I have changed the timezone setting on our blogger. Hopefully the date/time will start to be reported more accurately now.
Today should be fun. We are looking at apartments/flats with a real estate agent this afternoon. Looks like we should be able to get a really nice place for no more that 60,000 rubias a month (that’s roughly $1000/mo for you flat foots out there).
One other interesting footnote … we had a small automobile accident this morning. No one was hurt. In fact at the speed people drive, I’m guessing the only folks in danger are those on two wheelers (albeit there are a lot of them out there). Our driver was new … and not nearly as good … and he side swiped another car. They got out and yelled at each other briefly and then we both just took off again.
Looks like I’m behind in posting! Well, we did get business class seats for the entire flight, and that made things so much better!! We were able to get quite a bit of sleep in our lazyboy-like chairs.
Ken mentioned our hotel; it’s really beautiful (http://www.oberoihotels.com/delhim.htm). It’s a member of the Leading Hotels of the World (www.lhw.com), and it’s definitely delaying most of our adjustment to our new standard of living. I’m really looking forward to looking at places with the real estate agent later this week. I’m glad we’ll have a chance to get a perspective for what our long-term living arrangements will be like.
I have to admit that having a driver is very nice; though, I think it will make it harder to get to know the city in some ways.
Based on some of our recent conversations, we can expect to rent a flat (a floor of a house converted into an apartment). Often, I guess people don’t rent an entire place; they leave some rooms for servant quarters. Wild, huh? We’re expected to have servants, by the way. It’s considered selfish not to hire them. Many people seem to have a cook, housekeeper, laundry person, and a driver. People with children also hire nannies.
The traffic is really interesting here. People use their horns to warn people that they’re coming, to let people know that they’re there, and to push their way through traffic. It’s almost like a giant coriagraphed dance. Cars weave in and out with autorickshaws, motorcycles, and cattle. Speeds don’t seem to get too high, so maybe that’s why it works okay. The thing that surprised me the most were the motorcycles. Women often ride sidesaddle on the back of a motorcycle, and sometimes they only have one hand on the leg of the driver. It’s crazy! I’ve seen a couple with a child wedged between them, and a couple where the woman was holding an infant. Susan, another expat here, told us that you sometimes see families of 4-5 on a single motorcycle. It’s wild.
We’ve eaten at two restaurants outside the hotel now. At the first one, we had Chinese food. It was good, but hot. We had Indian food for the first time today, and it was great. We went to one of the markets (a collection of a ton of different stores kinda like a strip mall) with Susan to get books and a coffee maker (for Susan). We found a restaurant there and decided to give it a shot. I had a vegetarian combo plate that had a kind of cheese, and what looked kinda like a sushi roll, but instead of rice/seaweed/fish/veggies, it seemed like some kind of squash that had been stuffed and sliced. Nan, dal and a cucumber/yogurt-like mixture were served on the side. So yummy! Susan and Ken had similar combos but with meat (chicken and something else??).
Whew. Well, that’s all I have to report at the moment. 😉
Looks like the areas to live are Vasant Vihar, Defence Colony, or Malcha Marg. They are all south of the city. There is a travel agent that will help us look at places either tomorrow or Friday.
You say Tuesday, we say Wednesday. :^)
Just noticed that the posting time is off by 12.5 hours. This post — and the last — were really posted close to noon on Wednesday, the 11th of July.
Well we made it. Today is our second day in the Delhi office and both Amy and I are doing well. With all the conversations we had about the shock value of India we have been largely unaffected. That is in large part due to our cushy environment. The hotel we are staying at — the Oberoy — is considered to be one of the nicest (if not the nicest) in Delhi, we have a driver that takes us where we need to go in an air conditioned (four wheeled … which is not the norm) car, and the office is a very friendly place where everyone speaks english. The hotel is probably the biggest boon in making us feel at home … the water, the fruits, the food in general are all both safe and westernized. There is definately some local fair but we eat pancakes and omelettes for breakfast after working out in the gym and relaxing the pool and sauna. Life’s tough, eh?
Today we are planning only half the day in the office with the second half of the day focused on looking at different areas of the city. This will help us to understand where we would like to live during the year. After talking to both Soumya (DoT) and Subbu (Arch) yesterday I think we are both starting to feel a little more comfortable with the lodging details. Not that we have a lot of the details yet but the pieces coming in suggest there are nice accomidations available.