Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How many bricks can you carry... on your head?

Standing on our balcony watching the world go by... never a dull moment. As you may be aware we are surrounded by construction sites. Just about everything in terms of construction is done manually. I have watched an enormous pile of rubble be moved simply by women carrying baskets of dirt and rocks on their heads; a task that has taken several days. In Australia it would have been moved in under an hour by a bobcat. Yesterday I watched as one woman ferried bricks from one side of a construction site to another. She had a wooden board on her head and a man would pass her bricks 2 at a time which she would stack onto the board. She would carry 16 bricks at a time balanced on her head! I am not sure how much an average house brick weighs but I am imagining 16 would weigh a lot. Her neck muscles must be something else.

There was another Indian wedding up the road last night, it seems that weddings are not primarily a weekend occasion. When Indian's play music it is always full blast; to be at the actual wedding it must have been deafening.
Speaking of noise... every night, it must be at about 4 am there is someone who walks down the street blowing a whistle and beating a gong. Does anyone have any suggestions as to why, why, WHY this could be? Local alarm? call to prayer? milkman? I might find it less annoying if I knew what it was for.

We are heading to the ashram for a few days tomorrow and we are all really looking forward to it. The air is cleaner as it is outside of the city and the food is not spicy which will be a nice change for Hunter. We will leave tomorrow morning and hope for a good driver and a clear yet scenic run in the traffic. I should get around we have been using a driver service;  Ray calls up and orders the car for a pick up or a few hours or all day. Most of the drivers have been great, some speak OK English others none at all. Last night when we went to the supermarket "hornboy" picked us up. This guy does not let up with the horn, all drivers use their horns a lot here but hornboy is something else. He is a young guy that quite frankly drives like a maniac (hopefully he wont be driving us to the ashram tomorrow).

   We discovered a new supermarket last night called Spencer's... sounds a bit posh compared to the Big Bazaar where we usually go. But really as far as I can tell it is no more expensive as the prices are set and are printed on all goods... actually, I found toilet paper last night at Sydney prices...bargain! Spencer's was not crowded and chaotic like big bazaar and was much easier to get around. All the supermarkets are a cross between a small Coles and a small Kmart, so Ray bought an iron last night for the bargain price of $10. 

  I forgot to mention yesterday that when we were driving back from the markets in Delhi we got a flat tyre. Rather than pulling off the road the driver decided to change it right in the middle of the busy 3 lane road. Ray served as traffic conductor while the kids and I stood as close to the centre barrier as we could. Several accidents where narrowly avoided...I am just grateful we were carrying a spare as I doubt it is a requirement here.

Sorry for the disjointed will probably be a few days until I post again.
Until then...namaste

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