Saturday, June 5, 2010
Burnin' through the Rupees....
After the morning walk upo the street with Beloved, I had a little breakfast (granola, apricot yogurt and the best mango you ever tasted!) - I had to "wait for the cable guy - Indian style" today. Actually - two guys. The actual satellite guys who are here now arrived for their 11:00 A.M. appointment at 5:30 P.M. Gotta love India!! At least I didn't stick around waiting all day. Cell phones are so important here! I did hear from them with updates...and even blew them off for a couple of hours after Suzanne got off work so we couild go to "Shoppers Stop" (think Target, only smaller) and "Hyper City" (kind of a Wal-Mart/Whole Foods/Best Buy/Wicke's Furniture combo-place in the basement of the "In Orbit Mall". Yeah...we got our coffee-maker!! Why on earth our driver Naseer took me to the "used kitchenware" kiosk yesterday is beyond me. Today...we learned where we are going to shop for the next two years!! I must say, that even by American standards, these places were pretty cool!!
The other fellow we met at 11:30 A.M. - and his name is Parminder Singh. He's and Indian relocation specialist...and he's the guy who's getting us set-up with high-speed wireless modems and satelitte "air cards" so we can have internet everywhere. I mean, what would I do without Facebook and this blog?? Parminder is another Super Star. As ex-pat relocation clients go, Aims and I are pretty "low maintenance" - - with us not staying any time in a hotel and moving straight to a house and all that. He told us not to hesitate to call him if there was anything we needed. Parminder is a Sikh (obvious by the name!) - so, I asked him if he would take us to Gurdwara (after I contact my new Bishop and find a Church to go to on Sundays!!)
So...let's see....in addition to the new coffee-maker and some coffee (Hey Silton and Miss Jane in Baton Rouge….all of the coffee here is blended with chickory - - just like Café du Monde!!!) - we bought a couple of waste-paper baskets, some towels and wash-cloths, some standard-issue red wine glasses, new flatware, some plates and coffee-mugs, a big old basket for Beloved's vast collection of toys, a nice new laundry-hamper, a ton of bottled water (you use it for everything here out of necessity!), some great looking mangoes, a plastic container of Q-tips, a case of Pedigree dog-food in the envelopes, a set of stainless bowls for water, dry-food and wet-food for The Bee, different sized batteries for the two clocks downstairs (one was stuck on 10:43 and the other one at 1:20!! Kept making the jet-lag feel waaay worse!!), even MORE bottled water, all kinds of fruit-flavored yogurt (it's really yummy!), more Diet Coke, paper towels, some nice small glasses (should I ever find out where they sell some decent single-malt Scotch Whisky around these parts, a bathroom vanity-set (identical to the one we left at home in storage!)….about ten big bags and baskets-full of "the stuff we needed".
When the actual Internet guy arrived…he needed 6,000.00 IRs (Indian Rupees) and the Cable TV guys got another 16,500.00…which pretty much burned through the supply of rupees we got at the airport. As a bonus, we owed another batch of IR's and didn't want to bother Naseer for a ride to the ATM (we're still having to use our stateside bank cards…our Indian account can't be opened until we go through something called FRRO…a "welcome to India" meeting with the government authorities. So, we put together a package of U.S. $100.00's and $20.00's and made things happen. The Almighty Dollar is still the world currency of choice! Current rate is 48 Rs per U.S. $1.00 - - mentally it's "50/1" for ease on the brain. Think a 500.00IR note as being a ten-spot and a 1,000.00 IR note as being worth $20.00. Don't even begin to ask how to do "Celsius to Farenheit", all I know is 34C. is freaking hot!!
It's 9:00 P.M. now. Sumeeta and Hari came by to see how we're doing and check the pool plastering and water-quality. The cable guys are still here working…as a matter of fact, Suzanne (I am NOT making this UP!!) is assisting by HOLDING the bare wires (no plug, mind you!) into the socket so the big hammering power-drill can cut a hole in our bedroom window. Did I mention….no plug needed!! It sounds like a freaking machine-gun duel is going on. We've got Beloved locked in the bathroom….and she is NOT happy!
I think I'll give my last few hundred rupees to these guys as a tip for working well into the night!
Good night from steamy Hyderabad. Tomorrow we will go out to find the "Hyderabad Riding and Polo Club" so Amy can find a little sanity!!