Friday, 19 February 2010

"Where Is Our Home Sweet Home?"

Without falling headlong into a racial cliche, I think it's fair to say that OFTEN in India, when you ask for help, people are so keen not to disappoint that they answer (whatever the query) with, "Of possible." If only it were so.

We are currently embroiled in the almost futile attempt to procure a long term residence near the end of the Goan tourist season. All the best places are snapped up in October/November by those keen to use their six month visa's in their entirety. We knew this might be an issue but had naively hoped against hope that a delightful large home might just magic itself into our lives. Not.

After three nights spent here on the beach, our little family of four are threatening to burst out of our one room hotel accommodation. Last night the husband had to spend a second night on Eggie's little mattress on the floor - which though affords the prospect of not being continually kicked and prodded by little hands and feet all night long - is much to small for his 6 foot 1 frame.

Everyone we ask, thinks for a minute or two, then breaks into a grin and announces that they know of some place somewhere.

However, we currently have but two prospects - neither of which is perfect - both having sufficient enough drawbacks as to be equally unappealing.

The first is across the road from the beach (great) and right next door to the kindergarten where we'll be enrolling Dumpie on Monday (super great). However the house is rather small (not great) and is situated next door to the young German kindergarten teacher - who although nice enough - did make it clear she doesn't like noise and within minutes of meeting us, told a rather random tale of having been massively annoyed by noisy neighbours (not so great).

This place does thankfully boast a 'Western' toilet and though compact, is in fairly good condition by local standards, but I can see the potential for going a bit mental in the rather confined quarters.

Our other option is a huge four bedroom residence right next to a primary school - which depending on how you look at it - is either amazing proximity for Egg (who we're thinking of sending there) or potentially annoying as all hell given the penchant over here for learning by rote..usually vocally. It's also rather shabby and a fair way from the beach, and a bit 'jungle-y and hippy' according to the husband (I haven't seen it myself).

So you see we're in a bit of a conundrum. Do the same rules apply here as they do in London? (ie. Location, location, location) OR do we need the space for the boys to run wild, have a dedicated room to trash with their toys, and have ample room for any friends/family who might decide to drop in. (Saying that, neither of us can think of anyone we know who might condescend to live in such squalor with us.

The husband is leaning toward the compact/close to beach option. I can only surmise that he is clever enough to realise that if he's going to bugger off all the time on mad bike rides, beer drinking sessions with visiting mates and solo adventures involving local chai shops and trying to write the next great British novel...then he darn well better make sure his wife is at least near the gorgeous beach where she can at least while away her time chatting to the stall owners, eating her own body weight in fresh fruit, and working on her tan (though if you know me you'll know that thanks to my Egyptian/Austrian heritage I generally always look like I've just come back from a week in the Caribbean...).

All I do know is that this current state of homelessness does not suit our filthy little crew. Dumps has suddenly done a 180 as of yesterday and toilet-trained himself (like I rather suspected he might). During dinner last night he just announced that he wanted me to take him to the toilet, and once there, aside from me having to grasp his little 'winks' between my thumb and forefinger and aim it into the bowl, he did the deed. (I am pleased to report that he is now on solo 'winky' duty - thank goodness- though the wiping down of bum area after a number two still needs to be administered by a learned hand). Nonetheless there are still a few accidents here and there, and the last thing one needs when sequestered inside a room the size of our former family bathroom, is to be aurally poisoned by the stench of souring wee in the hot midday sun.

To confuse matters further, we've just heard from a local woman that the place by the beach should be avoided AT ALL COSTS because the owners next door are loud, always crazy fighting and one of their sons is a bit funny in the head.

That should make them perfect potential neighbours I would have thought...non?

1 comment:

  1. You're there! Oh good....

    The only advice I would give is that location is really important when you're new somewhere - the fact that our house is near the library, the railway station and the playground was a godsend in the days when we didn't know anyone. We could have had a bigger house elsewhere, but in the middle of suburban nowhereland. Which is probably fine if you have hundreds of friends - but if you're new, you need to be in the thick of it.


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