Thursday 6 December 2018

Shooting in Palm Meadows, Driving Licence & Christmas Parties

Shooting in Palm Meadows.

Monday morning, Mala arrived and as she made a cup of tea she proclaimed that there were lots of of people in Palm Meadows at the entrance because of the shooting.
Alarmed, I asked her," what shooting?"
"A man, two, three man" she said.
"Are the police there?" I said
"I don't know," she said.

Arjun arrived so I questioned him too, similar answer. He reckoned he seen an armoured vehicle- the police?

I had to go to the Driving Licence office so we set off but there was nothing at the entrance , no sign of any drama.
I had a long journey to the office and while in the car I looked on the local app group to see the gossip.
Yes, there had been a shooting- for a commercial for cars !

The armoured car had turned up (to put money in the ATM)

Talk about lost in translation.

Driving Licence Office

Andrew needed his licence renewing and I needed to get one sorted, ready for when I 'hit the road' for the big boy traffic outside of Palm Meadows.

So Saturday morning we set off to go to the bank first and then this RTO office. The bank was quite swift and efficient providing you have all the correct forms done which Andrew had managed to do.

On the journey to the licence office the Broker rang to ask if we had an electricity bill? Not having one as we were already on our way, and the broker having said that we had submitted the correct forms, we set about deciding how we could get one from home. Mala has an old phone so she can't really help with scanning or WhatsApping. Perhaps she could get a bill, take it next door and then get Sheetal to send it to us as a photo.

Then the broker rang again, the appointment was now at 12:30, we were just pulling into the centre so had at least half an hour to find a place for coffee.
Meanwhile by pure chance, Arjun has found an old electricity bill folded inside the glove box in the car so there was one less crisis to sort.

We returned at 12:30 to be faced with absolute chaos. It felt like we were in the stock exchange with people buying and selling shares running around with phones to their ears. It is the first time that I have seen anybody move quickly here.

It appears what they are doing is this - the brokers are arranging deals with the people who stamp the licences. So Andrew goes in first and the chap refuses to stamp it, Andrew's previous application was at another office and someone needed to bike there (courier) to fetch the original paperwork or there's no renewal. After a while, miraculously, the licence is renewed (?) and its because the broker has 'convinced' the officer to get it sorted!
Now all of this has to occur before 1:30p.m. because that's when they go to lunch, so the stamping people hold out until the last minute and the poor brokers are frantic trying to convince the officials.

Andrew has his licence approved, yippee!

It is 1:20pm , time is getting close to the lunchtime deadline.
Now my turn. But it appears that the lady dealing with mine has gone to a funeral and locked away all my documents, so I will have to return on Monday!

Cut to Monday - I set off with Arjun again on my own with another set of documents. The chaos is even worse this time! The appointment was at 12 so technically we had longer to achieve our goal. Within about 15 minutes of arriving,  I was actually running behind the broker and his assistant and the assistant's assistant and Arjun was running behind me (so five of us in a line) to get to the correct office. There was a long queue and the broker guided me to the front, I tried not to look at the other people waiting patiently in line. The stern stamping man ushered me in, then changed his mind and told me to go out, which I did. Arjun and the three blokes stood their ground at the entrance and waved me back. The stamping man relented and all my documents were stamped!

Then we all set off running again, now we had to hand in the document to a different counter and then we had to run to another office to get my photo taken. As I came out the broker gave a sigh of relief, no one had asked for extra 'convincing' and all the documents were signed and all before 1:30pm.

What a performance!

Arjun's comment as we went back to the car " at least you didn't need to take a test!"

I could have been there a week!

The Road Sweeper

On Friday after school, we had an ice cream at the shop. There, you can sit and watch the traffic going by. We saw the new mini road sweeper. Usually there is a team of ladies that sweep the roads with twigs tied together. The twig brooms are short and they have to bend quite low (they could make the broom longer but they've not thought of this). Well, the ladies were not there but the sweeper was.

It turned up the road and came to the first speed bump. It stopped as it couldn't get over it. Then two men on a motor bike appeared with a small metal ramp which they put on the ground in front of the sweeper. It then went up the ramp, the men retrieved the ramp and put it the other side so that the sweeper could complete its journey.

 We watched with amusement, eating our ice creams. Two more men appeared and walked next to the sweeper. Meanwhile, we finished our ice creams, got on our bikes and set off home. The road sweeper had only just managed to get to the next speed bump where the men proceeded to go through the sequence again.
My children are not the best at organisation and sequencing but even they could see that this activity was time consuming and not efficient and the ride home was spent coming up with a better cunning plan.
We noticed that the ladies are back (with their short brooms)

The ramp is at the base of the speed bump.

Milo thinks they need 10 out of 10 for trying  the sweeper though.

Christmas Party

In India there are many different faiths so there is always a festival going on with lots of lights and fireworks (and days off). Christmas is coming but its not like in the UK.
There are some malls with a Christmas tree and decorations but on the whole, it is not as commercialised. No adverts on the TV, nothing to drive the kids mad.... It's quite strange but handy at the same time because the boys are not pestering about what they would like for Christmas (and then changing their minds with the adverts). In the next few weeks there will be more parties and activities.
We've already had one 'grown up' party.

Christmas activities for children are starting next week so it will be interesting as this time last year we were only just arrived and in the hotel so we were a bit too dazed at our move to India to notice or join in with anything.  It should be interesting.

Update ! April 2024

  20 people sharing 2 menus! When we go to a restaurant, we seem to spend a lot of time trying to keep a straight face so that we do not ups...