Preparing to Leave
In ten days we will be boarding our flight back home to the US. For almost two years we have called Bangalore home. Now it is time to start closing down our apartment, tidying up accounts and saying good bye to friends.
The biggest activity to close out is Helen’s volunteer work on the Overseas Women’s Club fund raiser called the Pink Elephant Sale. The Pink Elephant is a community-sized yard sale where articles donated by OWC members such as clothing, books, CDs, toys, house wares and all the other trappings of expat life are put on sale for all of Bangalore to purchase. This yearly event, the second largest OWC fund raiser, involves Helen gathering volunteers and donations. We have boxes of donations in our small apartment that have been sorted and priced. Finally, Helen needs to organize the activities on the day of the sale, 2 May, at St. Mark’s Cathedral. Needless to say, Helen has been focused on fulfilling her commitment. Time, nonetheless, for our departure marches forward.
Our departure heralds the completion of Jay’s work. The new development center facility has been opened in Bangalore. All the software development work, over 150,000 hours of effort for a large client, has been delivered. Mission accomplished.
Two unexpected business trips back to the US recently has allowed us to thin our belongings in India. We are down to a few sets of clothes and necessities. While in India, we have held to our marriage vow commitment of “no new stuff.” We are at a point in life where our experiences and relationships far exceed the value of “stuff”. Despite many, many temptations to acquire exotic accoutrements, we leave with but a few native treasures.
Notification to vacate our apartment has been given; arrangements for final payment of electric, gas, newspaper and so on have been made. We still need to close our Citibank account and hope that a repeat of the four weeks of hassle to open it is not repeated. The end of that saga is still to be realized.
Helen has cleverly sold our large purchases (king sized mattress, sheets, pillows, bedspread, coffee pot and bean grinder) to our next door neighbor. Due to plug configurations, our electrical appliances will be gifted. The printer-scanner-copier combination along with our wireless router will be given to Krupa for her use at the community center. Our wireless phone used with our Vonage VOIP adapter goes to our driver, Harish. Helen is actively helping Harish find another expat employer. He has been steady, dependable and helpful and has always protected us. We are glad to be his agent.
Our flight home is arranged. We fly home through Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. Due to the sprawling configuration of that airport, we typically give ourselves a few hours layover to ensure we catch our connecting flight to Atlanta. Since this is our final flight home, we opted for a six day vs. a three hour layover. Paris will be our halfway house as we transition from chapattis to croissants before returning home to bagels and English muffins.
One of our OWC friends, Pamela Bertram, is arranging a gathering of selected friends for a farewell dinner at the Blue Ginger restaurant the day before we depart. We have participated in several of these dinners in the past; it’s hard to believe that this time we will be the honored guests.
Labels: Leaving Bangalore