The first week in India is slowly coming to an end. As hectic and overwhelming as it appeared at first, I’m finally getting used to the hang of things and starting to like it.
For the first time in the last 3 months, I’ve started to think about the importance of being able to find “inner peace” when you travel. I’m not even entirely sure how to describe it, but I think that during the first few days, it was very difficult to find that moment of “zen”. In part, because there was not a single spot anywhere to get some quiet and because even at home, there wasn’t a whole lot of privacy.
But, as with all things, it just takes a bit of time. So, a week into this, Mumbai doesn’t feel so foreign anymore. The home is becoming cozier. And everything starts to fall into place 🙂
Going to the Doctor
I’ve been battling a small cold before coming to India, but when I arrived to Mumbai, with the heat and all, it just wasn’t going away. So, after 3 days of coughing and sneezing, I decided to see a doctor to put an end to it once and for all.
After asking around the office, I was recommended a hospital that was considered to be pretty decent. It is run by a charitable trust and was supposed to be very clean and have good doctors. So, on Thursday, I headed straight there after work.
The hospital turned out to be quite good indeed – I was impressed. Although it was simple, it was clean and orderly. Aside from the weird requirement of having to take off your shoes at the entrance, as everybody walks barefoot inside, the process went smoothly. The doctor was available pretty much immediately. She did a quick checkup, asked a few questions about the symptoms and prescribed some antibiotics and cough syrup.
The best part was the cost! 60 rupees ($1.20 USD) for the visit and 150 rupees ($3) for two antibiotics. Try seeing a doctor for a buck in the states 🙂
The Apartment Hunt
The antibiotics kicked in very quickly and I was already feeling better the next day. So, since it was a day off, I decided to dedicate it to looking for a new living arrangement for my 2 months here.
The guesthouse offered by the company was not too bad as a whole. But there was only one working A/C and 3 people sharing a single room at the moment. Plus, there was a pretty big cockroach problem – and as much as I like pets, it’d be nice to have a place without them.
I saw a sign on the street for “Global Property Consultants” real estate agency – which, I suppose, was a bit misleading since they primarily dealt in a 10km-radius. When I explained to them what I was looking for, they said, “Sure, we find something. Come back tomorrow.”.
Over the next two days, they showed me about half a dozen places. Some of them were a little far off, so the real estate agent told me that we’d have to drive there and asked me to hop on the back of his scooter. As we were pulling away, he said that he’ll take the small roads because he doesn’t have a driving license. Yelling through the street noise, I asked him how long he’s been driving for. “Ohh,” he responded, “hardly 5 months.” And then he began talking on his headset to another client.
Most of the places we’ve seen were in a pretty poor condition. There was one room for rent that was clean and decent. Unfortunately, that’s when the advantages pretty much stopped. The apartment was already occuppied by 5 other people – with me being the 6th.
After seeing a few more places, I’ve decided to the hell with that. It would be cheaper and simpler to make my peace with the current place and simply do some general cleaning there, fix the A/C and wage a war against the unwelcomed guests (cockroaches, not the interns!).
This stuff works amazingly well. After leading the first round of attack against them and getting rid of half of their troops, the rest have hidden away in fear and haven’t come out for 12 hours already! They don’t know who they are messing with!:)
The apartment now looks like a war zone. This chalk thing is supposed to contain poison that kills the ones that cross it. So, right now, all of our territory is marked in white, parallel chalk lines.