Pune Poona

Another rambledy, shambledy kind of post….Bits and bobs being unpacked from my head.
Tinternet dust is not only scarce in Mumbai – there has been a distinct lack of it in Pune too for the last couple of weeks. This has been liberating and infuriating. I’ve quite enjoyed not having the temptation of Google during the move, but I hate answering emails on my phone. I still haven’t been able to give up the computer though, so I’ve had a bit of a document purge. During the clean up I found an untitled document that said this:

‘being on the cusp of something amazing, like being at the top of a roller coaster and not really appreciating how unpleasant and thrilling the drop down will be’

I don’t remember when I wrote it but I do remember why. I was excited about the move to Pune and also a little apprehensive. It was like the feeling before an outing at school. Usually when I got this feeling I knew what to expect, I knew where I was going, what I was going to do and that there would be a special packed lunch. It was the delicious sense of anticipation; of the good and the unexpected. What was the unexpected here you ask? That was ‘Would I be sick on the coach?’

I suppose I do know what to expect here in Pune. I’ll settle into a routine, I’ll find the activities I enjoy doing, there’ll be yummy food and I’ll do my best to make the most of the experience and my time in this new city (and try not to be sick). But, it doesn’t explain all the feelings of excitement, that’s to do with the unexpected part…It’s like something’s about to happen. I don’t know what it is or where it’ll come from, or even if anything WILL happen…it’s just one of those ‘I can feel it in my water’ type things. I’ll keep you posted.

Back to Pune (Poona is the old British spelling). My first impressions of the city are:

It doesn’t smell
It’s hot but not humid (I’m not in a perpetual cycle of sweatiness & showering)
It’s much greener
This is mosquito central
There are shit loads of mosquitos
Did I mention the mosquitos???
Punekars have a serious baked good addiction – there are bakeries everywhere.

(Isn’t Punekar a great demonym? Say it 3 times quickly…it’s very satisfying) ahem…

All things considered, I think I might prefer it to Mumbai. It’s early days and I’m not by the sea, but I am round the corner from a thoroughbred stud farm so things look promising. I just have to find a way in…

In the nearly three weeks that I’ve been here I’ve found a french bakery that does a killer croissant and a decent baguette, somewhere to ride, somewhere to do yoga and the road behind the house has lots of little shops that sell everything I could ever need. I took the dogs for a walk along this road the other day and ended up doing a bit of shopping at one of the vegetable stalls; the one with the old man sitting outside on his sewing machine doing mending!!!

A very sweet young man did serve me eventually, after he stopped staring at the dogs. Strange how two small dogs can have such a mesmerising effect when a cow wandering across the dual carriageway, nearly causing a pile up, doesn’t even provoke an angry honk.
Talking of the dogs, they were a bit confused when they arrived from the kennels. They tried to leave again with the kennel owner, who’d dropped them off. I had to keep them on their leads while I unpacked boxes. A bit of cheese and a cuddle on the sofa soon set their world to rights.
Even I’ve felt a bit confused. The other night I had to stop and think where I was, I didn’t feel like I was in India. In fact, it didn’t feel like any country in particular. That’s interesting isn’t it? What makes each country feel different if you’re sitting in a house surrounded by your stuff and familiar things? Answers on a postcard…

One thing which I am NOT happy about, is the pigeon knocking shop which has set up outside my kitchen. There are a strange series of ledges that go up that side of the building. Other people have got netting up and there is little or no tell tale pigeon poo on the ground outside. My neighbours seem to have turned a blind eye to the pigeon shenanigans and don’t have any visible netting. We’ve already annoyed one of them by throwing buckets of water at the ledges and getting rid of the pigeon motel (mainly poo) and possibly contaminating her washing. Look out below! or “AGUAS” as they’d say in Mexico.

Pigeons however, are nothing if not persistent in matters of love and a des res. Two twig arrangements that could be loosely described as nests have now appeared…
I’m not sure how this problem will be resolved. I have a feeling it will involve metres and metres of netting, me hiding behind closed doors periodically shrieking “Don’t let the bastards in” and the H being very brave and dealing with it by himself.

The pigeons are a new moving experience, but here are a few nuggets of wisdom gleaned from my nine moves so far (yes people – 9 ).

Don’t assume the internet man will come and bring the internet with him, like a modern day toot tootling Pied Piper of Broadband.

Don’t assume appliances will be in position, plumbed in or working when you arrive.

Don’t let your spice tin go on the moving truck unless you want to spend an afternoon separating whole spices back into their individual tins, like a fairytale task – ‘separate the grains before midnight or else’….. except there won’t be any nimble fingered elves to help you.

Four ceiling fan connections does not mean you will have four ceiling fans.

There will always be something missing. On this move it is the dog poo bags.


P.S. In Galician the colloquial word for fart is PUM. Phonetically it sounds like POONG. Pune/Poong/Poona….what, it made me laugh! Ahhhh the benefits of being a polyglot.




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