Part 2…Musings over the peculiarity of life in a lockdown in a hotel room in Mumbai, India…

We had an opportunity to see the feared Tasmanian Devil, while in Tasmania. They weren’t very scary with their mouths closed. See more at this link.

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Today’s photos are from our post one year ago today. Please click here for more details.

Frank, our resident francolin who lived in the garden with his mate, The Mrs. (shown below).

A few days ago while chatting with our DIL Camille, she and I were laughing over the peculiarities of us living in this hotel room, now for 37 days. Not only did we discuss the nuances of our day-to-day lives during these circumstances, but we also discussed what we miss the most which we’ll share with you today.

The Mrs.

Here is a list of the challenges we’re facing under these unusual circumstances, some of which we’ve mentioned here and there in prior posts:

1.  Do we have access to food during the day?:
You may ask, why don’t we eat lunch to hold us over for dinner? There are several reasons, including the fact that neither of us cares to eat lunch since we don’t eat when we’re not hungry. But, in our usual lives, if we become hungry around 3:00 pm, we’ll have a piece of cheese. No cheese of this type is available here. Instead, we have the coffee/tea, which seems to hold us over. We don’t eat anything after dinner.

2.  Where do we sit all day long?:
There is only one comfortable chair in the room (besides a desk chair) with an ottoman. I have always felt uncomfortable sitting on a bed, even propped up with pillows. Tom sits on the bed all day with his feet up, except for the times when we dine twice a day and a third time when our room is being cleaned. I sit in the comfortable chair, jumping up once an hour to do my walking. This past week, I walked 24 KM, 15 miles in the corridors, and now have begun increasing the number of times I embark on the walk along with increasing the speed.

This oxpecker is singing in sheer joy, after eating some bugs off of this kudu’s back.

3. How do we wash our clothes?
Today, we gave the laundry service two pairs of Tom’s jeans. They are too difficult to wash by hand and wring out, taking days to dry. Nor do we have ample space to hang them. Otherwise, we hand wash all of our pants and shirts in the shower while bathing. We each have two pairs of pants we alternate and three shirts. I’ve stopped wearing a bra since it results in one less item to wash. We wring out the items as well as possible and hang them in the closet on hangers to dry, with a bath towel placed on the floor of the closet to collect the drips. This is working well for us so far. We each do our own laundry every other day.

4.  How do we pay bills? Handle our mail?
We performed these tasks in the same manner as in the past when living in holiday homes or hotels. The only bills we have are credit cards and insurance all of which we pay online. Our online mail service in Nevada, USA, receives our small amount of mail and collects any purchases we’ve made storing them in our oversized box. Soon, we’ll be ordering a shipment of items waiting in our mailbox to be sent to us in India. But, we are currently checking to determine which services such as FED EX or DHL are in fact delivering packages in India. It’s questionable at this point.

5.  How do we stream movies and TV series? 
Since we both acquired Chromebooks, we can no longer use Graboid which is a fantastic streaming service for INR 1570, US $20 a month. Instead, we’ve mostly been reliant upon Amazon Prime (US version). However, Amazon doesn’t allow streaming outside the US. Subsequently, we have a VPN, Express VPN, which opens up our access to streaming shows on Amazon and other US streaming services. Netflix and HULU don’t work for us from India. At the moment, through Amazon Prime Video, we are subscribed to HBO and Acorn (British shows) for a combined total of INR 1441, US $19, per month. We just ended two subscriptions after seeing everything that interested us in Showtime and CBS All Access. We don’t watch shows during the day. Instead, we listen to podcasts and watching the news on the TV through the BBC worldwide and India News.

A handsome male impala in the garden.

6.  How do get exercise?
Tom doesn’t and as mentioned I do the walking every day, 10 times a day at this point.

7. How to we make phone calls?
Although our cell phones are supposed to be able to make calls in other countries we find we aren’t able to do so from here. Instead, for friends, we talk for free on Facebook Messenger (but who’s listening???) and Skype with a cost of about INR 73, US $.01 per minute when calling from Skype to a phone. I load money directly from PayPal to the Skype app and its very easy. When I get low, they automatically add a small sum.

8. Are we collecting packages locally?
We have placed a few online orders from Amazon India some of which have been delivered and others that never arrived and we were credited. Why this happens is most likely due to COVID-19 and lack of delivery staff. We have been able to order a few much-needed toiletry items such as toothpaste, contact lens solution, and a few other items. The packages arrive at the guard gate and then a staff member walks to the gate to collect the package. If a package doesn’t arrive, we just re-order the same items after the credit comes through. Amazon India has limited supplies at this time and only necessities.

Tree frog foam nest, made overnight above the cement pond.

9. How are we holding up without an occasional cocktail?
No doubt, a glass of wine, beer, or cocktail would be great during the lockdown. It’s now been a month since we last had a beverage. No liquor stores or bars are open during the lockdown, nor is the hotel’s bar. All the alcoholic drinks were removed from our tiny refrigerator when we arrived and the lockdown commenced. Sure, we certainly would enjoy an icy cold beer or a glass of wine for me. It could easily be another month or more until such items are available for purchase.

10. What are we doing for ice?
The hotel is not making any ice during the lockdown. Tom keeps two bottles of Crystal Light Iced Tea in the very cold refrigerator and drinks it without ice. I rarely drink the iced tea, but when I do, it’s the same way, without ice. During the day, I drink plain bottled water (provided by the hotel in six bottles a day) or decaf coffee or green tea. During dinner, we drink “purified water” provided by the hotel also at no charge.

Movie night in the bush as a charity event for saving wildlife in Marloth Park and surrounds.

So there it is folks. As you can see, we’re managing just fine. In tomorrow’s Part 3 post, we’ll share what we’re missing the most. From what we can determine from local and world news, we could end up staying in India through the summer. We continue to strive to make these adjustments work well for us without any whinging!

Stay safe. Stay strong. Please share some of the challenges you’re experiencing during thes unusual times of COVID-19.


Photo from one year ago today, April 29, 2019:

Our boy “Little” attempting a nap in the garden when even his little tusks get in the way. For more photos, please click here.

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