I just got back from some weird rickshaw ride. The driver had no hands on either arm! For those who do not know – rickshaws are bicycle taxis. I only realized the missing hands when we were going already. However, despite initial concerns, it turned out that it is possible to ride a bike or rickshaw without hands. My first week in India is over and I have to say that I like it here. I have settled in quite well and got used to several Indian peculiarities.
Chandigarh – a green City
The city Chandigarh is actually very beautiful. There are many gardens here and it is much greener than expected. I have been to Asia’s largest rose garden, which is about 2 km from our apartment. However, not many roses are blooming at the moment. The last evenings there was always something going on. About 25 students from all over the world live here in the city. One usually ends up meeting some of them.
I was already invited to dinner with an Indian family. That was very, very tasty. However, Indian food is by far not as spicy as is always claimed. In my opinion, the food is spicier in Hungary. This is just one of the many prejudices about India that are not true. There are by far not that many cows. Although I have seen some on the streets, cows usually avoid the busy roads.
After initial difficulties, my body begins to get used to the food or more likely the water quality. I had a lot of problems in the beginning of the week, but everything is ok again now. At work they cared a lot about me and wanted to give me all kinds of things. All my colleagues at Maven Solutions except two are super nice. My boss Abhishek treats me very well. He first arranged for someone to pick me up from home every day and bring me back home. However, I do not always use this, because me and my flat mates meet somewhere for dinner often. Those are the days when nobody wants to cook. On the other days, I already enjoyed Japanese and Singaporean food. Everything was very delicious.
Washing clothes is always a mess. Unfortunately, we do not have a washing machine here, which means we have to do it all by hand. Every time on the terrace this ends up in a water battle with none of the involved remaining dry. The last two evenings we had Farewell Parties, because Lodewijk, my Dutch ex roommate, and Francois, a crazy guy from Luxembourg, returned home again. On Thursday some Indian friends took us to a very exclusive golf club, where the food was very delicious.
Brazil & Germany – the story starts
Carla, my Brazilian roommate, invited me to the carnival in Brazil for 2006, after I mentioned that I really want to experience this. In return, she wants to come to Germany for the World Cup. It is true that everyone in Brazil is crazy about football – even women. We both looked forward to the match between Brazil and Germany on Thursday morning. A 1:1 draw was perhaps the best thing for our communal peace. Especially since I am sharing a room with her.
I have already taken some pictures of my life here, but there is a slight problem. The PCs in the close by cyber café have neither USB nor CD drives. Even my PC at work does not have a CD drive. I will find a way to send you some impressions from here, because it is hard to describe. I can say that if one can do without a little luxury, life here is quite nice. The most important thing is that we have running water, electricity and gas in the apartment. And we live in one of the most luxurious quarters of Chandigarh. Our apartment has two terraces, two bedrooms, one living room, one kitchen, two small bathrooms with toilets and a small room with a shower.