Saturday, October 23, 2010


Oh, the grumpiness.

On October 3rd, my birthday, we had some friends over for pizza and scotch (it was supposed to be pizza and beer, but whoops, liquor store is closed on Sunday despite the fact that Sunday is not the primary day of worship for about 99% of the Indian population) and made fun of the Opening Ceremony for the Commonwealth Games. Earlier that day, my big special birthday breakfast at the imperial hotel was ruined by a call from the nanny saying that she had just locked herself out of the house. Leaving db in the house. Alone. So one minute Todd was lovingly piling his plate full of cold cuts and I was ordering my omelet and the next minute we were running through the well-appointed, jasmine-scented hall, crying (me), yelling for a taxi (Todd). In the cab, the driver said to me "Madam, if god is good, then baby is okay." Which he probably thought was reassuring but which actually just made me cry harder.

As it turned out, our nanny Sunita, who had come specially on her day off because it was my birthday, got locked out because although there are SIX locks on our front door (post for another time: paranoia in Delhi), not one of them allows you to simply close the door without also locking it. Sunita went out the door to call down to the building super to send someone to buy onions (we were out of onions, again not her fault but mine because I was still figuring out the delivery system for what seems to be the only organic vegetable dealer in all of Delhi), and the door closed behind her. We only have one set of keys because that is all our snakey, distinctly unlovable landlord gave us, so we don’t have a spare for ourselves, let alone the Sunita.

So this would have been a huge disaster had Sunita not put db in her crib/playpen – just as she should have – right before going to request onions. Consequently, db was alone in the house, but she was safe in her playpen, incapable of pulling the TV on herself, eating the mothballs that one has to stick in the shower drains in India to discourage bugs, poking her eyes out with stray pencils, etc. But I did not know this until we got home.

So in the end, everything was okay, though we couldn’t go back to The Imperial because there was a special event at one of my field sites that I had to attend, and at that point there wasn’t really time to do anything other than head off to work.

Other highlights of the past month included me being laid flat on my back for about a week with a terrible cold followed by a frenzied house-hunting stint because about two weeks after we moved into this apartment they began renovations in several of the other apartments in our complex. This would be a nightmare anywhere, but in India, where all construction work is done by pickaxe-wielding, barefoot, malnourished villagers from Bihar, even a relatively simple construction project will become extremely loud and more or less eternal. Then we learned that an elevator would be installed and they started cutting marble for flooring behind the building and I flipped and spent a long, hot, miserable, pointless week riding around Delhi on the backs of various barely competent realtors’ motorcycles (sans helmet, of course) looking at a lot of unsuitable places, after which we got the hell out of Delhi for the Commonwealth Games and went to Mauritius via Dubai for ten days of blue skies and ocean.

There was a large stuffed tiger in our hotel room. We don't know why.

And now we are back. After a bit of soul-searching, we decided that sticking it out made the most sense, and so I bought a HEPA air filter to protect db from any construction dust that might make its way into the apartment, and here we are. The uberpisser is that my book’s copyedits came back and now I have to spend the next month going through them, making final decisions on how my book will appear to the world, which is daunting and exhilarating at the same time – and how I will manage to concentrate through all the construction noise is completely beyond me.

And to conclude this inarticulate whine, I can only marvel at how I have no motivation to do anything other than watch movies we download via bittorrent. I have two knitting projects with me, including one for a new baby boy who will outgrow said project within three months if I don’t get going, but I just can’t seem to care. Ditto for writing. I haven’t done yoga in two months, either: I have become a big, boring, constantly tired and unhappy blob. Here’s to hoping I rally sometime before January.

1 comment:

tara said...

whew- luckily god & the nanny was good. that would have completely pushed me over the crazy edge.

that pic of db with the tiger is great- although I admit that at first it didn't look stuffed. the beach also sounds lovely.

what a crazy lot of transitions for you. I hope that you can find some peace & begin to work/play/live more like yourself.