Friday, October 31, 2008


Yep, it's celebrated here too...well, kind of. Our community celebrated Halloween last week (not sure how you celebrate Halloween not on the 31st, but whatever), so tonight we went to a friend's house and hung out and let off fireworks. Yahoo!

Race car driver and Hello Kitty say Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Singapore...Any Mode of Transporation and Aladdin?

We just returned from Singapore on Tuesday. What are great city!!! Clean, easy to travel, LOTS of malls for shopping, good food, lots of things to do and two kids who were up for the vacation (most of the time). The weather was extremely humid, so that made it a little hard, but you could catch a taxi or train anywhere in the city, so it was no biggie.

Singapore is definitely the complete opposite of Bangalore, so it was a nice break for sure. As you can see it's lots of tall buildings and interesting architecture. I am not going to bore you with the extensive detail what we did...instead the following are what we all liked the best...

What Rohin and Veda Love about Singapore:
-Plane ride in our pajamas.
-Riding the underground trains.
-Bunch of hula-hoops at the museum.
-Live music near the river.
-McDonalds...yes, between that and Burger King the kids were happy.
-The clock in our hotel - had to make a stop everytime we left.
-Night Safari - It was really cool!
-Water Fountains in the malls. Lets just say we spent WAY TOO MUCH time at these.
-Boat ride to a near by island - Pulau Ubin
-Riding on the back of bikes with Mom and Dad.
-All the lights of the city at night.
-A water fountain where they both proceed to get soaking wet.
-Skittles - they would do anything for a Skittle!
-Riding elevators and pushing the buttons.
-Escalators - any and all in the malls
-Cable cars to Sentosa Island
-Underwater world Aquarium
-The beach
-Singapore Flyer - big giant ferris wheel.
-Sitting in our hotel room to rest and watching Aladdin. I am not exaggerating when I say that we watched the movie at least 10 times in 5 days. AWESOME! "10,000 years will give you such a crick in the neck!"

What Martin and Charu Love About Singapore:
-Fresh fish on Pulau Ubin!
-Sushi at the Japanese diner
-Riding Bikes on the island
-Empty subway car
-Random street dancers in the subway transfers
- Halloween in another country was interesting - it's just not the same though!
- Gimmick of the "Fish Spa". Basically, these fish eat the dead crap on your feet
- Mexican food! With real cheese!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Buddies and Schools are Cool!

Well, in a little under two weeks I will be heading back to work. It feels like time has flown by (even with the extension). I am having an amazing time with Ro and V, so it will be hard to go back, but it is time. I wanted to introduce a couple of kids we have met. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of everyone, but here are a few.

Veda has her own group of friends as well. They are all around her age and to watch them all play is hilarious! Veda loves her dolls and strollers and stuff animals, but it’s funny if Rohin is around she is all cars and trains. Veda has become great pals with Isa. These two could play together for hours. Honestly, it’s a sight to see. They had their first tea party together. Oh and yes, Martin has had his first tea party as well and he LOVED every second since it was with V.

Veda also has buddy named Sveva. She is the daughter of our friends Kush and Priya (they are from Chicago). These two were hilarious when we took them to a restaurant. Long story short…they were sitting on top of the table while the Moms ate. Thank goodness they put us in the corner and the place was pretty empty.

There is another GM family here from Michigan that have been absolutely wonderful. They are the Patel’s. The kids are Milan and Mira and let me just say…Rohin and Veda love them both. Mira is 9 years old and Milan is 5. Rohin thinks Milan is the best thing since fruit snacks. Mira does a wonderful job of watching over Veda and keeping Rohin happy too.

Rohin has his own age crew too, but one guy in particular is his buddy. His name is Corey. His family is from the UK. Rohin has picked up a couple of things from Corey's accent and visa versa. It's pretty funny. These two could play for hours if we let them. He is a great kid.

Rohin has also started school this week. Let me tell you he was so excited. Dad came home from work and took him to school. The teacher had told us that I could stay for the first day. When I asked Rohin he said “Mom…you can stay for five minutes.” Here are a couple of pictures on the way to Rohin’s school.

Needless to say, it’s quite the adventure. So, Martin and I took Rohin to school and Rohin said goodbye to Martin and then we went inside.

Rohin and I walked into his classroom room where there were children all working. A young girl came over and grabbed Rohin’s hand and showed him around. After two minutes, Rohin forgot I was there. I said bye to him and he looked up and smiled. It was a good first day.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Sorry it has taken me so long to write about our home. I kept forgetting to take pictures. Here is a little tour...

Here is the front of our home. To the left of the house is the club house and pool. It is very convenient. We have a little front porch area that is really nice in the morning. Sometimes Ro, V and I have breakfast out there or just hang out.

As you walk through the front door you are greeted by Ganesh, "Mr. Makbar" and our shoe rack. In India they don't have a lot of closets at the front door, so we had this shoe rack made from cane. It isn't the coolest, but it does the job.

If you go right then you will enter the first of 5 bathrooms. Yes, it is VERY excessive, but all the houses are this way. Apparently, no one shares a bathroom. Also, every bathroom does have a beday. Nope haven't used them yet for what they are intended. You should come visit and use it!
When you look to your left you see our family room. Does it look familiar? We pretty much took everything from Michigan and superimposed it in India.

If you go past the family room, you will enter the dining area. Again, you will see new stuff and old. You will probably also notice some walls painted. The house was all white when we moved in and it made me crazy, so we got a couple walls painted.

If you go to the right you will enter the kitchen. We cook, eat, wash dishes and clean laundry in here. Oh and our pantry is packed with stuff from the States :-) None of the Costco stuff fits in the fridge.

If you go back to the dining area and go left this time we have a back porch area that we have turned into a place for the kids. They have a great time out there.

Back in the dining room, you probably noticed a red wall with a painting we got here in India. To the left is our room.

To the right is our guest room, study, and Martin's closet and bathroom.

If your travel upstairs you will find Rohin's room. If you notice Ro got the master bedroom because we wanted the kids to be on the same floor. Good decision in the long run, but his room also is the hall closet and medicine cabinet (don't worry Moms the medicine does have a lock).

From Rohin's room you then walk into the play area. The kids have a good time here as well. Have you noticed yet that 80% of home belongs to the kids and their stuff.

From the play area you can walk out on the terrace. We have put some furniture out there and we also use this place as an outdoor play area. You have a great view of the pool and playground. It is a great space if it weren't for the darn mosquitoes at night!

And then we have Veda's room. She also has a bathroom, but that is currently transformed into our basement since we don't have any other place. It's actually not as bad as it looks. There are just a lot of empty boxes that I have tear down.

Hope you enjoyed the tour. Like I said before, we are very lucky to live in such a great place. The community gets to be like a compound sometimes, but honestly I don't think I would want it any other way. The kids can play outside and ride their bikes all day long. It's a great place to live. I wouldn't say it's exactly like the rest of India, but trust me you do have your times when you remember where you are (and forget too).

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dancing Anyone?

This past weekend there was a “function” at “community”. It was called “Dandiya Nite”. It was quite the event. The event was at the park right down the street. You could hear the music from our home.

People from our community got all dressed up and danced the night away. It was pretty awesome. Dandiya Raas and Garba are dances traditional from western India (both were done that night). With Dandiya Raas you use sticks and you tap them with other folks to the beat of the music. It sounds simple, but let me tell you – it’s not! And Garba is usually a repeated dance which is done by many in a large circle. Again, it is not easy, but REALLY amazing to watch a lot of people do it. The dances and function were being done because of Navratri. Navratri is a Hindu festival that is celebrated by worship and dance for the goddesses for nine nights. It’s a very big deal here in India. Oh by the way…Rohin and Veda were in full swing. At one point they were both in the middle of one of the circles running around and dancing. They also did a little dandiya as well. I was really impressed with their skills. Devyani Auntie would be VERY proud.

Mom, if you look closely you will see that Veda even let us put on some jewelry…notice her wrists and ankles. It was really cute.