Sunday, April 25, 2010

The 'Wallas'

In Ethiopia I used to be woken up by the morning birds that loudly chirped at my windows (at 5 am!!!). When I moved to Paris I gained half-hour: my alarm clock was the sound of the garbage trucks that collected the garbage at 5.30 am. In DC it was the first bus on 16th Street at 6 am that woke me up. Here in Delhi our wake-up call is given by the ‘Wallas’...

The Wallas (literally ‘carriers’) are pedlars that roam about the streets of our neighbourhoods in Delhi, by bike or pulling a handcart, selling a bit of everything (mainly fruits and vegetables, but also brooms, gas cylinders, etc.), and providing a variety of services: grinding knives, copying keys, and - hard to believe but true - cleaning ears!!! Armed with gigantic ‘cotton fioc’ (cotton swabs) they remove the cerumen from your ears... iiihhhh, disgusting!!!!

They roam about our streets emitting an unmistakable call (a bit like the ‘cocco, cocco-bello’ in our beaches). The first wave passes below our windows around 7 am. When the second wave passes around 8 am it is time to wake-up...


  1. Come hai fatto a scoprire che puliscono le orecchie?

  2. non perche' me le son fatte pulire, se e' questo a cui alludi...

    iiihhhh, disgusting!!!!

  3. mi fa ridere immaginare la tua faccia mentre dici iiihhh, disgusting!!!!