Packing to relocate to India
adunut
India > Community Forums > India Expat Area
#1
| Member

Packing to relocate to India

We had finally decided to take the plunge and try out the India Experiment. We are relocating to Hyderabad end of September. It was an amazingly difficult process to sort out the pros and cons of the decision, taking advice from friends here, from folks who have done the move. In the end it is a personal decision to make and I do not believe that there is one right answer.

One frequent question I was asked was what was the trigger point to decide on the move. The answer that I finally realized which surprised me as well as others was my desire to experience India which is currently going thru some interesting changes. It is not the same country which I had left 15 years ago. Is this a sufficient trigger to put myself and family through all the disruptions the move would entail. I guess the only way to know it is to actually try it out.

An other question for which there was'nt any consensus was whether to treat the relocation as temporary and make it permanent after you are fully settled for a few years/making a clean exit and relocating permanently. I could relate to arguments in both the camps but am currently leaning on treating it as temporary to be made permanent. Was curious of other's experiences on this forum.

We had done moves before but this move is ofcourse at a much larger scale. Specifically with respect to Electric/Electronic appliances. Again any advice on what to pack vs what to sell would be really helpful.

  • Table Lamps: Over the years we had collected some nice table lamps/floor lamps. Does it make sense to get them along, can they be rewired or something for Indian bulbs
  • Refrigirator: Would it be possible to use them in India. do we need a converter?
  • TV Set: It is getting old maybe worthwhile buying a new one. Does it make sense to buy one in India?
  • Washer/Dryer
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Home Theater System


One thing I am doing right now is doing an inventory of all the appliances that work on 220V and am planning to get them over. My guess in that in some cases getting a 110V appliance and using a converter also makes sense.

One final question, Does it make sense to ship the car over even if its steering happens to be on the wrong side :) I had seen some folks driving such vehicles, maybe with a bit of a practice is that doable?

32 Replies

#2
| Be the Change You wish to see
Hi!
I sent you a PM but also wanted to ask you if you are originally from India? I am very excited for you though!!!
Have a wonderful move!

Namaste~
alotusgirl in Marin
#3
| Loud Noisy Bird
Indian bulbs are the same fittings as the basic UK two-prongs-sticking-out-sideways type fitting. So far I haven't noticed any of the screw-type fittings.

Indian houses tend to be a bit low on wall sockets. Like one per room! But if you are going to be moving to a modern house this should not be a problem.

For the rest it is down to voltage. It is not a problem for me from UK, but for you everything will need a converter....

The one thing I would say is a NO! would be the car. Please check, but I don't think cars are included in the transfer of residence free-of-duty allowance: and the duty could be huge.

You should be able to get advice on the customs stuff from whoever does your shipping.

What are you doing about visas? sounds like you come from India so PIO or OIC could be good. Maybe you got it already.

Good luck for the move! What city are you coming to?
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#4
| India Sapne
The best advice I had from Indian friends when I was moving to india in the early 1990's for a stay which ended up being 8 years of duration was: "the only thing to pack to bring to india is a bag full of patience. You will find everything else you need in India, but if you do not bring enough patience with you, you will never find it when you get here." Advice that turned out to be spot on. I moved to India with exactly 12kgs of luggage, and although in 1991 there was nothing imported available in India, I still found everything I needed - and a lot I didn't really need, but just liked, and could afford! These days, almost everything that you will find in San Fran, you are going to find in Hyderabad, even a good car. By the way, great decision - although it may take a bit of getting used to living so far from the coast - the thing I missed the most in my years in Delhi. - at least you are on a direct train line to Goa if you need some sea air and fresh fish - and the lakes in Hyderabad are quite impressive! Good luck. dil.
#5
| Member
Indian bulbs are the same fittings as the basic UK two-prongs-sticking-out-sideways type fitting. So far I haven't noticed any of the screw-type fittings.


Would'nt it be possible to change the socket to the prong type and use the lamps. Am curious if any one has tried this.

The one thing I would say is a NO! would be the car. Please check, but I don't think cars are included in the transfer of residence free-of-duty allowance: and the duty could be huge.

You should be able to get advice on the customs stuff from whoever does your shipping.

If the customs do work out would it still advisable though, how hard would it be to handle left hand drives in India.

What are you doing about visas? sounds like you come from India so PIO or OIC could be good. Maybe you got it already.

Good luck for the move! What city are you coming to?


Already have a PIO. We are planning to move to Hyderabad
#6
| Loud Noisy Bird
I'm sure you could handle the bulb/socket thing. It is amazing how much can be done by the guys that run businesses on little more than a corner of a pavement ---and how little it costs!

The hi-fi/home-cinema I would bring if it is particularly good and you are particularly fond of it. If you do, I would look at voltage conversion and regulation stuff there in USA to try and achieve a nice even power wave for it.

The car, unless it is very special, I really would leave behind or sell. You could easily get charged as much as a new car would cost you here, and it will add hugely to your shipping cost, maybe even needing a container by itself? I still have not been brave enough to drive here, but can only imageine that left-hand drive would just mean that you discover, as you overtake, that someone else is driving towards you on your side of the road by hitting them head on! :( .

The best advice is bring nothing. I didn't take it, and have spent as much on shipping as refurnishing would have cost me. ... But I wanted my hifi. And my CDs. And my Kitchen stuff. And my bed. And that much meant a container, so might as well ship the lot!
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#7
| Senior Member
From very recent experience, I can only advise to bring necessities as the cost and hassle of bringing in things you can buy in India is significant.

Originally posted by: dilbharatmainthe only thing to pack to bring to india is a bag full of patience.



Three weeks in and I've lost all of mine. I think that the customs guy took the last of it along with some other stuff when I went to clear our cargo.
:rolleyes:
#8
| Loud Noisy Bird
Oh, Do tell... ... ...
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#9
| Member
Three weeks in and I've lost all of mine. I think that the customs guy took the last of it along with some other stuff when I went to clear our cargo.


Now you got me curious, A top ten list that stole you patience would be nice and where would you rate the customs handling within that list
#10
| Senior Member

Originally posted by: Nick-HOh, Do tell... ... ...



It's still an ongoing saga (yes, another one - ref: my post about the house).

In a nutshell, I have conclusive proof that my cargo left the UK for Bombay on Saturday. I have further proof that it left Bombay for Chennai this Wednesday. The Air Cargo people have the paperwork for the consignment (which they found after an hour of asking them to check again and again and again). Only to be told that, while my baggage is in all probability in the storage area, it doesn't exist because it's not on their computer system! - Effectively they told me 'tough luck' :mad: seriously!!

Anyway, after a another hour of coaxing, I managed to convince them to put aside all thoughts (at least for a while) of forms, computers, signatures and little rubber stamps and go back to the cargo area and FIND MY SUITCASES!...

... which they did :) . However the Indian hat was firmly placed back on and I was told that I must wait for someone to enter the the consignment onto the computer before they could release it. Ok, fair enough. Only the guy who does this has been sat next to her, twiddling his thumbs for the past two hours, watching the pale welshman losing his temper across the counter as if I'm some form of entertainment :dontgetit ... So, why doesn't he jsut do it? Because he only enters consignments on the system in the morning. :confused:

So, back to the circus on Monday.

Oh, and my comment about missing stuff: I'm a little worried by the fact that they brought an item from within one of the suitcases to prove that they had my cases. I'll be looking for familiar items of clothing on the staff when I return on Monday:D

To be continued..
#11
| Loud Noisy Bird
Make a new thread of this one, Penri.... I'm sure it'll be worth it.

Oh dear, I hope that doesn't sound pessimistic, it wasn't meant to.

Perhaps I'd better say: Hope the continuing story doesn't warrant a new thread [Blush]
So, why doesn't he jsut do it? Because he only enters consignments on the system in the morning.
I would have blown up at that one... :mad:

...but it wouldn't have done any good. One day maybe I'll learn from Mrs N's subtle and gentle methods of taking on Indian intransigence and winning. But she has a lifetime practice.
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#12
| Senior Member
Here's my penance for taking the thread off topic:

Originally posted by: adunut

We had done moves before but this move is ofcourse at a much larger scale. Specifically with respect to Electric/Electronic appliances. Again any advice on what to pack vs what to sell would be really helpful.

  • Table Lamps: Over the years we had collected some nice table lamps/floor lamps. Does it make sense to get them along, can they be rewired or something for Indian bulbs
  • Refrigirator: Would it be possible to use them in India. do we need a converter?
  • TV Set: It is getting old maybe worthwhile buying a new one. Does it make sense to buy one in India?
  • Washer/Dryer
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Home Theater System


All of these things can be bought in India (I've just done it), and I've found that the prices are around 70-80% of UK (sorry, not sure about US prices). All high spec white goods are available - I went to Viveks(?). The cost of shipping this stuff must be prohibitive?

Originally posted by: adunut
One final question, Does it make sense to ship the car over even if its steering happens to be on the wrong side :) I had seen some folks driving such vehicles, maybe with a bit of a practice is that doable?


Having the steering on the wrong side would be the absolute least of your worries whilst driving in India. As long as the horn is easily accessible; your headlamps are in good working order and that you don't mind your car being bumped, scratched, sat on and moo-ed at, then you'll be fine.

Driving in India is like participating in a giant, dynamic lateral game of tetris. Gotta fill those gaps:D
#13
| Senior Member

Originally posted by: Nick-HI would have blown up at that one... :mad:


I would have too, had I not been expecting it.

I went to the FRO to register my wife as a resident on Tuesday (1pm) only to be told by the idle kiosk immigration staff that I cannot speak to them until the person who hands out kiosk allocation tickets returns from lunch at 2pm... So, after a trip to Spencer Plaza, we return at 2pm only to be told that applications are only considered during the morning. When asked why she didn't tell me this when we spoke an hour before: "You didn't ask". :mad:

Seriously, my wife had to drag me out of there.
#14
| Maha Guru Member

Originally posted by: adunutDoes it make sense to ship the car over even if its steering happens to be on the wrong side :) I had seen some folks driving such vehicles, maybe with a bit of a practice is that doable?

Just in case you haven't already seen it:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjrEQaG5jPM

Should be enough to discourage anyone from driving in India.
#15
| Maha Guru Member

Originally posted by: adunutTV Set: It is getting old maybe worthwhile buying a new one. Does it make sense to buy one in India?


India uses the PAL standard while US is on NTSC. Don't bring the TV unless it also works on PAL.