Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I am home early waiting for an estate agent who is to bring prospective new tenants to see our apartment. Every creak on the outside stairs seem magnified as I wait impatiently filled with mixed emotions.

I can't believe we have been in this apartment nearly two years ... for that matter I can't believe that we have been in London over two years. I don't realise the time just whooshing past! Plans seem to be made to be broken. If it hadn't been for the infamous (and way too much quoted and repeated) credit crunch, we might have even been thinking of buying an apartment. All that seems distant ... but a more realistic and favourable option would be to just continue in our current place. And even that seems a remote possibility now.

While rent increasing is something that we hate but expect, most of our friends in this area have renewed their contract at a reasonable hike of inflation + a bit. That seems the norm with most people I have spoken to. However, our landlord has a little drama every year (well atleast he did exactly this last year). First the property is reassessed for market value and then he proposes a rent which is 10 - 12% higher. Last year we settled at a mid way 5% Now we're back on this again ... it seems to be a tougher negotiation (from what the agent presents). Except that I am fed-up with these games and even if it's a bit like cutting my nose to spite my face, I am ready to move. We have started looking at options incase our current negotiation falls through .. and seems like so is the landlord. Though moving might be the more expensive option than giving the landlord the increase .. I hate the idea of being taken for a ride. As I keep waiting, I wonder if anyone is really coming or this was another general pressure tactic!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Ten Years Later

I am in Delhi after nearly 10 years! It's a short trip for some work, but I have been very excited about visiting Delhi after so long. 

I land, and I know I am back. People jumping the queues in immigration, major pushing at the exit point ... all the usual Delhi aggression from the minute I landed. Never mind since I was in a happy mood to be here ... but it just reminded me of all the things I disliked about Delhi in the first place.  

Negative start aside, once out of the airport, I was so impressed with what the city has done with the infrastructure. I didn't get a chance to get on the metro, but drove around quite a bit and the whole flyover network, while confusing, transformed the traffic. Bombay could certainly learn a lesson or two on upgrading infrastructure.

Two days were spent going to some of the old places Dilli Haat, South Ex... and going to some new places. I also really wanted to visit DU, but couldn't manage the time. I was quite surprised at the number of pubs around the city ... the Barista culture now seems to be replaced with a more pubbing culture. We were out on Saturday early evening and two sets of school kids came and sat at the next table - drinking beer and having an occasional smoke. I later found out from my school going cousins that it's quite common and nothing to be shocked about. I still was, I can't quite reconcile drinking (at pubs) and smoking with teenagers.

It's good to be back after so long ... I am still not convinced I would like to live here ... but it's been a nice walk down memory lane. And now I am off home till the end of the week for some rest, relaxation and pampering.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Inertia and the demotion

30in2005 has jolted me out of inertia with the threat to send me to the 'RIP' category ... though at this point I checked and realised that I have already been demoted to the 'Once in a while' slot ... well ... despite my good intentions it has turned out pretty much that way .. it hasn't even averaged a measly twice a month! Now lets see if I can claw my way back to being on the regulars list.

Usually, while I am on the tube I keep thinking about all these things I 'must' write about ... and then it's forgotten. These days I am pre-occupied with one thought (though action on it is very slow!) - I am pained with my job. I have a new manager ... less the better on that topic the better ... and am looking to change roles but it's not working out. So whenever I have logged on to actually write .. it's been more crib-crib-crib ... and then I just delete the post ... though writing it out does feel quite therapeutic!  So it all feels grey .. (unlike the weather for a change!) and I didn't want to spread the gloom.

Justifications done ... inertia broken ... and now I am back (I shall not check at this point, how many times I have said this in this year!).

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Save the change

How much can collecting everyday change amount to?

That's what we ended up collecting in the last year since we got ourselves a little piggy bank.One rainy afternoon (and we get a lot of that!), I sat and counted it all ... and it's a whopping 132.8 GBP! That's paying for our flights on the next holiday ... and I know it's our money, but it feels like a bonus :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Of holidays and laptops

Sigh .. the Easter weekend just flew past as expected. Since we're changing from one visa type to another, our passport is with the 'home office' and that made sure that we couldn't leave the country for the long Easter break. The choice was between staying in London and just chilling out..and going to someplace within the UK. Imagine a Sunday .. which is actually like a Friday with two more days of holiday left .. but that was outweighed by the attraction of getting out of here, switching off for a few days and getting a much needed break.

That worked out fine (except that I hadn't thought through the cost implication properly!). We decided to drive around Devon and Cornwall with a couple of friends. It was beautiful ... though very cold. The fun with driving is that it can be totally impromptu. Find a place on the map, read about it in Lonely Planet and off you go. The wind and cold were a pain though .. but the beauty made up for it. The country side and villages in UK are so picturesque, it's looks directly out of a picture book (ofcourse I have considered the fact that the picture books might have been based on this in the first place thereby creating quite a skew!).

In all .. it was good to get away. Though one thing I would do differently in hindsight is not carry my laptop and blackberry. Life pre laptop and blackberry meant that I could really switch off on holidays and relax. While it was fun to have Internet access, I think it stopped me from really switching off. On Monday evening I was actually replying to a work mail -  not good. So next time it shall be a no blackberry/laptop holiday ... or so I think ... might just give in at the last moment.