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March 12, 2005

12 March

Today after breakfast and a meeting, we went to Old Delhi to visit the Jamu Misjid mosque and the street food situation there. The mosque was amazing and huge, and also afforded us a spectacular view of the Red Fort which is even larger.

The streets of Old Delhi are narrow and packed with people and rickshaws and scooters and goats and street vendors. The smell of auto exhaust fumes, animal dung, and body odor intermingle with jasmine and spices to form a truly schizophrenic olfactory experience.

We had a late lunch at a restaurant called Karim's that was recommended to us. The food was fantastic, as has all the food been here. However, our efforts to find out more about food recycling programs were not very successful today, due in part I think to a language barrier and perhaps a distrust towards Europeans in that part of town. Old Delhi is very poor, and also much more heavily muslim than other parts of the city we have seen, and our presence there was noted by the locals with curiosity, distrust, surprise, amusement, etc...

We will visit again on Monday. It will take time to learn more.

Posted by Julian at 03:41 PM | Comments (0)

10-11 March, 2005

Last night we arrived in Delhi. The first thing to hit me, even before we left the airport, was the smell: damp earth, smoke, curry, and a complex alchemy of scents that my nose could not comprehend.

Today we did some shopping and got oriented in our neighborhood of the city. We also visited CKS and talked with people there about the conference and our research. In the afternoon we had coffee at a trendy bakery where Indian teens dressed in western clothing were hanging out listening to Britney Spears. For dinner we went to a restaurant where the other guests were dressed in much more traditional Sikh or Hindi costumes.

Tomorrow we are looking forward to visiting Old Delhi, and exploring the street food vending network there.

Posted by Julian at 03:35 PM | Comments (0)

Research has begun

After a safe arrival in Delhi, and a 'somewhat relaxing' orientation day (devoid of Internet), we have spent Saturday on the streets in the area of the Jamu Masjid mosque.

The necessity for havens and respit after each 45 minutes of street work has become apparent, and fortunately the city abounds with havens... including a tent with reclining chairs, smack dab in the middle of the city. Giant ruches in red, white and green, and children gambling for ice creams right outside.

The bike rickshaw is revealing itself as an excellent moving haven; elevated just a bit out of the fray and excellent for image collection.

Currently in an Internet cafe in which I cannot upload images. Maria asks, 'where's that highly connected India in the pictures here and here (pointing to Airtel ads with Bollywood stars). And back at the apartment, our friend holds a carrot of broadband before our noses.

Cross your fingers.

Posted by debra at 02:52 PM | Comments (0)