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Settling down in Delhi - Part 2

Another test. To get curtains. The first store I located was closed, the second market did not have curtain stores. I ended up in a giant FabIndia in my neighbourhood. I selected the fabric. The tailor came home and gave me an exorbitant quotation for stitching. So I put that on hold. One week later I went back to buy the fabric – I had changed my mine on what I wanted. And then I looked for a tailor. Not easy. In my neighbourhood, they make only saris, no curtains. By chance I found a curtain tailor. Who asked me for the double of the price of the initial tailor. I thus called that guy…

I had to get the grid of the large window in the living room removed in order to have a superb sight on the trees and not feel anymore in prison.
I had to get the glass of the bathroom fixed and to clean the guano (the shit of pigeon in a language less elegant).
I had to repair the water-heater of the kitchen which causeed me a water damage the 3rd day after my moving in.
I had to buy and install the ACs and the inverter (for the power cuts during the summer), and the home theater (and to find out the correct prices, what a task!).
I had to get my landlord’s big fridge get picked up and to spend hours to remove the fungus.
I had to get some pieces of furniture done in Delhi.
I had to order some other pieces of furniture which are being done in Rajasthan (why doing simple things when one can do difficult ones??).
I had to threaten of a lawsuit the importer of futons of Mumbai who has still not sent the sofa bed after three weeks.
I had to get lamps and bulbs fixed, to get the washing machine plugged.
I had to explain to the servants’ kids that one does not play cricket on my ceiling/the roof terrasse. And especially not on Sundays morning at 7:30. They saw me storming in like a fury, hair all over the place, dressed with whatever I could find, wearing Shiv’s shoes. They got the message.
Where I have more difficulties is with the stray dogs. God knows why they start barking at midnight. I observed them bastards well and they call each other from one end of the street to the other. Now I throw stones from the balcony at them. Let’s see if they ever understand… Apparently pigeons got it that cooing at wee hours of the morning on my balcony what no option (is there some kind of conspiration to prevent me from sleeping?? The Delhiite torture…!).
I also had to locate where to buy food (even though I can not cook yet), my Kerastase shampoo etc.
I almost cried of joy when the guy of the electronic shop told me he could get me an electrician, a plumber, a carpenter. My saviour!


Settling down in Delhi - Part 1

No new good news…
Settling down here is no easy thing.
I found my flat rather quickly. Not furnished.
My stuff arrived rather quickly of Mumbai. So well packed… I almost missed my cat’s tiny mouse toy because it was wrapped in so much paper!

My mobile line was one hell of a hardship and still, I can not activate the option of international calls before one month. I went to insult them in the shop (or more exactly the call center (as this is they only thing they would ever tell you “visit our Vodafone store”) sent to me to the shop to give a cheque of guarantee which they did not even want to consider before the first bill so I got really pissed off). Internet happened surprisingly quickly: 36 hours with Airtel. With regard to Reliance, I am still expecting their call – they committed to do it within 7 working days and it has been 20 …

The gas… I did not rush since I believed I had a building connection. Well no. I need a cylinder. Off course all the numbers which I found online were dead ends. So I went to a shop in a small closed market. A squalid place. Two guys in a mini-office. A man with a kind of grin took my papers, asked fifty questions. With his funky grin I could see it coming, that would not work out. And thus :
- “One month”
- “One month what?”
- “One month of waiting”
- “Not”
- “Not??”
- “Bah no hein”
I did not let this get to me and went straight away to another shop. Immediately more engaging: a dozen of delivery vans and hundreds of cylinders. But let us not rejoice too quickly.
An old woman takes my documents, enters some data in the system, gives me a form to fill and make notarised. Fate does things well: with my struggle to get a sim card, I got to know where the notary is!! I thus get it done. Kafkaesque.
I go back to the gas agency and this is where that the problems start. They will send me a registered letter and I must come back with this letter. But how could I receive since I am never at home during the day time? It is a problem indeed… The poor fellow thinks hard but there seems to be no option. They need to check that I live at home. Finally he asks me to come back next Saturday. Let’s see what will happen…


You know you have been living in India too long when…

… You decide to go alone to the furniture neighbourhood and…

… You get dropped at the metro station on a bike by a colleague. It is 6 PM. The metro is quite packed but you are in the woman coach. Changing metros is another story. What happends when dozens of people want to get down and a jerk between the 2 doors refuses to move?? Well you fly, carried away by the others. A concert of hardrock is donkey pee next to that.

You arrive one hour later at Kirti Nagar. You take your cycle-rickshaw (with the guy who cycles). You visits several stores and ended up selecting a bed. Of course you can not get it now, you have to have it made: you don’t have an Indian mattress – broad enough for 6 people to sleep in (a family – and this is no joke).
It is 7:45 PM. Oh God but what is this city?? Everything is shutting down! In Mumbai you can shop easily till 9:30!! Things become less funny. There is no rickshaw. This is a blood industrial area. There are only guys. And trucks. It is pitch dark (except for campfires). You mistake “subway” with “metro” and cross the industrial area back and forth.

You end up finding the metro. You travel back. You get back to the surface.
You are overtired (you have been walking for 4 hours). You are super cold (It is 5 degrees).
A rickshaw stops, this good soul…
And what do you do?? You bargain!! No, not 30 rupees, 20 rupees. And you go one for 15 euro cents. Some will assert that this is a question of principle. But in these circumstances, you hate yourself!! It is ridiculous…

To finish I got it for 25 rupees. But after travelling the very short distance I gave him 20 rupees and left…