Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Its riRICKulous! and an epidemic of blogs and yahoo groups!

Friday evening, Wills was sleeping over at a school friends, Simon in the car on the way back from some off-site with his team and Adam had an appointment with his ortho - a two minute check on his now month old braces. The ortho has a drop-in clinic at the dentist's office from 3.30pm to 8.30pm every month. To wait for Simon to get home or go by rick? We choose the latter - bad decision!

Finding a rick, agreeing a price, easy. But the first warning signal rang loud and clear when we were maybe 5 minutes into our estimated 20 mins journey and the rick driver stopped to ask for directions. Things then got steadily worse as it became apparent that this guy had no idea where we were going - not even as to the general area. Ricks are not the most stable or robust of means of transport and when the evening traffic is picking up, the light is starting to fade, it's trying to rain and the rick driver is straying across the road as he's trying to guess which way to go or stopping in mid-traffic stream to ask directions, it's quite frankly more than a little unnerving. Once it was obvious to me, even with my limited sense of direction, we were actually going along the same street for at least the second time I called Shankar, at least four times, for him to speak to the rick guy and explain where we needed to go. By this time Shankar and Simon were home so Shankar got back in the car and set out either to the dentist or to rescue us, if he could find us!
As it was now pitch black Adam and I decided to give up on and quit the rick - where upon rick driver asked for twice the agreed fee - cheek of it - no way, lucky we paid you at all!!
So, Adam and I are now in some back road in the dark in Indiranagar. The dentist office is at the corner of 2nd Main and 9th Cross and, as no streets signs we could see bore any resemblance to either, we head for the nearest main road.

When we first arrived in Bangalore I'd have been more than a little freaked, lost in the dark with Ads in tow, but 9 months in, just a trifle irritated, Adam more so as he wanted food!!
So we find a main road, I call Shankar and accost some poor guy walking along the road, asking him to explain to Shankar where we are. Unfortunately this guy and Shankar speak different languages. But second time lucky. And an hour and a half after leaving the house we are rescued and delivered to the dentist - where there's no wait and a 3 minute appointment!!
Just a minor adventure to get the weekend going!

I'm not sure if it's just me but I think I could spend ours each day dealing with my yahoo groups and reading the blogs I follow.

Firstly yahoo groups - there is one for each kid's grade at Indus. These are useful when it comes to dealing with school issues. Indus seems to respond better when under group attack. I don't have any major issues with the school as both kids are happy and seem to be learning lots. However, I think once you are paying for school, there are always niggles. You expect a bit more than back in California with a shrinking education budget where I had more sympathy with minor inefficiencies.

Then there is the neighborhood, Adarsh Vista yahoo group. This covers a variety of issues from the on going "dog poop" saga , vendors in the club house, domestics needed, aerobics classes etc. Again it's good to know what is going on and generally there is lots!

Of course the OWC with it's 600 plus members is a very busy yahoo group. People wanting to find baking soda, real chocolate chips and other western stuff, people moving onto pastures new selling furniture and appliances, and those moving in buying and of course the OWC events. Occasionally we get quite heated discussions, the most recent being domestics salaries - should ex-pats pay high to help their maids and drivers get a better standard of living and risk upsetting the delicate economic balance in India or pay at the local rate and therefore not empower our domestics to move up in the world. This gave rise to a few hasty comments on both sides!!

Then I move on to the blogs I follow. Some expats, like me, either have too much time on their hands or lots of stories to tell (that's for you to decide!) But I have some friends here who write really good blogs and are also a good source of information. Have "Moving for Mangoes" moved into their new apartment yet?, "Tuna out of Water" gave me some good information on my nose piercing and I've got to go now to check how "Embracing Change" weekend trip taking the overnight train out of Bangalore with her kids went, is it a trip we should take?

And then of course there is facebook.........

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