Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bangalore, Day 1

As soon as we walked into the apartment we were greeted with an overwhelming scent of…mothballs. Luckily, somewhere in my reading about India I had read that it was a common practice to put mothballs in the sinks and cabinets. I went around removing them, and dumped a total of about 3 dozen mothballs in the trash. The apartment still smells of them, but it's much better!

The apartment itself is pretty nice. We don't actually share a wall with anyone, which is excellent!

The only problem was the number of things we'd been told would be in the apartment that…weren't. The first I noticed was the bed situation. It's a 2 bedroom apartment, and university knows there are 4 of us, so I'd guessed there would be 3-4 beds. Wrong. There are two, one queen and one single. The guy on duty at 4am last night seemed genuinely confused as to why we were asking if we could get a cot for one of the kids to sleep on, and told us no. The kids weren't much interested in sleep anyway, but I told them they need to rest for a few hours, and they curled up one at each end of the bed and stayed there until I woke them at 9am. None of wanted to get up, but I had, once again, not managed to sleep so I figured I should lead the charge. One reason I wasn't sleeping was that, in addition to wondering how we would resolve the bed situation, I suddenly realized that the kitchen had a sink and cabinets…and that was it. We'd been told there would be cooking utensils, a stove top, electric kettle and fridge. A fridge did arrive this morning, but it's currently 345pm and there are no cups, plates, forks or anything to cook on or in. We were assured this morning that those things would be arriving, but so far just the fridge. Oh and we were again told, quite firmly, that another bed was out of the question. Not possible, not allowed. I'm still not sure how we will deal with this! We're hoping to find a place we can buy a cot, but so far we haven't even been able to start on that quest because….

…there's no internet! Not to harp on the "we were told" line, but we were told there was wi-fi in the apartment. Everyone we've spoken too since arriving has told us that no, there's no wi-fi in the CVH. This would be mildly annoying, but as it turns out, the ethernet cable doesn't work either. Neither my computer nor Robert's reads any connection at all when it is plugged in. We've tried everything we can think of, had the caretaker come to look- nothing. Caretaker said that the campus computer people would come to look at it at 1130 am, but that hasn't happened yet. We stayed here (while Zion slept- I had to wake him most forcefully!) so we wouldn't miss them, but finally at around 2pm we got a call from the CCS saying that they were coming in an hour to pick Robert up for a tour, so we decided that we really needed to go get some food (other than nuts and chocolate). We asked the caretaker and the guard at the gate where we could get a good lunch, and they both told us "over there" while waving in the same general direction. So we went over there. We found a place called Cane Crush that sells sugar cane juice and some food that I already forget what it was called (internet! I neeeeeeed you!). It was tasty, cheap ($4 for food and bottled water for the four of us) and we ordered way too much and brought some home. Then Robert was collected for his tour and I started writing all of this!

So, the camera. We will look to see what's available locally and how that price/quality compares to what we could buy in the states and have someone mail us. Obviously option #2 will take a while, so in the meantime we'll be grateful for the old iPhones that my brother and SIL gave the kids for games. Until further notice all pictures are coming from them!

The teeny corner of Bangalore I've seen was pretty neat. Dusty, tangled streets, lots of traffic (and horns!), tons of shops. We did pass a KFC, a Pizza Hut, and a Subway when we were looking for lunch- I wonder if we were being directed there, since, you know, we're Americans. But we also passed a Kwality Big Bazaar, which I plan to return to to buy a broom and dustpan, plus a sponge and dish soap (assuming we ever get dishes. If not I guess I might try to buy those there too!). It didn't look like the kind of place that would sell a cot, but I guess you never know. I've asked Robert to ask around at the department and see if anyone can advise him there. Hmm, guess we'll need sheets for it too. I've had several offers of help from family members of friends, but again: NO INTERNET! Pray for us (of course if you're reading this we either have internet or I've managed to find the wi-fi somewhere else on campus).


K said...

I'm glad to help you get a camera if you would like. Just say the word and we can make it happen!

Kristofer Young said...

Jovs, Loved hearing your news!!!!! I am excited for you.
BTW, I received your blog on my e-mail. At the moment, (in case it is unclear) I am using your Dad's google account.
love, love, Ma

Kristofer Young said...


Planning on a glossary for abbreviations for those of us who might forget that CVH stands for Centenary Visitors House?

"Dusty, tangled streets" sounds like a great start!!!

What a trip for the 4 of you!

Love, Dad