3 flights from Newark and here we are! We just got done unpacking everything at our extended stay place and thought I'd jot down a little something while Marc works on the application form for the Foreign Resident Registration Office (FRRO). He's jet-lagged and exhausted, which isn't making the insanity that is the FRRO process any better. We have an appointment with them on Monday afternoon, so I'm sure Marc will write all about it in his new post.
The flights were brutal. We were edgy because of the time difference and neither of us sleep well on planes. The early morning layover from 6am - 12:30pm in Frankfurt was a tortuous game of Who Can Stay Awake the Longest?, and a 1:28am arrival in Mumbai followed by a mid-morning departure to Pune meant we got a whopping 5 hours at the hotel, just enough to shower and take a quick nap. If I had to do this again, I'd stay overnight in Frankfurt, and take a later flight to Pune from Mumbai.
Also, I'd do a little research on tipping. I have absolutely no idea who I'm supposed to tip or how much is expected for certain services. Like the porter who took our motherlode of stuff to the hotel van from the baggage claim. I had heard that 250 Rs. was sufficient for this, but when Marc gave that to him he balked and recounted with exclaimed passion just how heavy they were and what a "great strong services" he provided. Of course we're aware of the Rs. to USD exchange rate and felt bad about haggling over a few lost dollars, especially with such a theatrical rebuttal, so he walked away with 500 Rs, and we walked away wondering if we needed to reevaluate our gratuity game-plan.
Flying with Stella was smooth, and getting her checked out at the Mumbai airport was absolutely seamless. The quarantine officer met us at the baggage claim, was friendly, and quickly processed Stella through. It couldn't have taken more than ten minutes. We handed him our original copies of the Annexure I Form, the Declaration Form, and the "Undertaking & Export" Certificate (read about the required dog importation documentation here) and off we went. We were told she needs to have a final examination by a local vet, but I think I was delirious at that point so am waiting for confirmation on that.
Both the Blue Buffalo Basics Salmon and Potato Recipe dog food (the link is here) and a package of Greenies got through customs, which we were super psyched about. I was certainly not looking forward to crafting a hotel room snack bar dinner for her as an alternative.
So, Marc is going to work starting Monday, and hopefully around that time I will start looking for apartments. It will be nice to establish a routine, make some new friends, and start getting comfortable in our new hometown.