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Thankful for….keeping my apartment!

November 24, 2011

On the eve of Thanksgiving (bc I’m in Vancouver where it isn’t Thanksgiving for another 22 minutes….or another 11 months depending on how you look at it) I thought it an appropriate time to give thanks.

I’m thankful for all the things I am thankful for every year: my gorgeous gamily, my lovely friends, health (although, not thankful for my suspected stress fracture, ugh) and happiness.

I’m ESPECIALLY thankful for something that is contributing to my continued happiness and discontinued anxiety: the fact that my landlord isn’t kicking me out in December.


Backstory: My landlord wanted the apartment back, and I agreed to give it back after a little over a year. Then, I fell back in love with Mumbai and wasn’t ready to say goodbye. But looking for a new apartment was going to be:

a) Dreadful

b) Expensive

c) time consuming

d) soul-sucking



I have a great deal on my apartment in Mumbai. Housing here is horribly expensive, because the city is so crowded that space is a precious commodity. I had the good fortune, after looking at a zillion apartments priced at 50% of my monthly income that were AWFUL, to meet TONY.

Tony is aged “about” 72 years (he does not know his birthday) and has considerable assets: see above description of the value of real estate. he owns 2 apartments in a small building down a private street. GOLD MINE.

But Tony is also afraid that Indians will cheat him. This makes zero sense, because he himself is an Indian man- born and raised in Bandra. I have no idea why he holds this opinion, and honestly, I have never asked him. Meanwhile, he doesn’t cheat me so I’m a happy girl.

In fact, Tony gives me a rate ~30% below market rent for the apartment on the following terms:

a) Only my name is on the lease

b) my Indian roommate’s name is not on the lease. (Seriously. WTF right?)

c) I promise to move out after 1 year

d) I say my prayers at night and never bring any boys home. (Christian building)


Well luckily after some sweet talking, some early-payment-of-next-month’s-rent and general “poor lost white girl”-ness, Tony has agreed to bend some of the rules for me. No comment on which ones.

But I’m keeping my apartment for another year. And being the badass awesome landlord Tony is, he even added a clause to my lease that I can leave before a year if I so wish, so long as I give him 60 days notice, and not forfeit my deposit. Go Tony.


And now, an Apartment tour! Seems fitting, no?

Living Room

November 398

Living Room Again

November 399

Dining Room/Living Room

We have a glass-top table, which looks really pretty when you are touring an apartment, but is actually a pain to take care of. Also, every time I drop my keys on it, I’m almost positive it will shatter. Yet, I cant remember to not drop me keys on it…….

November 400

Kitchen: Indian Style. Super cramped, no oven, habitually smells of curry. So much love:

November 401

My kitchen counters are the same everywhere! Wine and Peanut butter!

November 402

Onto My Room….Here’s the “before”…the way it was when Tony Decorated it before I moved in:


DSCN0044 2

And the “After” which I really really love because it looks like any other apartment I’ve ever had 😉

November 404


November 405



And that, is home. For now. To a New Yorker, this looks grand for the price. To a suburbanite, I imagine you are thinking about how you could NEVER deal with my kitchen. To a Mumbaiker…you either think I pay the most amazingly cheap rent ever (read: Expats) or you think I overpay and am an idiot (read: real locals).


Either way, I live in a building called “SUNRAY” and that is worth a lot to me.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 18, 2011 4:03 pm

    Hi, living in Mumbai, I can tell you that I am very envious of your kitchen. OMG, it has a rangehood!!! And proper cupboards. In an attractive colour scheme.

    As for Tony being afraid Indians will cheat him — it actually makes a lot of sense. Since he’s Indian, he knows exactly what other Indians are like. And putting their name on the lease means they have a legal right to occupy the property — it can be very difficult to get them out! Leases are only for 11 months here because tenants can actually claim squatter’s rights and take over the apartment if they live in it long term.

    Anyway, I look forward to reading more of your interesting blog. 🙂

  2. December 20, 2011 9:18 am

    He has told me before about the squatter’s rights! But he also has a lot of rules about “what kind of people” are in his flat (which you have covered very thoroughly on your blog!) I mostly understand- his kids were raised in this flat and he lives next door, I would be choosy too! Mostly I let him have his rules and don’t really listen…i find it is the most effective way to keep from being offended on behalf of my roommate!

  3. June 14, 2012 12:51 pm

    Indians… what a pain! They are a crazy bunch!

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