6 weeks into our move to India


We’re six weeks into our move to Mumbai, some what settled but know we’re up for another move. You see, my husband is not the typical negotiator. He was away from India for 19 years, so he’s a bit more straight forward than most people here. Someone says “it isn’t possible,” he says “okay.” Even if he’s told by a few people, insiders who’ve “been there/done that” he still isn’t one to go up again.

Well on prodding from me and from a co-worker who said he needs to ask again and say he needs to stay “here”… he went back to his boss again about staying at the guest house long term, and was told it isn’t possible, but we could come back next year once more of the space is available and when there’s more outside accommodation available for the contractors. Apparently with the 5 under construction buildings ( below) and the influx of a bunch of new people who are temporary to work on a specific project… there’s no room for us. But really, there’s always “room.” We know of three families who had entire flats to themselves who have moved out in the past 3 weeks. One was a pent house (two story) and they’re all vacant. Someone else will just be more pushy, more loud and they’ll get what they want.

flats under construction india
Flats under construction and a bunch of new people may mean no room for us.

Well a move back in a year may be nice, but this place here is fully furnished, which causes a problem for a one year move. One, it means another move in a year and two, “semi furnished” here means:

  • no fridge
  • no stove (most have counter top ones)
  • no air conditioners
  • may not include cabinetry

Some places even do not have cabinets “modular” set up in the kitchen. Many do not have ACs. Yesterday I saw one that said “furnished bathroom” – no idea what that means.

Well this past Sunday we went to look at a few apartments here in Navi Mumbai. We were not at all impressed. First, all the places were dirty. One was people in the process of moving out, but it was disgusting, but large rooms and a decent-sized kitchen. However, that place had no amenities. Here there are very few public parks, and not many are “safe” to go to in the evening (when it is cool enough for the kids to go), so no park (garden as they’re called here, but really, a little strip of greenery is considered garden) means kids playing in the parking lot, which I’m NOT okay with.

The second place was a popular community for “NRI” – it was dirty, vacant, small and falling apart, just as I’d been told. So, even though it has a built in community and all the extras, it was ruled out. Also, as an indication as how classist/segregated many people are. The “maid” room was outside the actual home with a door from the kitchen that could be locked. You had to go through the extremely small “patio” where there would also be a washer (no room for a dryer) to get to that room. Obviously that means very little air circulation for a maid if they slept in there.

We didn’t see the second place in the same community.

The third place was in a newer building that had a decent kid’s park, but nothing else. It also was vacant, but the people had actually taken out everything – as in, even the ceiling fans. There were holes in the walls from where the room ACs were and so plenty of birds had decided to take a crap in the rooms. A plus was that one of the bathrooms had a bathtub (which is a luxury and taxed as such in India), but overall the rooms were extremely small and based on the size of the “hall” there would be no place for our tv to go that would not have us too close to the tv if we were sitting ANYWHERE in the hall. It also meant a new dining table would be required, on top of the need to purchase the “general” and such things as a water filter, ACs, fans, fridge, washer, dryer (if we decide on a dryer), etc.

My daughter says she doesn’t want to move again because she’ll have to find new friends again. It is hard. My son misses his friend Conner and asks about him a few times every day. My daughter mostly doesn’t talk about “old” friends because usually it ends in tears. I try to spend time just talking about regular stuff, but mostly she’s rejecting new things.

So, this weekend we’re going back to our original top place, which is near the Montessori school we had chosen, but also means in monsoon my husband will leave around 9 am and be home around 8 or 830 pm. Basically, he won’t see the kids.

On a positive, I had a preliminary phone interview and things went well. It is a flexi-job but would require time in the office (both regular office and a client’s place), so I’m making considerations and will talk to my husband when he gets home tonight. It is quite near to where we’ll likely be living.  The job is content writing for web, social media and a few other related items, based on client need.

I think that’s mostly it :)

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  1. I hope you find a place that suits your family :(. I’m just going to really appreciate everything a lot more now. It seems very very different living there :S I’m sure ppl survive but I would go mad! Thanks for blogging, I try to read a few when I can :)

    1. Thanks for reading :) I try to get what I can out because I know people are wondering how it is, plus it helps me process. I guess it also keeps an online memory book for me in a way too!

    1. Language and culture for the kiddos – and to leave the heat/scorpions of the desert southwest :)

      Thanks – I hope so too!

  2. If things do not work out, and you come back to the US, you can always get a tutor in the US to teach the kids the language, and you can take them to India in the summer time for a quarter of the year to experience the culture. I hope it all works out for the whole family, but do not stress too much if you start to feel that the family may be better off back in the US, even if in another city, if the heat/scorpions of the desert southwest are too much to handle. Good luck, and I really hope it works out well and you reap the rewards for your effort.


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