Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

As we go into 2013 I want to wish all of you, my readers, a new year. May 2013 be prosperous and all you wish it to be.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Kolkata FRRO

So, after arriving home on Tuesday, we head off to the FRRO on Wednesday and we talk to the DC (the Deputy Commissioner of Police, the guy over Immigration in Kolkata) and he listens to our story and calls up one of the guys from the FRRO. DH had printed off this page, and shows it to the DC and the DC asks if he can spare this copy, to which DH replies sure, and the DC writes a few lines on it and signs it and tells the guy from the FRRO to pass it around the office, making sure everyone understands it and signs it.

Then we go down to the FRRO and we find out that on the 30th (the day we left for Delhi) that the FRRO had gotten the intimation letter from the MHA, and had the guy been in possession of our phone number he would have called us and told us not to go (but anyways..we got to spend time alone, for like the first time in a year, so totally worth it), so it was pretty much just a problem of wires crossing at the wrong point, nobody's fault really. Then he gives us a small slip of paper and tells us to go to the first link and do the online application for Registration and Visa Extension. We fill out the online application and submit it. We go Monday to give our papers.

The guy in the FRRO has also advised us to apply directly for the FRRO after we get the extension because there is a chance that the government will get rid of the PIO, to which he didn't tell us anything more, so what will the option be for us who-got-ours-by-being-married-to-Indians I don't know. Let's see how things pan out :D

The "un"fruitful Delhi trip

Well, DH and I found some train tickets available on the Sealdah Rajdhani for the end of August and decided to go to Delhi and visit the MHA. So, we bought the up and down tickets and then waited. The week we were to leave I went around and did all the normal errands, like xeroxing, buying personal items, etc, etc.

Then comes Thursday, well...thanks to some work the night before everything had to be done Thursday morning and we were rushing. So...we leave our house at around 4pm (the train was at 450pm, and might I say, DH has a habit of getting on trains like with only a few seconds to spare, or missing them altogether?) so we get in the taxi and DH tells him where we are going. Thankfully the taxi driver takes 2 shortcuts and gets us to the train station in 25 minutes. YEAH!! Plus, the way he went was like Rs 40 (like 80 cents) cheaper...so since the driver managed to get us there so we didn't miss our train DH gave him like Rs 100 for the fare...(that included whatever change there was to be...) so we get on the train and go.

Well, let me backtrack a bit, Wednesday we had gone to the FRRO since they had told us earlier that when we go to the MHA to give them a copy of our documents and they will start on our file as soon as they get the email from them. Well, this day they were saying that they would not accept them and we had to go to Delhi. Anyways no big deal, we were going the next day.

So, then we get to Delhi Friday morning and as DH is stepping down from a island he twists his ankle, no good. So, we get an auto and go to our hotel, and rest a bit, since neither of us slept very well on the train. We eat a huge lunch of rice, daal, egg curry, and some other veggie. I sleep and DH works, we wake up and go out to the market next to our hotel to pick up the required necessities, and while I go back to the room, DH goes for booze (*that* story is here...).  We drink, eat dinner, then sleep.

Saturday, DH still has pain in his ankle so we don't go out. We stay in our room watching TV, and reading. We go to the market again for lunch and this time have chinese. Yummy chicken chow mein, chicken in oyster sauce and a veg spring roll. So, then by this time its like 430pm and DH wants a drink, so we start drinking again. Then we sleep some more and just hang out and then go to get dinner.
We had some rumali roti with some amazing butter chicken, a chicken reshmi kebab and some chicken leg kebabs with some *AMAZING* green chili chutney.

Sunday, I meet up with a friend for lunch, then we go shopping a bit, mainly to buy books. Where I find a store that has, wait a minute, did I see that correctly? DR. PEPPER. At Rs 85 ($1.70USD) a 12 oz can, I buy 4...so then we go to the book store and I buy 2 books (since DH stole my laptop and read his Game of Thrones e-books on the way to Delhi and I knew he would do it on the way home too...) and then we go outside to wait for DH to show up. I popped open a soda and am hit with memories, it tasted amazing lol.

So we go to The Hard Rock Cafe for dinner and drinks...so not worth it. But had fun with my friend I met on the airplane when I moved here, and haven't seen since.

So, then Monday we get up early, by early I mean we're up by 730am...so we get ready and jump in our taxi at 930am, and head to MHA. Well, here we find out that just a week ago they implemented a new policy. Now the MHA will only accept applications (or even *SEE* anyone, for that matter) if your local FRRO hasn't done anything within 30 days or for medical emergencies. We talk to the people at the reception desk and are told we need to go to Kolkata and submit our papers there. *sigh* So we leave the MHA and on the way home we are both silent, contemplating what we have just learned.

So, we both decide the best option is to see if there are any train tickets available (since plane tickets are going to be super expensive last minute) and luckily we find some taktal (last minute) train tickets so we buy them and are off to the train station.






Friday, August 31, 2012

Booze for Auto Fare?

Yesterday DH and I left Kolkata to go to Delhi to go to the MHA for my visa problem. We arrived today and spent most of the day recuperating (since neither of us can sleep very well on the train...we both had upper berth's and the swaying was insane!)

So...anyways, around 730pm we went for a walk and decided we wanted some booze, namely Old Monk rum, since we consider it the best. I bought some Chicken Reshmi Kebab while DH went to go pick up the booze.

Apparently there was a jam and so the autowallah (the auto driver) told DH "I will park and wait for you here, there is the booze shop around the corner" and gave him 10 rupees so DH would buy him some liquor too (Haveldaar, whatever that is...). Apparently the autowallah was going to trade the booze for the fare. LOL

But...then DH fucked up and bought a 30 rupee quarter of the WRONG BOOZE (the one the driver wanted should have been 60 rupees). Hehehe! The autowallah commented "This is the 30 rupee the 60 rupee one is better to drink, but never mind." and brought him back.

Then DH proceeded to try to give the autowallah 50 rupees, which the autowallah tried to tell DH he didn't want, but DH told the autowallah to take it because of his fuck up. :-)

The start of many of our adventures in Delhi, since we are here at least until Tuesday-ish...let's see :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Marriage Certificate Apostilation

After 4 attempts by DH and I to submit our marriage certificate for apostilization at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), since the submitting hours are 11am-1pm, it was submitted Friday. We had always been just a few minutes late. DH submitted it and he was given a receipt to pick it up Tuesday between 4-5pm. We received it today. :-)

This took us 1 month and 24 days. The guys at the FRRO said it should be a 15-20 day process. Now, if all goes well we should be going to the MHA in Delhi shortly! :-)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Back door...man

Well, the other day DH got the marriage certificate attested from NRI/Home/Foreigner's office FINALLY!! So, next step is to take it to Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), so off he went over to the  office. He gets there and is told he needs to bring a Rs 50 postal order ($1USD), a copy of both of our passports, 2 copies of the ATTESTED marriage certificate and our original marriage certificate (stamped and signed). So he goes to the post office near the office, they don't have the Rs 50 postal order, just Rs 100 and above. So he goes to 3 other post offices and none of them have it, so he asks where he has to go to get it. Well, they tell him the Tollygunge Head Post Office.

**NOTE** DH has dressed messily on purpose for the day...you'll know why later...

So, he goes to the Tollygunge PO and it's closed...well, DH is not to be deterred, since he planned to go back today. So, since the front door is open, he decides to go in the back door, AKA employee enterance. So, he inquires to a man standing there if they sell Rs 50 postal orders, and he says yes, and DH replies, do you have stock? I know you are closed, I am just looking to see if you have stock so I can come back tomorrow. He is told he does not know, but to go talk to the Deputy Post Master, "Didi" (elder sister, term of respect...) who is sitting at a desk a bit away.

DH goes over and approaches her and she looks at him, and she can't figure out if he is an employee or what he is. He asks her if they have stock and she says yes. Then DH inquires what time he can purchase them, to which she says, "10am-330pm..." and scratching her head a bit, she then replies "no, come at 10:30am, nobody will be here at 10am."

So we went today, and got the postal order, and head over to the MEA, and we miss the window to give the documents in today by 20 minutes. DH will have to go tomorrow.

Then we went for lunch, shopping and a movie. :D

Tomorrow, DH has a doctor appointment and hopefully will get in for surgery before the end of the week. Here's to hoping!

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Tests, tests and more tests

Hello!

Sorry, for not posting much lately, just to give you an update I have been spending the last few days going back and forth between home and the hospital. DH was hospitalized for severe stomach pain Friday morning. He was diagnosed with a gall bladder stone after having many tests.

According to DH I have not had any horrible experiences with the hospital, but I still found it quite overwhelming.

First off, we went to the ER and the ER was not something I would have imagined this way (I imagined more of the US version) but it was small with a desk in the front and a few doctors just sitting there. The triage rooms were slightly bigger and only given privacy by a curtain (which was not closed). There didn't seem to be the same sense of urgency here, seeing as how the doctor was getting the symptoms and story from DH when he took a phone call in the middle. They had me fill out a form and they gave DH some medicine and then decided they would need to admit him to run some tests. I was sent to the Registration office where I filled out about 4 papers of the same information. Then I was given 2 visiting passes and was shown to where he was. Once I had seen him and visited with him until 1130. (They only allow visitors between 1030-1130am and 5-7pm) I had gone home to get the insurance papers.

I went and got the insurance papers and while I was giving them to the people at the Registration desk I was called by someone in the ward telling me I would need to come up and sign a consent form for one of DH's procedures, (being the one who admitted him I would have to sign all of these, well...the 2 that I had to sign) after signing this paper I was then informed I would have to come back between 1-130pm and be present in the hospital while they were performing the test. So I went home for an hour and ate some toast and then returned to the hospital and sat through the test and then again went home.

I returned at 5pm with my MIL and SIL for visiting hours. We stayed and while we were there he had another test.

Then again I had to sign another consent form before I went home and was to return at 830am for another procedure. I arrived and went to the front desk to ask about the test results from the previous day (since they did not have them earlier when the Dr came to visit) and was told that he had a gall bladder stone.

Then I wanted to talk to the Dr that DH was admitted under because I didn't think that this next test really needed to be performed because they already knew what was wrong. So I spoke to the Dr and he said that he had thought too that it was unnecessary but because of some of the other symptoms he still wanted to perform it.

After the procedure I was informed that the results were fine and there was nothing wrong and that DH would need surgery. DH decided he did not want the surgery at this time, as he wanted a 2nd opinion (but he didn't tell the Dr that...) and so we went back to the ward where I was allowed to stay for a few minutes outside of visiting hours and then was told to wait outside for the next 20 minutes until it was time. At this point I had to alert the Dr on staff that he did not want the surgery and therefore they should be starting the discharge papers.

Really, it was not a bad experience except for the fact that I dislike hospitals that have certain visiting hours. I am hoping that whatever hospital we choose for the surgery has more relaxed visiting hours. :-)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Marriage Certificate Attestation...and all the drama



So, on the 29th of May DH took our marriage certificate to the NRI/Home/Foreigner's office at Writer's Building here in Kolkata. He had written a letter to the Officer in Charge telling him that we needed the marriage certificate to be attested so we could get it apostiled at the MEA (Ministry of External Affairs). So, he submitted the letter along with 2 copies of our marriage certificate and was told to come back in 7 days. The NRI/Home/Foreigner's (N/H/F) office was to forward our file and request to the Marriage Registration office (MRO), where they would check our certificate against their duly registered copy. So...7 days later he went back to N/H/F and he got the file number.




The guy at the front desk gave him the file number, and told him to only go to the MRO after 7 days. DH nicely asked him why, and he was told that other's are coming in and getting their file number and right away going to the MRO and they are being told that they don't have the file and then they are returning to the N/H/F office and are complaining to their super's that they aren't doing their work. What really happens is that they post it to the MRO. Yes people, they MAIL it to a office that is within walking distance. Why, I have no clue.




So, DH waits the required 7 days and then goes to the MRO, where he is told that they have not received our file. They have received file numbers before and after ours, but not ours. So, DH then goes to the N/H/F office and asks what happened. He is told that our file was sent out the 31st, and then is sent to the Dispatch part of the office to see what happened. So, he goes, and they look through all their registers but do not find our file number anywhere in their records.




So, what happened you ask? Somewhere between their front desk and their dispatch office (a space of maybe 50 feet here people) our file was LOST. Yes, Lost.




So, DH goes back to the front desk and asks what he is supposed to do now. They give him their office copy and have him make a xerox of it...so he goes, and makes 5 copies. He returns to the N/H/F office, where they attest the copy of their original letter and he goes back to the MRO. Well, DH being DH, he goes to the bank first and deposits the Rs 1000 ($20USD) fee and gets the receipt. He goes back to the MRO and they are kind of miffed at him for already paying the fee because they tell you to come back in 3 days and submit the fee in case they can't find your certificate.




So, he gives the file and they tell him to come back in 7 days. At this point he asks if it possible for him to transport the file back to the N/H/F office since they lost our file last time, he is told no.




Fast forward 14 days, to yesterday. DH is sick and intending to go nowhere, but he has a hunch and so he goes to the MRO and finds out they have JUST finished our report that day. Well, lo and behold, they have him sign for the papers and give him their report (didn't they tell him no before? I'm seeing a pattern here...) and off he goes to the N/H/F office to get the officer to sign and stamp our marriage certificate. Well, our luck fades fast, as the officer who signs it is out of the office and we are told to come back in a day or two since he has taken leave.

So, now we are just waiting to go back to the N/H/F office to get our original marriage certificate signed and stamped and then we'll take it to MEA one morning and then pick it up in the evening, and then we'll make plans to head to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in Delhi to get my visa sorted out. This whole attestation is needed for the FRRO here in Kolkata, but not needed for the visa conversion, as far as I know.




*Phew* I'm so glad the waiting game is over people.




For those who need to go through it in Kolkata here is a simplified list




NEED :




- 2 copies of Marriage Certificate

- Letter to Officer in Charge at NRI/Home/Foreigner's Office stating why you need it attested

- Rs 1000 demand draft from Reserve Bank (to be given to MRO)




Steps : (as it should be done, not as we did it...)




1. Give letter and copies of Marriage Certificate at NRI/Home/Foreigner's Office

2. Go back in 7 days and get the file number

3. Go to MRO 7 days after getting the file number

4. Return 3 days later to MRO and give them the demand draft

5. Return 7 days later (I suggest maybe give them 2 weeks instead...) to see if your report has been completed (at this point they should have sent it on to N/H/F office...)

6. Return to N/H/F office to find out status (probably wait a few days before going...)

7. Return and pick up stamped and signed Marriage Certificate

8. Drop off Marriage Certificate at MEA (I'm sorry I don't know the address or where it is...) in the morning with a Rs 50 postal draft (or something, I'm not sure, DH knows...) and then return and pick it up in the evening, they will have put a stamp (or glue a paper stamp on back, I'm not entirely sure which they do...) and then COMPLETE!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"Speak in hindi!!"

So...I was sitting in the auto today waiting to go to South City and there were only 3 people, and we were waiting on a 4th person. The other 2 people (a guy and I think his girlfriend?) had apparently been waiting for about 15 minutes for the auto to go. I get in and then this is how the conversation went (it was in bangla so this is a translation!)

Guy : "Do we have to wait all day to go?"
Autowallah : "We are waiting for 1 more person. This is how it normally goes."
The guy muttered some comment I didn't catch.
Autowallah : "Well, if it was just you 2 on a fared auto then you would have been gone already"

HAHAHA!

So then his girlfriend said to him, "Well, if you ask stupid questions you'll get stupid answers. She's laughing."
Me: "Auto's never go anywhere unless they have 4 passengers, even the ones from Gariahat."

Girlfriend (as she's feeding him a bite of noodles) : "You are like all other men, you are always eating!"
Boy : "Speak in hindi!"
Me : "Why? I can understand Hindi. And bangla."

LOL Love the surprised look on their face.

Then we had the normal conversation of why I was here, and how long I had been here for.

Seriously, made my day!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Legal or Illegal? Someone tell me now...

So...sorry I've not been posting lately. We've been going through some hard times. I was told by a friend of mine that because of the change of police jurisdictions that happened last year that he had been transferred from the Bhavani Bhavan FRO (in Alipore) to the Kolkata FRRO (on AJC Bose Rd). So, like the 3rd I go to the Bhavani Bhavan FRO by myself only to find out that yes, I have been transferred and I need to bring in my original Residence Certificate / Residential Permit (RC / RP) and they would sign it.

So, I go home and report this information to DH, and he says ok, and I said I will take it tomorrow and have them sign it. Well, I'm waiting for him to figure out what he is doing, and then he ups and gets ready and tells me to get ready, and all of a sudden he says we are going to the FRRO. So, we go to the FRO to get them to sign it and then we report to the FRRO.

Here, they tell us that my RC / RP is illegal because I have been registered on a 10-year tourist visa. I get pissed and they tell us that we have to go to New Delhi and go to the Ministry of Home Affairs for them to regularize my overstay and convert my Tourist visa to an Entry visa. So, feeling all pissed because now the government has made me a criminal (I have never gotten a ticket in my life...) and I just want to go home and cry.

So...I go home, and then later that week after we had been getting all our paperwork together we go and speak to the Commissioner of Police (who is over Kolkata Immigration) who says, "This sounds like a complicated and long story. Let me send you to a patient listener, I am a very impatient listener." We go and talk to the Assistant Commissioner of Police who then verifies that even if I have been wrongly registered I am still registered, and therefore I *HAVE NOT* overstayed and am not here illegally. Thank Goodness!

So, now we have to get our marriage certificate apostiled (I have no idea really what that means, except that they will verify that it is real...) and then we will head to Delhi. :-)

I am sure we will be told a few different things there, so I'm hoping our luck holds out.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hindi, Lunch and outing adventures :)

So, took my Hindi exam yesterday. I was freaking out and basically told DH that if I failed it I failed it...since I've hardly studied or spoke it (it's easier for me to speak bangla since that's what I'm surrounded by all day!) but I studied and tried my best. I'll get my results Wednesday, so let's see how I do.

Anyways, on to the funny stories we know you all love!

I had texted DH yesterday saying I was going home and confirming we didn't need anything other than what he had told me before I left, to which he replied "Wanna go for a drink?" So off to one of favorite joints on Park Street we went. When we got there it was full, and being regulars the waiter's shortly got us a table. Now, this is where the fun started. We had tried to go for a booth that they told us was just finishing up, when another group went for the same table, and started telling DH that they had been waiting, so we went to another table.

The group next to us was getting ready to leave, well, first they had to figure out who owed what, and that took, I swear, like 10 minutes. But before that the waiter had brought over 2 extra chairs and 2 extra cups and told DH to pour a bit of his beer into the cups to make it look like there were people sitting there so they wouldn't steal the chairs. Then once the table cleared we moved the cups over to the next table, and people were trying to take the table, when the waiter and DH had told them there were people sitting there. :-) LOL

All in all, it was a good night, even if I did have to go to a different place to use their bathroom like 3 times, because the one there is horrible. And go out every little bit because their AC was like pumping the crap out of the cold air. Nice celebration.

Oh, and apparently DH was mad at me because he wanted to do lunch with me before my exam, but I had gone out for some errands the day before and asked him if he wanted to join me for lunch but he declined. I told him that I'm not a freaking mind reader and that he should tell me these things, because I'm not going to ask a 2nd time and get refused 2 days in a row. So I hope DH learned his lesson. :-)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Only half a Euro Madam...

Today I was waiting on the side of the street with DH waiting for a taxi or a bus or something to take us home. Well, you know how the drill goes, nothing goes as smooth as you want it to in India. All of a sudden this guy comes up and stands in front of me and starts talking.

"Please madam, give me some money for food. I am unemployed and I do not have a job. Please, just one plate of rice, 20 rupees. Only half a Euro."

DH replied not so nicely, "No thanks!" while I stood there staring off to the right in an attempt to ignore this man, because all I wanted to do was say, "If you can speak English that well there is no reason you shouldn't be able to get a job, so why should I give you *MY* money?"

So, then I looked and DH and laughed and said I was going to blog about this. DH's response was "Cholo!" (let's go) and so with his camera in hand, we start following this guy and DH starts snapping his picture. We follow him a distance and DH speeds up and tells me to stay behind so the guy doesn't know we are taking his photo, and tries to get in front of the guy to get a better shot.

Well...just as DH gets in front of the guy, the guy veers off into the bathroom as I am coming up behind him, and so I cross to where DH is and tell him that if he wants a better shot he is going to have to wait until the guy comes out of the bathroom, and he says "Ok, I'll wait. But you get behind, so you don't catch his attention." I went and had an ice cream at the little Kwality cart and sat down and waited. We waited for like 10-15 minutes (and even purchased movie tickets for Sunday LOL) and there was still no sign of him.

We decided to give up and then started walking back towards home to catch something and all of a sudden the guy is right in front of us, I was thinking, "How the hell did we miss him??" LOL

I mean, seriously, this guy didn't look like a beggar. He spoke pretty damn good English too...I was almost tempted to tell him off, but I just ignored him since that tactic works pretty good for me (or the "Kichhu hobe na. Jao!" Nothing happening. Go!). Take a look for yourselves, since DH gladly gave me this photo. :)


Then we are walking further and this guy says to me "Madam, come inside, English movies." Seeing as how every time I go past one of these road side DVD stores this happens, I turned to him and said, "Aapni ki bhabchhen aami shudhu English bujhte pari?" (What do you think I only understand English?) and he looked shocked. DH had kept walking LOL

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

PIO and OCI merge?

While DH was making our lunch of alu paratha he was using a page of the Economic Times under to keep the mess minimal. Lo and behold, there was this article.

According to the ET there is some talks going on about merging PIO and OCI cards. It also gives a lot of good information, like where to apply and how much they cost, etc. Now, while this is good news for the Indian citizens, because it is less confusing and better in the long run it leads to me a few questions that, sadly, were left unanswered.

Will the PIO be no longer available? If so, how does this affect those of us who are not Indian by birth? One would assume that the PIO would still be available but there is no further information to be gleaned in the article (unless I'm missing something, which is entirely possible). Assuming the PIO is no longer available, then what will the spouses of Indian citizens get? Will we be eligible for OCI or what will we do?

There are so many unanswered questions, let us see what happens as DH says nothing will likely come into law for at least 2 years. :-)

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Fan Page

I've created a fan page on Facebook. You are welcome to join. :-)


InterNations...

Yesterday I had checked my email and found a email from Malte Zeeck, Founder and Managing Director of InterNations, an online expat community, wanting to collaborate and post my blog address on their website. So, I agreed, and so you notice the new shiny button they sent me. :-) So far there is just 1 blog on the site and will have 2 after mine.

I have some invites to the site if anyone wants one, just mail me.

BTW, this is not something they asked me to do, I just felt like it. :-)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bangla reporters...

The other day I met up with a friend for coffee at the Indian Coffee House. As usual, it was crowded. We didn't find a table downstairs so we went upstairs to look for a table. We went to the side, and to my right I saw a television station (which one I have no idea except that it said bangla বাংলা) and something told me that they would probably come and try to talk to us. Next thing I know the reporter had come over and was asking us if I knew about the "International Women's Day" on March 8th, I replied noncommittally (I had no intention, or desire, of being on TV) and told him maybe my friend had some thoughts. So he asked her and so she replied and and agreed to be filmed. The reporter wanted me to stand by her, to which I again said no. They asked her the questions and then left.

Then, while he was leaving he asked me, "What is with you?" I replied in bangla, "Aami korte hobe na. Aami korte chaichhi na." (I don't have to do anything. I am not wanting to do it.) LOL

On top of everything, I could barely understand his English, he had such a heavy accent.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Samsung, oh, Samsung

The last few days my charger on my netbook has been giving me some issues. So, when it stopped charging completely this morning I wasn't surprised. I dug out my receipt and realized that the warranty expires tomorrow. With this realization I got up and decided to go get it looked at.

I had been to the Samsung service center before and was slightly anxious as to what would happen. There was a different service agent at the desk today, and he asked me what was wrong. I told him what was wrong and he said ok, took my charger and my laptop and confirmed it. Then they tried it with their charger and it was charging perfectly, thus it was a charger problem (thank goodness not a problem with the connection in the laptop!) and then the other guy I had dealt with before came out, and I was thinking, "Oh, help me if he tries to say something stupid." He asked me what the problem was and I told him it wasn't charging, to that he replied, "a windows problem?" and I said, "No, it's not charging" again repeating what I had just said a few seconds earlier. They gave me a replacement charger and I asked them about extending my warranty, and they told me I had to go to the store I purchased it from in order to get that. So after conferring with DH, off to that store I went.

Well...here's where the fun began. When I arrived at that store they took me next door (apparently 2 of the stores have merged...) and I asked them and they immediately told me I had to go upstairs to the Samsung store. So, up I went. When I got there they told me no, that I had to purchase it from the same store I purchased the computer from.

Well...I hate wild goose chases, and I could tell if I didn't do something this was going to be one.

I went back to the place where they told me I had to go to the Samsung store, and in a rude loud voice I said, "Someone tell me NOW, where *EXACTLY* I need to go to get this done. My warranty expires TODAY!" In reply to this, both of the salesman started calling people on their cellphones, and one said that someone would bring me one, but I would need to wait an hour. Wait I did.

Next, I was told by DH to read the terms and conditions before I purchased it and before I left the store. I had to repeat the request to another salesman before I was given the booklet that had the information I requested. I purchased the extended warranty and was given the paper with all the information on it.

The paper had 2 numbers on it, a toll-free and another one. I was told to call the toll-free one, after dialling it twice and seeing that it was not going through I had told one of the people at the store. They didn't say anything, but I was given a business card from the Samsung Service Center and so I tried the other phone number (the toll-free one is apparently just for BSNL numbers) and so then I got through and spoke to a lady. I swear she just couldn't understand my English, even though I was speaking very slowly (which is very strange to me...) and enunciating. She then tried to transfer me, but there was no answer, so she set a call back.

Next thing I know, someone is saying "Asun, asun" (come, come) and leads me to yet another man who is getting on his cell phone and asking what needs to be done for registration. He tells me, and so I am frustrated because I have a feeling that if I don't get this done today that I won't be able to get the warranty fixed (just my feelings...) and so I get annoyed because I'm already over heated and hungry. I was told I needed to scan some papers and email them, so I called DH and asked him if he knew where I could get some scans, and found a place.

I went to the place, and I had taken a taxi and the fare was Rs 50 ($1USD) and when I gave the driver a 50 rupee note, he asked for change, to which I replied I didn't have change (I don't like giving all my 10 rupee notes out like that...) and so then he asked for a 100 rupee note and gave me 50 rupees back. Why, I have no flipping clue!

I got the scans, took a taxi and came home. Here, DH tells me to hurry and e-mail the people before end of business day. I sent out the email, and now I wait. :-)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My apologies...

I'm sorry I haven't posted lately. I've been rather busy lately, as I've had to consult a rheumatologist. I've had bad knees since my US Army days in 2001. Well, they've been getting worse for the year and a half, so I went to see the dr. He said I have a severe vitamin D deficiency and therefore I have been taking a few medicines...these medicines upset my body. But I am getting used to them. I will try to be more consistent in my blogging.

Now, a count down...just 1 year and my mom is coming to visit for her first time! YEAH!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Wait, this is 2D not 3D??


The other night DH and I went to see Sherlock Holmes : The Game of Shadows. I had gone earlier in the day to buy the tickets, since we have had a lot of attempts lately at wanting to buy movie tickets but finding them sold out. I went and purchased the 2 tickets, and was given a receipt for 3D glasses, which at the point I thought was strange because on the website it didn't say anything about it being a 3D movie. Well, we arrived at the theater and went through security, and picked up our 3D glasses.

We got into the theater and put on our 3D glasses, and realized that the glasses weren't needed, they were just making the movie worse. Then while were watching the movie, all of a sudden DH pointed out to me that there was one of the employee's that was asking everyone about 3D glasses, somehow they figured out that there was a pair and they knew there was no need. Well, the employee went on to ask almost everyone but us about the glasses. This happened not only once, but twice, and both times neither of us were asked, why we weren't asked I have no idea. Well, DH was kinda pissed at this point because you have to pay a Rs 10 (around US 20 cents, each pair) non-refundable deposit for the glasses.

When the movie was over, DH grabbed the glasses and went out with them intending to make a fuss to get our Rs 20 back, and standing there was an employee watching out for the glasses. Before DH could even start in on them about giving us our money back, the employee handed DH Rs 20. DH had told him that I had come to purchase the tickets this morning and left it at that and told them to be more careful. To this I added “Jodi dorkar chillo na, keno aamake diyechhen?” (If there was no need, why did they give the me the ticket?) To this there was no reply, and DH grabbed my hand and stormed off, loudly saying as “Don't worry, I'll talk to the manager”.

Auntie, Church, and Foreigners...


The other day I was going out to pick up some medicine at the local drug store behind our house, and on my way out ran into our neighbors, whom we call Auntie and Uncle, since they are the parent's of one of our friends.

Well...Auntie and Uncle are both Christian and since I have not claimed to be any religion, they seem to think maybe I'm Christian as well, or maybe they feel the need to try to convert me. Ever since I have arrived in India they have been issuing me invites via DH to attend their church with them, never have they invited me personally.

We were talking, and Auntie said that if I wanted to go to church with them, they went to a nice one and they would take me. Then, came the selling point. She pointed out to me that, there were a lot of foreigners who attended their church, some from Brazil, US, etc, etc. My reply was, “It sounds like my hindi class. There are students from all over, France, US, Brazil, Nigeria...” she merely smiled and then we went on.

I came home and told DH about this and he started laughing. I am hoping I don't get cornered like that again, because I have no interest in going to any church, and I'm not sure there is a polite way to turn down her offer.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Splish, Splash, we're taking a bath

DH reminded me of an incident that happened about a year ago that we both reference to every once in a while, but normally stays at the back of our mind. There used to be a group of us who would go out for lunch on Sundays, well...one day we ate lunch and went to Nikko Park, the local "amusement" and water park.

We were going on the rides that were free first, and came upon a lake with paddle boats. Well, me being me, I started splashing people with water using my hands, and OMG!!! People were not happy with me...we were in either 2 or 3 boats, I can't really remember at this point.

There were 4 people to a boat. Those of us that weren't pedalling started splashing the other boat that was in our vicinity. They were yelling at us to stop, because apparently there were camera's in their boat (mind you, the camera's were in their bags...) when little did they know that one of their party was the one that was splashing them.

Sara* was taking the water in one of her hands and instead of throwing it at us was throwing it back into her own boat. Then, after our time was up, all of us got out of the boats and the other boat was soaked, while we were mostly dry. They were soaked enough that through one guys' pants (a thin khaki pant) you could see his bright red underwear. LOL, I commented this to DH and he told me to shut up.

It was fun, and in the end everyone was mad at me...eh, let them be mad, I had fun!

*Names changed for privacy reasons

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

He hung up on me???

Sometimes I answer DH's phone, today was one of those days. I answered it the first time and then I heard the hanging up sound, so I thought whatever. Then the same number called back, let it rang like once and hung up. Then...they called back. At this point, I was quite annoyed because DH was trying to sleep.

I answered the phone and the guy asked for DH, I asked him where he was calling from to which he replied "Reliance" (Reliance is who we have our internet through). I then asked him why he was calling, to which he replied bill payment.

Now...our bill is usually due on the 13th or 14th of each month, or it was, before they changed the billing cycle last month. So, I knew something was fishy...I was pretty sure the bill wasn't due by the 4th because DH would have gotten the e-mail and sent me to deposit the check.

So, then sensing something is up, I ask the guy when the bill was due. He replied, the 9th. I know today's date was the 4th, so I tersely asked him why he was calling if our bill wasn't due. I informed him that the bill would be paid before the due date, and again asked him WHY he was calling before it was even due. His response??

Instead of giving me a satisfactory answer, or an answer at all, he hung up on me!!!

Shouldn't I, the irritated customer, be the one hanging up due to the fact I wasn't given a satisfactory answer? Is this the kind of customer service people they are training these days, and pushing upon us. Seriously, this guy got lucky. I was a bit snappish with him, but he's very lucky he didn't get DH, or he would have gotten an earful before he hung up. *sigh*