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This post is dedicated to the Indian Telecom companies

"I hate you."   

Nothing new here.   
Vodafone has been my scapegoat for the past 3 years. Whenever I feel the anger rising (for anything), I know I can call them and they will say something to make me lose my cool! I'm exaggerating, but not much. Where I am not exaggerating is that they do have a knack for upsetting me. What's the point of having teleoperators if their only answer is "you have to go to a Vodafone store Madam"?
I managed to get a postpaid connection (after long and painful hours of fights) but failed miserably with the prepaid one. I did try hard ... I started by buying the sim card and giving the papers. After 2 days incoming calls stopped working. I provided other papers at the Vodafone store. After 3 days outgoing calls no longer worked. I went to the Vodafone store again. After 2 days nothing worked. I gave up.   

And here I am, in Delhi!   
You can imagine that there is no number migration between Delhi and Mumbai (for those who don’t know, when you leave a State in India, you go "roaming", and it costs more money)...   
So I decided to try Airtel. Ah well, I was not disappointed. I was already in a horrible mood – so I knew I should avoid telecoms then but... I gave the papers. Including my lease agreement. My lease agreement was not proper: it was not notarized. Nice, that’s a first. But good news: there is a notary in Nehru place! So we made photocopies, we certified the papers, we made new photocopies, we gave the papers. And then I asked the killer question: "And do you do "home verification”"? I saw the face of the guy (whom I already disliked) and I realized it was dead...
That is because, in India, the telecom companies come to you to verify that you live at your place. Useless. Any terrorist can rent a room, sit for three days and then go right? In India, this “home verification” is hardly an issue: they live at fifty in one room. But a girl staying alone, and without a full-time employee, she can sit on her connection. I have asked them to come in the evening. But no, it must be a "surprise", during office hours, and any time over a period of three days.   

I left super angry.   
I called Vodafone. Who offered me a pseudo-solution involving my office address. And above all, an employee would come and see me at the warehouse the next day ...   
And the next day, the guy was no different. He asked me for my company’s bank statement. (???) I explained that it was for me. Then he had to do the "home verification". And there, listen carfelly! I told him that there was nobody at home, if he wanted he could go and talk to my cat. Then he turned to my colleague and asked him, with the utmost seriousness, if my cat could give him a photocopy of my passport. Of course my cat will open the door, serve you a cup coffee and certify that I live here ... It's a grrrreat cat.   

Result: my colleague came to my rescue, gave his address (they will go and check) and I'll know on Friday if my connection is activated.   

Since we are here, I'd like to go back to Reliance, for the Internet connection. It's been two times now that I stopped the line (the first one when I moved in Mumbai, second when I moved to Delhi). Ah well hang on! The guys they never give up. They tell you ok and then they call you every single day to ask you why you want to cut the line?? Ah you are moving? But we can move your line!! You are moving to France?? (Sometimes you have to lie.) Okay then we will stop it. And the next they call you again “why do you want to stop your connection??” I'm not kidding. And everything in Hindi because it's more fun. You end up screaming in the phone to go to hell!

All is well...


Sri Lanka

For Christmas, I “dragged” my parents to Sri Lanka.
It was easier for me with all the year end changes to be close to India…
I had never been, always hearing that it was just like South India.
Not really…
People don’t look at you weirdly. Waiters smile. Everyone is very relaxed. No one horns for no reason. Streets are clean.
Nature is really luxuriant, even more than in Kerala. The numbers of plants and animals you see is just amazing. Historical sites are well preserved.
Unfortunately I had no time to go to the beach but I will go back!!

Sri Lanka - Dec 2011


Bye bye Mumbai…

It is now official, I have left Mumbai… A chapter that closed… For a new one to open in… Delhi!

My cat flew in, my cartons arrived on time and here we go!

No regrets, even no tears: I really enjoyed this city in the last three years, did everything I wanted to (have drinks watching the sea, go knee down in the water for Ganapati festival, walk under the monsoon rain, visit Dharavi slum, act in ads, get initiated to yoga, give up yoga, take Hindi classes, go to local theatres to see Hindi movies, and many other merry local activities)…
I will miss my (few but) very very dear friends. But I will finally be with my favourite Indian!

I stay in the same company, and I add an activity which should bring a lot of challenges ;)
I indeed was warned against Delhi and the North-Indians (there is some kind of animosity between Mumbai and Delhi) but so far so good. Except that I am cold!! So cold…

To turn the page, a photo and some videos:

In Bandra, easy going...



A last drink in Juhu, with a French background music!!

View from the rickshaw of the Khar village that I used to cross every day, and with a wedding!

Un chauffeur de rickshaw qui chante son amour pour Jésus!

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