Tag Archives: neighborhood

The Hatfields and McCoys……….

There are so many things about our neighborhood here in India that are different from what we are used to. The houses are (much) closer together. Staff live behind the houses and are not exactly always quiet. I often wake up in the middle of the night to the tune of someone blowing his nose. (Nope, not kidding.) Firecrackers frequently go off in the middle of the night. Cars honk their horns. Dogs bark all. the. flippin. time. Every house has a gate. Guards stand at nearly every gate. Electricity comes and goes. And many (of the luckier) houses have generators.

According to our neighbor, our generator is extremely loud when the “garage” door is open. According to the company who maintains our generator, we must leave the “garage” door open so that the generator does not overheat (and then break). You might remember a couple sentences ago when I said that electricity comes and goes. It goes out pretty much at least once a day. The generator kicks in and we hardly miss a beat.

this is the "garage" - it took me a while to even know what he was talking about

Well, Mr. Hatfield next door is not happy about the noise pollution we are creating.

Okay.

A. Reread paragraph number 1 – dogs bark, cars honk, firecrakers crack, noses blow, and blah blah blah. It is already v.e.r.y. noisy here.

B. I never realized you could hear our generator until Mr. Hatfield pointed that out to me. And yes, it is louder with the door open than closed but that is how it continues to work. And it is really a steady hum – after about 5 minutes it really just becomes white noise. It has never bothered us. I did not wake up yesterday with a sinister plot to noise him out of the neighborhood.

C. Mr. Hatfield plays his tv v.e.r.y. l.o.u.d.l.y. every. night. I go to bed around 10ish. Guess what time he decides to start watching tv. yep- that would be 10:01ish.

Yes, I did feel it was my McCoyly neighborly duty to point that out to him. Because he delays my bedtime by at least 45 minutes every night.

Neighbor: Oh, I didn’t know.
Me: No, you wouldn’t – you couldn’t hear me complaining because your tv is loud enough for the astronauts to hear. Besides, I haven’t said anything because it’s a noisy neighborhood anyway and our houses are not even 10 feet from each other. You have to expect to hear some noises when our houses are this close.
Neighbor: Well we will change that, we just didn’t know  – but you have to understand that no one has lived in your house for two years and it’s been very quiet until now.
Me: (completely dumbfounded and starring at him with my best WTH look) and are you suggesting that we not use electricity?
Neighbor: to himself – as a matter of fact that is not what I am suggesting – I am actually suggesting you all move out so the house can be empty and quiet again – But what I am willing to say out loud is: Yes, when we want to sit outside, you should not have the generator on – it’s too noisy
Me: Hmmmmmmmmmmmm – yeah – what????????

So Mr. Hatfield and his wife decide to sit outside in the driveway because yesterday was quite a lovely day. They have a beautiful terrace in the front of their house (away from the “garage”) but they did not want to sit there. He decides we should turn off our generator because it is too loud. Actually, to be fair, he decided we should shut the door. But when the guard explained that was not possible, he decided the only other solution was to turn off the generator (aka our electricity). Well, also to be fair, he did go on to offer another solution – we could simply replace our current generator with a quieter one. Yes, that was very kind of him to offer solutions not just complaints.

However.

He came over to ask the guard to ring my doorbell. This is new to me too. The guard must have sensed that this was not going to be pleasant and told him I was asleep. Excuse me? Okay then. Now I am not even deciding who comes in my gate and who doesn’t. I don’t fault the guard on this one – he was right on. It was not pleasant.

Mr. Hatfield then proceeds to yell at the top of his lungs (what was that about noise pollution Mr. Hatfield?) for about 10 minutes. Hubby was not home – my gate is wide open – there are about 5 men standing in front of the gate – someone is screaming in Hindi – and I don’t know what the heck is going on. I called hubby, he called the security company, they called his office, they called him back, he called me back. Holy indirect communication batman. It is insane. And yes, I could have simply walked outside and asked “what is going on” but really it did not feel safe and I had my three kids at home. So I put my head in the sand and peeked out the curtain.

He wants me to turn off the generator because he and his bride want to sit outside. Again, me turning off the generator means turning off the electricity in the whole house. That means no blog writing – see how this affects you. Ahhhhh. Now you get it. 😉 This is further complicated by the fact that his power had actually already come back on. So now he thinks I am just being obnoxious. Possibly. But not this time. Just because his power is on does not mean squat for our power. It doesn’t work like that here – we have lost power in half the house before.

Long story short. Mr. Hatfield informs me that 75% of the time he and his wife are not even home. So it is a simple request really. I should be able to anticipate when he and his wife will actually be home and then take it a step further to know when they will want to go outside. If I am really concerned about his well being, I will just ensure that the electricity is always working and we never have to use the generator. But if I choose to only use my powers for evil, then the least I can do is be ready to sacrifice our electrical needs for his quiet time outside – because apparently our generator is more annoying then the dogs barking and horns honking and him yelling at the top of his lungs with his tv blaring in the background.

He also informed me that the Indian Government has greatly improved its noise pollution regulations and if I do not comply by getting a new generator, he will have to take further action. Let the games begin. I am sure I am not done with this issue and that I will bore you to tears with an update in the very near future.

the irony in all of this is that we are apparently the very loud owners of a "silent generator"

Is it May yet? 😎

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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Interview with a Vampire (or me me)……..

Okay, I am not really a vampire – but an interview with me just did not sound as interesting. In the blog world, there is this thing called a me me – it’s a little chance for readers to get to know more (than they ever wanted to know) about the blog author – that’s me, yes, me. Miss Grace got interviewed and now I get to play along. She asks the questions, and I answer.  Bear with me – this might require some thought – stand back in case my brain explodes from actual use, I cannot be held accountable for the splatter. What? If Walmart does not have to corral their shopping carts, why should I? Anymeme, here it goes.

1.  What’s your favorite non-blog website/place to waste time on the internet.

I am sadly a facebook addict. It has been very fun to connect with friends from long ago – I have even met a future friend from India. Now that is cool. I also read skim the Times of India. And I cannot tear myself away from the craft sites where I have wholesale accounts. It appears I have more than one dark addiction demon in my computer life. (Really though, the blog sites are my faves.)

And I cannot, will not forget about Skype. That is how the kids and I talk to number one hubby – for free – everyday. It is a little piece of communication addiction that I embrace.

2.  What material thing/place (not a person) do you think you’ll miss the most when you’re in India?

Hmmm. Since you said not a person, you left open the door for other creatures. I am going to say my little cat Queso. She sits with me at the computer almost every minute that I am here and gives me scratchy cat kisses. She also purrs really loud. It’s going to be hard to top that. But the place would be my neighborhood and my newly renovated house. I love them both and it is very hard to tear myself away from home. I will also miss my double oven. Apparently my new oven is a large toaster oven that actually sits on the counter.

I am also a horrible creature of habit. So, I will very much miss my very comfortable routines.

3.  What everyday thing do you wish you could eliminate from your life forever?

This one is easy. Laundry. And the cat litter. And dishes. Okay – I will just say chores in general. This elimination might actually occur in India. If I can put the control freak in me aside and let others (literally) do my dirty work. Oh yeah, and I would not mind throwing mean or manipulating people out with the trash. No time for that. Maybe they could be recycled. Hey, I guess that could happen in India too – I understand they believe in reincarnation.

4.  Describe the first date you ever went on (in your life).

It was with Donnie. We went with his parents to Godfather’s Pizza. They sat way across the restaurant (with a direct view of us). And we sat at our own booth. It was very uneventful. We went on this date while he was on a break from his long-time girlfriend. They got back together – they honestly probably got married. At least they should have.

My best date was when hubby beat me home from work and made dinner. He locked me out because he was not done ironing the table cloth yet. (He has never done it since – and I really wouldn’t want him to – it would ruin the memory of him frantically ironing my grandmother’s tablecloth while I am banging on the door to get in.) I don’t remember everything he made but I remember being so mad that he locked me out of my own house. Then I felt horrible. It was really great.

5.  If you had to have one song playing constantly on a loop in the background for the rest of your life, which one would be the least likely to make you want to kill yourself?

I have a hard time making choices – it’s easier to say what I don’t want than what I do want. (You should see me at the Cheesecake Factory with its 500-page menu – all the possibilities – I almost end up in a straight jacket every time.) I would not want the hookie pokie (although we did play it and dance to it at our wedding) or the macarena (I never learned out to do it). But I have learned from my parenting experience that any song played over and over is not a good thing. Repetition is the fastest way to ruin a love of musical things – be it Barney or Beethoven.  It would have to be something without words – but definitely not No More Words. Maybe it would be a cd of Queso purring. Or the theme song to St. Elmo’s Fire. My younger brother learned to play that on the piano for me because I loved the song so  much.

Okay now you have me thinking – it might be Picture by Kidd Rock and Sheryl Crow – I love the way they are both thinking about what they have given up and how sad they are not to be together – but I hate the way they refuse to admit it – then they finally do in the end. It reminds me to (try to) not take number one hubby for granted. Even if he locks me out of the house.

Your turn – Wanna play? Post a comment here saying so (you can still comment here if you don’t want questions). Include your email address if it’s not built into your commenting settings. I’ll send you some questions. Answer them on your blog, and pass it on.

The Scarlet “T”………

UPDATE: After hearing much discussion from my neighbors about the letters they have gotten re: their trash not being appropriately located – well, I jumped to assumptions on this one – it turns out that the person who was on my property is not on the HOA board and is apparently not employed by the HOA board either. (That might lead to another blog about why he was here, but probably not.) So, I apologize for making assumptions and I pledge to better place my trash can – I cannot promise anything on the Halloween decorations though. I do my best.  Really, I do. I am sure to get a scarlet letter of one sort or the other but it will not be an A (ever) and it apparently won’t be a T either.

You know I am always trying to look at the bright side – so I will say this – our HOA is attentive – they read my blog after all – they may not be fans – but they read it – at least once.