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May 09, 2007

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Ashutosh

Interesting! I returned 6 months back after spending several years in US and had opportunities in Gurgaon and Noida. Ended up choosing Noida over Gurgaon as I found it to be relatively less chaotic even though it has a U.P.’ish feel to it. Haven’t had a single “perfect” day so far where everything went right as per the day’s plan but I haven’t given up :)

Susan

As a Brit married to a PIO soon to be posted to Gurgaon for two years, I find your blog very illuminating. This will be my first time in India. My husband's family emigrated to the UK in the 60's and it will be his first return visit. I imagine the culture shock will be almost as great for him as for me. Nevertheless, we're viewing this as an adventure - and we're prepared to be amazed!

Looking forward to more Lemon & Ice,

Susan

Susan

PS:

Geet,

If you have the time and inclination, I'd love to correspond by e-mail about life in India.

All the best,

Susan

Geet on Gurgaon
Geet in Gurgaon

The Joys of an Indian Monsoon

Hello All

I am back after a lengthy and hectic, travel-wise, hiatus from this blog.

The 2 months of summer holidays allowed by the school to escape the Delhi heat is not quite sufficient as the heat doesn’t follow the same calendar!!

Instead we returned to the Northern Monsoon, slightly lower than 45 Celsius temperatures but high humidity and a complete lack of breeze.
The threat of rain gives you constant hope for some relief but doesn’t deliver very often. This is particularly true in the NCR where the construction boom has added to the dust levels in an already dry region. A word of advise to those coming to live here…….if it rains steadily for 30 minutes don’t bother venturing out into the streets unless it is absolutely unavoidable. The lack of drainage on the roads turns them into canals of murky sludge and you have no idea how deep the ruts are as previously level ground collapses into insufficiently filled areas where pipes etc. have been laid. I saw a number of 2-wheelers suddenly disappear till only their handles were visible, pedestrians stranded on the kerb/pavement unsure of where to step onto the roads to attempt a crossing of the deluge. Cars don’t fare much better, with the occasional BMW and Merc looking woeful in their new personas of partial submarines alongside the local cheaper models.

Growing up in Jamshedpur, I have nostalgic memories of the monsoons. The perfume of fresh rain on parched earth and taking hour long walks through empty streets in balmy downpours. Most commuters had sheltered under trees and watched in disbelief as my sisters and I enacted our version of Singing in the Rain. It used to take about 3 hours of rain to block the drains on those roads and cause any flooding. Within the Jamshedpur city limits civic infrastructure was maintained by Tata Steel and continues to be done so today. Even with this example in its neighbourhood the local government in Jharkhand would prefer to try and coerce Tata Steel into funding & taking over the civic responsibilities in Ranchi (capital) than emulate it themselves despite a fully staffed PWD Public Works Department.
What the Tata Steel model goes to show is if each city council or MCD actually took the initiative, these bodies could make more money by imposing and collecting fines for littering, organising regular inspections, garbage collection, and any number of other civic functions which could be charged to all the end users, commercial, government or private.

It would of course require some degree of integrity and drive to make something like this work. Development in Gurgaon (including DLF) is of the type where the numbering of the Sectors is based on when a development was built/sold, not on an overall plan already assigned with consecutive Sector numbers. This means that if you want to get from Sector 30 to 31, please stop and ask for directions or consult a map as they are not likely to be adjacent. With such ad hoc growth where is the thought to organising and implementing centralised civic amenities. Development is undertaken as a short-term endeavour, where the developer tries to sell as much off the plan as possible and then is not accountable for any shortages in power/water/civic supplies. There is currently a legal battle going on between the developer at Central Park (one of the better developments to live in) and the apartment owners. The bone of contention is the Club House (gym, pool, tennis courts etc.) which owners were originally lured with as part of their purchase in to the development. Now that the project is nearly finished, the developer wants the owners to pay more before they will make the Club House accessible and they also want to open it to public membership, making a mockery of the security gates which are supposed to afford privacy to the inhabitants!!! The losers, other than the owners, in this are the many tenants who were promised a club house with facilities by assorted rental agents and moved in there instead of somewhere else where their kids might have had access to a pool.

I had hoped to impart some knowledge about International schools before going on the summer break but will do so now. In a nutshell it will cost a primary level child approx. USD15,000 in the first year at the British School and approx. USD42,700 in the first year at the American school. The fees go up in middle and high school and you can consult those fees by clicking on the links below.

For the American Embassy School, New Delhi please click on http://aes.ac.in/web/AES/index.htm

For the British School, New Delhi please click on
http://www.british-school.org/newsite/index.php
http://www.british-school.org/newsite/parents_and_teachers/fee_structure.php

For Pathways International School click on
http://pathways.ac.in/admissions_feestructure.asp

I believe there is a German school in Delhi, but I don’t have any detailed knowledge about it. Please click on http://www.gsis.edu.hk/important-links/german.php

There are locally run International schools like the following:
http://www.scottishigh.com/contact.htm
http://www.vasantvalley.org/
http://www.tsrs.org/

If any of you have any questions I will try to assist with the same.

For the moment I have to end here and wish you all a very Happy Raksha Bandhan.

Suja

"USD42,700 in the first year at the American school." whew! ... Now, most desis in pardes would be content to have their kids enjoy public school; wonder how many of them could afford this in America. :-)

Silvia

Hi! I'm so happy to have come across your site! I moved to Gurgaon from Chicago to be with my hubby who's Indian, and I love it! One question for you- I am Registered nurse but do not want to work in th hospitals here, I'd love to perhaps babysit in my home. Can you please tell me if this is common to do, or is it not really heard of in India? I love kids, don't have any yet and am 34, non-Hindi speaking though. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks! Silvia sgm1996@yahoo.com

Connie

Hi, I am not indian and also suffering with culture :) I have a question. Can I work with X type visa ? I am accompanying my husband here, and doing volunteer work, but I am not happy with my volunteer work. So i thought about working, but I don t want to upset the NGO because they gave me all the papers to get my X type visa. My husband studies at this NGO, and I applied as a housewife and volunter. But now I don t want to volunteer for them anymore. Any help ?? Thanks a lot. Your country is beautiful, but maybe I will come back in 150 years ? hahaha

Raj

Great article by Geet. And very true. I am a NR2I2R i.e.
Australian resident returned to India to Return. After 12 years in Sydney I returned to Delhi/ Noida for 3-4 years but returned much earlier back to Sydney. Not because that I did not like it there but for career reasons. For a right opportunity I’d like to return again.

Most of the experiences I had were similar i.e. with servants, poor electricity, water problems in Noida, UP bhaiyas and their traffic sense – you need a local driver to drive and also to shout at others. Off course lots of good things like immediate connection with friends, relatives, variety of affordable foods in restaurants (never cooked on weekends), never had to wash and iron or clean or do small jobs; servants at home and assistants at work would happily do that. Attend all weddings, family functions etc.
Beware of 'Ho Jayega' attitude of worksman unless referred by someone try them at your own risk. From electrician to AC fitter I had problems with all of them. They all overate their skills.

Also I think it’s a great myth when people say their kids (primary) wont be able to adjust, its just a excuse. I found my kid adapted so well (in school & neighbourhood) after 3-4 months that their overall happiness level increased.

There are problems in India as well as in west, it depends which set of problems would you rather live with?

Aruna

Great article Geet! We are planning on moving to India on an ex pat assignment. I get so nervous at the thought of my children adjusting in to a school there - - thinking they might be made fun of. Pathways seems like a great option.But it seems rather out of the way for us as we plan to live near Connaught PLace. We are thinking of sending the kids to the American Embassy School for a year and then maybe move them to a local school . What do you feel? Any advice would be much appreciated. My kids are almost 11 and 9. Thanks!

Aruna

linda brown

where pray tell do you find this bakery in jorbagh. and perhaps you might tell me where le marche is in khan market. i was there the other day and could not find it.

thanx in advance, linda

Steve Marks

Hi, I lived in Bangalore for 5 years (99-04) and now I have been asked by my company to consider a time in Gurgaon. Does anybody have any idea how th etwo cities compare? Clearly they are a long way apart physically. I did visit Gurgaon a couple of times and remember it as quite clean and seemed to be afluent. is this correct?

Thanks

Geet in Gurgaon

Hi Linda

I am sorry but a comparison between Gurgaon and Bangalore is out of my scope as I have not yet managed to get there on my travels. There have been a few improvements in Gurgaon since we moved here 18 months ago. The NH8 highway between Delhi and Gurgaon has halved travel time. There are now quite a few malls and you can source most things like cold meat, wine etc. right here. Though I still find a shop called Steakhouse in Jorbagh (Central Delhi)do the best ham and smoked salmon outside of the Oberoi deli. There is a thriving expat network here which helps the partners/spouses find everything they need, from domestic help to best places to party etc. If you are coming over please get in touch and we'll put your name on the Gurgaon Network yahoo group so you can get all the messages.

Cheers and Good luck

Geet in Gurgaon

Hi sorry..duh...the last post was a reply to Steve's question nto Linda's!! ;)

Geet in Gurgaon

Hi Linda,
If you haven't found it yet Le Marche in Khan Mkt is along the back next to Allied fruit and vegetable. Take the lane next to Bahrisons booksellers and turn right when you face the carpark, its the 6th or 7th shop along. Apologies for the delay in responding...i've been very lax with keeping the blog uptodate.

Vandita

Hi,

Thats a lovely write up. We have moved from Singapore. I have a two and a half year old baby girl called Tia. We stay at The Laburnum in Sushant Lok I in Gurgaon. Our story is quite similar to yours. We are Singapore citizens and lived there for many years. We are from pune and just cant seem to connect with the locals here and we are too indian to fit in the foriegn expat network. Hope you get what i mean. I was a flight attendant with singapore airlines. My husband is GM, North India for Lufthansa German Airlines. We are really bored here and looking for friends.Is there an indian expat network here? This will really help,hopefully.

Geet in Gurgaon

Hi Vandita

There is another coincidence....we are also in the same complex. My intercom number is 1101. I am usually home in the evening and definitely till about 9:30ish most mornings.

Feel free to call.

Cheerz

maggie bryant

I am a brit. expat. My husband works in Gaugoan. Is there a meat shop where I can buy fresh lamp, pork or chicken.
Also is there an international expat club where I can make new friends.

maggie bryant

I am a brit. expat. My husband works in Gurgoan. Is there a meat shop where I can buy fresh lamp, pork or chicken.
Also is there an international expat club where I can make new friends.

Lindsey Ferreira

Hi
I am also a Brit expat and moved here a few weeks ago with my husband and am finding it very difficult to adjust. Not used to being without friends and family is very hard,to say the very least.
I would very much like to meet new people soon
Many thanks

Lindsey Ferreira

Hi
I am also a Brit expat and moved here a few weeks ago with my husband and am finding it very difficult to adjust. Not used to being without friends and family is very hard,to say the very least.
I would very much like to meet new people soon
Many thanks

Lindsey Ferreira

if you are looking for a good meat shop, I have come across a not too bad one in Galleria DLF 4, it is also a Le Marche but it is a totally differnt shop to the grocery store. Same chain though and in the same complex

Tahna

Hello!

I am an Australian female looking for a flat mate.

Please contact me on 09765526405 if you might know someone who would be interested.

Many Thanks

tina sapra

hi can anyone guide me to monthly fees and up front fees of pathways/gd goenka....thanks
tina

Juhie

Hi,

Can Anyone suggest which residential apartments in Gurgaon would be the nearest to lease /rent if we plan to put our 8 year old son to Pathways world School in the Aravali Retreat, Gurgaon. My Husband would be commuting to Noida daily for his work ,any other suggestions /options of staying would also be appreciated.

Thanks,
Juhie.

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