India Arrival

We arrived in Bangalore, India at 11:30am. Got through customs alright, even though two of our checked baggage pieces had big white X’s on them when we picked them up. As expected we were stopped by security and asked what was in the bags – electronics? Yes, three laptops, cell phones (didn’t divulge how many), and a digital camera. We explained that we would be living here for two years and then told them the name of the company Michael works for. One of the guards quoted the company’s slogan and we laughed about good advertising. Then he told us that it would be a long, long two years. We laughed it off and went on our way.

Went outside to pleasant weather, 25 degrees, with a bit of a breeze. About twenty drivers were standing in a row with signs scrawled with the names of people they were picking up. We walked past them all searching for our name but no one was there for us.

We called the driver who was to pick us up to let him know that we had arrived. He showed up shortly thereafter in a new Toyota minivan. It took about 45 min. to drive to our serviced apartment, where we will stay for about a month until our rental house is vacant. Traffic wasn’t too bad but someone managed to bump into the side of the van – the first scratch.

Two people were to be at the apartment to meet us and explain how the “serviced” apartment works. Two guys were there and they helped take our bags up to the room. They didn’t speak any English. Michael called Partha who was supposed to be in charge of our arrival and getting us settled. He assured us someone was on the way.

We looked around the apartment, which is alright. Three bedrooms and three bathrooms so roomy enough but only two towels, no food, no information for the wireless computer, phone #, where to get money, food etc. We knew that breakfast was included but not sure if we had to buy the food or would they supply it? The guys asked if we wanted “dinner, 7:00pm?” We decided that would be best as we didn’t feel like going out and didn’t have any food to make anything. We felt like we had been dropped into another planet, and felt totally discombobulated.

By this time it was 2:30pm and still nobody had come to answer our questions, so Michael phoned Partha again. “Yes, Yes, they will be right there, only ten minutes away.” Hmm, isn’t that what he said 45 min. ago? Eventually they showed up and they did speak English. They showed us around the apartment, explained that the two “boys” cook and clean. They will make breakfast and if we want them to make lunch or dinner it is 250Rp/person ($6) for non veg and 150Rp/person for vegetarian. So we have that option. They showed us the pool, fitness room, games rooms (badminton, squash, table tennis) and tennis courts.

It is unlikely that I will be using the pool here unfortunately, as it is right in the middle of about eight highrises all looking onto the pool. And this is an Indian environment, not expat. Not even sure if Alanna will be able to go swimming in a one-piece bathing suit as probably too revealing.

We walked out to the street and they pointed out two banks. Three buildings down is a mall with a supermarket. Looks like an interesting area to walk around with lots of little shops and small side streets to walk around.

Back at the apartment we decided to eat right away and all of a sudden the “boys” were busy in the kitchen and the two apartment managers continued to answer our questions and then left us to sort out our luggage. Surprisingly the kids chose their bedrooms amicably and started to organize their own things.

Soon a delicious chicken curry with fresh roti was on the table. We realized that we forgot to ask for rice but the curry and roti were great on their own. In fact through the whole meal the guys continued to make roti, bringing it out fresh, one piece at a time. Turned out to be a great meal, nicely spiced.

We’ve got the wireless working and everyone has checked their emails – very important of course. Tomorrow will be interesting. We asked for breakfast at 8:00am as Michael plans to go to work. The kids and I will have lots of time to explore the area and do a bit of grocery shopping. We’ve already starting a list of things we must buy such as a coffee maker, teapot, kettle and bedside lamps. Sometimes it’s the little things that are important.

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