or restaurant in Delhi, not just Depaul's. I highly recommend trying it if you happen to be passing through.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Working from home

I'm working from home these days, which is a bit tricky for me. While I'm perfectly capable of completing most work-related tasks at home (e-mail, research, Excel magic), I simply cannot write. When I was writing my grad school application essays I had so much trouble writing at home that I snuck back into my undergrad library, three years after I graduated, in an effort to focus myself. Once I made it to grad school, I wrote papers at the library and coffee shops. Only once they all closed for the night would I move to my dining table, attention fueled by caffeine and the stress of impending deadlines.

It was crucial, then, that I find a good place to write in Delhi. When I'm at The Boy's apartment, I work in his home office, which is perfect. At my own place, though, I have yet to even purchase a suitable desk. And working in bed is never a good idea for someone who loves naps as much as I do.

As luck would have it, the market near my apartment is home to Spell & Bound, a delightful bookstore complete with a cafe. It reminds me of the bookstore in my hometown, an award-winning independent bookstore that I spend hours in on each visit home. At this little oasis in Delhi there's jazz playing softly in the background, delicious coffee to keep me going, and books to peruse when I need a break. I hope they don't mind if I become a permanent fixture.