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A reader commented on the Expat Report Moving to Pune, India
Moving-to-Pune
What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
For the move itself, don't bring too much. Most domestic items can be found very cheaply here, so long as you steer away from the malls.

Bear in mind that unfurnished here means not just no furniture but no air conditioners, appliances and so forth. Make sure you know exactly what is included. Don't be shy about asking for things such as new mattresses and also new furniture if it looks well used!

Power blackouts are common. Make sure you have generator back-up or at least an inverter (battery back up) or you'll spend a lot of time in the dark.

Don't expect an oven, very few places have them. We only saw one apartment with an oven (which we now live in, but that wasn't the deciding factor). Microwaves are smaller than in the US but you can get combination microwaves that also double as a convection oven. You won't be cooking big turkeys so a small oven shouldn't be too troublesome.

Insist on a water purifier. When you arrive start out with bottled water and after several weeks convert to the purifed water and your stomach should adapt pretty well.

Decide before packing whether you will choose to live in unfurnished, partially furnished or furnished. A colleague packed assuming he'd find an unfurnished apartment but wasn't able to find one (mostly furnished here) and now he and his wife are having to try and store furniture that they brought from the US. No easy task.

For neighborhood, I can't comment on areas that we don't live in but we really like where we live in the Boat Club Road area as there is plenty to do within easy walking distance.

Don't try to wait it out until you dream home turns up. It won't and it is better, in our view, to get settled quickly. Nothing ever seems to be quite finished, so expect teething problems and don't get hot under the collar about them as you'll waste a lot of emotional energy to no avail. It's different here!

Get to know your neighbors, especially the locals as we have found them to be unfailingly friendly and helpful - our immediate neighbor arranged a dinner party to welcome us and introduce us to some other neighbors within a week of arrival.

The little tips they can help you with can make life much easier - such as one of the local grocery type stores delivers and so our neighbor took our list and called them and we had all the cleaning stuff we needed, you know mops, brooms, trashcans, and so on within an hour of moving in without the hassle of having to shop for them and far cheaper than had we bought them at one of the supermarkets that expats tend to gravitate towards, at least in their early days in country.

Find your nearest little photo store and get a couple of dozen passport photos done as soon as you arrive. You'll need them as they are obligatory for even routine stuff like getting a contract to deliver propane (which your cooker works on), cellphone, aircard, lease registration and so many other things. Carry your passport. You'll need it for ID purposes a lot in the early days.

In Pune, shop on MG Road (Mahatma Gandhi Road). There are some great little stores and you'll get most of what you need at much less cost than in the malls and it's a lot more fun too.

Don't be afraid to buy your groceries from the markets. Sure the vegetables have a shorter shelf life than in the US, but Indians buy every day and many don't have fridges. You'll need to wash them thoroughly (using purified water) before use, but then you should back home too!

The most important advice? Don't fight the place, you'll have gone home again before it changes that much. Relax, get into the flow and enjoy India and if you do it's an adventure and a wonderful place to live. (Continue)

A reader replied most recently with:
Any input on effects of unexpected expenses for getting things done ? I moved from NJ to Kothrud, Pune. It felt sound and easy... but when enqisitive nature of friends, relatives, housing services started to become daily topics, it became a difficult to settle. One must be ready for this It still is a good effort.
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Expat Report Culture Shock in Pune, India by Chesil was published
Culture-Shock-in-Pune
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
We were determined to try and become part of the local community and not to spend a lot of time with other expats. We'd like to go and grumble to other expats from time to time but for the most part settle down and enjoy the experience for what it is and not try to recreate home. For us that works well but as I said above we are in our 50s (though my wife looks much younger!) so we don't have the concerns of trying to bring children up in a wholly different culture. (Continue)
A reader commented on the Expat Report Living in Pune, India
Living-in-Pune
What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?
USAI & USFI (United States of America Institute); YMCA; Rajneesh Asram (Continue)
A reader replied most recently with:
Thanks for giving me an update on Pune. Very Helpful. Infact, I also have a point to share. I recently moved to Pune from Thailand, and was looking for an indoor play area for my daughter, (The type that we have in developed world). You know what, I really did find one. It is called Totz World & it is very close to E Square. W would be completely surprised by the facilities that they offer. Do visit their web site www.totzworld.com or call on 020 25561015.
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Expat Report Review of The Lexicon International School in Pune, India was published
Review-of-The Lexicon International School
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
The facilities are pretty good. It is a new school and they are constantly upgrading. They have extra-curricular activities within the school timings and do not charge extra. The activities in a broad sense that every child does are Art & Craft, ICT, Sports like Billiards, TableTennis, football, swimming, carrom, chess, basketball etc. Music, Dramatics and Elocution... (Continue)

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