Category Archives: Mumbai

Online in India: Bakewala.com

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Oh joy!

There are entrepreneurs here who are rocking the establishment and providing world class service online.

Enter Bakewalla.com.

They have such an easy to use website for ordering bakeware such as these cute 12″muffin liners (also known  as patty tins or cupcake holders) and these fun squeezy bottles for piping frosting (how easy is that?) 

Having ordered these on Monday and  choosing to pay an extra 75 rupees for FedEx, I was surprised when they arrived next day from Bangalore !

Must repeat: NEXT day! Woohoo!

Now, Mumbai is a shopper’s paradise IF you know WHERE  to SHOP. I have been here almost two years and just discovered the best bread..

more of that in my next post

Expat.com a Genuine Friendly Expat site. 

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genuine friendly expat site

 

I have to apologise to Julian the creator of Expat.com.

I just took the liberty of adding a tag line –  genuine friendly expat site to his logo and here is why:

Back in March 2010,  Bill was headhunted for a project in Riyadh and he left me to research the place. As you all know,  surfing the net sucks up hours of your life and many times leads to redundant websites, irrelevant advice or worse still – clickbait-that erroneous info you didn’t really need to know about or worse you need to pay money to get anything other than the crumbs. Thankfully I found expat-blog.com (expat.com’s previous avatar) and it became my go-to place for advice. I became a member and quickly got chatting to other expats living in Saudi Arabia. I found Riyadh challenging and frightening sometimes (read my Riyadh posts here) and the contacts I made in the forum became friends I could trust. We had so many good times and so many laughs just chatting there.  It wasn’t as big as it is now and it was lovely to have Julian come into the forum now and then to keep us in line or add to the conversation. It was a difficult time and my disillusion grew when Bill was asked to not come back to the (Riyadh) office, while we were on holidays so I never got to see those friends again. I dropped out of the expat blog scene after that but returned in recent years so happy with where Julian has brought it to.

The site now has over a million members and is bigger and better and just as genuine and friendly as I left it.

If you are an expat you need to join Expat.  com

 

Mumbai daze of crochet and pani puri

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monkey,dino,ladybird,bunny,snail,penguin,crocodile,tortoise,lion,jacket,layette,teddy

Apparantly I am now living in one of the world’s great cities and have been doing so since December 2014.

Hey Mumbai is the home of Bollywood, pani puri and pav (pronounced POW) bhaji which I heartily enjoy.

You could probably buy a new sari here everyday for the next 10 years and never come across the same colour or pattern – truly there seems to be a cloth store on every corner in every street.

There is fabulous art deco architecture and the marvels left behind  by the British Empire juxtaposed with one of the the world’s largest slums, Dharavi that now nestles in prime land close to where I live.

Why then do I feel I have been swallowed up in some Twilight Zone episode?

It’s loneliness, I guess.

Too many days spent in the apartment and tired of trying to find a cab or an Uber driver who speaks English or can operate the GPS. Once on the road, traffic is merciless, constant and the honking, honking, honking never ceases.

On arrival I joined  Mumbai Connections – an expat group for women -and guessed I would just flow in that, as I had in Gurgaon but too often their activities are too far from my place to attend. We chose to live close to Bill’s work which is nowhere near where the expats congregate. They tend to hang out in Bandra or Powai.

My refuge came in discovering pani puri shots at my local restaurant just a hop away from the  apartment. This humble little shell of nuttiness filled with tidbits of  comfort  is popped in your mouth and chased with a shot of spiced water: indescribable flavours of coriander, sweet tamarind, chaat masala, chickpeas and whatever else all combine together to bring joy, oh sweet joy to the palate. I caught myself smiling  and thinking, can this be legal? Perhaps it takes little around here to make me happy but I now understand why Mumbaikers crave these babies when overseas.(Six shots will set you back 35 rupees!)

Speaking of babies, we welcomed two this year and another two are due next year.

It’s hard being a Yiayia (grandmother) on Skype trying to catch kisses blown by the two-year old or listening in on Happy Birthday songs without getting to hug the child celebrating. Calls placed often drop out and the internet jumps from 4G to 3G to H++ to catch me if you can.

To distract myself I crocheted a menagerie of animals for them: penguins, monkeys,teddys,mice, cats,birdies,a lion, a crocodile, even a dinosaur.

Seems I looked up from my crochet long enough to discover I have been in this city for nearly two years!

I’m now ready to go back out  and explore some more- I hear  dahi puri is amazeballs too!

pani-puri-on-rediff-pages

image of pani puri shots from rediff photos