Donna and Joe have finished their assignment in India. Occasionally they still travel somewhere.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Here for the Duration

Friday evening we boarded a plane in Boston and took off for Frankfurt in Germany. We had a close connection but Lufthansa had someone waiting for us and a handful of other passengers and took us by bus to gate for Bangalore bound flight. Shortly before midnight (2:30 pm in Vermont) we arrived at the Bangalore airport. After collecting our luggage and passing through customs we were met by Prabhu and Shyam (Bangalore IBMers). They had a car and driver waiting and got us to our apartment along with 4 large suitcases, 2 carry-on bags, a backpack and a laptop bag. It was so nice to be met by friendly familiar faces!

Our apartment is on the 7th floor, and we were told right off that dogs are not allowed on the elevators. (Right away I am thinking built-in Stairmaster here.) Aside from being very white-white marble floors, white walls, white linens--it is clean and comfortable. I cannot add any pictures to the blog yet, because somewhere in the Burlington or Boston airport I lost the waistpack with my money, credit cards, and camera!! Fortunately I had my passport, boarding pass and driver's license in a I.D. wallet hanging around my neck. Joe wonders why I swear by it! I'd been up all night getting ready, and was not exactly the most alert.

When we arrived they asked us what we wanted for breakfast. At the appointed time a man arrived with supplies to make our breakfast. Another arrived soon afterward to bring our big bottle of filtered water. (Last night it was disconcerting to realize that the only water we could drink was the last 2 small bottles we had brought with us.) We had omelettes and toast and jelly, and sort-of coffee. I think the omelettes were basicly just egg, but they were good, and you couldn't beat the service!

Today we went back to Forum mall, where we had lunch when house hunting one day. We were able to go into the "Landmark" store, which has housewares on one floor, and a 2nd large floor of books. We'll definitely go there often. I asked a group of women about a place to buy shampoo, conditioner, dish soap, etc. We could only half understand their answer, but gleaned that we should look on a lower floor. We did find a natural products store, where we got:
1. shampoo & conditioner, 2. a bar that looks like soap, but is actually solid deodorant,
3. a bar of soap called "Honey, I washed the kids", --"safe for your kids, your granny, & even your dog".
4. a moisturizing bar you rub on your skin after you shower, and
5. " Flying Fox--the sex-appeal honey shower gel--Lascivious, licentious, vivacious, and insatiable. With the finest aphrodisiac essential oils--masses of jasmine! (Plus the best three for controlling PMS)." I asked if it helped menopause, but she only looked at me blankly. But obviously she thought I needed it, and I didn't hear any objection coming from Joe's direction.
I think I should have bought the lavender soap that she said was good for relaxing bedtime showers, because next we went back to the apartment complex to check out the situation for our dog''s arrival.

Our complex has buildings A - Q surrounding a central activities area. Our apartment looks out over a tennis court. There are also badminton, basketball, a nice kid's playground, shelters to gather under, a restaurant, exercise room, squash court, 3 small pools, only one of which had any amount of water deep enough to swim in, a tree lined walking area, and an area with green grass. But you weren't allowed to walk on the grass, and dogs were not allowed in ANY of this area. At first the only area we could identify for walking dogs was right next to a "drain"--a tree lined open sewer ditch. At least it smelled like an outhouse. I went back to the apartment in tears.

Dear Joe searched google earth until he found a map of the complex, hoping to find something we'd missed. I got ahold of myself, and went out with him again, as it beat pacing the apartment. We did find a one lane driveway area on the outside of the opposite side of the complex. It as an access road for the parking spaces for residences on that side of the building. It had a strip of space 3 feet wide next to it containing dirt and trees. We talked to a number of people whom we mostly didn't understand, but finally determined that, with permission, Luna might be allowed to play fetch there off leash. (Assuming I can aim well enough to avoid the cars and windows.) That's it.

We went back to the apartment and made some phone calls to cancel the start of Luna's trip to India tomorrow. Luna needs and deserves far more exercise and stimulation than she could get in this setting, and I won't bring her here until I know there is something much better to offer. So it is with a sad heart that I go to bed tonight.


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