Mumbai is a city under construction. Constant construction. It is needed to accommodate the ever-increasing numbers of people flocking to the Island City hoping to make their fortunes.
I was reminded of the fabulous Indian road sign (“inconvenience is regretted”, d’oh) that accompanies building work here, when we had it confirmed a few days ago that we are being moved.
This is probably the single biggest drawback to being an expat in the current economic environment.
We’re not the first and undoubtedly will not be the last people we know in Mumbai to be moved to a more established market as companies re-jig themselves and try to survive. We are counting ourselves lucky. We know of many people who have simply been made redundant and have headed home to face massive uncertainty.
Still, the speed of our move has come as shock to me – I feel as if I have only just settled back in from my time in Jakarta.
In a week’s time I am going to be waking up in China. And I love Mumbai! How on earth am I going to master Mandarin? And Beijing is Canada-cold for a good chunk of the year. I’ll miss monsoon. And Diwali! And there is no understanding of being veg there but at least it will get me out of eating weird things. I hope. And poor M does not have another job lined up. How on earth is he going to support his 5 kids?
These and many other thoughts are preoccupying me at the moment.
We’re now scrambling to re-visit favourite landmarks and restaurants and say our goodbyes. One of my stops is going to be the Ganesh temple at Prabadehvi. The god of the city is the remover of obstacles and also of good times. Perhaps a coconut offering will bring us back again here some day? Somehow I don’t feel as if we’re done with Mumbai quite yet. Is that just wishful thinking?
Wife School Lesson For the Day: Supervising the packing and finding a new place to live and unpacking and getting the utilities set up AGAIN (this time there is no English language option on tap) are very definitely wifely duties. Sigh. The Beijing Chapter of Wife School beckons.