Feeling young

Two middle-aged german women walked into our dpa office in Delhi today, looking for the office manager Brigitte, a friend of theirs. As she wasn’t around, I got up to greet and help them. “Are you an intern?”, one of them asked. “Well, no. I’m the bureau chief.” They stormed out, their faces turning red.

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It’s raining cats and dogs… no, wait!

elephant in the rain

Late night visitor in the staircase

butterfly

The Making of Raavan

During the festival of Dussehra, huge effigies of Raavas,n symbolising evil, are burnt in dozens or even hundreds of places in the city and in towns all over North India.

But where do they come from? Most of them are made in Titarpur in West Delhi, where the sidewalks and traffic islands as well as the space underneath the flyovers and metro stations are turned into seasonal open air workshops.

Here the men (and, sadly, children) chop the bamboo for the frames, cover them with old saris, affix layers and layers of colourful paper, use tar to paint the mustaches black, apply light bulbs to make the eyes glow green – and then load the parts onto trucks, to somewhere put them together to from the 20 meters high figures. Which then go up in flames in a matter of minutes.

Properly poured Weißbier

invitation cardThe German Embassy invited to an Oktoberfest, and I made the mistake to go there. The Brezeln were neither crisp nor tasty and hard to chew, the brass musicians played the most horrible popular melodies to sway to and fro and they stroke false notes when attempting to play other tones, the waiters served chocolate instead of vanilla sauce with the Apfelstrudel, the Rotkohl/Blaukraut was overcooked, the embassador smiled mercilessly, the cameramen were everywhere, the women wore necklines way too risqué, and because of my illness I wasn’t even allowed to drink the Bavarian beer to flush down all that.

beer robotBut there was one German import to cheer me up: a robot. With only one arm this smart guy was able to grab and open a bottle of Weißbier, turn it upside down into a perfectly tilted glass, move it smoothly upwards so that the perfect amount of head was formed, then turn the bottle and veer it to loosen the yeast, pour the last bit in, even shake the last drops out of it, put the bottle away and serve the glass right in front of the customer. Amazing!

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