Man, it got really hard to blog once my family arrived in India and began demanding "time" and "attention" and "cash." Probably, if I was single, I would have time to have like four careers simultaneously: diplomat, pro Zelda player, successful baseball watcher, and partner in a firm where people eat Grape Nuts. And also I would blog a lot. But instead, I have a family, and they don't leave a lot of time for blogging. Though, in the grand scheme of things, they are in fact better than blogging, and better even than all the careers I've ever had, except being the ice cream man, which was akin to taking part in the Rapture.
Here are a series of vignettes of life in Delhi lately.
My birthday was a few weeks ago, and when it's my birthday I get to do whatever I want. So I made my family come with me to Old Delhi. Walking through Old Delhi is sort of like walking through that cantina in Mos Eisley -- there are a lot of strange-looking people hanging around, they don't speak your language, and it feels like they would win in a fight between them and you, because they probably would not have any qualms with eating you. We squeezed through the narrow, traffic-and-humanity-clogged lanes, dodging tuk-tuks and street food hawkers, and ended up at Jama' Masjid, India's largest mosque. We chased pigeons there.
My kids started school a while ago. The bus picks them up a block and a half from our house, and to get to the bus stop you have to walk past the dump. It smells like a dump. Sometimes there are cows there eating the garbage. They are holy cows. On the first day of school, the school bus (which isn't yellow, but which is instead the kind of bus Japanese tourists would take from the airport to the Grand Canyon) picked up my children, but then couldn't leave our bus stop, because a cow was ambling in front of it. I thought that was a funny thing. Cows are funny. And holy.
Probably one of my least favorite things is being impaled with a dull lightning rod as it concurrently is struck by lightning. But riiiiiiight behind that is attending back-to-school orientation for parents, which I was obliged to do recently given my position as an ostensibly decent father. I feel like parents' back-to-school orientations should consist of a guy standing up at the front of the auditorium and putting his email address up on the projector screen and saying "Email me if you need something." And then after that there are bottomless Cokes and equally endless Choco Tacos, and then on your way out the door they give you a $100 bill for showing up. Our actual back-to-school orientation, however, lasted all day, and alternated between boring and reeeeeeally boring. But they did offer free lunch, with pretty good lemonade and chicken burgers, because you shouldn't eat cows, because they're funny and holy.
Me and Shannon went for a run in a wildlife reserve near our house. Really, it's not a wildlife reserve per se, but more of peacock reserve. Maybe peacocks are endangered in India, I don't know. I just know there were a lot of peacocks, and a wild boar. And, also, we made a wrong turn and happened upon what could only be termed, "The Pooping Place." The dirt path led down a corridor lined with low bushes in which, over the course of a good hundred yards, at least a half dozen men were squatted, pooing. We were unsure whether it would be more awkward to simply proceed or to turn around and run away screaming, so we opted for the former. Shannon handled it admirably, saying nothing apart from, "Yep," in response to my statement of the obvious: "It appears that these men are pooping." We have marked that spot on Google Maps and will not be returning.