Diary Of An Expat: Week Three

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Three weeks in and I’m starting to feel like my old self again. Not much has changed really, and this week definitely hasn’t been smooth sailing but it’s nice to wake up everyday and not question if we’ve done the right thing.

The Internet connection continues to be a (frustrating) issue. What happens is, the company who provides our Internet has a competitor, much like Optus V Telstra, and this competing company frequently just goes around cutting the telephone wires that provide the Internet from our company. If it weren’t so frustrating it would probably be funny that this ACTUALLY happens and happens almost daily! I said to my husband that we need to be with the wire cutting company not the other way around, lol. Our Internet provider is very good as rectifying this situation quickly but it still takes at least half a day and in this day and age, as we all know, half a day without Internet is almost like the worst torture there is!

Anyway so to add to the continuing “welcome to a developing country” theme, one morning this week we ran out of water. Like turn on the tap and nothing at all comes out.  Even the tank was empty. We literally couldn’t do anything. Again we are fortunate that we are in a position to be able to buy water quickly, but still! I’m beginning to think that when I go back to Australia or the United States, everything will seem soooooo luxurious!!!!!!

Highlight:

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As I mentioned last week, this week was my 28th birthday. We went to a restaurant called Bukhara, which is in one of the Sheraton Hotels here. It has been rated one of the top 50 restaurants in the world and honestly, the food was amazing. We ended up having to take the kids with us but by some miracle they were perfectly behaved and really loved the fun of celebrating mummy’s birthday. My husband even organised a cake but requested the staff NOT sing ha-ha, which just goes to show how well he knows me. I received some clothes for my birthday and loved getting dressed up and debuting my new pom pom gladiator sandals from Zara. See this post for more pictures.

New Words I learnt: 

Namaskar – formal greeting as opposed to Namaste

Haanjee – yes / ok

Naahi Chahia – No,  I don’t want it

Kitna- How much?

Things I’m loving: Slowly making a few connections and seeing the world of India opening up a little bit. I guess my perception of India and opportunities within India have been based on our frequent but very short trips here in the past. Those trips have always been about family and spending time with my MIL and so we never really ventured out too much. Now however I am starting to get a better sense of the country and the opportunities that are here and I have to say that although I know it won’t come quickly, I am cheered by the potential possibilities.

Things I’m missing: Obviously with my birthday and Fathers Day this week, I am missing my family quite a bit. Before we left we had a lovely birthday dinner with my parents but I really would have loved to be able to do something with my dad today too. I am grateful though that even though it isn’t Fathers Day here in India, we will celebrate my husband and have another day out.

What I’m looking forward to: The monsoons ending and the festival season of Delhi beginning. I don’t actually know what that looks like but I’ve been told it is the best, most exciting and most colourful time to be in India so I’m ready to experience it.

Your questions:

  • RE our servants: Do they talk to you? What jobs do they do? How often do they come? What do they wear? He he so lets breaks it down:
    • Most of them don’t speak English and I don’t speak Hindi but we say good morning and then a few sentences here and there if we need to try and communicate with each other. But the women all love the children and I always encourage the kids to say hello and to play a little with them so I hope they feel that I am friendly and easy going.
    • They do the basic household chores like dishes, sweeping, mopping, hanging out washing etc. We don’t have a cook, but many Indian families do, so they don’t do any cooking and after we have eaten we scrape and rinse the plates ourselves so they don’t have to touch any food or unwashed utensils. They will clean the bathrooms but not the toilets and I wash and hang out all of our underwear so they don’t come across it in the laundry (apparently this is very disrespectful).
    • We have two sets of servants. 2-3 ladies come from about 9am to 12pm and then 2 different ladies come around 4pm until 6ish. So we eat our main meal at about 1pm so that by the time the ladies leave at 6/6:30pm the kitchen is clean and essentially closed for the night. We also have a gardener called Mali who comes for a few hours in the middle of the day and he does everything from watering the garden, planting trees, cleaning the car and any odd jobs here and there.
    • They women usually look better than me ha-ha they wear full saris and everyday is a different one. Despite washing clothes by hand (I use a washing machine) and doing manual work they all have bracelets, rings, toe rings and nail polish on.
  • Is it cheaper to live in India? How much is a litre of milk / loaf of bread etc.
    • Yes it is very cheap to live here, especially if you are coming in with a foreign currency like AUD or USD. A litre of milk is about 50 rupees which is approx. $1 AUD and loaf of bread would be between 25-50 rupees so 50 c – $1 AUD. Of course if you buy imported grocery products with popular international brand names i.e. Kellogg’s or Huggies baby products, they can be quite a bit more expensive but fresh produce and staples are much cheaper to buy than back home.
  • Are you basically living in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel?
    • Lol, if any of you haven’t seen that movie, than you must, it is so good. Firstly- NO we are not ha-ha but I have to say, that movie is quite an accurate depiction of living in India so if you are watching it thinking that the crowds, colour or noise is heightened for cinematic purposes, trust me – its not!
  • Is it safe to live in India? 
    • Look, it’s safe-ish. I am coming from a bit of a sheltered India experience in that we live in a very safe gated community, my husband is currently always with me when we go out and he is half Indian and 6’5” which basically means, no one messes with us. I don’t ever feel threatened and like I can’t have a handbag on or anything like that, but you can’t ever fully relax completely like you would back home. I wouldn’t go out at night by myself, I wouldn’t feel safe to get into a taxi and even today at a huge supermarket, one of the employees put two bottles of body wash into our shopping cart which we paid for and didn’t realise until we got home. So I wouldn’t say I feel unsafe but I am definitely weary of getting scammed and taken advantage of.
  • Do people actually eat Butter Chicken?
    • I have actually gotten this question 4 times ha-ha!!! Yes they do and yes it is delicious and yes it tastes pretty similar to good Indian restaurants back home!

So that’s week three done! I hope you are still enjoying reading these posts; I really enjoy writing them, as it’s a great way for me to decompress the week and get some perspective. Keep sending you questions in, I absolutely love getting them and often get a laugh from them too. You can comment here, email me or comment on a recent post on my Instagram and I’ll answer it here next week.

Have a great week everyone xxx

4 thoughts on “Diary Of An Expat: Week Three

  1. I love reading these! When I look at my home & life here in Brisbane I get a much stronger sense of gratitude when you highlight what it’s like in another country, so thank you for that.

    My questions for upcoming blogs:
    A) have you thought about setting up an online fashion/jewelry store with a local designer/seamstress there? (Because I think you would be great at it and I need a new maxi skirt 🙂
    B) Does western fashion get much of a play in Dehli? Or is it a cross section of everything being a major city?

    Thanks!
    Xx

    Liked by 1 person

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