Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The Indian consulate only gave us a one year visa which we will have to extend in Bangalore. We've since heard that it can be a hassle getting it extended. So now that Michael is buddies with the Consul General he is going to try to get him to give us a two year visa instead.
Our house is finally up on the website with the property manager so I am relieved about that. It ended up taking over a week and still haven't heard anything from her. Now that the pictures and description are up, I hope that she will have some queries and showings soon.
We've booked the movers for a few days before we leave. And the Air Shipment company is sending someone out next week to see what we are planning to take. Hmm, better get on that and decide. What can we fit in six cubic meters? Went through our clothes, kitchenware etc. and have Big Brothers coming to pick up a lot of things this week. It's good to purge and give away unnecessary items.
Ironically, our biggest concern at the moment is Mexico and the Swine Flu. We are supposed to go to my nieces wedding at a Mexican resort in a couple weeks. Since we are going through London to India we have to see how they are treating people who have been in Mexico. India is already pulling all Canadians aside upon arrival at the airport to check temperatures, signs and symptoms. The UK has a travel advisory against travelling to the US and Mexico. Will have to keep posted, the main concern of course is getting to India without incident.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
OK, here's the reason he wanted to meet with Michael - he wanted to wish him well! I thought he was joking, I can't believe it! Michael says he went into his office and the Consul General was interested in his work. He showed Michael his iPhone (Michael works for a cell phone company) and they talked about Bangalore and India and that was it - just shootin' the breeze.
Honestly, I think I went through the five stages of grief in the last 24 hours: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. Yes, by the time Michael went into the meeting I had resigned myself to the fact we might not be moving to India.
It is a gorgeous day today, warm and summer-like. I went out to do some gardening and had to admit that I can't really complain if I have to stay here in Canada - one of the best places on earth. I started thinking about going back to work and all my options. Gosh, I had a whole other life planned out within about an hour: move to a smaller house, buy a condo at Whistler.
Then Michael phoned and brought me back to reality. I can't believe the guy just wanted to chat - very nice of him and typical, wonderful Asian hospitality - but sure had us nervous for 24 hours.
So, we have our Indian visas and our passports back (saved me a trip downtown to pick them up). What a relief, book the plane tickets. We're out of here in mid June!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Thursday night we signed with a property manager to rent our house out for the two years that we will be gone. She was going to list it that night and get it on her website. She said she had some potential renters that she would probably bring by the next day.
Friday morning I went down to the Indian Consulate to get our visa's. Took a little longer this time but it went quite smooth. They said our visa's would be ready by Wed. Excellent, I thought I had finally accomplished something.
But, the property manager never came by, nor has she posted our house on the website (or anywhere that I know of). She has Monday's off so hopefully I'll talk to her tomorrow.
Today the Indian consulate phoned Michael and they want to meet with him tomorrow. I should say, the Consul General (the head guy) wants to meet with him. So of course we are nervous now, why would they want to meet with him?
We never thought there would be a problem getting a visa. Just thought once the contract was signed at work that was what mattered most. Well, we'll find out tomorrow what this is all about.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Here is a look at the kid's perspective after our two week trip to Bangalore in March:
Craig (10 years): Girls wear sarees, men wear light shirts with a big collar and pants.
Alanna (11 years): The women wear sarees and salwar kameez and the men wear either dress clothes, light shirts or long shirts and pants.
What was the food like?
C: the food was spicy, hot and good. I ate dosa's, curries and pizza.
A: It was delicious and not as spicy as I thought it would be. I ate naan, chicken curry, dosa's and even a tenderloin and rosemary burger.
How do you feel about going there to live?
C: I am looking forward to our new school because it was my favorite out of all the ones we looked at. And I think I am really going to like my new house. I'll be looking forward to making lots of friends.
A: The taxi and autorickshaw drivers when they kept following us around.
Is there anything that you really want to experience or see while you are in India?
A: I want to see the Taj Mahal. I want to talk to Indian people especially young girls.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Last Friday I tried to contact three property managers re: renting out the house. Only one person got back to me (maybe the economy isn't that bad). Even then, this person made an appointment, cancelled, rescheduled and then was late. Hey, when I clean my house - you better show up!
Anyway, this property manager seems excellent, very knowledgeable and concerned about screening clients etc. She seems confident that she can rent out the house at a good monthly rent. So I think we are on track with her but have to wait until after the long weekend to finalize things...because she's gone to a Britney Spears concert in the USA...
Next, the work contract, which has been signed by Bangalore and Michael has not been signed off by HR here in Vancouver. The person has a few questions that she wants ironed out before signing. This means that we can't apply for visa's yet. They hadn't even processed the Bangalore school fees yet because the contract wasn't signed off. Luckily we were able to sort that out and have them send the school a deposit to hold the children's spot. Hopefully the school receives it by next week.
I know HR has our best interests at heart but it would be nice to have the contract signed so we can get on with things. We're just waiting for things to fall into place and then carry on with the next item on the "to do" list.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
The trip was successful in that we found an area that we would like to live in. With the poor economy many expats will be leaving at the end of the school year so the real estate agent thinks there will be no problem finding a place quickly. We applied to one school while we were there and got an email today to say the children have been accepted.
So, now comes the fun stuff like what to do with our house and furniture, bank accounts etc. Reading up on tax laws for renting out property as non resident or resident. Have to make decisions quickly but wisely. Ideally I would like to rent out the house furnished and literally just walk out the door...