Tag Archives: deliver

It happens…………..

Yesterday was a very fun day – I hosted a luncheon and invited the people I just don’t get to see enough of over for lunch. I really miss having friends over and it was a nice trip down normal lane – well at least it was supposed to be.

I dumbed it way down and used my grandmother’s very best china Walmart plastic plates. Even the flowers were in exquisite crystal vases plastic cups. We had good old fashioned tacos and seven-layer dip and cornbread and all sorts of toppings. My poor cook was beside himself that we weren’t going to have any Indian food, so he threw in some delicious Indian appetizers. Apparently he has been holding out on me – I had no idea that breaded and fried broccoli was Indian food or in his repertoire. Yummy. Especially when dipped in Hidden Valley Ranch dressing – yep, I brought that from home. Along with the taco seasoning mix and the pecans for pecan pie.

Most expats have a running joke/understanding that nothing is simple here and sometimes (often) it is harder to accomplish things here than it is back home. Some of that might be a little bit of the “grass is greener” (or right now, the snow is whiter) but some of it is simply r.e.a.l.i.t.y. And the hardest part is that you just cannot anticipate where the stumbling blocks are going to be.

Bring on the luncheon. Most things went so smoothly that I should have known there would have been other problems. First of all, the people who work for me were fantastic. They worked their arses right off. Several people asked me who my caterer was – that was a huge compliment to them. Yeah for them and me! The second thing was the flowers. The flower walla opens early – I did not anticipate that and it was a welcome treat. Normally businesses do not open here until around 11am and with everyone coming at 12:30ish, I was worried we’d be cutting that close. Plus the flowers were so inexpensive, extremely fragrant, and absolutely fabulous. Bonus. Bonus.

But then, as I was riding home from school, our driver informed me that we were out of water. Completely out. Yes, that presents an interesting wrinkle when you have 25 people coming over for lunch and lots of wine. He had several theories as to what might have happened. Either there was a leak. Or our cook doesn’t like the guard and was setting him up for being fired because it was odd that of all the days this could happen yesterday would be the day. Or our guard didn’t like our cook and the reverse was happening.  Or the guard just forgot to fill the tank and it was simply an accident. I personally think Mr. Hatfield saw the tables being delivered, realized we were having a party which probably meant more noise, and so he snuck over the fence and turned the spicket on and drained the tank dry overnight. Or. Or. Or. There are more conspiracy theories about this than there are about the shooting of JFK.

Just a side note. Every night at 5pm and every morning at 5am the guard must turn on the water to fill the tank. We have a pretty large tank so for it to completely empty means that it was not filled several times. Or that there is a very big leak. Neither is a great scenario when you are hosting a lunch.

At any rate, my husband’s office was on it. A water tank was ordered to come at 11am.

I also rented tables and chairs so that everyone would have a place to sit down. That all went super smoothly this time too. Which was great because it did not go so smoothly this time. They delivered the tables the night before and came back to set them up at 10am. Smooth. Smooth. The tables were even level – not a given. The tables don’t look so great when they deliver them, but they do clean up nice.

However, there were clouds looming in the sky. Dark, heavy clouds.

One thing I have noticed here is that a lot of events are planned for outside and there is never any mention of a rain date. (In the U.S., there is almost always a rain date for an outside event.) But in India, unless it is monsoon season, it n.e.v.e.r. rains here. Unless I am hosting a party outside. 😉 Then rain it must.

As the guests start to arrive the clouds get darker. And then it starts to rain – sprinkle really – so we quickly move two tables inside and three tables under the carport.

And you guessed it, the water tanker had not arrived.

So, I have too much water outside where I very much did not want it and not any water inside where I very much do want it.

I had to announce to the guests that there was no water inside and that they could use the bathroom but please just throw the toilet paper in the trash can. And the toilets don’t work the same here as in the U.S.  My toilets back home can still function without running water – you just replace the water in the tank on the back and wallah. Here – not so much. I thought I was going to go all Tim the Toolman Taylor on everyone and show them just how this was not going to be a problem. Ha. I put water in the tank and it immediately drained out. Hmpf. But by the way, there were plenty of hand wipes for hand washing. Thank God Martha Stewart was not invited. Or Katie Couric. They would have been very unimpressed.

The water tanker it seemed was stuck in traffic. Now this is exactly what makes living here hard. There were about 4 different versions of why the water tanker was late. One – it was stuck in traffic. Two – it was actually not stuck in traffic but was not allowed to enter the neighborhood between 11am and 2pm. Three – no one actually remembered to order it so they made up the traffic story to cover up their mistake. Four – the driver was abducted by aliens. So when you don’t really know why something is not happening, it is very difficult to fix it. Short of renting a space ship to Mars, we just had to deal with the reality of no water. And my guests were so gracious – they just rolled with it and filled their glasses a little less full.

The sun ended up making a star studded appearance and we were able to actually eat outside. That was fantastic!

I was not able to get the mister in the picture to sign a waiver so plese do not use his picture. 😎 Yes he is a funny guy.

All in all it was a fantastic day. The food was yummy, the flowers were beautiful, and the company was divine. And the water tanker came just as everyone was leaving. Perfecto!

Come to my window………

One of the fabulous things about living in Delhi is that you just never know what you are going to find where. Surprises lurk around every corner – some not so great – some spectacular.

I recently went to a Winter Wonderland Celebration for the kids. And there was a mela (craft fair).  And there was a guy selling these windows…

And you might be wondering if your computer monitor is crooked – probably not – I took the picture, so it might be slightly angled (we call that operator error) – and the window might just be a little off too. It’s old (at least I was told it was old) so we will give it a break. I was also told that it is from Kashmir – is it? – I will never really know. But it is all full of awesomeness. And if you ask me where it’s from, I will say – it’s really old and it’s from Kashmir. 😉

Another wonderful thing about living in India is that you rarely have to do too much for yourself. Included in the price of the window was the charge for delivery and installation. So three men came to deliver/install…

You don’t see all three of the men here because the other two were trying to figure out where to plug in the power drill that they brought. Now, I was impressed that had a power drill (a lot of work in India is done the old fashioned way – manually) and that they actually brought it with them. But I was a wee bit concerned that this is what the “plug” looked like.

I take full credit for the blur in this photo. You can bet your boots this made me a little shaky. Two exposed wires jammed into the outlet. It rocked to the core one of my basic parenting principles – you don’t stick metal into an outlet – especially live wires with a power tool attached to them. But all is well and the window is hung.

Some of my nosier readers will want to know how much this window was – about $200. That includes finding it, restoring it, delivering it, and risking life and limb to install it.  And please don’t bother telling me if I overpaid for it (I am sure I paid too much, although the shop owner would surely adamantly argue otherwise) – I think you only over pay if you don’t think what you got was worth the price you paid – I love this window and am so happy to have it.

A Dhobi………….

In honor of Labor Day in America, I want to spotlight a career in India that requires quite a bit of labor. The idea of a dhobi – neighborhood ironer – is amazing to me. Almost every (developed) neighborhood in Delhi has a dhobi. They usually park themselves under a tarp and iron all day long. Their iron is filled with hot coals and they toil away in the heat and humidity.  And they charge about 5 cents an item. Normally your order is completed within hours. Oh yea, and they will pick up and deliver. Now that is service.

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