The Self-Contained World

Someone once said that with the internet, you don’t need anyone else.  Something similar could be said of living on the consulate compund in Calcutta.  We’ve got it all there, and if it’s not there it will come to you just by calling.  In this job in this place I find it actually more difficult to do things for yourself.  Someone will open the door for you, the laundry magically appears folded and clean, you can’t possibly walk by the guard’s booth without having to reply “Good Morning” to the greeting you’ve just received. TV not working?, just call and they’ll come change the jack on your outlet from 110v to 220v.  Continue reading →


From Dark to Darker

And they say we’re lucky — this is the end of the monsoon season.  No flooding that I’ve seen yet, but we’ve had to empty the de-humidifiers in our apartment (there is one in every room) each night.  At least now when I use the expression “drinking the air” it’s much more tangible. Continue reading →

A Quick Stop in the Capital

I have to think that New Delhi has gotten cleaner. Granted, we chugged down the roads at 8:30am, and have only been shuttled between the embassy, located in the swanky Chanakyapuri district and the Hyatt, but there are new fly-overs on the way, and about 10 times the number of traffic lights I’ve ever seen in an Indian city. Rebecca pointed out that as we flew in there were few trees to be seen, though it was quite leafy in the diplomatic area.

My driver over to the embassy happened to be the Ambassador’s driver. He’s leaving for the U.S. at the end of the month. Apparently working with a friend at an Indian restaurant in Maryland is a better deal than chauffering dignitaries. Maybe that’s an interesting truth — if you can’t be impressed by driving around Presidents and the like, why not go run a food business and cook idli sambar while your son gets an MBA at an American university?