Friday, January 31, 2014

Moved in to temporary apartment

On Monday we moved out of the safety and comfort of the hotel into an apartment. We'll be here for a month or so. Our new place is on the top floor of a modern-ish building in the middle-class neighbourhood of Tilak Nagar. It's in gated block of  around 100 3-4 story apartment buildings with a park at the centre. We have access to the terrace on the room, from which we get a nice view around. It's a short distance to Freddie's work, which was the main reason we picked the place, and that there was a playground in the park in front. It's not a posh place but seems ok. Like the rest of Delhi there is dust everywhere.

When Freddie left for work the afternoon that we moved in I felt rather isolated. I couldn't find places to fill the cupboards with anything familiar to eat. Walking around with 2 kids made me quite alien in the neighbourhood, indians are not shy to stop and stare. Failing to put dinner on the table in the evening we braved the crowd and ventured out to the market area by the metro station and ate street food. The hussle and bustle of the people was very enlivening. The following day the landlord showed me where there was a small supermarket and the apartment started to feel a little more like home.

Freddie works 4 days per week and while feeding Oscar has decided that she'll take Wednesdays off. We decided that after being in Delhi for almost a week without seeing anything old it was time to head to the old centre. We took the metro into Chandni Chowk which is the old main road that runs from the old town to the Red Fort. The metro took almost a hour and along the way we passed by lots of neighbourhoods that looked just like ours. We began to get the feeling that we were living in a very big city. Chandni Chowk was really crowded with honking cars and people, but wasn't as overpowering as I'd been expecting. There were some beggars asking for money and every inch of space was occupied by something but there was always a way through. The pram that we brought from Europe would have been pointless here, with all the obstacles and bumpy pavement, where it existed. Anton was happy in the backpack on my back and Oscar being carried by Freddie in a pouch.

We didn't come to town with a particular objective but ended out at the Red Fort which we went into. It was very impressive. The exterior walls of red stone were amazing and the gate through which one entered very impressive. Once inside and past where tickets were obligatory it became quite relaxed. There were palaces and pavillions arranged around lawns. Many of them were under repair but still very beautiful. There was differential pricing for Indians and foreigners but the price (250 rupees each) was worth it. I'm sure we'll be back when we get visitors.  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Delhi Arrival

We flew into Delhi this morning. Everything was a completely rushed in the morning with final packing, but went totally fine. The flight worked out very well. Anton was totally engrossed in the inflight entertainment system (I hope we can ween him off lots of videos). Oscar didn't really sleep too much but was very calm about it all, with only short moments of tragedy. All our luggage arrived with us unscathed and the transport that had been ordered to get us to the hotel waited even though we were much later coming out of the terminal than expected. By the time that we got to bed it was after midnight our time and almost time for the sun to come here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

India here we come

The goods to be shipped have gone. The visas are in our hands. The house is still in a bit of chaos but it won't take much time, time that we have, to squeeze all into a state of order. Either into one of the many suitcases, more than I've ever left a house with, that will fly with us, or go into storage downstairs. It feels strange to be doing this. It's not like a holiday where things that we want to do before we leave, like cleaning the toilet, can be left to when we come home. It's not like that, we are leaving and we are not coming back!

Tomorrow we take a KLM flight to India. Next our home, the only one that both our sons have ever known will be occupied by tenant and our new one will be amongst the millions of inhabitants of Delhi. It's all organised, driver to pick us up, a hotel for a couple of nights. A temporary apartment for a month will follow, after that the process of building a new home will follow.

I'm scared and excited. How will Oscar and Anton find India, how will I find it? Will the food be edible (by the boys, I'm sure I'll like it)? Will I miss bacon a lot? How will the people be with us? Will I be able to cope without the possibility to ride a bike? Thousands of doubts and questions come.