For two months we've been living at the hotel's extended stay apartments in a cozy two-bedroom waiting out one delay after another that's prevented us from moving into the apartment we found back in May.
Some people choose to live at the hotel permanently but it's very isolated, expensive, and lacks a washer/dryer. Plus it feels like a hotel. With two weeks left before leaving to take Danielle home to college, our relocation guru showed us a few new apartments that were cheaper and available immediately. A week later we have a lovely new home with an actual kitchen, neighbors, and shops within walking distance. Oh, and several scary showers that we scrubbed for hours before being able to photograph them. Some things you just don't want to remember...
The apartment came furnished with the basics which helps because the plan was to bring as little as possible with us in our 7 suitcases and rely on India to supply the rest. We discovered that we tend to live very differently - the things we use daily just aren't a part of Indian life. Here they cook on a single portable burner and don't use ovens. Some are starting to use microwaves but if they have a refrigerator, it's a very small half-sized one. Things like saran wrap and ziplock bags just don't exist. Frying pans are everywhere but baking pans, cookie sheets, or muffin tins are not available. Even bathing and sleeping habits are very different so the towels are small and thin (for fast drying) and most use a single flat sheet to cover the family as they sleep together on the floor in the un-airconditioned multipurpose room. Mattresses, blankets, and good pillows are just not must-haves for them.
Basically, the items that millions of Indians use are very cheap and plentiful, while the items foreigners use are imported, expensive, and difficult (or impossible) to find. A few emails later, our angel daughter boxed up some fitted sheets, good-sized bath towels, ziplock bags, baking tins, food processor, kitchen-aid mixer, crock pot, and dishwasher tablets. These unspeakably precious items have been sitting at the airport customs department waiting for us to move into the apartment before delivering them. Oh happy day!!!
That made the mold and the cat and the pigeons that we inherited seem like small things (at least for a day).
With the pigeon problem being tackled, the cat being rounded up (he is very elusive), and deep cleaning underway, Danielle packed her bags and said good-bye to her Iron Man sheets and our new home.
She has been a huge blessing - bringing laughter, friendship, and elbow grease to all sorts of crazy situations. It doesn't seem real she won't be there when we get back, but I will always think of her sitting in her new "spot" - the one she claimed on the day she said, "Now THIS place feels like home!" - and right between the fantastic American-sized refrigerator and an actual oven :)