The time has arrived. At least that's what I've been telling myself. The end of this 2 hours plus of driving a day.
Working in Gurgaon and living in Delhi isn't really helping my social life at all.
Don't get me wrong. I LOVE the drive. It's a challenge a minute.
How fast do you think you could get from point A to point B (28KM away) while being constantly menaced by mad drivers eager to give you a practical "crash" course in road rage, experienced ones trying to prove that they paid for their licences to drive, brave little girls sticking like GLUE to the fast lane while speaking on their mobile phones, no doubt complaining about all the noise of "those horns blaring behind me", simultaneously skilfully tapping out an SMS and checking their lipstick in the rear-view mirror angled just so as to show them their big pout while a certain needle drops below a mark reading "30".
I make it in a little over an hour on days. It's an entaining trip there and almost as interesting on the way back, but this guaranteed 2 hours of driving a day has robbed me of what little social life I might have had in Delhi.
Solution? Shift to Gurgaon. I'd decided this soon after I reached here I think. That was in February. I've been searching for a place since. It was Bangalore all over again!
First thought I'd buy a place - Dad had already expressed his disapproval in renting a place. Discouragement would have been if the place was good and costed 70Lakhs. How about a low quality construction in a close to downmarket area costing that much? I'd rather risk Dad's temper.
ProspectiveLandLord:"Bachelors? Erm... we DID want a married couple, but you seem okay."
Ten minutes later: outside
Broker:"He's saying he's getting an offer for 60Lakhs to buy the place, so may not be renting the place"
I think that's the closest we got to getting a place till Gautham was lucky enough to be shown a floor in DLF Phase-I. It's big, airy, good quality. I've finally got my wooden floor. There's greenery and trees everywhere you look when you're on the balcony (which almost wraps around the place). A park's the next plot. It's quiet. Unbeleivably, 500 metres to the nearest mall, 7KM to the office and the closest residential area to the Delhi border by road.
You can probably tell I'm happy with the place.
Furniture? Now that's a bit of an issue. Whatever little I had in Bangalore was either given away or sold. I figure we'd need sofa/bean bags/computer table, chair, dining table and chairs. Toss in some kitchen equipment, some curtains, a bar trolley, some stuff to populate the trolley with, a mattress, bed, erm... what's the budget again?
You mean there was a budget? All of this isn't coming in for free? At any rate, saw some mattresses, a few computer tables, a coffee table (did I not mention that already?), a really neat bar trolley, some really bad dining tables, one of those cushion things that folds to make a low "sofa" type thingy or opens to be a bed. Reached Gurgaon, bought a tape measure to see about the curtains - think those're coming from home. There's lots of spares out here. Installed modem, got a download going and headed out to a mall (THS has an "upto 80%" sale on). 5 minutes later we were waiting in line to get into the mall - weekend mall goers seemed to have learned their lesson and get DROPPED to the mall rather than go through the 30 minute wait we did.
THS was a mess. They didn't have anything labeled. Price tags were under some products, not mentioned on others. The staff had no idea of what they had - asked the guy if he had Corelle dinner sets and he gives us a categorical "no". We bought two things from there. One dinner set (of the brand which they didn't have) and a bathroom shelf (could have SWORN I'd mentioned that before). The manager seemed to think that having a guy "help" people was smarter than labeling products with prices. 3 generations of women (a lady, her daughter and her daughter) brought about 5 artificial flower stems of which 2 weren't "bar coded" to the checkout. The lady behind the counter having sent 2 people to get the "codes" for the uncoded twigs went for a coffee break. As we waited, another customer trying to get the bill so that she could get out of the shop (the guard demands to see the bill before releasing any goods from there) asked how much we paid for the dinner set and congratulated us on "such a good purchase" and set off to see if she could find a similar set - we didn't have the misfortune of seeing her pulling her hair out trying to get the one lone "Reggie" to admit that he had them after all. We were quickly "manual" billed and with a smile from Reggie, the guard stood aside while we exited with a bit of paper with some numbers scribbled on it and the goodies.
Next stop was supposed to be a Reebok shop. I've been trying to buy trainers for the last 4 months or so. They haven't in the past had:
1. My size
2. A sober colour
3. A comfortable fit
all together yet. I'm not paying a massive amount of money to be told they don't have anything without that gold and silver trim on red, yellow, white, grey and brown base in my size because "that model was discontinued last month" and "this is the new one".
Anyway, was headed down to face the same thing again and Ma noticed that there was a 30% sale on Clarks. I'm a big fan of these shoes. Have been since I ruined a pair I stole from Dad while I was at school. Half an hour later I walked out of the shop with Ma, feeling quite happy at my purchase of a nice pair of black shoes.
Off to the Reebok shop. Didn't feel too bad that they didn't have the shoes I wanted because they "went out of style last month" and they've only got "old stock in sizes 3 to 7 and 9" in that style, which is why if I DID buy that pair that was a size too big for 6K, I'd get 3K worth of extra spending for FREE!!
Shall see about some more furniture tomorrow.