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smorgasbord

Can you imagine NOT having cold water in your house?  Move to Delhi and you will find yourself missing it.  Our water  is pumped into a holding tank on the top of the house and it gets pretty warm sitting in the sun, particularly when it’s 105 degrees outside.   So during the 9-month-long summer the water arrives in the house anywhere from hot  to very hot.  In fact, I rarely turn on the hot water to bathe.  But it’s winter now – defined as slightly warmer than a Seattle summer by day and chilly at night – and the water in the morning and evening is actually cold… which isn’t necessarily a good thing during our winter since we don’t have a central water heater.  We only have small water heaters in the bathrooms so the kitchen and the laundry room don’t have hot water unless it’s hot outside.  It’s all mixed up here!

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On to BEER.  I’m a woman who likes to drink her brews ice-cold.  Those who know me well are accustomed to me throwing my beer into the freezer for a ten-minute pre-consumption chill-down.  I’m also the proud owner of a good handful of tacky beer “coozies”.   (Always a good gift for my collection.)  As for Indian Beer – ugh!  It just doesn’t taste good.  I was told that one of the reasons for this is that glycerin is added to the brew.  Apparently, glycerin (clear, soluble… used in face creams) is also a good preservative/stabilizer.  Transporting beer and other goods rarely happens in cold storage here and it’s easy for beer  to go bad.  I’ve been told that glycerin keeps the beer fresh but at a cost to taste and I’m guessing, to health as well.

We didn’t want to spread unfounded rumors about Indian beer, so Jim and I tested a Kingfisher for glycerin.  We were told that if you hold the bottle upside down in a glass of water you will see the glycerin swirl out of the beer into the water.  The water in the glass holds the beer up into the bottle  – scientific principle of equal and opposite force, students.  However, glycerin is heavier than water and if present, should ooze out of the beer into the glass.  The results?  EXACTLY as described.  We were grossed out watching this substance swirl out of the beer – for a good long time, I might add… several minutes before we threw everything into the sink and swore to NEVER drink another Indian beer again.  Now fairness would require us to test a Corona but a six pack cost 20-bucks here and we’re loath to sacrifice one golden drop!  I’m happy believing that imported beer is pure, so if any of you know otherwise, don’t spoil my willingness to overpay to quench my thirst.

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Does this make sense to anyone out there:  When entering security at the American Club  I now have to turn off/on my cell phone to prove that it’s not a bomb detonator.  (?)  Do you think the security guards now get paid for hazardous duty?

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Here’s a photo from Sunday:  

He’s protecting the local ATM with a double-barrel shot gun.  I’m not going to get into a discussion about whether bigger is better, but I am wondering whether smaller might be easier… to tote.

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And in the same shopping center – South Delhi’s high-end, overpriced market frequented by expats, tourists and wealthy locals – The Sidewalk:

On bad days, this really bugs me.  On good days, it’s charming!

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And this photo makes me think of a line in Marc Cohn’s song Walking in Memphis:  Are you a Christian, child?  Mam, I am tonight!:

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There are lots of motorcycles in Delhi and plenty  of women riding side-saddle on the back.  The other day while driving on a highway  I  saw a beautiful woman clutching luggage and holding on to the back of a motorcycle with one hand.  It concerned me that one major bump or one unanticipated swerve and she would be thrown from the bike.  Then someone pointed out to me that most woman riding motorcycles don’t hold on to the man in front because it’s not polite to touch in public.  I’ve been on the watch and have been hoping to find a woman clutching her man, but I haven’t found ONE yet… This sort of thinking drives me batty!  See here:

I guess it’s difficult to straddle in a sari.

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And sanity:  My baby and his T-Ball trading cards:

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And finally, Saturday night at the African community celebration:

We danced and danced and were humbled by a few particularly capable hips on the dance floor  that night.  But we gave it our best…  and had fun!

Have a good week, all…

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