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Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Monsoon is moving on

This is my sixth Mumbai Monsoon and the heaviest and longest we've had in years.  It's reaching the end now but it's not going out with a whimper.

My first Mumbai Monsoon wasn't great to look at although the weather was gloriously wet and fresh.  The flat I was living in had bars on the windows and overlooked a big blank wall so there was little pleasure in the way of views.  My classroom, while big and colourful with plenty of borrowed light, was internal so, again, no outside views.

Things have changed and I now have no shortage of things to look out onto both at work and at home.  So back to Monsoon.  The rains have been heavy and welcomed and lengthy and the skies have often been dramatic in a leaden sort of a way.  Here's a recent view from my new classroom window at 10am:

amasc, photograph, dramtic, weather, mumbai, india

I love the rains but you can have too much of a good thing and I was starting to yearn for a bit of a break from the constant cloud cover.  No sooner said than done.  On Friday, this was the view from the flat:

amasc, pictures, mumbai, weather, blue, aarey, India

Big and blue and beautiful and very, very welcome.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Mumbai Pharmacies

As a foreigner I find medicines are very cheap in India.  Locally produced versions of just about anything you can think of are freely available and I know lots of people who stock up on medicines to take back to family members, particularly people from the USA.

However, medicines must have very narrow profit margins as pharmacies also sell a wide range of other products.  Some of them make sense, blood pressure monitors, thermometers and food supplements.  Toiletries are another line so if you need toothpaste, soap or shampoo your local pharmacy is  a good place to go looking for it.  Other things stretch the imagination, biscuits, chocolate, potato crisps but they fill a space on the shelves and they must sell or they wouldn't be there.  The most puzzling is dog food.

dogs, food, pet food, chemists, pharmacy, stock, mumbai, india, medicines, puzzle, Amasc

Every pharmacy I've visited apart from those inside  hospitals has a shelf of dog and cat food.  I have no idea why but the local dogs seem happy about it.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

A Tale of Two Settees

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  Well, not really but it was absolutely time to get rid of the awful brown and saggy sofa and replace it with something, anything, else.

We chose a pair of red sofas from Pepperfry – online marketplace for furniture, which were slated for delivery on Thursday evening.Of course they arrived at 3, when we were still at work. A friend headed up to the flat to let them in while we were tied up with different meetings.  We fortunately live close to our workplace.

Of course security weren’t keen on letting them in but we got that sorted, then, of course, one of the sofas was too big for the lift. So the men carried up 29 floors!

And of course, the big sofa, the one that was too big for the lift, the one that was carried up 29 floors, was the wrong colour. Of course it was.

It was beige, it was big and beige and sitting outside the flat.

Pepperfry told us they had a no returns policy, not true, it got returned but only after much wrangling. They offered compensation of 5000 INR – 58 GBPs – to keep the big beige mistake, we laughed. They told us they didn’t have any red ones in stock, they did, we could see them on their website. They told us it was hard to check the colour of products in their warehouse, it was written on the outside.

The beige mistake sofa fitted in the lift after all and went on its way.

They told us they’d deliver the sofa in the right colour on Friday. It arrived on Saturday, of course it bloody did.