Today went well. Had a good sleep and Babu (one of the two guys from yesterday that doesn’t speak English), came and made us breakfast. Last night I thought we had decided on omeletes and toast for breakfast. He ended up making a combination of omeletes, toast, Indian dosa’s and a huge plate of fresh fruit. We asked for coffee which turned out to be Nescafe with a huge amount of milk and sugar – and he served it to all four of us. Oh well, bound to be some miscommunication. I guess we’ll stick with tea until we get a coffee maker. Overall, a very good meal.
Michael went off to work at 8:30 and the kids and I went out to play tennis for an hour. Luckily we have lots of time to practice – we need it. At 11:00 Babu came to clean the apartment and showed me how to work the washing machine. The washing machine is located on a little balcony off the kitchen and there is a rack to hang clothes to dry. When I went out there I realized that Babu has a small room off of this balcony – I think this is where he lives. It has a small bed and there is a small bathroom with a squat toilet. Not sure where he eats though.
At noon the kids and I went to the mall just three buildings away. Quite impressed. The first floor is clothing stores, a bed and bath store, sports store etc. The second floor is a store something like a Walmart (not as big). Bought badminton and table tennis rackets, tea towels. Wanted to get a coffee maker and kettle but quite pricey. $60 for the coffee maker, I think electronics will be the same prices as home, but will look around for a better selection.
The supermarket took up the third floor and had a lot of the basics – lots and lots of spices, flour, fruit and vegetables. The meat was lacking and unappetizing. Lots of bath products – soap, shampoo, creams. Not much in the way of pasta or pasta sauces but managed to find a couple packages and a bottle of plain tomato sauce for dinner. Did not notice any cheese – uh oh!
Back at the apartment there was no big pot to make the pasta so had to have the manager get one for us. Since the sauce was plain we searched high and low for the Italian spice packages that we had brought with us (bought in Italy). Turned out the sauce tasted much like ketchup. Most of the bottles in the store said tomato ketchup so I was carefull not to buy that but turned out to taste like it anyway. The spice mix saved the day and the pasta alone was fine. Will have to make sauce from scratch.
At 6:30pm Michael and Craig went downstairs to play table tennis. The courtyard outside by the pool was full of people – middle class Indians – that live here. They were swimming, chatting, kids were playing tag and riding bikes. Some ladies were having an Indian dance lesson so Alanna and I watched for a while. It was so nice and warm.
Later on we all walked across the street and down some side streets where there are some busy little restaurants (inexpensive), bakeries, and small stalls selling fruit/veggies, shoes, and the best was the “fresh chip” stall. A guy had a huge wok filled with boiling oil. He sliced up a few potatos, threw them in and out came the nicest, warm potato chips. Bought a big bag for 10Rp (25 cents) and ate them all up.
So far we have a good feel for the area and it’s nice to be living amongst the Indian people. Lots more to do and explore over the next few days.