View from my apartment in India

Living and Working in India: The Hassle Factor

After living and working in India for 6 months now, I can tell you that much of the time I feel like everything is just a big hassle here. Getting things accomplished in India requires a lot of patience, and those that know me best, know that is not one of my best traits.  Nothing, even the simplest things, are ever easy!  Here are some of many examples.

Buying data for for corporate use

We opened a corporate account with a local telecom carrier so that we could more easily make changes to our plans.  This would give us the option for “post paid”, versus pre paid, meaning they would bill us for our data usage instead of having to pay up front. Initially they asked for about 10 documents, such as articles of incorporation, a letter of explanation on company letterhead, copy of the directors passport, etc.  Each page of every document had to be stamped and signed.  After jumping through all these hoops we finally successfully opened an account. A few days later I went into the store to make some changes to our data plans only to find out that I have to provide originals of all those documents EVERY time we want to make any changes.

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Abandoned home along the highway

Interesting Sights on a Road Trip in India

Last weekend we headed out on another road trip, this time to Jim Corbett National Park, which is located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, India. The park was established in the year 1936 and is India’s oldest National Park.They have a wildlife and tiger reserve there and I’m still on a quest to see a tiger in the wild before I leave India. As is the case with life, the journey was every bit as interesting as the destination.

 

Getting there

The park is located at the foothills of the Himalayas and It took us about 7 hours by car to travel the 250 kilometers. We drove through a number of small villages and towns, including Ramnagar and Muradabad. I’ve been in India for 6 months now but the things I see on the roads still fascinate me!

You see everything on the roads in India

Interesting Random Facts & Observations About India

It is called “Incredible India” for a reason. Every day I learn something new about this place, or see something fascinating. Sometimes it’s entertaining, other times disturbing, but it always interesting!

Hindi Language

1.  The Hindi language is beautiful and much easier to learn to speak than it is to read and write.  There are many English words that don’t have a corresponding Hindi word, so they often mix the two languages.  For example, the phrase “Good idea” is “Acha idea hay” in Hindi.

Healthcare

2. Healthcare is ridiculously cheap over here. I was having some abdomen pains so they did an ultra sound of all my organs. The total cost was $35 USD!  And they sent me out the door with the physical X Ray films.

Human Resources

3.  It is standard practice to give 2 to 3 months notice when leaving a current employer, and often they will buy them back.  It makes hiring over here a real challenge.

Unmarried Couples

4. Unmarried Indian couples often have a difficult time renting a room in a hotel or resort due to the conservative beliefs of society. Sometimes they are even harassed or harmed for trying. Rarely do people live together before marriage.

Indian wedding invitation

Weddings and Marriage in India 

Weddings here in India are huge!  The festivities can go on for months, with an engagement ceremony, ring ceremony, henna ceremony, and other celebrations, even before the big day. The actual wedding can go on for days or a week, and it is a major event for all extended family.

Getting ready

It’s amazing how these people can take an empty dusty lot and over days turn it into a beautiful wedding venue. I’ve been watching such activities from the balcony of my apartment for the last couple of weeks. Decorations and other supplies for the event arrive on motorcycle, trucks, bicycles, donkeys, and of course even carried in on the heads of women in their traditional Indian manner.  I hope some day I get to attend one of these spectacular events before I return to America for good.

People bathing in a mud puddle in India

A Very Bad Day in India

We all have bad days. They are just part of life. I recently experienced one in India, and the circumstances, for the most part, were unique to India. It all started when I was on a conference call. I work odd hours over here because of the 12.5 hour time difference. This was an 7:00 AM conference call and I was already in a bad mood because I had to skip my work out. Keep in mind that I connect to my conference calls through the Internet. The electricity suddenly went out which disconnected me front the call, and I was the facilitator!  The electricity goes off all the time here due to over population and unregulated electrical work. I never was able to reconnect to the call because the back up generators didn’t kick on for some reason.

 

Electrical blackouts

I finished getting ready the best I could without electricity. That meant no hot shower, no coffee and no curling my hair. Plus there was no air conditioning, which meant it was soon about 85 degrees in my apartment! By the time I left for work I was covered in sweat and in a very foul mood.

My apartment complex in Gurgaon, India

The Process of Renting a Full Service Apartment in India

I’ve been staying at the Courtyard Marriott for the last 4 months and as much as I love that hotel and their wonderful staff, it was time to get my own place. I missed cooking, having the ability to entertain and I needed more space, so I decided to look at furnished apartments. I was pleasantly surprised to find some lovely apartment, nicely furnished, in a safe and self-contained community. So after filling out a long contract and providing all the necessary paperwork, I spent the weekend moving into my apartment in a beautiful complex called Palm Springs!

Things to know

Here are some interesting facts. The smallest one I could find is 3 bedrooms and they go up to 6 bedrooms. Mine also has 3 1/2 baths plus a maids quarters. Each bedroom has its own washroom, like a master suite in the states.The maids washroom is outside by the washing machine.The service staff even have their own elevator! They don’t have clothes dryers here and instead provided me with a clothes rack, so I guess all the neighbors will get to look at my delicates out drying in the hot sun.