Thursday, December 25, 2008

Special Remote Blog Post

We got into Chicago just as the first of several snow storms arrived.  Great to be back in the USA but it is also like a zillion degreees below zero.  We are headed to San Francisco and Monterey on the 26th and more to follow about that.  Hoping to add a couple of pictures when we remote blog in San Francisco.  In the meantime, Happy Holidays.  Also, we are hoping to have two guest bloggers in the way of Kristina's nephews, Everett and Gus later on today.  Cheers!!


Anonymous said...

Joe and Kristina: Greetings from New Haven, CT. Welcome back to CONUS (Continental USA) for the holidays. We've enjoyed keeping up with your Indian experience and hope that you continue to enjoy your stay and are able to stay safe. And while you're in Monterey say hello to Aunt Nancy, Uncle Peter, et al if you see them. Also, be warned that Vicky is hoping that as a Christmas present she gets temporarily laid off for two omnths so she can return to India and sponge off you guys na bit longer. Enjoy your stay and have a safe return to India. Merry Christmas from Rene, Chris, James, Tessa, and Colette.

Unknown said...

Hi, guys. I'm an American expat here with my son living in Gurgaon as well. We moved here this past May after living a year in Kolkata. It's an interesting place, yes? I have a couple of blogs myself, but I found a lot of what yours talked about shows you've done a lot more stuff than we have here. :-( Great reading for someone living, but unfamiliar with Gurgaon.

I know of a couple of groups you may want to get involved with that are exclusively useful for Gurgaonites (as we're called I hear):

The Gurgaonite Connection:
This tends to be mostly for "ladies who lunch" and their issues, but if you're looking for house staff - don't. Most are overpriced because most of these ladies don't care what things cost (ex. 40,000 rupee salary for a maid with a dishwasher and washer/dryer who doesn't sweep, clean bathrooms or windows, or do the dishes. Doesn't cook either. Also expects a 2,500 rupee uniform cost quarterly along with a 1,000 rupee transportation monthly. Oh, and medical care. Oh and two weeks vacation.) A professional friend of mine, a German, said to me, "Can I apply for that job? It's certainly easier than mine."

They can be quite judgmental as well. IMHO, they're the group of expats that are living on western wages here, most of whom have never experienced this lifestyle wherever they're from (think British Raj).

If you're looking for birthday cakes, nice places for tea, suggestions for restaurants to wow the boss, warnings about shops and servants who cheat you, day care, school reviews, tutors, extra curricular activities for kids, this is the place to go.

This group is all Delhi and the NCR Region. I find the people on this list more practical and direct. Much more helpful for those working for rupees and trying to make their way like all the other folk. Lots of people looking for places to rent, furniture for sale, people recommending staff they're leaving behind that haven't been spoiled by a previous expat employer, vets, doctors, therapists... You can find those on the Gurgaonite group too, mostly massage therapists, though :-)

Internations is an invitation only group of expats that serves the entire globe. I happen to be the current co-ambassador and would be glad to invite you. Membership is free, but there are fees for different events. Typically once a month we do something, like listening to Sufi Ghazals at the Mosque in Nizamuddhin, or just a meet and greet High Tea, stuff like that. I try to instill a cultural learning component, while my co-ambassador handles the simply social stuff...

This group is much younger, more the backpacker type, roaming the globe, but there are some fabulous locals who host these folks in their homes in the group as well. They typically have ad hoc events that are fabulously fun and everyone is very friendly. It a much more casual affair than InterNations, which feels more "professional networky" in my opinion, but both have their place here. Many people seem to belong to both. Membership again is free, but events usually have a fee or a "Bring Your Own Whatever" call.

(You know, I may just post this info on my blog. It would probably be useful to others as well.)

Sorry, I didn't see your blog sooner. Enjoy the States and return safely. Hope to meet you some time when you get back.

jeanne.heydecker AT

Joe and Kristina said...

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the note. Sorry we missed you in USA but we were pressed for time and unable to get to the east coast. I hope you got the masala dabba we sent you and are able to use it.

Happy New Year
J & K

Joe and Kristina said...

Hi Jeanne,

Thanks for the info. We just got back from the US and flew into a cold wave. Unbelievable. We are already part of the Yahoo group but we are definitely interested in the other groups. We try to get around as much as we can because we are going to be very angry at ourselves when we move back to the US if we do not take advantage of the fact that we are central to so many places living here now. More later and thanks again.


J & K

PS: We are interested in taking a long weekend trip or two to Thai, Viet, Nepal, Laos or ETC. Any experience or advice? Shoot us an email at if you can. -J

RasBeads said...

Hi Joe,

Thanks for emailing us today, seems you are based in Gurgaon...We live in Bombay, do you ever visit Mumbai? How is India treating you?