We had an ambitious day of appointments and errands today. After breakfast in the hotel, a car arrived from a local realtor to take us to see a possible rental unit. It is 45 minutes north of the city center and very close to where the kids will be attending school. The property has just been built, so there are only a handful of families who live in the facility so far. We saw both three and four bedroom bungalows—huge by Indian standards and at a very reasonable price of Rs 30000-40000 ($500-$750). The place has a gym, a swimming pool and a playground. The four bedroom home even has a beautiful terrace, and we can see the school from a distance on the property. It definitely set a gold standard for house hunting. They will furnish the apartment with rented furniture for our four month stay.
After touring the property, the owner took us to visit the kids’ school. The entrance to the school is off of the main artery that leads to the airport. After winding down a dirt road lined with coconut and then banana trees, you come upon a beautiful white school with tiled blue roofs. The facility was closed for the holidays, but it had a very good karma about it and the kids seemed pleased. The buses were also lined up inside the gate so we could see the kids’ future transportation as well.
We then rode back to the hotel, took a brief rest and then set out to buy cell phones. It is New Years Eve and many streets in the city are blocked from traffic to prevent revelers from leaving their cars three rows deep in the streets. Over 16,000 police officers have entered the city center to prepare for the crowds. But in the afternoon, it was just mainly a crowded Saturday of shoppers. We travelled to my mom’s favorite mall in town due to its big book store and Pizza Hut.
The Pizza Hut had table service and very delicious pizzas with interesting curry flavors and unexpected combinations. By ordering off the menu we were able to get a plain cheese pizza for the kids plus a vegetarian pizza for the grown-ups. I ordered Thai chicken skewers which looked and tasted more like meatballs from wedding soup. Kaden ate potato wedges but was disappointed that “lemonade” was actually a carbonated drink. We had to be sure to request no ice for our drinks as you never know where the ice was coming from.
By 3:00 Carson was exhausted and terrorizing his sister. Having been awake since 10 pm the night before, his body was shutting down. And we all were wiped out really. But we needed to finish the cell phone task. Buying a cell phone in India requires showing your passport, visa, and providing a passport size photo for each phone. Foolishly, we should have brought our old phones from the U.S. and then just bought SIM cards (you can’t do that with an I-phone unfortunately, but with any other phone). We had to go to three separate counters for choosing the phone (no, we don’t need a camera, blue tooth or MP#–we just want to make calls please), then buying the SIM card and then buying the calling plan. The kids were DONE by the end of this one hour task I took them to an arcade to play air hockey, skee ball and Pole Station before we made the long drive home, totally exhausted. Kaden said, “I am done with India for today.” We all are. Time to get some R and R and recover for tomorrow.