Greetings from beautiful Bangalore! Now that everyone at home is heading off to sleep and they are no longer calling me via Skype I have a chance to sit down and tell you all how we have been!
It has been a very busy first few days and we are adjusting to everything fairly well. There is so much that I want to share with you that I hardly know where to start! I think I should start with a shower though. Yes, you heard right, a shower. See, at home this is a fairly simple process. Strip, turn on the water and get in and do your business. Well, our first morning here I headed to the bathroom with the intention of doing just that. I stripped, turned on the water and got in. Holy mofo-bejeezus. COLD! Turn right, turn left, still freakin' cold!!!! So I took a very refreshing and quick shower and got out. Well, turns out that there is a water heater that you have to turn on for the shower. That was one of the many, many light switch looking things on the wall. Well, this make sense, India does all that it can- out of necessity- to conserve energy and power in all forms. So usually in each area where hot water would be had will be an individual water heater. Smart.
So, day 2 I turned on the important light switch looking thing, waited about 5-10 minutes and then proceeded with the shower sequence. Ahhh, nice warm water.....wait, it's getting colder... cold again!!! Yikes- that warm water does NOT last very long! Turns out the tank for said water heater is not so large.
Day 3: necessity being the mother of adaptation, we have all switched to taking showers Indian style. This means we turn on the water heater, wait the needed amount of time, and then we fill up a large bucket with the now highly valued warm water. We then use a small bucket/scoop to shower ourselves by hand. Quite effective actually! It sure uses a LOT less water too. I can usually get by with one large bucket full, but need a bit more when I need to wash my hair. Wow. The daily adventures of India!
So, we are currently staying in a flat in the Southern part of Bangalore, Koramangala. It is a very busy area and getting anywhere is quite a challenge. For example, we are very close to one of the larger, nicer malls in Bangalore- it would be a short walk from here. Except that we would have to cross this very busy street. Now doing this in a safe way takes a bit of practice I think, and I don't feel like I am quite up to it yet! So we haven't been there, even though there is supposed to be a good coffee place there (and a Lush, and a movie theater...). I am going to have to brave it one of these day though. In the meantime I am enjoying the view from our balcony as Bryan has the car/driver today...
Here is one of the neighborhood strays...
And here is our flat!
This is actually the second flat we have been in. When we first arrived we were in another, far less pleasant- alright, downright dingy - apartment that smelled rather bad. Then on Sunday they came in and announced that we had to move to another flat. "Why!?" we asked, as we had just unpacked things, and the cats were finally starting to relax a little... Well, we never did find out why, but we suspect that they may have made a mistake and put us in the wrong flat in the first place. Anyway, we are much happier here and the cats are as well (no unpleasant cleaner smells for one thing). Although Benny would sort of like to go outside...
The funny part about being in a "Serviced Apartment" is that I chose this option so that we could feel more independent, make our own meals, etc... Well, it turns out that a serviced apartment comes with service. Who knew? So, every morning there is a "boy" (their term, not mine) who comes to make us breakfast and then clean up the flat. He will even do laundry and iron. The ironing is necessary because there are no power clothes dryers here. Again- lower energy usage- we from the states could learn a lot from the Indians!!!!! So we are getting used to the idea of having someone work for us in this way. Weird.
So, we are here for two more weeks. We got the house we wanted and it is in a good location for Anna's school (she starts tomorrow)- also not too bad for Bryan's work. If you go to Bryan's blog you can see some pictures of the house. It is quite large and is a very modern and newly built house. For you Bay Area natives out there, I think I would describe it as a modern, 3-level Eichler. Very nice design. It is big enough to have guests, but now we have to get some furniture... (hey didn't we just get rid of all our stuff?! yikes.)
My daughter would also like you all to know that she has started a blog as well. She is telling about her experiences here in India. Her blog is called "Curry Pizza".
Till next time!