Lease papers will be drawn up this weekend for what I'm told is a very nice flat in Madhapur, Hyderabad. It's a little unnerving signing a lease on a place I've never seen but it's short term, only 6 months, so if I don't like it there are many more to chose from.
The apartment is a two bedroom, two bathroom, with kitchen, living room, and den. It has air conditioning units in both bedrooms, hot water heaters in both bathrooms (they're called geysers in India (pronounced geezer), which makes it sound like I have an old man sitting in each of my bathrooms), and comes fully furnished. It has underground parking, so although my place is on the ground floor, I'm not actually on the ground. That helps relieve some anxiety I have over the bug situation there. A snow-free climate allows insects to grow QUITE large.
You'll notice in the pictures, that the set up is a bit different then what we are used to seeing. The bathroom is basically like a big shower stall with a toilet. There isn't a tub, just a spout on the wall. The objective is to turn on the geyser, let the water heat up, then fill the large bucket you see pictured under the spout. You then take your bath out of the bucket. If you're using the bathroom for potty purposes, you have the option of either washing your hands in the bathroom using the shower spout, or you can use the sink positioned outside the bathroom.
I've never seen a sink actually inside an Indian bathroom. They are typically situated right outside the bathroom door and sometimes an additional one is found in the Hall (living room) or dining room.
In the dining room pic, you'll notice that the refrigerator (also an Indian luxury item) is located next to the table rather then in the kitchen. This is also common.
Surprisingly the kitchen has, what I consider to be, farmhouse-esque tiles, versus what I would call Indian style tiles. Note the little flour canisters and fruit baskets on the tiles in the kitchen. Also in the kitchen you'll see a canister with a burner on top. Stove top cooking is how most things are prepared, minus the stove top. So you just get a series of burners and cook using those. Baking is done in bakeries and not in the home (at least not in my home it would seem).
You also won't see an electric washer and dryer. That's something I'm going to have to work on. Instead there is a small patio like thing that clothes can be washed on using a bucket and detergent bar. While I don't see myself returning to my colonial roots and washing clothes by hand, the apartment does come with maid service so I can have them take care of washing and cooking, until I can sort things out and get situated. It would seem the current tenants are not utilizing all the maid has to offer.
The apartment is just 10 minutes drive from the office which I'm thrilled about. It's common for employees to spend 1-2 hours going each way to and from work daily. I don't see that in the cards for me. The area around the apartment is very bustling. I'm told the gym is just a few steps from the front door, as is a good salon, a grocery store, clothing stores, etc. So everything I need should be in walking distance, minus the office, which provides transportation at no charge to it's employees.
Here is some info on the neighborhood (Madhapur) I'll be staying in courtesy of wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madhapur