Monday, July 31, 2006

Mission Impossible

I give up!

I think we'll just have to live with money under a mattress, on some roadside without a phone or any other form of communication. Ok ... maybe the money can stay in a bank now that we've actually managed to get a bank account.. but the mattress and no phone bit seems like it'll happen.

I had expected to face red tape when I moved here, but having dealt with bureaucracy in France and India, I thought I had seen the worst. I could not have been further from the truth. Ofcourse, it doesn't help that patience is not one of my virtues.

As if it was not enough of a nightmare getting a decent place to live! After going to see a l-o-t of houses, we finally found a lovely house. Then after a quick bidding war, we lost the house before we even began to comprehend what was happening. So another round of house viewing and being a week away being thrown house of the serviced apartment.. we decided on a place. Not the ideal place.. but it will do for a year - beggars can't be choosers!

Just as we thought the worst was over we get into the pre contract phase where we need a reference from the employer, bank, our previous landlord in UK and everyone else possible! There is no ex-landlord since we've just moved here and a few frantic calls to the bank later we got to know that we can get a reference after we've been their clients for atleast five years! The employers letter won't do, bank statements won't do .. so this would be a good time to go and get a comfortable mattress and look for some place to plonk it.

The mobile phone connection is another story. As if the number of confusing schemes was not enough. After we finally manage to select a scheme and a phone its their turn to demand another hundred documents including addresses of our residences in UK for the last three years. Which part of - we shifted here two months ago - did they not understand?

It just goes on and on :( There's already been the bank account, credit card and national insurance we've been through. And to think that when we do manage to get through this phase we still have the landline connection, broadband and endless other challenges just waiting there to test our patience!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

In search of the perfect weekend

I sometimes miss the time I was single, working in Bombay and had an awesome group of friends. The weekend was always busier than the week and on any given Monday morning I was sure to be more tired than on a Saturday. Most of the time it was the same thing every weekend .. pubs - movies - work to be completed - coffee - board games - and such and so forth.. but I never grew tired of it. Now all this feels so far away. I don't know what has changed - age, more domestic work here, culture of the place. Whatever it is, I miss my old weekends. Especially, when most weekends now are filled with domestic chores!

This weekend has been different. Friday was movie night. Trudged all the way across town to watch Omkara. The
dialogues hit a bit, but overall an effective adaptation of Othello and some pretty good acting. Saturday was better still. We decided to check out Borough Market. It was awesome - an explosion of colours. It helped that the day was nice and sunny. Apart from the tempting fruits, vegetables and other produce the other big attraction was the folk dancers - the vibrant music, gaiety and colours. I thoroughly missed not carrying my camera and losing a perfect photo opportunity. For all my future guests - a visit to Borough Market is definitely going to rank higher than a many of other 'touristy' things, London Dungeon for example! Back to the weekend. After such a wonderful morning, we didn't want to waste a perfect day indoors so on an impulse headed off to Hyde Park. Walked and walked and walked. More sunshine, happy people and missed photo opportunities. We finally got home pretty late and decided to end the perfect day with a movie and dinner at home. So over a quick fix dinner of the M&S mezze platter and beer, we watched 'The Usual Suspects'. A really interesting movie and a must watch - the storyline being the best part of the movie. Today we have some friends over for lunch. Better get on with the cooking. Its been a lovely weekend so far ..not too hectic, managed to fit in gym and had lots of fun. Cheers to more weekends like this to come!

P.S. Bought five Tarantino movies at the HMV sale - so atleast have a good movie collection to fall back on in coming weekends.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Grass is greener on the other side

When I was a child I was moving cities every few years and totally hated it. Everytime I moved to a new city it was the same fears and cycles of settling down in a new school, making friends and all else that comes with a new place. How I envied the kids who stayed in the same city, discussed how they'd been friends since nursery and were in familiar surroundings. Then it happened. After my 10th birthday we moved to Calcutta and just stayed on. I loved it, for the first time I made a group of close friends at school, actually followed through with a hobby for more than two years and was the settled one.

But then, grass is greener on the other side. By the time I finished school I once again longed to move to a new place and looked upon it as an adventure and so I went to another city to study in college. Its been never ending since then. In the last ten years I have lost count of the number of houses I have changed. It was exciting at first .. new places to explore, new friends to make, new holidays to plan! But now, am just too t-i-r-e-d. Once again, I am the ten year old who longed to live in one place. Infact I want to buy a house, move in and never have to pack again! I'll scream at the sight on another cardboard box .. which is not good ..since we're moving again - next week!