Monday, January 3, 2011

Out and about

I've been taking it very easy so far. Only setting myself one serious goal a day.

On Saturday Boaz and I went out to visit the house. We decided on paint colors for the two guest bedrooms and I won the battle to have the roof terrace painted as well. We had lunch at a sit down restaurant in the neighborhood and wandered the minimall where the cinema resides. I managed to stay up until 8pm, but I was wide awake again at about 2am.

Sunday we went to one of the very western style malls. Like many things in India it seems, it was under construction. There was one great home store in particular. We've settled on some low, modern patio furniture from there. The food court was a new experience. You go around to order food, they give you a coupon or tell you how much, then you go to a cashier for play money and back to the food stall. So far as I can tell, all Indian Chinese food sauces are made with tomato paste.

In the afternoon I managed to make a massage appointment. It succeeded in relieving the tension in my back and shoulders from the plane ride, but also left me a little bruised. I did not opt to prepay Rps 10,000 for a 30% on future services.

We spent Sunday evening with Boaz's coworker Zeev and his family in their lovely home here in Magarpatta city. The hotel and Boaz's work are both in Magarpatta city, so we were able to walk. Here and in our society in Kalyani Nagar it is very comfortable to walk around. Greenery is well tended, streets are clean, not too many people or tons of traffic.

Last night I made it to midnight and woke up naturally at 8am! This is going well.

For today I was on my own. I needed to get a bunch of passport photos for getting a cell phone, registering with the FRRO, for leasing documents, etc. You need passport photos for everything here. Boaz warned me that it was not a pleasant walk to Foto-Fast, but said that I could Google it and walk there. I didn't find crossing the big streets too harrowing. I did have a hard time knowing what constituted a street in the eyes of Google and if I had gone too far, not far enough, teleported to a whole new city? In the end I only made one wrong turn and quickly realized my mistake, still feeling uncertain the whole way.

Then I grabbed a rickshaw and met our real estate agent and handyman at the house to get the painting underway. Both there and on the return trip I seemed to have more success pronouncing Indian placenames to the drivers. I'm afraid I did not do very well in getting a good price for the paint though. With the real estate agent, handyman, additional painter dude and paint shop attendant all chattering away in swirls of Hindi, negotiating discounts for me (or so they wrote on the receipt, from inflated prices perhaps), insisting on exact colors and brands - I let myself hang back a little more than I should have.

Next on to the real estate agent's appliance store. I resolved to be savvier this time. I asked about prices for all of the items we need, compared different models. I will take some time on this and furniture shopping to look at various stores and bargain some more.

Of course I am stared at whatever I do and much more so alone than accompanied by Boaz. Honking is more or less constant on the roads here, but I'm pretty sure some of the men on bikes were honking and moving their lips at me. I am more comfortable in pants than even a long skirt at this point. Scarves are a godsend. They give me the flexibility to wear sleeveless tops and cover up as much or as little as I feel comfortable throughout my day. I only brought one shawl though and it is better suited to Pacific Northwest autumns. It is still pretty early. I may go shopping for some scarves too before the day is out.

Now back to Magarpatta city. First stop the wine shop!


Audrey Hennefer said...


Mary shared your blog with me (hope that's okay). I'm so excited for you and your great adventure! I'm glad to see you have your priorities straight (finding the wine shop). If it's okay, I'd like to follow your blog and comment from time to time.


Siera said...

Hi Audrey!

Of course you're welcome and I'm glad to have you! That's why I'm putting all this on the internet.