Friday, January 14, 2011

The $1,000,000 question...............

What does ex-pat Helen do with her days?
So a typical day - well, I don't really think I have got as far as a "typical day" yet but this is what I did yesterday.

Each day starts with a scramble to throw on some clothes and get the kids to the bus stop for 7.30am. Not as bad as it sounds as they have breakfast at school. Ads wears his formals (which he won't let me take a pic of) - but consist of pants, a regulation brown belt, short sleeve shirt, tie, regulation socks and the most revolting brown lace up shoes you can imagine - 3 days a week. Once I have waved the kids (well Wills - Ads has forgotten my existence once he has even one horrific brown shoe on the bus) on their way, all is quiet.

When I get home I find Simon pacing and no driver. We later get a text from Kathik saying "the happiness he had the day before had all gone when he woke this morning, and he will call with details later." Very cryptic but transpires to mean that sadly his wife has had a miscarriage and they are at the hospital. Simon takes a deep breath and the car keys and drives into the jungle of aimless cows, jumping pedestrians, dodging auto ricks, overcrowded, underhelmetted motorbikes - which make the morning drive to work all the more exciting.

I then walk to the club house to join other Indian, French & Canadian ladies to "shake it with Mogli"
Our aerobics instructor is gorgeous - just like a twenty-something Mogli. He arrives on his motorbike - his helmet on his arm and his black hair blowing in the breeze. He then leads us in a mix of aerobics and Bollywood. As we try to emulate his flexibility, moves and rhythm he is never with out a smile (or maybe he's just laughing at us!!).

Then, I walk home and contemplate my driverless state. Feeling adventurous and buoyed up by a cup of chai (thanks Sweetie!) I head out of the 'hood and grab an auto rick.
We bounce and shudder to the Leela Palace for the Overseas Women's Club weekly coffee morning, which is a hive of female activity and chatter. For us womenfolk landing in Bangalore, once our husbands are settled at work, the kids at school and we have a roof over our heads we need friends, solidarity in our plight, help and reassurance from the more experienced, and things to do on a daily basis.
First thing to do on entering the room of a thousand female faces all in chat mode is to spot a familiar face. This I managed. So having thought I was driverless and confined to barracks, I am soon driving with a new friend (I hope!) to Commercial road - for shopping! Such are the ups and downs of life as an ex-pat in this wonderful exotic country.
 Commercial Road is a bustle - the Indians like to shop. We go into a myriad of different shops with plentiful arrays of splendid colors, patterns and fabric - spend some money (not too much I hasten to add -Simon might read this!!) and ear mark some stores worthy of a second visit. Although a lot of women wear all western clothes, I feel more comfortable in a tunic and jeans/leggings - or maybe thats just an excuse to shop!!

Home in time for another cup of chai and then the sight of the yellow Indus bus number 3B rolling down the street. The kids jump off, come into the house for a snack and then disappear to the club house to play and I head out for a game of badminton - which I play with more enthusiasm than skill. I need to remember my tennis two handed back hand is a no-go on the baddy court!!
What will tomorrow bring? 

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    We move to Chennai in March and would love to benefit from your experience. So many things to do...
    Can't wait to be there :o)

    Thanks in advance