नथुनी – Nathuni and साड़ी – Sari

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Pronunced “natineh” – check the sounds on google translate. This is the nose ring. The sari is made anywhere from 5 to 9 yards of fabric. The more commonly seen style is the wrapped skirt. This one is Maharashtrian style so there are pants instead of skirt. There are many varieties of fabric from silk, cotton and even wool blend. There are also many different types of woven fabric and prints that reflects the different region and the weight of the fabric and whether they are tightly or loosely woven reflects the need to address the type of weather conditions of the different parts of the country. Fascinating and beautiful art form. Saris can be very costly. Many are tailor-made. Some are worn as everyday wear or special occasion. The cost varies from $10 to upwards of thousands. Many of the blouses maybe hand-embroidered and sequins are added.

Heat & Bites

When I arrived, well, I must admit, India is hot. But I was wondering, how come everyone wears saris, long pants, when they are walking along the street? Aren’t they a tad hot? Or, maybe not because they’re used to this heat so they need the pants to keep them warm in the 30 degrees sun!

Well, I got it all wrong. When I went outside on a windy day. The trees rustled and a swarm of bugs attacked my legs and ankles. Of course i was wearing a dress that came up to my knees.

Then another day, I got smart. I bug sprayed my legs and ankles and walked down the street carrying my fruits and veges from my backstreet vendor. Well, I wore a short sleeve top and there you go, zoom down 2 fat flies and attacked my arms.

I took out the garbage and the flies swarming around decided to eat my for breakfast one morning. That was not a good start to the day.

I wanted to create some heat while practicing yoga in the dining room so I turned off all the fans. Well, guess who was the mid-morning snack for the bugs?

The locals says it’s my type “O” blood. It’s delicious because every ethnicity of bugs like it.

I now have purchased all the local clothes, jumper pants, long shorts, leggings to help combat the bugs. I get so hot that I’m dripping with sweat when I reach home from the vendor. I jump into my shorts. Relief!
Apparently, the locals sweat like dogs too! They take cold shower when they get home. I take a lot of cold showers too. And I take them in the morning! Wait till when the summer comes! It’s suppose to be 40 degrees! Can’t wait!

Bare Feet

It is customary to remove one’s shoes when entering the home.  If you are hired help, you leave your shoes by the outside mat.  If you are a guest, you can bring them inside.  Many Rickshaw drivers drive bare feet.  Small shoe stores – expect you to leave your shoes outside. Therefore, you should not go out barefooted.  When you enter the temple, you should take off your sandals, with a few exceptions.  Some people just did not respect this rule.  It’s monsoon season so it’s muddy and the carpet leading to the alter was so dirty, I would not allow Bob or Lia to bare their feet to go up to the temple.  I have been sick twice already.

People wear sandals here.  No one wear socks, except if you’re in the gym or going to work or school – which is then part of your uniform.

When I visited the doctor, shoes were allowed inside.
Today, Michael and I visited the dentist.  We bared our feet and teeth.

Sept. 12

20140830_104015We have had quite a few long weekends here.  One every 2 weeks – as I’m told – end of August is very busy for the holiday season.  Teacher’s day was celebrated and Lia performed the “Happy” and “Grease” dances with her classmates for the teachers in the auditorium.

Then it was a race to celebrate Ganesh, the elephant god’s birthday.  Many roadside temporary Ganesh statues are found all over the city, especially the older, and central part of Pune.  A smaller version is placed there also and many people brings them into their homes. On the 5th, 7th, 9th day, it is taken down to the pool and emerged into the water.  Have a look at the videos and pics on the link below.


We woke up at 7am to watch the worshipers on Saturday so we did not want to be stuck in traffic or lineups to the temple. The whole place was already buzzing with activity when we got there. Flowers baskets, coconuts, waterlilies, gurus, lined the street.  On Monday, Sep.8, the drumming is deafening.  There are so many groups of people doing their own drumming, dancing in the streets.  The women dance by themselves (higher societies) and the men dance in their groups.  The celebration did not stop till 2 am on Tuesday.  Phew!  Let’s get some sleep now.

First official post upon arrival – Aug 18

We arrived in India at 5:30am and hunting down our driver as our plane had to take a detour to Romania because of the recent events in Ukraine.  The condo is situated by the river and the district is called Kalyani Nagar which is the business district of Pune.  It is a sought after area.  Bob’s work is just around the corner from where we live so instead of getting a ride home by our driver, he sometimes walk home – about 10 min. walk.

We live in a gated community – and many of the condos are in a “society.”  The Gold’s Gym is within our complex and shops for vegetables, fruits and just steps away from our building.  I spent a lot of time going to different shops to familiarize myself which shop has which type of grocery or household goods as it has been a challenge with this place.

The couch and chairs, the bathrooms were grimy when we arrived so I spent a lot of time babysitting the condo to wait for the guys come to fix and clean things.  Things keep breaking down and parts are slow to arrive.  Drying laundry is a challenge during the monsoon season so we had to deal with washed clothes that become smelly if they don’t dry within 8 hours.  The kids have been school for the 3rd week and Lia had a test today.IMG_7765IMG_7734 

School is going to be a lot harder for Michael and Lia as this is an International school and from the meetings I have been attending, the school is already prepping students at grade 9, 10 level for university in UK, North America and beyond!  The parents seem to be pretty demanding also.

We took 2 one-day trips to the outskirts of Pune.  Llavasa and Lonavala and Ambi Valley.  It was difficult to see the scenery because it’s monsoon season so many times, the fog and clouds rolled in but it’s amazingly lush green everywhere.  There are beautiful Banyan trees that line the streets of Pune.

We were given referrals for the “hired” help so currently, we have a driver which Bob’s company provides and a cook and a maid.  My cook will soon be my maid as she’s looking for more hours.  There is also the “Ironman,” who stops by and ask if we have laundry to wash, dryclean or iron.

Lia performed an Indian style dance on Independence Day at school.IMG_6887 IMG_7009

Above 2 pictures are from our stay in Sheffield and London.  These 2 pictures are actually taken in Bakewell -famous for their puddings and pies and the one below is York where we checked out some interesting weapons from the Vikings era.

If you want to see more pics and videos, be my friend on Facebook or I can share my Google stories with you if you have a gmail account.

thanks for the send off…


IMAG0112IMAG0097Thanks for the great send off party…and all of you who wants to see us and I had to turn you down because I’m doing such fun things like getting more rabies shots, going to the  lab for 1 last blood test… Just creating my new blog – taking a break from packing. Remember I will be the only one in my family with lots of play time!  Write to me when you have time or something funny to say.