Our guests love India

March 30, 2014 at 06:47

We welcomed our guests at the airport Thursday night. Friday we took things slow, and Saturday we went for a trip to Borivali. We went to Sanjay Gandhi national park, and we took a hike at the Kanheri Caves and went on a tiger and lion safari among other things. It was great fun, and our guest agreed that if this was the only thing they would experience for the whole trip, they would be happy, because thay had such a great experience.

My father and Marianne at the Kanhei Caves

My father and Marianne at the Kanheri Caves

Some people wanted a photo of our guests

Some people wanted a photo of our guests

But luckily their vacation in India have just startet, and there’s much more to see and do.

Ancient Buddhist caves

In front of one of the 109 ancient Buddhist caves

Buddha

Buddha statue

My father with some of the many monkeys in Sajay Gandhi NP

My father with some of the many monkeys in Sajay Gandhi NP

Today we’re going to have a relaxing day with a Sunday brunch at the Renaissance hotel. We’re just going to eat a lot of food, drink a lot of cocktails, read books on a sun bed and spend some time in the pool. I can’t wait!

- Andrea

Get well soon

March 27, 2014 at 13:46

Turns out what I thought was symptoms of dehydration last weekend, actually was the start of a cold. So yesterday I woke up with a really sore throat and a bad shape, which couldn’t happen in a worse time, since my dad is arriving Mumbai today. He’s on the airplane right now, and I can’t wait to see him!

So yesterday I spent my whole day in bed, eating my way through throat pastils and pain killers. I feel a bit better today, so I’m hoping I’ll be better by the time my dad has got rid of his jetlag tomorrow.

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C-vitamins, pastils for sore throat and antibacterial mouth washer

 

No matter what, Marius and I will make sure he has a great time here in maximum city!

- Andrea

We’re so excited

March 25, 2014 at 13:23

..and we just can’t hide it! We’re about to get some visitors from home! It will be so much fun. We’re starting to miss home quite a bit now, and there’s nothing like friends and family to cure our homesickness. Also, none of our visitors have ever been to India before, so it will be so much fun to experience this incredibly awesome country with them! We have saved almost all of our city sightseeing until our guest arrives, so we will be just as excited as them to see all the cool things Mumbai has to offer.

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Taj Mahal hotel

First off, my dad will arrive in just two days and he will spend an entire week with us. Then, in April my mom and my little brother will be spending two weeks here, along with three of our best friends who are all staying over for Easter! It will just be too much fun, and we just can’t wait! I’m just in loss of words on how much I’m looking forward to this, actually.

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Colaba

And if that wasn’t enough, another two of our best friends just booked their tickets to Mumbai, and they are joining us for 11 days at the end of June!

We just feel so lucky to have such a big group of friends and family who actually come all the way to India to visit us while we’re here. And now, we just have to get ready for a maximum India experience, that we’ll all remember for a life time.

No pressure, India…

- Andrea.

Dining outdoors

March 24, 2014 at 10:08

When you come from Norway you really appriciate the opportunity to eat your food outdoors. The winters in Norway are too cold for this, and Norwegians usually seize the opportunity to barbeque outside or enjoy a “utepils” (outdoor beer) the minute the sun comes out in spring. The days in which this is even possible without getting cold or soaked from rain are numbered in Norway, so we really appriciate all the sunny summer days we get and we try to make the most of them.

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Barbeque in our garden in Norway last summer

Here in India we have gotten warm and sunny days everyday since we arrived in January. And we really enjoy it – even though it can get a little too hot for us sometimes, as I complained about in the last post.

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Dinner outdoors

People here, on the other hand, seem to enjoy a cool atmosphere (however not as cold as in Norway of course!) whenever they can, and Mumbaikars therefore seem to enjoy their food indoors in airconditioned restaurants. In Oslo the outdoor area of a restaurant would be fully booked on a sunny day, while the indoor area would look like a ghost town. Here it is usually the other way around.

However there are some amazing restaurants here in Mumbai which comes with the opportunity to serve dinner under the sky every day except during rain season. One of them is the first restaurant we had our dinner at after coming to Mumbai two months ago. It’s called Skky, and it’s right here in Powai.

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Skky

Right next to our building with a view of our apartment, there’s also a very nice vegetarian rooftop restaurant called Breeze, which serves Mediterranean food and tapas.

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Breeze

Some day soon we also want to visit the famous Aer bar on top of The Four Seasons, but I think we’ll save it until we can experience it with our guests, who are coming to visit us very, very soon!

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Aer Lounge

I’m sure the last photo is dramatized quite a bit with Photoshop, but I have a feeling that the lounge still is pretty impressive.

- Andrea

It’s getting warmer

March 23, 2014 at 06:48

That’s for sure. When we first arrived in January the weather was just right – not too hot and not too cold. It was like a good Norwegian summer, with the sun shining and a little soft breeze. Now that we’re at the end of March it’s a different story. The tempratures are over 30 degrees, and you get a lot more tired of wandering around outside. Luckily we spend a lot of our day in our airconditioned apartment and office, so we don’t have any problems with the heat on the week days, since the sun unsually sets when we go home from work.

Marius at one of our favorite after work restaurants

Marius at one of our favorite after work restaurants

But when we went down to southern Mumbai yesterday and wandered around in the streets for hours, we really felt the heat. We were sweating, we got dehydrated and I have had the most irritating head ache since. So today, we won’t go down to Juhu beach for a Sunday Brunch as we planned. We’re staying in ordering our food to our door. I just ordered yoghurt and muesli, rye bread and jam and some yoghurt covered nuts from the local grocery store. Marius is busy with his PS4 in the living room and I’m watching Disney’s The Rescuers from our bed. It’s just one of these days. Haha!

Powai

Hiranandani over Powai Lake

Later today when the sun isn’t so intense, the plan is to get a rickshaw out to the Infinity Mall in Malad. My iPhone charger is broken, and I really miss using my phone, so we have to go buy a new one. Until then, my plan is to just have a very lazy Sunday, watching series, drinking lots of water and getting rid of my head ache.

I know as a Norwegian you never complain about the weather being too hot, so forgive me. And also, as a Mumbaikar I really shouldn’t complain about March weather, as March hasn’t got anything on April and May! So I guess I’m not prepared for the heat that is coming with summer in India, as spring time already is wearing me out. Well, good luck to me!

- Andrea

Rickshaw clicks

March 20, 2014 at 13:19
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Pics from the rickshaw

 

I took these photos with my iPhone on my way to the office the other day. The road between Hiranandani and Godrej IT park is a bit bumby, but there is a lot of interesting things to see on the way.

- Andrea

Happy Holi!

March 18, 2014 at 16:19

Marius and I had a blast this weekend. The festival of Holi – also known as the festival of colors has to be one of the most fun festivals in the world. You know all of those camera commercials on TV, where they capture the moments just before you get sprayed with lots of colors – yes, it’s just like that. Except that when your are celebrating with friends, family or neighbors – and not out in the streets – you usually just give them a pat on the cheek and say ‘Happy Holi’. At least that’s what we have experienced. But of course, you get color bombed as well! That’s part of the game. As it is kind of a free-for-all color and water war, where you chase the others, spraying water and throwing colors at them. It’s really as fun as it sounds.

Andrea and Marius celebrating Holi

Andrea and Marius celebrating Holi

We started the day with breakfast at our society, Verona, and it didn’t take long before we were thrown into the pit of rain dancers. Loud music was played, and water was pouring over us while we were getting more and more colorful by the minute, Little kids ran around with water pistols and sprayed us. People were dancing and singing to the music – which by the way actually woke us up that morning.

Holi at Verona

Holi at Verona

After this, we were invited to our friend Amit’s block party, and it was so much fun. After a few cold King Fishers, Marius and I were ready to dance – at least since Amit’s wife and sister-in-law are great dancers and excellent dancing teachers. My favorite song these days, Sunny Sunny, was played over the stereo and we had a very fun rain dance.

Rain dance

Rain dance

After this we had some amazing Indian hamburgers – made of potato and pav, if I’m not mistaken. And after this we had some chicken biryani. It’s safe to say I’ll need to buy some new pants soon, as I won’t fit my old ones very soon. There is too much good food in this city! And more food was to follow, as Amit took us to meet some of his good friends close by, where we among other things had some amazing (and spicy) papadums and mutton, along with a lot of beer and one or two tequila shots.

Us with Amit, his wife and his sister-in-law.

Us with Amit, his wife and his sister-in-law.

At about six o’clock in the afternoon or something like that, we had to throw in the towel after too much beer, too much food and too much fun – we were exhausted! It was a great first meeting with this colorful festival, and we can only hope we’ll be able to experience it again some time.

- Andrea

Beer tasting

March 16, 2014 at 11:57

This Friday we joined our friend Ashutosh to Worli for some beer tasting and beer pong. We went to The Barking Deer Brew Pub, which is supposed to be the first microbrewery in Mumbai. It was a great place. It’s located next to Blue Frog, and not too far from Hard Rock Café.

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Beer tasting

They celebrated both Holi – the festival of colors and St. Pat’s Day, so they served special green and red beer for the occasion. My favorite was the Bombay Blonde.

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Beer pong

After some beers and hamburgers we went upstairs to play beer pong. Marius lost, and had to finish of Ashutosh’s beer. Both Marius and I got a little tipsy, and I actually fell asleep sitting at our table in the pub afterwards. I was so sleepy, I couldn’t help it. And after a while we took a taxi back home. The fact that taxis usually don’t have seat belts in the backseats finally had it’s advantages, as I could lie across the seats and sleep all the way home.

Now, Marius and I are getting ready to celebrate Holi the next two days. Tonight there will be a Holi party in our building with a Holika bonfire and tomorrow we’ll have to put away our favorite clothes, as we will join in on the color festival.

Daily life

March 13, 2014 at 21:27

This is it! :-)

We finally had a few days in a row that were more or less routine. We’ve been running up and down mountains for the last month+ trying to get everything sorted with the apartment, paychecks, work, phone, internet access, you name it. Our free time has generally been spent exploring new restaurants, areas, temples, shopping malls and other fun stuff. But these last couple of days we have been able to just quietly sit down and reflect on the matter that we are actually living in the second biggest city in the world.

Up until now, it has felt a lot like a vacation in some regards, like we haven’t really been able to set any sort of roots. I think this week was for exactly that. I’ve gotten into things at work, and Andrea’s research is coming along well. We’ve spent some evenings just watching True Detective (which, I have to say I give 10/10, even though it disappointed me in the end – I think that says a lot) and relaxing.

I think Matthew McConaughey is racing towards one of the very best actors in Hollywood history! (courtesy of truedetectivequotes.blogspot.com)

So, we are basically settling into life here quite nicely. It’s been good to get a few days to breathe, because it won’t be calm for long here. Next week, on Monday, we have Holi coming up. It’s that festival where they throw colors at each other, the very same festival that is featured on every camera commercial in the world. :-)

Holi! (Courtesy of t2india.us)

Oh. And I need to find out how to pay my bills here. You would think you could just go the bank and pay them, but nooo. I have to get to a Vodafone shop to pay my phone bills, Airtel shop to pay for Internet, somewhere else I don’t know to pay for gas, and a different place yet again to pay for electricity.

… Incredible India!

Best regards, Marius

Sunday nap

March 9, 2014 at 10:39
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Stray dog in Hiranandani streets

This guy knows how to spend a Sunday.