Jesse’s Blog

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sundays are Fundays!

Sundays are Fundays

Sunday was a blast. Simran donated the use of his family’s farm in Chattarpur for a relaxing picnic in uncharacteristically pleasant Delhi weather. Good friends, decent food (still need to practice that one), lotsa drink and great fun! Check out the pics in the album above.

posted by Jesse at 1:26 pm  

Friday, August 8, 2008

Do I get beers on voting day, too?

Last night out in Delhi I met up with some friends from the Democrats Abroad group doing a pub crawl to register voters. Practically with beer in hand I filled up the form and registered to receive my absentee ballot. I think this is a good strategy. Do we do this back home?? Hahah!

Voting Registration-03

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posted by Jesse at 3:41 pm  

Monday, August 4, 2008

Drag Queens of Delhi

Queen of Fun

Aug 4th 2008 article in the Hindustan Times, HT City p3

On Thursday we organized a drag party at one of Delhi’s nightclubs. The ratio of guys dressed in drag to girls dressed in drag was really low (you all know I’m a crazy mofo and was, of course, one of the 2 guys decked out to the level of the girls). The looks on peoples’ faces were priceless, especially when we started dancing in front of the DJ at Capitol! Can’t wait until next month when we have an entirely new but equally awesome theme.

Oh. You probably want to know what we looked like:

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drag queens-01
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posted by Jesse at 1:34 pm  

Monday, July 7, 2008

Holy guacamole, real Mexican food in Delhi!!!

Aqua July 6th-5

If there was one culinary staple still missing from my India experience before yesterday, it was authentic Mexican food. Some of you may recall our attempts at dealing with this deficiency on our own. That’s all good and well but, honestly, it’s a little tedious and time-consuming to make homemade Tex/Mex night a regular event. Enter Sancho’s, a great new Mexican restaurant at South-Ex II here in Delhi.

Aqua July 6th-4 My friends and I were simply blown away by how great this place is. There are no compromises, and not a single Indian item on the menu (to me this is a sign that a restaurant is the “real deal”). The chips, seven kinds of salsa, guacamole and margaritas were fantastic. I could easily go back 3 nights a week for that alone. The entrees we ordered were exactly what we hoped for, right down to the nice little details like shredded/pulled chicken in my burrito (the first time I have seen this in India). They even had churros for dessert! As if all this weren’t enough our bill was sent to the table in a sombrero. Unfortunately, the head chef (a Mexican-American from Texas named Jorge Romero) has Sundays off so we couldn’t thank him, kiss his feet, offer our first-born children, etc.

A friend of mine is the house DJ at Sancho’s on Fridays and Saturdays (not that I need more reason to go), so it looks like this will be a weekly indulgence for me. If you live in Delhi or are just traveling through, you owe it to yourself not to pass this place up, hombre!

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posted by Jesse at 7:34 am  

Friday, July 4, 2008

Problems with Delhi Police

I drive my own car in Delhi. The worst part about this is not the crazy traffic, nor driving on the opposite side of the road, nor even shifting with the opposite hand (as you might expect). It’s the late night checkpoints set up in posh neighborhoods by the Delhi Police to fatten their wallets that causes the most grief. Because I’m foreign, I can’t recall the last time I moved through one of these checkpoints without being stopped and asked to present my license and registration. More often than not, this is followed up by some bullshit citation they want to give me for an astronomical amount.

At first they tried to fine me for not having the original copy of my vehicle registration card with me in the vehicle. Though the amount they were asking for is high, this is correct according to the Transport Department:

Q.4 Can I keep photocopies of registration certificates with vehicles?

Ans. You should keep original registration certificate with your vehicle and keep photocopies at your home. The court can prosecute for not having original documents with you.

I started carrying the registration card around with me but to my dismay they continue to find new ways to harass me. Most recently I was stopped for talking on my cell phone while driving. While this is again a legitimate infraction, the officer was asking for 2000 rs fine! This is double the actual amount (see this page for a list of infractions).

To date I have never paid for one of these over-priced citations, nor should you. What the police are trying to do is illegal. Like most in India they are jacking the price because of your perceived status so they can make an extra profit for themselves. Know the laws and know the fines (print out the page above and carry it with you). Don’t give them a reason to harass you more than any one else, and you should be OK.

If all else fails, here’s a tip that has worked for me on more than one occasion (though bear in mind I’m not sure how legal this is; the fewer cops the better, in large numbers they may just get angry): be very confident that the police are trying to screw you and call someone “important” on the phone. More confidence is better. You could be personal friends with the Chief Magistrate! Meanwhile, pull out your camera and start taking pictures of the scene. The bigger your camera, the better. You could be a reporter! There is a good chance the cops will tell you to just move along. After all, if they are in the wrong, they don’t want trouble any more than you do.

Good luck out there.

posted by Jesse at 1:11 pm  
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