Quick update on our India move

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Well, as I said the other day, our stay here was not extended. They, instead, did us the favor of letting us stay at another guest house. So on Saturday my husband and I left the kids with our maid/nanny to check it out. Along the way we noticed it really was a “bandh.”

Bandh in Navi Mumbai
Bandh (learn more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandh) so on Friday and Saturday most everything was closed, in protest of raised taxes. This guy is pounding the door “let me in.” A few places will be open, but not appear open to prevent someone from getting pissed for operating when a strike is happening.

That’s why the day before our maid/nanny couldn’t get a bandaid for our son. Apparently it wasn’t a good idea for her to take our son out because at times there are riots. Oops.

Anyway, we had to go check out this “offering” that we were given (and we’d have to pay for). We were told by my mother in law it wasn’t in a very good location.

She was right. It was the only fenced in community for a few kilometers. It was surrounded by slum and trash.

pool in india
Also they had a pool, but this wasn’t enough for us…
Indian Playground
Playground at the potential new guest house. The best thing about the place.
Outside a slum in Mumbai
As we exit the gate of the guest house we see this… trash and the outskirts of a slum

So inside, there are a handful of buildings. However, the apartments are 4 bedrooms with a common area. Inside the common area was a couch. There is no kitchen, there is no washing machine. No internet, a basic cable (like 12 channels) on an old-style 20” tv.

The bedroom was around the size of a small hotel room. They were giving us one room for the four of us, and our maid/nanny had a small unventilated area.

My husband and I then went back down and said that it wasn’t acceptable. We mentioned that we would again be sharing with random people and they said it would not be possible to get all 4 rooms, but we could have two of the rooms.

I asked flat out who would be responsible if the random guy they placed us with did something to my 5 year old daughter.

His response, “They are all employees of (company).”

Um, sorry, that’s not going to work.

He then said “and we’re placing you in tower 6, and tower 6 is for only VP and above.”

So, to this guy, if you work for said company and are a VP or above, you’re guaranteed to be an upstanding citizen.

Sorry, this is not going work.

Funny indian billboard: Prestigious hoarding!
In the mean time, if you’d like prestigious place for hoarding… your spot has been found

So we went back, my husband went to work (yes Saturday is a workday at his company), and explained the situation as far from acceptable, definitely not part of a “move package.”

Let’s not forget that we requested our things to be moved the week of February 24th. We gave them 4 quotes, when they requested we get 3.

March 7th-ish they asked for another quote. We said basically… “NO”. My husband said he couldn’t start work on April 1 if our stuff wasn’t moved.

They packed March 21st and 22nd.

Customs took a nice month to go through our stuff.

Now it is almost to China.

We’ll get our stuff around June 17th.

So it is May 12th, we’re without a place to stay and we have nothing to really move into a new place.

We went to visit a community we’ve been strongly considering, but found that the larger 3 bedroom apartment wasn’t available to view as the keys weren’t left and the owners and neighbor were both unreachable. So, we went and visited another real estate agent that we found online. It is a similar, but smaller, community in the same locale.

On the way we were able to run through pigeons.

pigeons
Don’t feed the pigeons – though when we came back through there were MORE – as they were being fed there by a Jain – who feeds out of service and respect for all living.

We saw five different apartments and we’ve come through with likely the place where we’ll rent. We went back today, and again, the other community didn’t have a viewable apartment and the fun part about renting in India, is that people don’t give a notice… you just leave the day you’re supposed to or you extend at the last minute. This means, you can’t prebook an apartment very often. We saw two that were occupied, one was in the process of moving and the other place, the family (Christian family actually) had been there five years and was moving out for June 1. That place was nice because it had room for a washer AND dryer inside the home and that spot wasn’t the kitchen. Score! But, we need something sooner than that because our guest house hasn’t been extended.

Thane
Where we’re likely staying starting Friday.

So, almost everyone we tell, they tell us to just not leave. So, here we are, not leaving. Yet. We haven’t checked out and no one has called or stopped us. Not security, not the front desk. My husband did request a car so we have a car this week. So today on our trip, we were given options and we’re going to do some “Urban camping” (thanks Cyn for the term) starting this weekend.

We’re going to stick around here until Friday or when they kick us out. If they kick us out, I’ll call my husband, and since the car will be here (7 seater) , the maid and I will quickly pack our 5-6 bags, and we’ll go to my inlaws until the weekend.

 

This weekend starts urban camping!

We get to buy a fridge, pay 6 months deposit (usually 10 months), pay first months’ rent, pay the broker/agent fee (one month rent),  buy a stove (I’m going to call about a stove/oven combo I saw on the local expat group), and pick up a basic mattress for all of us to camp out on until our stuff arrives. We also need stuff like a few dishes (don’t want to over buy since our stuff is coming), soap (here it is supplied), maybe an extra towel or two, since I brought two just in case.

The real estate agent says he’ll help us get the ACs in as well as an internet connection. We have a laptop so we can watch shows or be online, but no TV, so we’ll do plenty of crafting and playing for sure. This place has a nice club house so hopefully that’s not too involved of a process to go swimming or do the indoor games, etc.

Issues with Indian Maid / Nanny

So we’ve had a few issues with the maid. Things are much different in India. She left our 5 year old in the flat alone yesterday while she ran out with our 3 year old. Of course 5 year old had said she was allowed to stay alone.

Then, 5 year old cut 3 year old’s hair. Of course, 3 year old asked for it and of course, they were quietly playing… So we had a lot of explaining of expectations. Luckily this is a pretty secure building to “learn” in but we need to be pretty explicit. Since we’re in a spot where everyone says they won’t kick us out on the street but I’m still extremely stressed/paranoid… I don’t feel comfortable leaving them alone in case the key fobs stop working or something and I also am worried about just general issues, so this week will be stressful either way.

In the mean time, this weekend can’t come fast enough, even though we’ll be giving up a lot of conveniences.

But it could be worse. We do have a place no matter what. We aren’t on the streets. We’re able to eat. We have each other.

 

Happy Mother’s Day :)

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6 comments

  1. Good luck with the urban camping!
    And the 3 yo hair cut, that’s a classic :) Ishi did that to herself last year, she didn’t need to ask an older sibling to do it. It’s less madening on boys though, you trim it shorter and that’s it, when a girl decide to chop a significant amount of her long hair off it leaves you not much choice but chop it all and then try to reason with her as of why she can’t have pig tails for a few months :)

     

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