Monday, December 14, 2009

Back In Australia – James and Jenny’s wedding

Well we did make it to Mumbai again, but now we are back in Australia, which at times doesn't feel much different to Mumbai as there are some many Indians immigrating here at the moment and particularly Werribee.

Two weekends ago James and Jenny got married and now the hunt is on for work and a place to stay, will it be here in Melbourne or Darwin, maybe even Brisbane????


Friday, June 19, 2009

We are back again!

Well it was good to arrive back in Mumbai after a short break of about 5 months in Melbourne and Darwin. So lets start the story in pictures once again.

Can you see the two men painting the lines in the carpark. That's one way of doing it I suppose, so glad we have other methods in Australia, could you imagine someone doing it this way there??? I cant.

Here are Beth, Keira and Jason standing next to our new car, the day is Wednesday so our driver Prem is having his day off. So that means Jason gets to drive.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

From Darwin to Melbourne

We are still in Australia and decided to travel to Melbourne from Darwin til we return to Mumbai in July.

We had some great fun along the way as you can see, Beth helped drive and so we were able to do it in 4 days.

Along the way she would drive for about 2 hrs and then would pass out in the back seat for another 2 hrs it was so funny.

We also saw lots of wildlife and some not so alive wildlife on the side of the road.

Beth also enjoyed waving to all the cars as we passed them and found driving long distance a different challenge to driving in traffic.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Hi All,
I haven't been in Australia for awhile, but am loving being back. I have been enjoying Darwin's wet season and all the rain, rain, rain.

I just found out that we will be returning to Mumbai soon. I am excited about about being back with Jason and can't wait for the girls to enjoy the new school they will be going to there.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Skin Colour Madness

I read this article in the Mumbai Mirror and had to share.

Most people in India are obsessed with the color of their skin.

This article is an example of the madness that has come over them.

On TV there are ads that convince you that you can have whiter skin by using this cream or that soap.

These young girls died because of a countries obsession with something they really cant have.

Now I know you will say that we in the west are obsessed with darker skin or not having any wrinkles.

I agree with you, but those things don't dictate who you will marry or what job you will get.

It is a shame that we are still trying to get things we don't have and don't appreciate ourselves for what we are. I am glad I am who I am.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Trip to the Post Office - 3hrs later

Today I went to the post office to send Shante her birthday present.

3 hrs later I was heading home, exhasted and thirsty!

Here is what happened. Amelia and I headed out with our parcel and then caught a rickshaw to the post office, Amelia negotiated with them to see what we needed to do...............not being able to talk Hindi is a real draw back.

We needed to go to a dressmaker to get him to sew a cover for the parcel as they don't have parcel bags like in Australia. So off we went looking for someone. We finally found someone but he was at the post office doing his own So we waited about 15mins when someone at his shop gave him a call, he said he would be awhile and to come back.

So Emelia and I decided to go to Inorbit Mall to pick up bread (this is the only place that bake fresh and have bread regular size near us). While we were there I went to Cartridge World to re-ink my Dell cartridge............guess what you can't re-ink them and you cant even buy them here in India, even through Dell......agggghhhh!

So back into a rickshaw and back to the dressmaker.............he was there, so Emelia told him what we wanted and off to work he went. That is him in the picture.

After that we had to find a Xerox place to photo copy the paper work 3 times and then a stationery place to get a plastic sleeve to add to the parcel............a strange way to post a parcel.

Then is was back to the post office to wait in line again. Finally at the front of the line and Emelia once again does all the talking. We send it speed mail to get it there in 4 days (I wonder if that will happen), I pay my 767 rupees, which is $25 so I hope it does get there in 4 days.

Then we go a rickshaw.................tired and thirsty!
Here is the outfit I sent Shante for her 6th Birthday.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Emelia - The new housekeeper

I know, I haven't written for awhile and today I have published 3 items, oh well, that's the way it is I suppose..................I was a bit down, culture shock and adjustments and all. Feeling a bit better now, so back to it!!

This is Emelia, she is the Auntie of Nataline (the former housekeeper). She started just over a week ago, after Nataline finished. Nataline's son who is 5 was giving her lots of trouble so she finished up.

I love Emelia, even though Nataline was lovely, Emelia is a gentle soul, she diligently does her work and is proactive, which I love. She is a great cook too, Jason loves her chicken curry.

Emelia has worked for other Westerners and has even lived in Dubai and Switzerland. She has a 6 year old son who wants to be an engineer.

Subzi - Hindi for Vegetables

Every Monday and Thursday the Subzi Wala (vegetable man) comes to my home. There are three of them, a husband and wife, Ramesh and Rohini. They do all the selling and the other guy does the money transaction.

This is what I purchased today, it only cost me 580 rupees. Which in Australian money would be $18.83.

This is what I bought
3 cucumbers, 1 cauliflower, 1 kg peas, 2kg tomatoes, 2 capsicums (red and yellow), 1kg beans, 250g mushrooms, 2kg potatoes, 2kg onions, 1 large bunch of coriander, 4 corn, 6 apples, 4 pomegranates, 6 lemons, 1 egg plant, 1 pineapple (peeled), 12 ladyfinger bananas, 6 garlic, 3 ginger.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Australia Day

On Australia Day, Jason, Beth, Keira and I all went to a function put on by the a expat Australian and New Zealand group at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai. We enjoyed ourselves immensely as we were in real need of a sanity break from India. It was good to talk to other aussies and token aussies.

Here is Jason and Keira in the gardens of the Four Season Hotel in Mumbai. I took this picture because of the disparity of the rich and poor in the picture, you can see by the background that there is an apartment that is quite poor (actually its relatively opulent compared to other accommodation), but the gardens of the Four Season's are lovely.
I will add some other pictures of the grounds for you to see.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Auto Rickshaw

This is an auto rickshaw that we get around in here in Mumbai. They are a very effective and cost efficient method of getting from point A to point B. There only down fall is that they only carry 3 passengers at the max. Although I have seen more than that in them, this is unusual. My family can only fit 3, but hey we are bigger than the average Indian.

When traveling in one of these contraptions you need to have your hair either tided up or you need to do something else to deal with the wind whipping through your hair. So here is a picture of my solution as I don't like to pull my hair up.

As you can see my hair that has escaped my shawl is whipping around. Thanks Pam for the lovely shawl you gave me from Cambodia, I am getting lots of use of it here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Just For John

We attended church this morning in a place called Powai. The churches name is "The Church at Powai". Fairly simple hey!

I was better than a few other places we have been and I think it will become our home church while here in Mumbai. It takes us about 20-25 mins to get there by rickshaw. They have a youth group that the girls will check out over the next couple of weeks.

After church we went for lunch at KFC will all the other expats that attend the church, some work with Jason but not all. One guy has just started lecturing at IIT, which is like a uni, here I think anyway. Beth and Keira then went shopping with Ester, Krista and one other girl, cant remember her name right now. They were taking them clothes shopping and educating them how to barter.

After the girls left Jason and I went for a stroll around Powai. Powai is a planned suburb here in Mumbai so there is a little order to it compared with the rest of Mumbai anyway.

Papa Johns
While walking we found a little pizza restaurant that John will appreciate, cause this is the name the girls used to call him when they were little. Jason and I had a laugh about its name.

You will notice the pictures show both the english name and the name in Hindi. Might have lunch there next time we are in Powai and see if they are any good.

Friday, January 16, 2009


This is Nataline, she is my new housekeeper, she cleans and cooks for us. She started 2 days ago. Her husband's name is Vijay and her 5 year old son's name is Arian.

She cooked us a lovely dinner tonight, chicken curry with paratas. It was yummy, a little hot for Beth, but Beth find dahl

Jason loved the homemade bread.

She comes at about 9.30am and finishes about 6.30pm, Monday to Friday, she also comes on Saturday but not til 12.00noon. We have given her Sunday off. Now before your mind goes "What!" They work 7 days a week here in India. So the fact that we give her Saturday morning off and Sunday is a gift to her. What she doesn't realise is I would never make anyone work 7 days a week! The only reason we still make her come on Saturday is.....................well the lady who found her for us told us that if we gave her too much she would take advantage of us.............? Don't understand them at all............these Indian people that is.

If you want to get an idea of what India is like you should definitely see 'Slumdog Millionaire'. It is so close to the Mumbai I live in...............we watched it tonight and it deserves all the awards it is getting.

Tomorrow Nataline and I are going to buy a pressure cooker and some other India cooking stuff, I don't have the right utensils for our new

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Juhu Beach

Jason, Beth Keira and I went out to dinner with John (Jason's boss) on Tuesday night. We went to a little restaurant in Juhu. It was an Italian restaurant, Keira had pizza and Jason and Beth had chicken. I had a lovely dish, eye fillet of beef, yummy!
After dinner we went to the a coffee shop next door, it was lovely there too! These two restaurants had the whole western thing going.............the best I have experienced so far. In the coffee shop they had smoking pipes, well bongs with tobacco in them. Freaked the girls out at first, but when we explained it to them they had a good laugh. We had great desserts, way too sweet for any ones good.

After dinner and dessert we wished John goodbye and went for a walk along the beach. It is amazing the lifestyle here, very much like Darwin. Everything seems to happen at night.

There were so many people down the beach, doing all sorts of things. They were selling vegetables, hot food and lots of toys and jewellery. One of the things happening I'm not to sure about. In the picture to the left you can see a guy standing in front of a contraption. Contraption is the correct word I think, people where putting it on their head and listening to something, all the while the lights were flashing. There was another contraption, a scale attached to a computer, also with lights. Not sure but I think some famous person was telling them how much they weights and some other stuff. People using them where laughing very hard.

We had a great time, then we caught two rickshaws home.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Surprise - An Elephant

The other night after visiting some of the expats from Jason's office, we arrived home via a taxi and when we got out this is what greeted us.

We were so surprised, it was just walking down the road.

Then Beth just stepped off the curb and walked straight up to it and started patting it and talking to the guy on was so funny.

The reason he was there was to appeal for money to feed the elephant and the first thought that popped into my mind was doesn't it take a lot of energy to walk and elephant around the streets of Mumbai?

We gave him 100 rupees which equates to about $3AUD. He was pleasantly pleased with our donation though.

I am sure we will see many more sights like this before our time is up in India.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Culture Shock

Well haven't been on for awhile, we have only just got the Internet back on. It took awhile, like most things over here it's not what you know, but who you know. You can walk up to a shop and try and order something. For one you have to be able to speak Hindi, or some other version of English, Australian English is difficult for most about speaking too fast, and that's Jason and I, not the speedy talkers Beth and Keira, they just don't understand them at all. So unless you have someone who can help you or you can work out how much to bribe them you usually do it in vain.

Nothing in this country is like anything in Australia, although the people are very friendly toward you. .....So we need to buy a mattress, but you can't just go to a shop that sells mattress', you have to find a store that might sell other stuff too, or we could go to Hypercity which is very much like a Super Kmart (for those old enough to remember them). But they don't have all their stock on display, one the middle of the range, maybe! Maybe. This is just one example of how hard it is to get things done. Jason says that India has a complicator machine, you put a simple request in one end and a complicated problem comes out the

Enough whinging though, there are great aspects here. Some of which I will write about over the coming days, now that I am back.

But finally we went to see Australia the other night with the girls at the Hub Mall which is directly in from of my apartments. There was about 20 of us in was so funny, we laughed at places that no one else laughed at, partly because it was Aussie humor, but also because as a family we have an understanding of the way the northern territory works, even if is was set back during the war, it seems a lot hasn't changed up there in Darwin and the outback.

We also saw a Hindi movie about a week ago, a big blockbuster called Ghangini. It was 3 hrs long and was a cross between Momento the movie and a bollywood musical. Even though it was supposed to be a thriller they were able to get in their dancing