My last post ended with our disabled car parked outside our apartment complex, unable to start and with us having no idea what was wrong with it. This one ends on a much better note, since although there is still one issue to fix, we yesterday did a 700km round trip without any significant issues.
"We should probably get some petrol," I said as we passed the petrol station, eyeing the fuel gauge reading just over one quarter full. I meant diesel, of course, but old habits die hard. I tend to get antsy when the gauge reads below one quarter, and we often fill up when it gets just below half. "I want to fill up just before we leave," Gopal replied, "so we can better track our mileage".
We used to cook at home almost all the time, but lately we've been eating out a little more. (When I say we, I really mean Gopal did most of the cooking and I would sometimes help by chopping vegetables :-). We've been going out and getting dinner at one of the street food vendors nearby. We tried a number of them and have definitely settled on our favourite, a young guy who is set up outside a Rajasthani sweet shop in nearby Yapral village. Over time, we've tended to converge on a standard menu. It's even gotten to the point where Nilesh starts to make our order when he sees us coming.
The monsoon wind arrived bringing with it the rain. In Hyderabad, it normally starts around the first week of June. I was in New Zealand at the time, so there was a huge contrast. When I left it was 44-45 degrees most days, and when I returned it was a mere 30 degrees or so. And it gets down to the low-mid 20s during the night. We don't even need the AC on anymore, and a lot of the time we don't even need the fans now.
Beautiful mehendi, done by my niece!
At the end of my last post, I mentioned that my first task was to find a source of wool/yarn here in Hyderabad. That took a couple of weeks. We trekked to several different bazaars in search of wool, with mixed success. We found a couple of places that had small amounts of very thin wool, but that wasn’t what I was looking for. We decided to keep looking, but in the meantime we bought some heavy nylon cord to make a new laundry basket. I’ll post about that later, but here’s a sneak preview of the early stages:
My grandmother is extremely talented – she can knit, sew, crochet, embroider, cross-stitch and create very beautiful and useful things. My mother also can do most of that too. But these sorts of skills don’t seem to be as common in my generation. I can knit a little, but nothing fancy, just a scarf or something equally simple. I used to sew a little back in high school, but again, just simple things like book bags and a pair of shorts. I can cross stitch, but frankly, that’s probably about the easiest craft to master – the stitches are simple and all you need is the patience and focus to follow the pattern correctly, neatly and consistently. I recently decided it was time to add a new skill to my repertoire – crochet!
One of the most enjoyable parts of this trip back to New Zealand was spending time with my niece and nephew. Makayla is just over 2 months old, and Cameron will be 3 later this month. He’s adorable although a huge bundle of energy! He’s a pretty good big brother though. When his sister is crying, he’ll come and try to cheer her up, making funny noises and faces at her to make her laugh, and giving her hugs and kisses. And even though she’s not a very smiley baby so far, he is usually able to get a smile from her.
I arrived in Hong Kong just after 11am, and my flight was departing at 9pm, so I had enough time to head into the city to do a little bit of looking around. I spent a bit of time investigating all the transport options and settled on the following:
I flew two legs with Cathay: Hyderabad to Hong Kong and then Hong Kong to Auckland. The two experiences were quite different.