Swimming through clouds

 

sweatingWith the heat and humidity in Delhi at the moment I feel like I’m constantly swimming through clouds, as I have to push the air in front of to the sides in order to get through. All skin constantly is covered with a film of sweat, and the trouser sticks to the leg. A blue sky hasn’t been seen in months.

 

Sometimes we firangs (foreigners) try to conquer the heat with another layer of cloth. Quite unsuccessfully though, I have to admit, and we also look very funny in the attempt.

 

Even the birds run for cover

All is set for the trilateral rooftop terrace fitness therapy to take place this evening. But the weather doesn’t fit our party schedule.

bird taking cover

Snowboarding in Gulmarg

We were greeted by incredible powder, when my cousin, her boyfriend and I reached Gulmarg, which is considered to be one of the best ski resorts in the Himalayas.

We plunged into the deep snow, skidded around, walked through the small village, looked up into the sky for a sign of weather change – and had innumerable snowflakes fallen on our faces.

The second day, we rented snowboards. Because there actually was too much snow – 1,5 meter of fresh powder, I would say – the gondola remained closed. So we hired a guide and a pick-up and ran down through the foggy forest to Babareshi and Tangmarg several times, to be brought up in fun, skiddy rides again. But the whole day, it kept on snowing.

And then, finally, the morning we left, the sun came out. Sigh.

When it rains in Delhi …

… the water often doesn’t know where to go. 90mm in 90 minutes, this fills up the streets pretty quick – and people either have to stay indoors or wade through it. Or try to drive, and hope the car doesn’t drown. Or push the bicycle / motorbike / car. Anyway, getting around becomes rather difficult.

And the next day, dozens or hundreds or thousands of people line the streets with their shovels and brooms and clean the streets of mud and earth. I haven’t seen a single street sweeper so far, these vehicles one can drive around with. After being here for 11 month now (oh gosh, eleven!), I still can’t believe how cheap labour must be so that a machines doesn’t pay off.

drowned

view from the terrace at my office

Results of the Climate

One morning I woke up with an oozing wound on my upper arm. Im fact, a series of small weird pustules. It turned out my sour spot was small in comparison to the longish wounds my flatmate had on her legs. Not especially nice to look at.

An Indian friend told us this could be spiders or little worms crawling underneath our skin. Or ants peeing on us. Super! But it wouldn’t surprise me, as it is so tropical humid and warm at the moment that every little creature for sure can thrive here wonderfully.

For humans on the contrary the climate doesn’t seem to be so favourable. Whenever I have a small cut or a pimple or an abrasion from the training or a mosquito bite scratched open, it seems to take forever to heal.

insect

I won’s shock anybody with pictures of wounds, so here’s only a little insect on my rear balcony.

It’s raining, man!

One would think that the monsoon is hitting Delhi every year and citizens are prepared for some downpour. It turns out they are not, especially when they are facing the third highest level in a decade.

When the gates of heaven opened on saturday, 123.4 millimeters of rain were thrown on the the metropolis, bringing the city to a halt, flooding roads and colonies knee-deep, snapping power-lines, bringing down walls and damaging cars through falling branches. Even a terminal of Delhi’s international airport was flooded. (Despite all the damage done I have to admit I like the recorded figure: increasing digits, just like the steadily rise of the water levels).

pray to GodMy flat – on the apparent safe top floor – also didn’t get off lightly. The terrace for example looks like ready for a mud fight. So far I never paid any attention to the pipe, with an opening of some 12cm, that is leading onto it. I should have, as it turned out that all the water which is collected on the roof splashes out of it onto my tiles.

The drain my terrace has, in turn, is much smaller, and also has a sieve that is very likely to block the flow of water when the wind brings down some leaves and dirt from all the plants on my terrace (this is exactly what normally happens in these deluges) plus the things that pile up on the roof during the dry season.

The level of my flat is some 5cm higher than the one of my huge terrace, but this volume so created filled up easily on saturday, and the water would have come into my living room (and from there, I guess, would have seeped into the whole house), if I hadn’t been at home and had gone out with an umbrella in regular intervals and cleaned the drain. Who is constructing something like this?

The windows aren’t better. The water that is running down the exterior wall of the house (yes, it doesn’t only rain perpendicular), hits the window frames, and – thanks to the great surface tension of water and the ignorantly constructed shape – makes it’s way around the protrusion, until it reaches the inner frame, from where it flows down, then onto my work surface, further the gas cooker, on the floor, underneath the fridge, and so on. I’m not talking millilitres, but liters.

Other smart water molecules found a crack where my air conditioning is peeking out. So they crawled down the freshly painted wall, stopped for some rest at the lamp, then ran down to my table and finally formed a puddle , so that the legs of the wooden table could well up.

What can be done? I called up my landlord. Sheila Dikshit, the Chief Minister of Delhi, asked the citizens to pray to God so that rains do not return.

Drive from Manali to Keylong

Walking through the rain in Mandi

Toy Train to Shimla

Paintball crew

When you go for a game of paintball, try not to be on an open rooftop, in blistering Delhi summer heat of more than 40 degrees, during midday, in the sun, in army clothes and heavy safety jackets. But we still enjoyed!

paintball

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