Hey Guys! ♥
Here’s the promised update on my first few days in India. This post is going to be very pic heavy with some facts about Pune/Magarpatta City to help you get an idea of where I’ll be spending the next nine months.
After our arrival on early Monday morning, we only had a few hours of sleep before our first appointment in India. Since that appointment was a Pizza Party at our flat though, waking up wasn’t all that hard 😉 Afterwards, we had a quick tour of our future offices and were shown around the most important places in Magarpatta City, before we went to exchange money and buy some things such as breakfast foods and a few kitchen/bathroom appliances (most things were already in our flat, but you know you always need a few things more) By then I was so exhausted that I couldn’t do more than drop on the couch 😀 I have to admit, after the first day I still didn’t really feel like I was in India. Since we went straight to Magarpatta City, which is a highly modern, Western inspired complex with our apartments, offices, and a few malls inside of Pune, walking around there felt more like walking through London’s Chinatown on a particularly hot summer’s day than walking through a real, Indian city. Of course there are predominantly Indians living and working there, and all the street/shop signs are both in English and Hindi, but the streets are far less crowded and chaotic than outside and the atmosphere is really Western in our little “safety bubble” here.
On Wednesday I finally got a chance to leave Magarpatta City and take a Rickshaw to the “real” Pune. As soon as we left Magarpatta we felt like stepping into a whole new world. Dirty huts at the side of the road, trash on the streets, and lots of dogs, goats and pigs! (Didn’t see any cows though, unfortunately). And the Rickshaw ride itself was quite the experience, too! The bargaining can be quite annoying, but it’s very well worth the hassle 😉
Here are some pictures from Laxmi Road in Pune, to give you an impression of the difference between Magarpatta City and the real Pune!
Magarpatta City, where we are staying and where our offices are also located, is a 430 acre “city within a city” located in the Hadapsar district of Pune. It is basically a high-end, Western-like gated community inside the city of Pune, which explains the harsh contrast between life inside and outside of our little safety bubble. Besides offices and residential buildings (so called Societies), Magarpatta also houses several large in- and outdoor malls, gyms, sport facilities, a police station and everything else you might need in your day-to-day life. While Magarpatta is exceptionally quiet, orderly and almost arcadian, Pune is … well, very Indian as you have seen 😀 While the hustle and bustle of a typical Indian city can be very exciting and intoxicating, I am also eternally grateful to have the opportunity to retreat back into our bubble whenever I fell like it. With a little more than 8 million residents and a density of ~ 8,700/km², Pune easily outdoes every European city, but pales in comparison to other mega cities like Delhi or Mumbai.
So far I have to say, my experience seems to be rather “India light”, and except for a little cold the first few days (and some technical problems at the flat) everything has been going rather smoothly. I even seem to develop a taste for spicy food, which is surprising me more than anyone else. At least I haven’t had anything yet that I couldn’t eat because it was too hot (I’ll keep on trying new dishes until I reach my limits! :’D)
But for now, I’ll leave you with some more impressions from Pune!
See you soon! ✿✿✿