5 years ago–almost to the day– I walked into my first real post-collegiate job and found myself sharing an office with G–quite possibly the funniest, most patient, most comprehensible, and most encouraging IT person I’ll ever meet–as well as definitely one of the best human beings on the entire planet. G is a Drupal genius–who spends all of his spare time coding websites for non-profits free of charge and who has, for the last ten years, been running his own soup kitchen providing meals to the homeless of Washington D.C.
I loved sharing an office with G and hanging out with him and our other friends on the weekends. When Chris and I got married, he was there. When we left for China he was who I consulted about VPNs. And then we actually left for China and basically lost contact for 3 years.
Until Tuesday night when Greg sent me a Facebook message. He’d come down with a stomach bug and had a minor car accident in Udaipur and had to skip the rest of his ambitious India travel itinerary to fly to Europe from Delhi instead. Did I know of a decent hostel near the airport where he might be able to get a room?
Which was how we ended up getting to bust out the fancy “guest soap,” hanging out until 11pm talking about Japanese stationary, science fiction novels and what our dream iPad apps would be, nearly poisoning tree-nut-allergic G with our homemade walnut banana bread and- oh yea– showing him around our little corner of Delhi.
Chris and I have always dreamed of living in a city that our friends might actually have a layover in. Delhi is a far cry from Paris but it was fun to be able to show G some hospitality while he stayed with us for two nights before his flight out this morning.
I’d been meaning to check out the spice market in Old Delhi for months now but with G in town, I finally felt comfortable leaving Will at home with our housekeeper for a few hours (I’d heard the spices could be a bit overwhelming for little kids) to take G for a rickshaw tour of Old Delhi organized by another friend here.
Cycle rickshaws were one of those seemingly medieval contraptions I just didn’t understand very well until I visited Old Delhi for the first time. The alleyways of Old Delhi are impossibly narrow and winding, too narrow and winding for cars and most motorcycles. Unless you really know the area well and you know exactly where you are trying to get to, the only way to get anywhere is in the cab of a cycle rickshaw who knows exactly which way to go.
I’ve walked through Old Delhi before on my own and with friends, but the tour was really useful for helping me to get my bearings over a larger area.
Next time I’ll skip rickshaw and just walk in order to get some of the amazing shots we saw as we bumped and bumbled our way through streets full of sparkly ribbons and eyeglass, balloon vendors and men carrying stacks of bricks on top of their heads.
On this trip I took a few requisite pictures of my favorite subject: chai wallahs. Oh and puppies playing amidst bags of chilly peppers. Because really, really? Seriously India, sometimes it feels like every breath this country takes is a photo op.
I have a few more Old Delhi shots to share in another post soon hopefully but, until then, thanks G for putting up with our tree-nuts and coming to visit. Hopefully its not another 3 years before we get to hang out again!