Friday, August 26, 2011

Adventures in Homemaking 1

We have been a little quiet on the blog front - let's blame getting into the routine of school, work and spa...

Things are going well with the everyday, but that will all get shaken up this weekend as we leave our hotel cocoon and head out to fend for ourselves in our new house. Lots of reasons this is a good thing: more space, we have our own things around us, Andrew can be on evening calls in a more suitable environment, meals are our choice on our schedule etc.. That said, we adults like the simplicity of having no stuff. It seems that most of our possessions are either things for the kids, or related to being in the kitchen. Kindles, ipods and movie streaming mean that we don't actually miss all the books, cds and dvds (yes, we did bring them anyway, I can't get rid of books, even some of my high school text books are still in storage with my parents).

The villa is going to take a little getting used to - the layout is so different from our previous homes, and we'll be sleeping on a different floor from the kids. We're used to that since Toby got his bachelor pad in Mpls but this will be new for Dara. Also, our villa is one of the older ones in the community and the kitchen/bathrooms have not been updated. Now, any of you familiar with our Mpls house know that we're not leaving behind showroom versions of those two rooms, but the ones here just never quite look clean, even though we know they are. This is more than made up for by the balconies, lovely garden and serene feel of the marble floors. Bonus! our landlord did pay to have an oven installed. Many houses are hob only and a toaster oven if you're lucky, so, assuming we can get through a meal with no power cuts, then this is a good thing. We have all new white goods, so unless there are teething issues we should be fine for washer, drier, fridge, dishwasher and cooktop all working well.

Now, to make this house a home. There's a trick in here somewhere as we want to install curtains and get some rugs, but we don't want to be all in a rush and get things we don't want to live with for two years just because we need them now - also some of these items will ideally be on the container home. Many things in India are cheaper than UK or US, but home furnishings seem not to be. I'm finding it difficult to locate the middle ground. Easy to find over-priced not great quality items, and also easy to locate top-of-the-wallet pieces, but not much in between.

Bedding has been my Grrrrr of the week. To be more specific, kid bedding. Andrew & I are shipping ours, but Toby's somehow did not get on the truck, and Dara is moving from a double bed in Mpls to have a room with two singles (more flexible for sleepovers and other guests). When we decided what to bring I had visions of wonderful stalls with great cotton sheets for small money and intricate bedspreads. No idea if that was ever a reality here, but thanks globalization for introducing different aspirations.

I'm not in favour of character bedding, I prefer something generic and then if they like they can have a themed lamp etc., cheaper and easier to change. Toby is a nearly 9 yr old boy. He does not like flowery bedding. There are a few places I have been to look for him, but they all seem to sell the same brand, and one place will have the sheets, but not the comforter, and then I can't remember where it was the best price and then it takes 45 minutes to go anywhere, so I got a little overwhelmed and went to buy shoes... for Dara. Did I mention that plain affordable sheets and comforters don't exist? Just a lot of pattern, which I'm not against, but it takes more work to match it all up as they don't sell it together. In the end I found some really funky dotted bedding in blues/orange/beige which will work in his room here, and also in his Mpls room if they are in a condition to bring home. The comforter is OK, it doesn't match as well as I thought in the store, but then as I say, Toby is a nearly 9 yr old boy, and if he does notice, he won't care.

Dara's new beds do not arrive for another 10 days or so, and so I have some time to check out some of the leads I have from Andrew's local coworkers. Single bedding is way harder to find than double, especially if you do not want Barbie or Hot Wheels.

Our interim bedding, which will eventually be in the guest room, was a hard effort only in the sense of having so much choice :) It was really tough to come home with only one design. I was willing to push the boat out a little on it as we're less likely to change our minds about it, and as I was investing in matching curtain panels, it will all transfer back to Mpls with us. I got some plain sheets and a quilt from Fabindia which are soothing and lovely to look at. Next challenge will be lamps...

So, life is good. No major meltdowns or hurdles. Now I'm off to check that our new fridge has been installed and then as the sun is out for the first time in a couple of days, I think I deserve a bit of a rest on a lounger.

1 comment:

  1. This made me laugh! I mean, not the struggles but remembering the exact same sorts of "fights" I had with myself when I moved to Ireland (from Minnesota).

    Bring yourself back to when you first moved to Minnesota...remember looking for things like proper tea and biscuits? How about a duvet cover?

    In the end I think the only way to do it is accept you're in a different place and figure out how to adapt to the local conditions...without going mad in the process!

    Good luck...