Tag Transportation

India in Pictures: DIY Vehicles

This DIY vehicle has the handle of a scooter, the front wheel of a motorcycle, the frame of a bicycle, the back of a donkey cart and an oil tank from the kitchen utensil store!

DIY Vehicle in Delhi, IndiaDIY Vehicle in Delhi, India DIY Vehicle in Delhi, India

See all 3 pictures of this engineering concoction

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India in pictures: NO PARKING SIGN

Funny No Parking Sign, New Delhi, India
TYRE PUNCTURE ZONE: This guy is serious about no one parking in front of his shack.

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Quality of life after R2I – Single car crash inside our luxury bubble

We were driving with the air conditioning brushing against our silky hair. Suddenly, we hear a BOOM CRANK HISS and we were stalled. WTF?

Quality of life after R2I - car crash

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Speed and reliability of internet after R2I, moving to India – broadband cable and mobile data card

20101225-IMG_7551PHOTO: Airtel is a major telecom provider in India. Advertisement in a ‘dhaba’ (street fast food joint).

Update April 26, 2011

Very slow internet – tech, customer and email support. 5 days of pain. Airtel sucks but internet providers run monopolies in most areas. Details

Update March 11, 2011

Slow internet, tech support, speed returns. Details

Original article

Given internet’s crucial place in the continuity of civilization, you can imagine my internet concerns before moving to India. Is broadband going to be fast enough? Will the connection in Gurgaon be reliable or will I spend all my time on the phone with Bob from Bangalore? Do they sell data cards so I can get my fix when I’m on the move?

Worry not. All your fan mail will reach me at lightning speed…

Continue reading: Speed and reliability of internet after R2I, moving to India – broadband cable and mobile data card

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Signs of progress – Delhi Police towed and ticketed us

Traffic in India is not pretty. However, there are some instances when the Police actually do their job. Never before have I been overjoyed at being towed or ticketed.

R2I - Getting towed in Lajpat Nagar
PHOTO: Our ‘tourist taxi’ getting towed in Lajpat Nagar in December – one of the few places where parking rules are enforced. They let us go after we paid $9 (Rs.400) on the spot and got an official ticket (no bribe).

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Quality of life after returning to India is challenging outside our bubble

Quality of life in India after R2IPHOTO: Driving in India’s capital after R2I Delhi. Usually, there is no caution tape.

Today is Sunday. That means that the driver is off and we need to drive everywhere. The romance of the great quality of life after moving to India seems naïve today, even foolish. What if that guy had run into me? What if I hadn’t seen that pile of concrete in the middle of the highway? We can’t dial 911. The rawness of the Delhi experience outside of our bubble is dangerous and I am feeling scared. I miss safety. After re-entering the bubble of our new Gurgaon home, I sought intellectual solace on the New York Times – where wise people talk about wise things. And I found Mr. Joseph.

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R2I highlights – 60 days after moving to India from USA

  • I bribed a traffic official $2.13 (Rs.100) at the airport to watch my car so I could run into the terminal and fetch my lost American friend
  • Meenal watched and graded the delivery of a baby (failing grade) as well as a sterilization (near perfect score) in a government hospital in rural Rajasthan
  • A grandmother in the labor room wished that her newborn granddaughter die leaving Meenal speechless. This was the fifth girl in the family as they had been trying to get a son.
  • Our $4000 car needed $650 (Rs.30,000) in major repairs due to a missing drain cover inside our apartment complex
  • We’ve visited family and friends in Mumbai (Bombay), Kolkata (Calcutta), Ajmer (Rajasthan) and several parts of Delhi and enjoyed most of it
  • We’ve learnt to drive on Delhi roads – send a confident ‘don’t cross’ message when you spot pedestrians, beware of vehicles bigger than you, and don’t take people cutting you off personally
  • When I want a glass of water, I have caught myself looking around for the housekeeper
  • We’ve attended several weddings – an experience so boring that I’m contemplating a complete ban on all future attendance
  • After we caught 2 rats in the air conditioning ducts, we’ve experienced no further visits a revisit from the rodent
  • We came very close to fatal traffic accident and each of the 5 passengers treated the incident as a minor annoyance

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Terry Gross, Ira Glass and Peter Sagal – my car in India has NPR!

National Public Radio in IndiaPHOTO: Prashant Jeloka worships these NPR shows, even in India!

I can say with confidence that I will give up many food items before I give up NPR. Thankfully, my lean (and sexy) body will not need to become leaner (and sexier). My car in India now plays National Public Radio!

How can you do the same (even though World Space went bankrupt)?

Continue reading: Terry Gross, Ira Glass and Peter Sagal – my car in India has NPR!

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Motor bikes can transport anything on Indian Roads!

20101206-IMG_7192-3 Motor bike carrying 2 large pieces of glass in Gurgaon, India Scooter carrying man and kid with lots of wood in Amjer, Rajasthan, India Carrying a rolled up mattress on a motor bike in Gurgaon, India Motor bike with 2 large boxes on Jaipur - Delhi highway

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Cost of living in India – setup expenses for 2BR apartment after R2I

Last updated: December 6, 2010January 17, 2011 | US$1 = Rs.47

Setup expenses in India

$12,000

(Rs.5,65,000)
2 bedrooms used in a larger apartment in Gurgaon, India

Setup expenses
Our apartment came with an exhaust over stove $150 (Rs. 7000) and water heaters (Geyser): $160-$225 each (Rs. 7700-Rs.10,000).
Your landlord may or may not provide these.

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Please don’t compare New York’s cost of living with New Delhi or Mumbai

Meenal expressing herself in NYPHOTO: Meenal expressing herself in New York, November 2008.

Alright, I’m quite tipsy now. Can you repeat what you were saying. Oh yes, I remember now: the cost of living in New Delhi or Gurgaon is high and that makes sense. Something something New York something something. Your drink must be better than mine. Even in my current state of intoxication, hearing New York as justification or explanation for the cost of living in Delhi sounds like a stretch. Why?

Gross Metropolitan Product in 2008

  • New York: $1466 Billion
  • INDIA GDP in 2009: $1240 Billion*** 
  • Boston: $338 Billion
  • Mumbai (Bombay): $209 Billion
  • Phoenix, Arizona: $200 Billion
  • New Delhi:  $167 Billion

Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers list of world cities economies

*** Shockingly, New York’s metropolitan product is more than all of India’s GDP. There’s a 9 fold difference in wealth between New Delhi and New York. But 2008 is dated. New York and America have suffered an economic ‘situation’ since. New Delhi and India, on the other hand, are growing at 5-10% per year. Fair enough, let’s fast forward …

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Delhi after the first drizzle

New Delhi 63 degrees FThe sweaters are out
The shawls draped
The fires are lit
The puddles reflect.

(real poets don’t rhyme)


Man warming his foot on fireMan warming his hands on fireHawker lady's daughterFast and dangerous way to get aroundAutos in the rainHenri Cartier Bresson?

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