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Arrive India

November 1, 2009

Nothing special.

14 hours. Sleep cut with Anthony Bourdain and chocolate: arrive India. After a pathetic attempt to hire a cab, decide to wait for the Germans at the airport. I listen to my podcast on cholesterol, duck the mosquitoes and try not to think about how much I have to pee. I’m here.

Andy, Patrick and Jens, my German team, arrive. We stumble into taxis – our drivers don’t really know where we’re going, but that doesn’t stop them from heading off into the smog. After a few stops to request directions from children selling stacks of eggs, we see the big, bright letters of our hotel across the dusty road. Hooray!

And then the entrance:

IMG_0041It’s real. I was not, in fact, lured to India by some German to be sold into the sex trade. We are covering the International Powerlifting Federation World Championship 2009 in Gurgaon, India.

We have no rooms; we will have to stay somewhere else. We mill in the lobby. Someone tries to find us a place to sleep. When was the last time I ate? Apparently it’s after midnight, but I never saw noon. What day does that make it?

 

Snoozing on the couch when I’m told that it’s all been resolved, we have rooms. Sleep is near. But first a fantastic bowl of tomato soup, and a cold shower (which way does the knob turn for hot?). It’s 3am.

Up at 9:30am. My first view in daylight. Attractive.

View from window

And then some tasty breakfast.

breakfast

We check out the space for the meet. It’s under construction and quite small, according to Andy. Soon there will be muscle-bound lifters pulling metal off these platforms, but right now Indians in flip flops are gluing carpet and hammering it down with scissors.

IMG_0027

I meet the President of the IPF, Detlev. Or wait, maybe he’s just the President of the German IPF team? Too much German.Well, it looks like today’s events mean set up can’t start until late afternoon and anyway I’m not needed for that. Off to explore Gurgaon, India’s answer to Silicon Valley and home of the mall!

I need a pedicure.

Ode to the Egg

October 20, 2009

pic 1

I always thought they were gross. My mother would soft boil one every morning: the sight of that oozy yolk ruining her perfectly good piece of toast made me shudder. How could someone eat something that smells like fart, anyway? Traumatic for a 15 year old to witness at 6:30am.

I wish I could tell you the first time I ate a plate of eggs, but I’ve no recollection. I’m sure I was in my twenties, and I’m sure it was in omelet form or else scrambled dry as a bone. It was definitely not poached or even hard-boiled – that would have been too much egginess for me to handle. Similar to my coffee progression (from milk and sugar with a splash of coffee, to Starbucks mochas, to espresso), my love of eggs came on tentatively, with caveats and in disguise.

Now I’m not afraid to admit that I am an egg enthusiast: fluffy, creamy, whipped, hard and, yes even runny and smelly, I devote Time to the egg. I hunt down the tastiest, and stay up late researching the best methods of preparation; I suppose you could say I’m obsessive. Turns out it’s a healthy obsession. Literally. Read more…