In 2008, I accepted a new position with an internet marketing firm based in Gurgaon and moved my family there. You can read about our next few years living in Gurgaon and Delhi at http://american-in-delhi.blogspot.com.
In 2012, I have moved on yet again. This time, sadly, my pets will not travel with me as both have lost their lives here and are buried at Jeevashram, a pet cemetery affiliated with a wonderful animal hospital that takes care of injured strays, cows, and other wild animals.
So now we are packing, preparing and planning our move to Pune. We are very excited since Jason, an ex-colleague from Chicago, lives there with his family and the Dhunjibhoys are there, my exchange family I lived with all those years ago. I recently had a chance to get more information on living in this city.
"It's the best city to live and raise a family in India. It's quieter, cleaner, and its people are more laid back."
"We couldn't take Mumbai anymore."
This was what we were looking for. Some peace and quiet. Something hard to find in India's urban centers. Our next step is to locate an apartment. From what I've been told, the negotiations are different. Brokers expect to get one or two month's rent as their fee, from BOTH the renter and the landlord, and they expect this fee for each new contract. Negotiate hard with the broker to bring his fee down to one month, and negotiate a multi-year lease if possible to avoid the extra broker's fees. This is exactly the kind of information you can only learn from people who already live there. The lack of clarity, in every process you go through in India, from renting a flat to arranging mobile phone service, is the bane of my existence.
We're particularly interested in finding something in Magarpatta City, where my office located, or in Amanora Township, which is just across the street from Magarpatta City and close to Koregaon Park, where Jason and the Dhunjibhoys live. I've heard though, that hiring help there is a challenge as it is far from the city center. We'll see.
Restaurants I recommend in Pune (so far!):
- Stone Water Grill
Great seafood and Western cuisine.
Excellent vegetarian Italian done really well.
Expat SupportPune Expats Club
So far, not super excited about them. I went to their web site to join, tried to use the online form from my mac (didn't work) and ended up downloading the form, filling it in by hand and emailing to the address on the web site. Never heard back. I do, however, get their emails now, promoting International Cheese Night and Wine Tastings... Hmmm.
Well, I leave Monday on this new adventure. Seems like we're finally "coming home".