Friday, July 25, 2008

We Are Fine. I received a text page "Four bombs exploded in the city. Please go home if you are out." I don't know who the text was from, but I just got to the hotel and I turned on the news. Long story short...a bunch of "low intensity bombs" went off in Bangalore today. Kind of crazy to think since the area they went off in is only 10 miles from us - just a Target store away. Anyway, everything on our side of town is okay, but I have to say it does make you think how lucky we all are everyday.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fun Facts from India:

1) Apparently there are monkeys the size of 8 year old girls running around here! I haven’t seen one yet, but I know I will freak out!
2) When entering into a parking deck a guy with a gigantic dental mirror comes by and checks under your car for bombs….a little weird.
3) When you leave the markets there is someone standing at the door (like Costco) to check your receipt AND like similar to Costco they don’t check anything.
4) Cows like garbage.
5) The back of petroleum trucks says “Highly Inflammable”
6) I thought “stars” in the states thought they were important….oh no…Bollywood has them beat!
7) In the States there are tanning products here there are commercials for skin lightening products.
8) Slugs are amazing to watch.
9) Martin tells me that lunch at work costs $0.25.
10) The flowers here are beautiful!!

The Dynamic Duo...Ro and V

It’s no surprise that every single staff member in our hotel looks at Veda and says…”NNNNOO”. Yes, she hasn’t changed. She does say more words though, but only with Mom, Dad, and Rohin. She has also started saying “UUUHHH NNOOO” when something goes wrong. It’s pretty funny since she says it with such drama. We did have a break through today, Veda actually said "bye, bye" to the door man and Rohin said "Cya" to the driver. We are making progress.

Stuff on him the arctic fox is apparently the enemy. If he doesn’t want to go somewhere he says that the arctic fox is there and he can’t go. It’s pretty funny really. Then of course he screams at it and life is good again. Mind you it’s an “Arctic Fox” not just a fox.

Rohin used “party decorations” in full sentence. Seriously, we totally cracked up! I think he heard one of us say it earlier. Rohin also said “Awwww man! I wanted to do that” when I flushed the toilet for him. Apparently that is his favorite part.

Veda and Rohin are becoming more and more open to “trying stuff”. It’s pretty interesting to watch there faces when they try something new. So many things are spicy here. Rohin spent ½ a meal eating a samosa and then blowing through his mouth and then sucking down his juice! Veda could care less about the spice. She just eats past it.

The kids’ days usually involve some sort of swimming, coloring and playing at some park. It is very stressful…ha. We have names for the parks at the hotel. There is the sand park and plastic park. We need to get out more. Today we went to the potential school for Rohin and Veda. I say potential because currently we are on a wait list. Whatever that means! The school is really great. I really hope they can get in.

Also, at the sand park today I made two observations. One, the sand at the park also is used as kitty litter for all the stray cats running around here. And two, my kids were entertained by a plastic bag, a formula scooper and an old ice cream container – no idea who’s any of it was, but they played for an hour (screw the $10.00 sand toys when you have garbage I guess!)

All in all, the kids are doing well as I said before. We have our moments, but hey we all do. Tonight they both sat side by side in this small twin bed hanging out together and watching Thomas the Train. That right there makes everything worth it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

5 Days Later and We Are Still Smiling

Well, we have arrived. It has taken me a while to get in contact only because I have been exhausted. I think we all are slowly adjusting to our new time. It's crazy to think we are here, but we are. Let's just say the journey here was interesting...

We flew business class with Ro and V. We got some looks for sure. One person asked to be moved. I couldn't blame him. Veda started off in a good mood....talking and shouting. And then it was time for bed. Not so much. Our flight from Detroit to Paris was filled with a crying Veda. The poor girl couldn't get comfortable and come to find out later she had four teeth coming through. We have broken skin so we should be in the clear for a bit. Once we arrived in Paris, we let the kids run around in a little area to blow off some steam. They had a good time. Then it was off to Bangalore for 9 hour plane ride. We were definitely dreading it since the 7 hour plane ride before was not so smooth. Long story short....9 hour plane was spent sleeping and playing. Not a lot of screaming and crying so that was good. It should be noted that Rohin enjoyed business class and did great for such a long flight. He later asked for valet...not sure what that was about.

Side Note: Don, if you are bored and think this is self-important then please stop reading now. The writing doesn't get any better. Plus, this is for our Moms not you.

Once at the airport we still didn't feel like we were in India. The new airport is very westernized, but once we got our luggage it was a different story. We walked out into the humidity (with our 13 pieces of luggage and 2 kids) to meet a mob of folks with signs waiting like salmon at the mouth of the stream. It was a little overwhelming, but we saw a name "Mr. Martin Hayes". We figured that was us. We loaded our two cars and at one something in the morning we were off to our hotel. Phew!

Palm Meadows (our hotel) looks like the website. It is a beautiful place. There is a big pool and play/sand area for the kids, so that keeps them busy. Also, there is a great restaurant and badminton court. The electricity to the whole place goes out every once in a while and no one thinks twice when it happens. You just wait and then continue what you were doing. The back up gens work really well. We have met a lot of expat families here. They have come from all over and all have their own stories.

Ro and Veda have made friends with a lot of people. It is really nice to see how they both interact with other children. The only part that is a little hard is that they are the youngest so they can't keep up with everyone all the time, but they do okay.

Martin went to work the next day. CRAZY! It sounds like the job is going to be very challenging. I think between the jet lag, culture change, language barrier and two small children his life will never slow down. Notice I said nothing about his wonderful wife.

To all the Moms...I, Charu Hayes, went to a play group. That is right. It was actually pretty fun. The Moms there were from Germany, Indonesia, Philippines (they didn't know Lea, I asked) and the States. It was interesting to hear their experiences. I also got some good advice. The funniest part of the whole thing was when Rohin and Veda went into their house and saw the play room I swear it was like they hadn't seen toys for years. Rohin played with wooden train and Veda hugged every stuffed animal she could get her hands on. They had a good time. I think the toys we bought have lost their luster, but hey, I guess it's all about the experience. On another India the world is for children. Every waiter, doorman, sweeper, maid, gardener, nanny, stranger, security guard, and hostess wants to play with the kids. Rohin and Veda are still not used to it at all. Veda will just give one of her looks and say "NO!", but Rohin is starting to slowly come around. He will tell people his name and if they say it wrong he will say "No my name is not Rohit, my name is Rohin with an R". He says all of this with a very serious face. It's pretty cute.

We went to our house today. 148#. It's going to be great. I say "going" because it's not quite ready for us to move in. We have water and gas now, so that is a plus. The house is huge. Really it's too big for us, but I am sure we will fill it up some day. We have some rented furniture which includes beds, dining room table and couch and that is pretty much it. Our air shipment should be arriving next week we hope and then our sea shipment should arrive at the beginning of September. Let's just say that we are going to be living with a lot of nothing for a long time! Oh well....the kids will have to make do and so will we. Our place is across from the pool and rec center, so that helps. Oh, and something we discovery....apparently homes in India or at least where we live, don't have ovens. So I guess I will just have to wait on baking. Or when we get Veda's Easy Bake Oven then I can use that for baking cupcakes.

I also got a cell phone. It's sad when your daughter's play cell phone is better than yours. Hers at least is a flip phone. Mine is not. I have to learn how to use it too which is so embarassing. Again oh well.

I have had to pull out my Hindi skills with some people. It has helped some, but I am sure they are all making fun of my pronunination and tense. Oh well. At least they know what I am talking about..kind of.

I saw my cousin Mistu (real name Malay). It was SO great to see him. He is a young guy who just moved to Bangalore himself. It is comforting to know that I have family here. He has already helped a great deal already.

I will post pictures as soon as I can. Our computer will be here with the air shipment, so that will help me get up and running.

In summary...we are here, we are okay, we are tired, we don't have a house and we miss you all very much.