We have just returned from our trip to India during which Ryan and I met some of his colleagues and searched for an apartment. We were only there 4 days, but it was quite the roller-coaster of emotions and impressions: #1: I am moving to murderville. Upon our arrival to the airport, we were hot, tired, overwhelmed, and just wanted to get to the hotel. Unfortunately, the driver that we pre-arranged to pick us up never showed. We stood around for a long time not able to make a phone call and with no idea what to do. Finally, we gave in to this persistent little fellow who kept offering to take us to our hotel. Now, this goes against all my better instincts and it only got worse. We got to his little run-down car, which was obviously not a commercial taxi and I started praying we would get out of this alive! We had no idea where we were going or if this man was trustworthy enough to take us to our hotel. We were completely at his mercy! And the roads we were taking! They seemed like these little, tiny back roads and all we could see were piles of dirt and rubble along the sides (with wild dogs climbing all over them and random groups of people milling around). Finally, I decided I better do something to prepare for the worst. With only the slightest of movements, I shifted my passport out of my purse and into my bra. The logic here being that if we were mugged, I would not have my identity stolen too! I took off my rings and slipped them into my pockets, you know, so I could pawn them for rupees when we were robbed. Shortly after making these precautions, however, we arrived safely at our hotel. (I should also mention that by the light of day, the city does not look like murderville at all!)
#2: Fear My first bomb check. (Renee, you're never visiting us, are you?)
#3: Sick to the stomach, literally Was it something I ate? Too many spices? Did I let some water into my mouth during my shower? Stayed in hotel all day.
#4: Depression We spent the entire next day searching for apartments and with each one we saw, I became sadder and sadder. I simply could not see myself living in any of them! Most were dark and dreary, some came with the saddest furniture you have ever seen. I thought regretfully of our decision to move here.
#5: Elation We found it, the most beautiful apartment! It had lovely grounds, a lot of amentities, was in a good area with lots of shopping, and was just cheerful to be in.
#6: Depression, again That night we had dinner with several of Ryan's new colleagues and based on much of the conversation, we had to re-evaluate the decision to go with the afforementioned apartment. All my elation left me and that night all I could do was cry. The one apartment that I could actually see myself living in did not have the one thing we thought we couldn't do without: full power back-up. Apparently the power goes out a lot and you want full power back up so you can still have electricity when this happens (A/C is important!). We would have to spend the next day looking at more apartments.
#7: Fear, again "9-11 could happen anywhere," our relocation expert told us when we asked about site-seeing on Friday, India's Independence Day. Apparently, it isn't safe for ex-pats to go to crowded places on national holidays.
#8: Elation, again After seeing more apartments, none of which could top the one apartment that we had fallen in love with the day before, and much discussion, we decided to go for it! It doens't have full power-back up, but it does have partial back up, which would include fans and lights. For our electronics, we will have to buy UPSs (uninterrupted power supply), so those won't be affected. Moving to this apartment makes me feel so much better about living in India. It is so lovely, and I can see myself being happy there when Ryan is at work. I also think Hugo will be happy there, because on cooler days, we can just leave the French doors open to the balcony and he can be free to roam around out there. I was able to leave India with my mind much more at ease. (click the picture for more)
Post script: I'll leave the impressions there so the story has a happy ending. I won't mention our last day when the spa lost our reservations for massages, we couldn't go anywhere because it wasn't safe for us to be out, my continuing stomach sickness, and our taxi ride back to the airport. I mean driving is scary there anyway, what the the dogs, cows, masses of people, motorbikes, auto-rickshaws, and cars all on the road apparently without knowledge of the concept of "right-of-way", but then imagine doing all that at 110 km/hr (too lazy to calculate it right now) then you'll realize what a harrowing experience it must have been.