So, I got a fab new job in my field that is a huge step up (with a huge pay hike) but the job required an overseas move to India. So, after a few weeks to prepare everything, here I am in week one. I had to come alone for now but hope my husband will join me soon. I had booked an apartment for myself for the first couple weeks that is near my workplace. So far it seems pretty good and I think I may extend my stay for the rest of my term but want to have a look at some similar places to make sure the value is good.
The flat has two bedrooms-which will be great for the visitors that I hope will come-and a whopping four bathrooms. This seemed a bit strange to me at first but one is a powder room for visitors attached to the living room, two full bathrooms are attached to the bedrooms, and then there is one near the kitchen in case one hires help. I guess it is not normal for staff to use the regular powder room? Anyway, there is also a kitchen (no stove unfortunately which means no baking!) and the flat has air conditioning, back up power, hot water, good internet, tv with lots of channels (including English ones), security, daily housekeeping if desired, a R.O. water filtration system, and laundry machines available or full laundry service. The flat also has a nice balcony that will be great in cooler weather-but not anytime soon as May is the hottest month of the year.
The dreaded pollution has not really been an issue for me yet-people say it is worse in winter-but the weather is potentially awful. I am literally coming at the WORST time of year. This last week has ranged from 38-44 degrees. Honestly, however, I do not notice it at all when I am indoors as the air conditioner, building style, and fans really do help. Most of the day I do not even keep the ac on as the fans do a great job. But, at night I need it all night. Any time outside, however, especially between 1-6pm is when the heat gets very real. In small doses it is still okay (ie walking over to the main road to catch a cab with ac) but longer lengths of time can get ugly.
My first night I basically got settled, ate leftovers I had lugged from London (after paying a huge amount for my margherita pizza at a restaurant near Heathrow I was not going to just leave it and waste it!), showered, and slept. Next morning I cooked up some toast and eggs (a welcome basket is provided for guests) and realized I will need food ASAP. I found a tiny shop nearby with not many options but bought the basics like shampoo, soap, toilet paper, water, and soft drinks. As I was not sure where to shop yet and didn’t know my way about and did not want to carry anything in the heat, I did some online searching and found a grocer that delivers. I make a full order and was surprised when it was actually on time! I am going to use this service on a regular basis-it is fabulous. Delivery is free if you spend a certain amount (easy enough) or a small fee. Totally worth it. Plus they have a lot of great western products.
I have also ordered take away twice. Unfortunately, the last time has given me a bit of an upset stomach. Of course, it could be something else but I suspect it was the take away. This inspires me to cook at home more often as I am pregnant and really do not want to deal with a bad case of Delhi Belly!
My first day of work soon was around the corner and my big worry was how I would get to work. My boss told me to use UBER but I only had a western phone with no data once I left the home wifi network. Was not sure if UBER would work. I also had no idea where my work was (despite knowing generally on a map!). So, on my first day I just walked down to the main road and decided to take a rickshaw as they were the most plentiful. I said the name of the area and building and the driver knew exactly where it was. I was happy I did not have to give any directions or explanations. We negotiated a price and off we went. The drive was short so that was great and there was not too much traffic. I think I will take this option for work on a regular basis. At work I later asked if I was charged a fair price and turns out I was. Hmmm….definitely a good sign as I was expecting to be ripped off.
My office is nice and has good air conditioning (my boss disagreed based on her description). I met two of the staff members who gave me a tour and then showed me the initial ropes. The others are due back next week. In the afternoons I have been taking a taxi home rather than the rickshaw as it is scorching by then and the ac is just great.
Been plugging away at work and spending most of the rest of time at home as I have been feeling very jet lagged. I did go out to a dinner party one night, though, which was great as I was feeling a bit shut in. It was a short drive away in the New Friends Colony at a pub like place that does not serve alcohol anymore due to a new law everyone is upset about.
So far, all is fairly well. Things take much longer and can be more frustrating here (will have to write about the SIM card and the dreaded foreigner registration process in other posts) as no one thinks they need to wait in line and the heat makes one irritable. However, am making progress in settling down. The worst thing is not having my dear husband about. I wish these first weeks were an adventure we could enjoy together but he will not be able to come for a few months. I tried really hard to convince him (pressure him!) but he is right and he needs to take care of things back home before joining me so will have to get by solo for a while. I am sure I will have a million more posts to come but this one generally sums up the first week.