- Vaccination card
- Printed copies
- Primary bank card + backup card
- Health, Sanitary & Medical
- Hand sanitizer
- Camera Gear
- Canon 5D
- EF 70-200 mm “Great White”
- EF 50 mm
- EF 28 mm
- Zenitar 16 mm
- Canon G10
- Other Gear
- Keyboard + mouse
- External mic
- UK – EU electrical outlet adapter
- T-shirts, underwear, socks for one week
- 3 x Long sleeves
- 3 x Pants
- Nice shoes
- Good shoes
- Light jacket
- Casual shorts
- Sporty shorts
- 3.1 sound system – including subwoofer. Yes.
After the “4 day processing time” which turned out to be three weeks I finally got my visa. So it’s all good now?
My work contract is from October 1 to March 31 – exactly six months. Business / employment visas can be issued for a maximum of six months, so it was not a coincidence that I put down the same dates on my visa application. They should fit together quite nicely. Right?
For some reason, which – despite several efforts of communication – is still unclear to me, they decided to put September 18 as the starting date. An odd choice, considering that the earliest date that I was allowed to pick up the visa was the 26th. Which means the visa ends two weeks before my work contract does. After more questions it became clear that it was essentially impossible for me to get a six month visa that would perfectly overlap the working period.
But I can apply for an extension to the visa during my stay there, right? I asked. The clerk, a mellow Indian man, smiled and said in a delightfully cheery, accented voice “You can try”, almost as if he’s cracking a joke. Maybe he was.
I could do little more than smile and say ok, I guess I’ll have to go with what I got, and since this is what I have then it’ll have to do. At least it’ll get me into the country. He smiled back as I turned and left the embassy.
So yesterday I threw something of a farewell party at lovely Milli Miglia. “A Temporary Farewell” is what I called it. And it is.
It was super nice to see so many dear friends, and just sit down for a few beers and chat. Some of the attendees I hadn’t seen in a long while. Way too long. Which would explain why we broke out the Cuba Libres and said farewell until the bars closed. True bromance.
Still, it does feel strange to say farewell. Makes me realize the situation a bit more. Makes it a bit more real. And with ten days to go, I’m starting to get that tingling sensation.
Well this is funny; I just emptied the Forex currency exchange in downtown Helsinki of all Indian currency. And it cost me a mere 30 euros.
Turns out they’ve tried to get their hands on Indian rupees for quite some time now, but there just isn’t any around. The little I got just happened to have been traded in earlier.
Which is maybe just as well, since the lady at the counter informed me that in India they still have in effect an old law, according to which if customs decides to check your belongings when entering the country and finds rupees, they are by law allowed to take it. That’s right, you aren’t allowed to take in local currency to India. I’m sure there is some logic to that, I just haven’t figured out yet.
But no worries, at least I got something and the rest I’ll just get at the airport in Mumbai.
So what do I know about Pune at this point?
- It’s prononunced [puɳeː], i.e. not “puny”, more like “punj-eh”
- It’s the eighth largest city in India, home to over five million people
- It’s located 150 km from Mumbai and more than 500 m above sea level, on the Deccan plateau
- Between October and March, the average low temp is 11 C, average high is 32 C
- Cultural capital of Maharashtra state, thanks to the many universities it is often called also the “Oxford of the East”
- Lately it has become an IT startup hub, India’s version of the Silicon Valley