Monday, August 29, 2011
The apartment Jason rented for us is very nice. On the top (7th) floor of the complex, it is 4 Bedroom, 4 Bath, and spans two stories. In HSR Layout, it's about a ten minute auto ride to Jason's work in Koramangala every morning. We pay around $650 per month, which compared to Tulsa rental prices, is a fantastic deal. But that's not the best part about our new home. The feature that takes the cake is the enormous terrace just outside the master bedroom. Overlooking one of the apartment complex's courtyards, it's a great place to hang out and relax. Since the weather is generally in the high 70's or low 80's, I spend a lot of time out here.

View from the front railing of the terrace.

View from the cane furniture side rail.

During many of my lazy afternoons, I've sat on the cane sofa and looked out at my neighbor's terraces. Many of them have potted plants, exercise equipment, or children's toys scattered about. The idea of plants intrigued me, so when I saw a roadside vendor selling them, I asked our driver to stop. I almost danced a little jig when I found out how cheap they are.
Our cane sofa, chairs, and swing. The swing is MINE! Did I mention all of this was purchased for under $200? I'm really going to miss the prices in India.

I bought two and took them with me and the kids in the auto. It was a huge pain to transport them, and I was a little sad that I couldn't get any bigger ones, because I had no way to carry them. Besides, these pots are pure concrete, and I almost killed myself getting them up here. I asked Jason to estimate their weight, and he said he'd guess anywhere from 60-80lbs. Whew! Did I mention our terrace is on the second floor of our apartment? (Read: no elevator access to 8th floor) I crouched down and balanced one on my knee for a breather, and my legs almost didn't pick me back up.

One of the two plants I carried up.

Jason asked me why I didn't have the auto driver carry them up, but the guy was really old and I would never forgive myself if I hurt him. Besides, we have an insurance policy over here, and I figure if I end up in the hospital, it will make a good blog post. Part of the tourist experience, right?

Anyway, this Saturday I dragged Mr. Moneybags and Mr. Muscle (both Jason) with me to see if we could arrange transportation of the plants if I bought some. The auto driver volunteered to get them back to the complex for an extra charge, and we agreed. I bought the five large fern things (sorry, I need a botonist to tell me the names, these guys didn't come with nameplates) for 270 INR (around $6) each, including the pot. Awesome price, huh? The small white/green plants were also 270 each.
On the far left is one of the pretty white/green plants I got, and of course the tall stuff is the fern thingys.

The two I had bought on the trip by myself cost me 800 ($17), and I decided Jason has to go with me from now on because they tend to charge me a higher price. Jason didn't even have to barter and they offered them to him for 130 less. No fair!

But I digress. The real reason for this blog entry is so I can show off my newly foilaged terrace. I told Jason that I could probably make due with about 14 more large ferns, and I'd be set. He just smiled and said "Fine, so long as you're carrying them down when we move out." I agreed (I've got two years for him to forget). So - here's a video tour of the terrace, Phase 1. Stay tuned for the finished product after I get more plants!


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