The Waiting Game…

So we returned home from Bangalore feeling happy that we were going to make it home for the next few years, exciting.

However it was at this point things become a reality – you actually have to tell people you are leaving, let your child’s wonderful school know they are not returning in September, for me it was also Daisy’s time to start school in September – the school she’d visited most days for the past 3 years picking her big brother up and the class she already knew very well. No more cycle to school runs instead we were scoping her up and moving her to the other side of the world.

It certainly seems an amazing opportunity to begin a new life in another part of the world but it is tough too (and no doubt for our family and friends we were leaving behind).

We also had a lot of uncertainty – were we actually going to get the villa we really wanted in Bangalore? Did Woody pass his entrance exam? Was there even a school place at TISB for him? In hindsight I think we began our ‘India training’ at this point. Well used to definite answers, when you rent a house in the UK the negotiations are over very quickly and then you either pass the reference checks or not, simple! India likes a more roundabout process, it took about 4 weeks to confirm our house as apparently our prospective landlord was overseas….we eventually found out once we moved that our landlord lived overseas so really had no bearing on rental negotiations!! We found this very difficult as Robbie and I like action and quick results!!! Something we were going to have to learn to find less frustrating (although think I’m still learning this lesson).

At this point Robbie started making a lot of lists, I am categorically NOT a list maker – all those words sitting there, shouting in your face how much you actually have to sort out – lists freak me out. Robbie on the other hand finds them an oasis of calm in chaos and takes great pleasure in crossing things off – marital bliss, not! The lists also seemed to be getting longer, rent house, find new tenants for flat, inform council, inform utilities and the other million people that seem to want to know if you are leaving the UK, insurance, sell cars, get approximately 25 million passport photos of each of us blah blah…. It was never ending. The wine consumption was definitely increasing!

An interesting complexity to this situation was that as we were moving for Robbie’s work it was his company that were orchestrating the move i.e it was mainly coordinated through Robbie. Every question, request for information had to come through my husband. In our relationship I am the organiser in the household, I get holidays booked, manage our tenants, sort out utilities as Robbie hates all this. All of a sudden he had to manage this scenario with me asking constant questions as my lack of control over the situation also freaked me out massively! I think we have both learnt from this situation that I should retain my role as family organiser, it had served us well for 18 years and worked for us!

From Bedfordshire to Bangalore….

It was a typical Wednesday evening, I was trying to juggle bathing the kids and answering my work email, Robbie came home amongst the chaos whipping the kids up into a frenzy just before bedtime as Dads do!!! We finally got them into bed, and after Daisy’s usually shouting for an hour ‘I bit my finger’ ‘mummmmmyyyyy’ they were asleep, phew!

Collapsed on the sofa Robbie casually asks me if I wanted to move to Bangalore…..’what, of course, definitely’ was my immediate response, demonstrating my usual just make a decision don’t think about it style. Robbie looked a bit shocked, oh I said no!! We’ve always had a vague idea that we might want to live abroad so it didn’t take long to decide that we would take the opportunity and go for it. Fast forward a few weeks and we were sat on the plane off to Bangalore to go check it out. Robbie had been on a few business trips so he knew what to expect but it was a journey into the unknown for me and the kids. I really hoped we liked it as we had kind of committed already! We made the decision to take the two mini Daggers with us, at 4 and 7 we thought it would make the concept more real to them and took the gamble they wouldn’t hate it!!

15 hours later we were bouncing our way along the Bangalore roads to our hotel, I had my eyes closed most of the way! I’d been warned about the traffic and crazy driving but wow, overtaking into oncoming traffic, no apparent rules over any sort of lane system, cows in the road, it was madness. Any how we were in Bangalore and had 5 solid days of visiting schools and house choosing so opted for an early night to try and ease our jet lag.

Next morning, we were most definitely not bright eyed but feeling rather jet lagged. Woody had woken us up at 5am with the worlds biggest nose bleed that had sprayed over most of our hotel room, white sheets….you get the picture. After politely explaining to house keeping we had not massacred our child over night and our bellies full of dosa we were off to visit two potential schools.

This was a great experience we really liked both of them although they were so much bigger than the tiny village school Woody already attended. We decided to ask the kids which school they liked best and they choose our favourite one too – great start to the day! By this time it was well past lunchtime and we were all getting a little grumpy so off for a late lunch and then house hunting. We knew we wanted to stay in a community with other expat families as well as locals so that narrowed it down to 4 areas. After looking at well over 30 villas the jet lag was well and truly settling in so we headed back to the hotel, brains totally overloaded! Daisy took the opportunity to wear her new ‘Indian princess’ outfit and attracted quite a lot of attention at our hotel!

We had narrowed it down to two communities one with a very established population, lots of activities for the kids but older style villas versus the brand new community with super modern, light, airy villas but no one really lived in. Robbie liked one I liked the other! We decided to go back and visit them both the next day and ended up going for the newer community- Prestige White Meadows was going to be our new home.

The school we had chosen required Woody to sit an entrance exam, something we had not really considered. So off we all went back to school – we got there and Woody was taken off for an hour to sit the assessments, I was terrified for him but he just wandered off and seemed happy about it. An hour later he returned smiling saying it had been fine, phew! We just had to wait a week or so for his results. If he passed the next stage was an interview with the school Principal. In true Indian style we were not exactly sure if the school actually had a place for both of them but we were learning to go with the flow – it’s never black and white!

So we had survived our first 5 days in India, we were all very tired but all wanted to make Bangalore our home for the next few years. I think the kids were persuaded by their ride in an auto rickshaw, they thought it was awesome.

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