Why do I feel like we are camping? The beds are comfy enough but a couple nights ago I was cooking with my headlamp on. Small fridge, no oven, no dishwasher, and often no electricity=no hot shower. All we need is a campfire...and marshmallows!
We are definitely looking forward to moving into the house next Wed. The apartment is nice and roomy but the kitchen is sparse and the electricity fails often. When the electricity goes out, the generator usually kicks in, but then you can't plug in any appliance too big - microwave, toaster, rice cooker - or all the electricity goes out.
We are all getting bored of Babu's breakfasts and have just been asking him to cut up some fruit and make toast. At least he does the dishes so that is helpful and he cleans the apartment everyday.
Craig seems to be doing ok. As long as he has his DS lite or a good book he's happy. Alanna is feeling a bit homesick, mostly due to boredom I think. She's read all the books that she brought and is missing her friends. Feeling cooped up in the apartment with not much to do. Hopefully next week once we get in the house and she has some of her own things that we sent over it will help. Plus the kids will have their bikes and scooters and they'll be able to go out and ride around the area.
The kids and I are still playing badminton for an hour a day. Craig loves to play hard, whereas Alanna spends much of the time doing ballet poses and doing leaps as she serves. We have fun...usually.
We've been driving all over the city looking for furniture and I feel like we've been in every home store in Bangalore: At Home, Home Stop, Home Town, Home Store, and more. When you have to buy so much and have a limited budget you have to compare prices and pick and choose what's important. We have ordered all the main items: beds, mattresses, couches, table and chairs, etc. and everything will start to get delivered next Tues. and Wed. Looking forward to that.
Last week Michael went to the airport to have our airshipment inspected at customs. It's a whopping 36% fee on any electronics and sporting goods. Luckily the company Michael works for pays for this (we think) although it was pretty minimal for us. We didn't bring much in the way of electronics as India uses a different voltage. Now that we are here we realize that we could have brought small appliances. Adapters are inexpensive and easy to find.
We visited the house last week and talked with Marko and his wife (from Finland). The house is two stories, 4 bdrm/4 bath and the backyard has lots of flowering shrubs and a banana tree! The appliances look good - dishwasher, washer and dryer - and the geysers (hot water tanks in each bathroom) are bigger than what we have in the apartment. Hopefully we can get a shower without the water turning cold. The oven is not what we are used too (that's an understatement). It is the size of a large microwave but apparently you can roast, bake etc. Won't be making 6 dozen cookies at a time I guess...or a turkey dinner.
Michael opened a bank account, finally. Someone from the bank came to his office and had him sign papers. Well, Michael's signature is more like a scrawl so the guy had him do it over and over, as no two signatures look alike. That night he got a text saying the bank rejected his signature - even though the guy saw him sign everything in person. Had to do it all over again a few days later and the account finally got opened (and money actually deposited!). However the bank card didn't work at the ATM when we tried it yesterday...
My birthday was great a couple weeks ago. Alanna and I went to Ahvataras, the spa, and had a manicure and pedicure. They said it would take 1 1/2 hrs. We enjoyed our pampering so much that I didn't check the time until we got home - 2 1/2 hrs later! The total bill for both of us? 1000Rp ($25). And because it was my birthday they gave me some beautiful flowers and a gift certificate for a free body massage - now that's great service!
We were so late from the spa that we were almost an hour late getting to Caperberry's for lunch. The staff was so welcoming, with big smiles and shaking our hands like we were family. Really nice lunch with a tapas buffet bar to start. A choice of a few items to choose from for the main meal and then a dessert buffet to finish it off. Highly recommeded and reasonable price. Must try for dinner sometime. Oh, almost forgot - because it was my birthday (Michael must have sent out a memo to everyone), they put on this loud Happy Birthday music and came over and gave me a birthday cake - big enough for the four of us. Could have done without the music, luckily the place had cleared out by that time.
So, we are missing a few things and getting used to others. But, I think that is normal in the beginning of such a big adventure. Going to Mysore last weekend was great and we are planning another five day trip in a few weeks, before the kids start school. But next week the big excitement will be moving into the house!