I found an apartment; a 1HK (hall, kitchen) flat to be precise. Looking for an apartment has been a daunting task. It is not any easier to find a place in India than New York. There isn’t the convenience of Craigslist, but there are several websites. This past week while looking for a place I’ve debated in looking for a share (with roommates) and living alone. There are perks and downfalls to both. The good in living with roommates: no loneliness and always some sort of company; the bad in living with roommates outweighs the good: possible craziness, cultural differences that make living together hard, not being able to play capoeira instruments (I brought them, I have to make use). The biggest downfall of living alone is getting lonely.
My questions were answered tonight. I looked at two separate places. The first was in a society (a society can either be a building or a small block that cars can’t get down with many mini apartments, or a small community of a few buildings) that was tight nit, there were many children running around, the buildings were close together. Unfortunately when we got there we found out that the owners were not in and the door was locked. It looked beautiful (at least to me) from the outside. We (my broker and I and the guy showing the place) could have returned later. It was getting late but there was one more place to visit. This was down a quieter road right behind the big Seasons hotel (a five star shamncey place). The buildings are all bungalows (smaller houses), but very nice. They were also very pretty because they were decorated for Diwali. At the end of this road was a nice little gated house.
We passed by the main house with several entrances and walked to a small building in the back. It’s small, but decent. There is one main room and a larger kitchen with a bathroom in the back. There is work to be done. There is no shower yet and no hot water. I was promised these would be in before I moved in, ideally next week. It comes semi furnished: a bed (I will buy a new mattress), it has a few cupboards, a shelf for my clothes, a fan, tv with cable (more than I have at home). The first place I looked at, which was a 1BKH (bed, kitchen, hall) was 8,000 Rupee/month. The one I have is 6,500. 6,500Rupee = approximately $150. I’m meeting my broker, who is also very happy to be my friend as well tomorrow morning to finalize everything. I will make sure to inquire about my hot water and shower installation before I hand over any money. What I did find out is that the woman who showed us the place, the owner of the bungalow, is the wife of a politician or of a man involved in a well-known political group. I am interested in hearing more about that. The best part about this place: 1) mosquito netting is already up – I haven’t seen any place to buy it yet, 2) there is a ladder to the roof of this very small building that I have complete access to, 3) this is a very safe and quiet society, and only a block away from a great, vibrant neighborhood.
I want to start a garden on my roof!
This weekend I’m supposed to go to Bombay to visit the Cordao De Ouro capoeira group. I need to buy a bus ticket tomorrow morning. President Obama will be there, and it’s Diwali; getting a bus ticket might be a huge task within itself. Wish me luck!
I also got my first phone call from the states to my cell phone! It works folks! ☺ It made me happy and sad; happy because I was sooooo happy to hear from Deena, sad because it was loud and traffic-y and I had just met my broker and couldn’t talk. Home sounded good though.
Last exciting thing of the day is that I took the bus, almost hung out of one too. It was great because I got to walk through a part of the city center. It was an amazing experience, more crowded than I could have imagined, loud, hectic, a little dirty, and eye opening. The bus ride was nice. Unlike the stories I heard before I left, I was not groped, no one stared too much, and it wasn’t bad at all. I did stand in the stairway right before my stop, which, I’m not going to lie, I felt really cool doing.
Ok it’s super late, I need to wake up to run (marathon training has begun, and boy do I have a lot of training to do), and my broker is coming to have me sign the beginning paperwork.
Wish me luck.

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