Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Digs

(with special guest photographers, Master and Mistress SLNC!)

I think Pune is going to wind up right up there on my list of favorite places, along side Madison and C.B. and the Beach and Seattle...  

There's plenty to say about the city but I want to just focus on our house right now.  We're in a lovely little apartment (Housing Society, in Pune-speak) of 10 flats, 2 to a floor.  We're the 3 windows on the bottom 
- l-r kids' room, kitchen and Chris's and my room.  2 bathrooms (with Western toilets! And copious HOT hot water from a solar water heater, any time of day or night, for as long as you care to boil yourself in the shower.) and of course a big bucket for baths.
  Best of all is the kitchen, 
which is HUGE HUGE HUGE - 12ft counters?  Bigger maybe? - and at long last, a built-in water filter
 and oven.  I had a few glorious baking days at Chez Stoltzfus (Thank you Amy!!! Missing our long kitchen talks...)  in Varanasi which only strengthened my desire for an oven of my very own.  In the past week I've cranked out challah, 2 batches of brownies (McGovern, I think we have a new favorite), choc chip cookies and shortbread.  (Goes without saying that Pune is home to a FANTASTIC grocery store, huh?)  

I had a mostly-good time shopping for furniture, appliances and the bare minimum of household goods to tide us over until our stuff arrived from Varanasi.  Got to know the biggest market in the old city and found out first hand how well mannered and friendly Pune-ites are.  We all also had the pleasure (?) of exploring the largest home-furnishing mall in Asia.  Imagine an IKEA (but cheaper and not quite so cool) surrounded by tons and TONS of shops with anything and everything for your house.  Freaky ultimately, but definitely worth a look.  Our flat came unfurnished which gave us the freedom to outfit the kitchen as we wanted, and also add a washing machine. (That's another appliance I've certainly missed these past 4 months, Neelam's wonderfulness not withstanding.)  I'm sure our furniture choices are horribly out-of-style by Pune standards, but we're happy enough.  And really, for just 4 months, how much interior decorating do I really need?

And then, 2 days ago, the mother-lode arrived.  
Many, many weeks late, but now that I have a kitchen full of equipment, enough linens for all
 our beds and more than 4 outfits, who cares!  We're nearly unpacked and on the verge of feeling totally settled at home.  

Best of all, there are lots of kids and friendly folks in the vicinity.  A whole pack of girls that Caitlin is negotiating her way into.  (Seems like pre-teen social angst and aggression is a universal phenomenon - argh.)  And a couple little dudes for Ben to run around with. 
We also have some nice neighbors, including our landlords next door.  Mrs. Landlord is a Sanskrit prof at Pune University (is that an argument for fate or what?).  And 2 ladies upstairs have taken us under their wing - one with kids grown and in the States, the other with a 10 and 4 yr old.  

Definitely feels like home...


Susannah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susannah said...

oh, wow. i'm so Happy to hear about all the good things about poo-nee. i must say, however, that the real delight of this post was Ben's resemblance to this little critter:

please, please check it out. he's babu koala!

Grandpa George said...

Ahah!! Looks and sounds great...wish I were there to see you all and see a new part of India.

Last week's Economist has a long piece about the growing middle class in developing countries, particularly in India and China.

Lynch Family said...

Wow, wow, wow! I can't wait to hear the next chapter!

Lowell said...

Amy breathed an audible "sigh" when she saw your kitchen. Good on you for all the baking.

Thinking of you all,

Lowell and Amy

PS: still working on t shirts.