I got a wonderful surprise this morning. I discovered that my blog has been included in an article about 20 Awesome Expat Blogs on Matador Travel.
The article lists some very interesting blogs from all corners of the world (I think I Eat My Pigeon must be the most creatively titled one. Dare I say that I wish people would eat a few more pigeons in India!), so I’m really honoured that my blog gets a mention.
If you love reading expat blogs, you’ll find blogs written by a vast variety of expats ranging from an American in Lebanon to a Brit in Tokyo in the article. There’s even a blog about life in Tahiti. Do check it out!
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“Sir, your Internet connection has been cut because of non payment of your bill.”
These were the ominous words uttered by the Airtel customer service representative when my husband phoned to see why our internet wasn’t working. “But your guy hasn’t called me and come to collect the money like he usually does,” he replied. “I’m sorry sir, we are no longer sending anyone to collect cash. You will have to go to an outlet to pay your bill.” That was news. Nothing like an uninformed change of procedure to make life difficult.
The representative gave my husband the address of the supposedly closest office to Powai that would accept cash payments. He dutifully went there this morning to pay the bill. When he returned, I knew that it hadn’t been good. Normally a shanti guy, he was scowling like I do when I’ve had an irritating India experience. I tried to imagine what had annoyed him so much.
“I had to resort to abusing those fools in Hindi,” he growled.
Uh oh, it had to have been really bad then. “Tell me what happened.”
“First of all, it turns out that the office was in Andheri. When I finally found the office, the guy there tells me that they stopped accepting cash payments 6 months ago.”
“So, I had to call Airtel again and find out another place to make the payment. I spoke to a woman who gave me an address in Thane. Thane! I told her do you know how far away that is? She hung up on me.” [click to continue…]
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This has been the recent sight directly outside my kitchen window. The neighbours have been renovating their vacant bungalow ready for tenants to move in.
One day, a team of workers arrived and assembled this bamboo scaffolding up the side of the bungalow. This form of scaffolding is popular all over India, and can often be seen surrounding whole buildings and monuments. Although it doesn’t look very safe, it’s surprisingly functional — being strong, straight, lightweight, cheap and renewable.
However, its days could be numbered. Bamboo scaffolding has already been banned in many countries for safety and environmental reasons. I wonder if it will eventually be banned in India as well?
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Being an expat often sounds glamourous but the reality can be much different. Not everyone enjoys the experience. There are plenty of challenges that come with it. Yet, some people fair better than others.
Recently I was asked by Jeff, over at Expat Yourself, “What advice would you give to people considering to live overseas?” He posed the question to 18 people that he considered to be expert expats (thank you, Jeff!).
Interested to know what piece of advice I gave? Have a read of the article 18 Excellent Tips from Expert Expats. There are plenty of words of wisdom there.
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Now that winter is here, I’m thrilled that Sunday sunset parties have returned to Mumbai. One of my favorites is the Sunday Sundown sessions at Aurus. Yesterday, we went to a new event. Sublime Sunday Sundown at Azok. It’s held on the rooftop of the Oakwood Premier in Juhu.
The music and the venue were indeed both sublime. Spacious, outdoors, sunset view, Mediterranean look, and soon to be filled swimming pool. Funky chilled out house, progressing to tech house and psy.
The service however was bad, very bad. So bad in fact, that I had to laugh. It was both overzealous and underwhelming.
“Sorry, you can’t come in,” one staff member said to a friend of ours. “I can if I’m a DJ and I’m going to be playing at this party,” friend replied. It seemed that the staff member didn’t like the t-shirt, 3/4 length cargo pants, and chappals that he was wearing. Perfect attire for a sunset party, really. And he wasn’t the only one dressed like that.
“Sorry, you can’t sit here,” one staff member said to us. “All the seats are reserved, you have to spend at least 10,000 rupees.” [click to continue…]
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I admit that I have a bit of “hippie” in me. Not a lot, but my mum and I both like Indian ethnic wear style fashion — long flowing skirts, embroidered tops, and chunky jewellery. I also prefer silver to gold.
Therefore, I was thrilled when my sister in law gave me these silver earrings for Diwali. As with so many Indian handicrafts, the design is so intricate and unique.
These toe rings from Orissa were given to me by my sister in law as well. Actually, I have two pairs now. She also gave me another similar pair, but with small bells on them. I LOVE them!
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After missing out on celebrating Diwali, I finally got together with my family on Sunday evening. It was the first time I’d seen them since before the monsoon, and before everyone got sick with malaria.
My little nephew has grown up so much in just a few months. He’s a real cute little boy now, so different from when he was a tiny baby and when he was 9 months old. Time sure has flown! Obviously, he hasn’t set eyes on too many white people yet because he stares at me with a funny combination of curiosity and fear every time he sees me.
I was given the honour of making a rangoli at the entrance of the apartment. What a strange creation it was turning out to be. I had a tulsi plant in mind. My sister in law thought it looked more like a coconut pot though. That said, I seized the opportunity and invited her to finish it off. Fortunately, she did a great job of rescuing it.
We all talked and laughed as usual, in a home overflowing with happy people (and two puppies).
And of course, I stuffed myself full of fish curry as usual too. [click to continue…]
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