Saturday, September 1, 2007


First off, It IS Gangurams, not Gangrene, as previously posted. Wills read the sign as he was speeding past. Sorry for the confusion.

Second, the car and driver does cost between 900 and 1,200 rupees per day when you use a car service. I am using them temporarily until I purchase a car of my own, and then I will hire a driver. In Kolkata having my own driver will cost me anywhere from 5,000 to 7,000 rupees per month. We've had some random drivers with a wide range of ability, but all were FAR better than taxicab drivers. Even if they were unfamiliar with an area, they still knew the major streets and were able to navigate effectively. I am wondering how to find a driver and how to understand just how much he knows about the city.

From what I understand, I will need a "sweeper". This person will clean bathrooms only. I will need a housekeeper, someone who does the rest of the house. Someone to wash my clothes. Maybe someone to cook. Maybe someone to shop. Someone to manage my money and pay my taxes. Plus the car and driver. I've never experienced the servant side except for my year in Mumbai and I never had to hire, supervise and fire them... It's all new to me.

I've been dealing with a serious cough since we landed here over a month ago. I've started calling it "Calcutta Cough". I don't know if it's the pollution, the A/C to outside heat exposure or just a general malaise everyone gets when they move here... I just need to get rid of it. I have been dreading going to see a doctor, but I need a cough syrup with codeine to get rid of this. They have chemists every 20 feet but they either pretend they don't understand what I'm asking for or they just say no. So far I haven't been able to get anyone to explain just what you CAN buy in one of those places other than Paracetemol (their version of Tylenol), which is all they give me when I tell them I have this cough. See what I mean?


Kenneth said...

jeanne, ask them for expectorant, or benedryl syrup or vicks remedy for a cough always works - lather vicks vaporub on the soles of your feet and cover with a pair of socks before soothes the throat, honest! kenneth

Anonymous said...

Well,usually in housing complexes like Ekta Heights where you stay, there are sweepers appointed by the Housing Complex committee . I think you better talk with your Housing Complex committee secretary or any of your neighbours.

Now as far as cook or servant is concerned then the most important thing to consider is that they should be TRUSTWORTHY .Recently there has been few incidents in Kolkata where the servants have robbed the house and fled.

So the best thing is to take the help of your neighbours. Now in Kolkata you can get part timers who will work for 3-4 hrs/day and you have to pay them Rupees 500-700 per month generally.Of course the wage depends on the area you stay. Usually they will wash clothes, clean the house and wash the utensils . Similalry you can get a part time cook who will spend 2-3 hrs everyday to do the cooking. You can make an agreement with your cook so that he/she will do the buying of vegetables/meat for you. If you prefer to do that yourself then you better go the shopping malls like BIG BAZAAR . The wage of the cook is generally 500-700 per month.
There are laundries where you can give your clothes for washing.Ask anyone at your housing complex to know where is the nearest laundry in your area.

You can keep a fulltime housekeeper who will always stay at your home and do the household chores like cooking,cleaning clothes, shopping. But then you might face a lot of fuss as the fulltime housekeepers are really very demanding .Their wages are also quiet high

Anyway it depends upon you . You should do what is convenienet for you. But I think the problem that you will face is the language problem. The people who work as housekeeper are often illiterate and even if they have got education they are surely wont be able to converse in English. So the best thing would be for you is to consult your neighbours so that they will guide you to find a trustworthy part time or full time worker

And yes, before you appoint anyone else you DEFINITELY need a secretary to handle your financial matters as well as your household things.

Hope this little information will be of help to you.

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