Saturday, March 26, 2016

Christmas in India

Our oldest daughter Jesse and her family have moved to Bangalulu (Bangalore) India.  Her husband Cori Lindstrom works for Honeywell.  He has a very good career opportunity and it necessitated his move.  This was the year to spend Christmas with family so Marla and I decided to go India.
They live in conditions much better than the average Indian enjoys.  They live in a compound called Palm Meadows.  The entire neighborhood has these beautiful streets lined with big Date Palms.  All the yards are carefully manured and swept on a daily basis.  

This is Jesse and Cori's house.  It is about 5000 square feet.   For $300 a month they hire a full time maid who also helps with the cooking.  Because of the crazy driving habits and impossible streets to navigate, Honeywell prohibits it's ex-patriot employees from driving.  So they have a car and a driver provided for them.   It sounds pretty sweet but there are other challenges to living in India.  The food is very different and to try to replicate dishes that the family is familiar with (and won't burn their faces off.  Indian food is very hot and spicy) they have to go to several specialty stores.  One just can't run to the corner grocery store.  Indians don't use checks or credit cards much so everything has to be done in cash.  Traffic is absolutely crazy and unbelievable.  There are no short trips.  A close trip is 20 -30 minutes each way.  The older kids school is 30-40 minutes away.  Church is 20 -30 minutes away ( which is very close compared to most of the members).  Eden's school is 20 minutes away.  Power and utilities shut down on a regular basis.  (almost daily)  That makes it a challenge to finish a load of wash, or bake a loaf of bread.  (Indians don't really eat bread so it is hard to come by and not very good when you can get it.)  
They do enjoy the benefits of a very nice club house.  It is less than a two minute walk from their house.  It has several pools, a gym, tennis courts, a very good restaurant, hair parlor and a game room.

There are a number of playgrounds in the compound.  There is extensive security in Palm Meadows and the children are pretty much free to ride their bikes and scooters at will and go around to the different play areas and play with their many new friends that come from all over the world.  It reminds me of when I was a young boy and would ride my bike around and play outside with friends for hours.  Heat, humidity and mosquitoes tend to be a little bit of a limiting factor to outside activities.

These ladies would come around every morning and sweep the yards up and down the block.  Notice the Indian leaf blowers.
They do have a mall near by.  (only a ten minute drive which make is practically next door)  There are some familiar brands there.

Thea had to ride the Panda.  ("Children only" rules be hanged)

Even though less than 2% of Indian are Christians, there were Christmas trees, lights and  decorations everywhere.  Didn't see any Nativity  scenes with the baby Jesus. Jesse managed to pull off a very traditional Christmas dinner with all the fixings.  The club house restaurant provided the turkey.  It was a little skinny by American standards but it tasted very good.  We even had Grandma Whitaker's traditional butter rolls.

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