Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A Day in the Life...

Whenever anyone heard that we were going to be moving to India, the inevitable question was, "So what are you going to do?" Well the current answer to that question is:

...sitting at home, going a little stir crazy, spending too many days of my life waiting for electricians, painters, carpenters and the like who have arranged to come to make finishing touches on the house...but they never show.

I have to remember, "tomorrow" just means not today.

Very frustrating.

But, our shipment arrived and ..... (drumroll)... I have my yarn! My fiber! My spinning wheel! Also all of the other necessary things like a blocking board, yarn swift, etc... My swift was damaged in the shipment and now I am a little afraid to check my spinning wheel.

It is starting to feel like a normal house though. We have our stuff. We have TV and I even watched the last quarter of the Super Bowl! That was a pretty awesome quarter to catch. And now, I am able to keep up with all of the Super Tuesday goings on.

The neighborhood here is a fairly nice one by Indian standards. By nice I mean that there are nice houses here. There isn't a lot of greenery like I am used to, but the houses are all fairly large and full of household help and such. I have had a stream of women coming by looking for work and had one woman who wanted to work full time for 3500 rupees/ month (less than $100 USD). I think she was even looking for a "live in" position. But I had already heard about another woman who was looking for a full time position, had experience with another expat family and spoke excellent English (much, much more helpful to me!!!!). So, Lalitha started working on Monday and is a real dear. She can clean far better and much faster than I am able to and I feel like all of the dust and grunge that we have been walking on for the last week is finally starting to get cleared away. Well worth the more than 3500 Rs. we have agreed to pay her.

So, while I am India, charming, exotic locale that it is; the hanging around the house part feels pretty mundane and uninteresting.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

But still, some things are different. For example, some of what I have become aware of by being around the house are the day to day goings on of the neighborhood. We have the lady who comes by in the morning selling little garlands of flowers, the garbage truck comes by at around 10. Wait. I have to tell you about that. Garbage.

So, at home garbage is very organized. You get two large containers. One is black and is for garbage, one is green and is for garden and lawn waste. In addition to that you have containers to put your recycling into. Paper, plastic, cans, styrofoam.... you know. Recycling. Pick up is every Thursday.

So - back to India. I knew that garbage collection was a little different and that for some areas one of the perks of having household help is that they are the ones who have to deposit the garbage somewhere. Now, this being the nice area that it is that doesn't happen around here. Well...yeah. But I finally asked the owner, "So, what about garbage?" She told me to just put it out in a bag - well actually she said a covered bin which after some back and forth I realized that she meant a bin with a plastic bag, but you don't leave the bin out, just the bag. "So, when?" I asked. In the morning was her response. Well, after a few days I realized that she was right. In the morning. Every morning. A little truck (kind of like a Vespa with a large box on back) comes by and collects the trash. On Sunday they came by to collect the fees as well. 50 rupees. (about $1.50 USD) A month. And you know what? I think we are being overharged.

Another person who comes by is the milk delivery man. Now, he comes by early. 6:30 am early. I am not usually real awake then... but he did come by later in the day and ask if we wanted milk delivery. It is done on a token system. So, we bought a little book of tokens and every night I put out a token, in a plastic bag, under a rock (so it doesn't blow away) and in the morning there is a half liter of milk! Pasteurized but not homogenized and some of the best milk I have had. Check out the packaging though...
When I first saw these in the grocery store I was confused as to what they were. Finally we realized- but we stuck to the milk in the boxes. We just couldn't get our heads around how you would deal with milk in a... well, a bag. I have to admit that I am still working on mastering the finer points of how to pour without dribbling. But the real lovely thing about the milk is this...

South Indian Filter Coffee


MrsFife said...

I was going to ask how you manage with just half a litre of milk, but then I realised you don't set/eat curd (yoghurt).
It is interesting to keep reading your view of things.

Margene said...

Every time I come to your blog I'm in culture shock. I can imagine how it is for YOU!

Maya said...

So, waiting for the cable guy is a global experience! Good to know!

I hope all your workmen show up soon, and you can start to get out of the house and into more culture. You're going to have to make sure you have connections out there, without a job or school to make them for you. A little scary, maybe, but also really exciting, it seems to me. The possibilities are just wide open... how fun!

theknitist said...

The TV and the fiber arrived, woot! That ought to make things a bit more fun around the house.

I wish we had a milk man - but I recently joined a co-op for raw milk, so it's a start :)

Jasmin said...

My favorite part of being in Tehran was the non-homogenized milk. I got the cream off the top every time (since my aunt usually just skimmed it off and threw it out).

My cousins thought it was very odd.

"Don't you have milk in America?"

Bogie said...

"tomorrow" just means not today

That would drive me batty until I could accept the fact that it's not in my control... which might take all of 2 years. lol

So, no more house boy? :(

Pauline said...

This is the best travelog ever!

Abigail said...

I wish we had a milkman too, now that we're drinking milk again. I joined the same co-op as Jeni. :)

I think milk in a bag is an opportunity for a gorgeous bottle of some sort to dump the whole thing into! :D

Juls said...

ooh, that coffee looks wonderful. We miss you at Boba.

no-blog-rachel said...

I agree with Janice - I'd have a hard time with 'tomorrow' meaning just not today. It is so cool reading about India through your eyes!

I miss you - and don't worry, I haven't forgotten to try to snag you some Bob schwag if they have it at the Ravelry booth at Stitches. :)

lillamy said...

i absolutely love reading your every day observations on india! the pictures are gorgeous! it's so interesting, i'm just soaking up every word:) huge change, huge challenge, you guys are amazing for taking this incredible journey!

Lynne said...

Fascinating! All the minutiae of life that we usually take for granted come and whack us over the head when we move Someplace Else.
Maybe there is a special jug for the milk, like they have in Ontario where milk comes in bags?
BTW, I knew a Lalitha too but she was very excited to be moving from Oz to the USA!

Cookie said...

I was also going to say that the milk I've seen in Canada also comes in bags, and they have special pitchers to hold the bags and pour from. I always think it would be better to put the milk into a more air-tight pitcher, instead of pouring it directly from the bag, but what do I know?

I hope you're having fun exploring. It sure looks like you are!

Helen Bratko said...

Wow. Just wow. Love you house!! Love your stories about garbage and milk delivery. Milk in a bag, that's a new one. Glad it is tasty and makes great coffee. Yum!

Bikerdude said...

Ah- bitten by the filter bug, are you :) Glad you're adjusting and beginning to make sense out of a potentially chaotic existence in Bangalore :)

Keep em coming!