A list of services and websites that help keep me sane while living in India.
Such a great website... fast, clear and uncluttered. Just the place to go when there is something you need but you don't feel like leaving the comfort of her home to fight your way through crowds and language barriers.
The prices are fantastic and I have always found the books to be cheaper than bookshops in the malls. The price of external hardrives and pendrives seem to be cheaper than Nehru Place.
My most recent purchase was a washing machine the price came in cheaper than my local market.
But the thing that makes Flipkart fantastic is cash on delivery which is free.. even if you only spend 100Rs
Gone are the days of trekking down to the local railway booking office where I was constantly leered at by the crowded roomful of men only to find that the computer was down or the train I wanted was full. Cleartrip makes booking trips on Indian Railways so easy and I can pay with my foreign credit card. It is so much better than the painfully slow and messy official Indian Railways website and you only pay a small premium for the service.
Also Cleartrip often has great special discounts on hotels and flights.
Mogha Jewelers Le Meridien Hotel
This is how jewellery shopping should be. Comfortable seating, great service and refreshments. I cannot rave about this place enough. The service is great whether you are spending $100 or $10,000. No need to worry about quality or haggling and no pressure to buy. The prices are straight up and they make what you exactly what you order. I honestly don't think I will ever buy jewellery anywhere else in the world ever again... big call!
Located upstairs from the lobby in the Le Meridien Hotel on Janpath. Looks like you can get some amazing french desserts in the lobby of the hotel too.
uride.in - scooter rentals
So we found ourselves without a car when we asked a friend to drive Sam back to school in mountainous Mussoorie. Now as you may or may not be aware Delhi drivers cannot drive up hills (never stop behind a car on a ramp in a parking garage in Delhi). So our poor car limped back to Delhi in need of a new clutch and gearbox. So what to do for the next who knows how long until we get our car back... autos and metro or rent a scooter... the later of course. So I was recommended Uride.in... cute website.
You can rent scooters on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and for a bit extra they deliver the scooter to your door.
Now one might suggest that you would have to be certifiably insane to ride a scooter in Delhi, but I would have to disagree. I feel much safer zipping around Delhi than I do in Sydney because the traffic moves slower and people are aware of bikes.
Not sure what the rules are with licensing but as I have an Australian riders and car license and having shown it to police without problems while driving a car I am going to plead ignorance and assume all is good.
If you find yourself in possession of foreign currency and you are looking to change it to rupees the place to go is Damini Money Changer in M-Block Market Greater Kailash-1. No mucking about, no commission, no haggling, just straight up the best rates whether you are buying or selling rupees. Might be tricky to find if you are not familiar with M-Block market. Basically it is at the end of the market near a florist. They have a big Western Union money transfer sign in the window. If you want to check rates before you go their number is 01129231638 or 01141633638.
More to come....