Vow….they say time flies, and now I understand why. I cannot believe that it has been exactly one month since my husband, cat and I landed in Mumbai. It’s certainly been a bit of a whirlwind and I am still dazed by this whole affair. My husband and I were discussing last night some of the things we accomplished in a span of 30 days, all while trying to get accustomed to the intricacies, complexities, and rigidities of living in Mumbai. Some of the things we talked about were getting wi-fi internet for the home, buying our first “big” electronic item in Mumbai (a Samsung Smart TV), finding ourselves a good and reliable homeopathic doctor, me seeing clients already and developing a private practice, and getting initiated (in more ways than anticipated) by the city, its people, its weather, and its many formal and confusing ways.
Talking about this city and its ways, I had a very strange and almost amusing experience when making the payment for our first big electronic purchase in Mumbai. Vijay Sales, one of the leading electronic departmental stores in Mumbai, is a pretty decent place to buy household goods. They pretty much have everything under one roof and this being the season of lights (diwali), there are several offers and, what they like to call in India, “schemes” going on. So we decided to avail of one of these “schemes”, where we were getting a Blue Ray DVD player with a Samsung TV.
After we chose the TV, under the comfort and solace of a relatively quiet, air conditioned, show room, we were directed to go to the “Finance Department” of the store, where we would make our payment, sign the documents, and go through all the bureaucracy that is part and parcel of living (and I am sure, even dying) in India. I was shocked to see the Finance Department, which was literally “outside” the showroom, under a poorly constructed canopy, with NO fans or air conditioning, and a couple of tables and chairs strung together, with an old desktop computer that looked like it hadn’t been cleaned since the cold war.
Now, in the beginning of the second paragraph of this blog, I mentioned I had a “strange and amusing” experience. You will understand why, when you see the video I shot below. In this video, please take note of the following things:
1. The loud music I had to compete with (because now being Dussera, there are a lot of pujas and havans going on to the mother goddess);
2. The actual “Finance Department” office I had to sit in for about 1 hour;
3. And, finally, the unkempt environment of this “office”.
Do you see what I mean? I swear to god that I was doing, what most people consider the most important part of any purchase process: I was making my payment. But, it was being done in this unkempt, hot, sweaty, environment. And when I inquired as to why this whole office was placed outside the main showroom, with no fan or air conditioning, the head honcho of the department so proudly stated that he himself suggested that the department be placed outdoors so as to provide more space and comfort…..I was flabbergasted, and for once, did not know what to say or how to respond. It was such genius logic, something I have never encountered in my life, that I had no words, no words at all.
India and her many ways…..Truly, she is one of a kind!