Moving to Kolkata with Family

#1 Mar 28th, 2009, 23:27
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  • Mparkins is offline
#1
Greetings.
We are expats who have been living in Chennai for the past 14 months and have just been informed that we will be relocated to Kolkatta / Calcutta in April /May, which does not give me much time to get organised.
1. I have 2 sons who are currently in the Billabong school down here and if the Billabong school is decent in Kolkatta then perhaps I will apply there. Can anyone advise on a good english school? My boys are 5 and 7 years old. When does the school year start there? June?
2. Our housing budget is about Rs50 000 per month and we will be looking for something furnished. Can anyone suggest a good agent with contact details? Is this budget realistic for Kolkatta?
3. Is there an "International Woman's club" or something similar which I can join as I would like to meet some other people there. A website address or contact details would be appreciated.I have heard that there are relatively few expats there - where do they all hang out?
4. Is it preferable to have a car there or is transport such as taxis readily available? How easy is it to drive in the traffic?
5. I have seen some residential areas which have been recommended but would prefer a bit more detail. I don't want to make the same mistake we did here in Chennai and move into the middle of nowhere far from life in general. It's horrible.

Thanks in advance for your time. I would ordinarily not ask this many questions and would be happy to explore a city, but I am pushed for time and need to get settled fairly quickly so that my sons can get into school and not have their routine upset too much.

Michelle
#2 Mar 30th, 2009, 04:47
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  • mitzijanell is offline
#2
3. kolkatakiwc@gmail.com
4. best to have a car and a driver
5. many expats live in S Kolkata and Alipore
#3 Mar 30th, 2009, 05:20
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  • RPG is offline
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mparkins View Post 4. Is it preferable to have a car there or is transport such as taxis readily available? How easy is it to drive in the traffic?
5. I have seen some residential areas which have been recommended but would prefer a bit more detail. I don't want to make the same mistake we did here in Chennai and move into the middle of nowhere far from life in general. It's horrible.
If you drive in Chennai (unlikely but I suppose possible), then you can drive in Kolkata. If not, then not. There is a surplus of taxis and they are freely available most of the time. They are all old clunkers, but they are a good fit to the slow traffic.

It is impossible to advise on location without some more specifics. Some weeks ago there was a thread started by someone who asked about living in Garia, and people here were able to tell her that this was unequivocally a bad idea. But other areas may be good or bad, it depends. Kolkata is big and traffic is heavy, so living not too far from work and schools is advisable. On the other hand, central areas are more expensive. It is hard to respond to such a general question.
#4 Mar 30th, 2009, 14:57
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  • chief61 is offline
#4
I guess "Calcutta International School " will be good
for your kids , since most of the expatriates kids are
there ,

Near to this school you will find lot condos along the
EM bypass , rental rates on average for 3 BHK apartment
goes from Rs.15000-25000 per month.

For House rent etc try www.sulekha.com .
its a good site for finding upmarket rental
apartment in Kolkata.

Cheers
Rainbow Warrior.
#5 Apr 15th, 2009, 14:54
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#6 May 30th, 2009, 11:40
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#6
Thanks to all of you who helped. We managed to find a great house in the Vedic Village. Bit of a trek into town, but really don't mind. I am far happier living on a resort, than I would have been amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. Chennai cured me of that.

I am however looking for some stores which may stock imported products - Toblerone, Nutella, decent cheese, cold meats etc...
Can anyone recommend some?

M
#7 May 30th, 2009, 12:46
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  • RPG is offline
#7
Vedic Village? Sounds like a good place to isolate oneself from the real Kolkata.

There are some newer malls with upscale supermarkets selling imported foods. I only know the ones in S. Kolkata...South City Mall, and the giant supermarket on the east side of the bypass road (Reliance?). But I am sure there are others closer to where you are. Don't expect the offerings to be quite as good as in Chennai, since Chennai is much richer and more westernized.
#8 Jun 4th, 2009, 00:13
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  • mitzijanell is offline
#8
Spencers, especially the hypermarts, will have some of the goods you are looking for. Also, the bakery at the Taj Bengal Hotel has imported western goods.

By the way, have they repaired the roads leading to Vedic Village. I stayed there one weekend and the horrible roads were so stressful that I was in a really bad mood when I got there. They said they were planning to repair...
#9 Jun 4th, 2009, 00:15
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  • mitzijanell is offline
#9
You can also get imported western food goods from a shop at Forum Mall.
#10 Jun 6th, 2009, 19:02
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  • callyo is offline
#10
I have also used Krishna stores - based in Alipore, but a great source of foreign products that you can't find easily elsewhere. The international women's group meets on the first Saturday of each month.
#11 Nov 8th, 2009, 05:12
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  • holikarang is offline
#11
hi, does anyone know if there is any chance of finding imported food in North Kolkata or does one need to get it in South Kolkata only?
I'm going to spend some time in Kolkata for the first time this Winter and I have some special health requirements, I have to cook my own food most of the times and try to avoid spicy food most of the times. I usually stay in Delhi and this hasn't been a big issue as long as I have a kitchen, but they told me in Kolkata it's much harder to find imported food. In case I can still do with basmati/dal and vegetables, but I would like to vary sometimes...
holikarang
#12 Nov 9th, 2009, 10:49
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#12
Where in north kolkata ? What do you mean by imported foods?

Pasta(barilla), pasta sauces etc will be available in bigbazaar in baguiati and kakurgachi.
#13 Nov 9th, 2009, 17:05
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  • holikarang is offline
#13
well, as every Italian, as long as I have pasta, I don't need 'imported pasta sauces', we make them, heheh...
anyway I can have roti and rice instead, my main concern is finding some tuna, cheese soya and soya milk as I can only have dal now and then and not every day and I can't have milk or meat at all.

I still don't have a precise accomodation, but it should be close enough to Bagbazar as far as I know, I guess Kankurgachi is quite close, isn't it?
#14 Nov 9th, 2009, 17:17
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  • Priyanka Chanda is offline
#14
u get plenty of pasta,cheese-stuff at Spencer Hyper, which is there in the Mani Square Mall...which is on E.M.Bypass, near the swabhumi-Hyatt crossing, and is very much on the northern part of the city...north-east to be precise!
Cheers,

Priyanka
#15 Nov 9th, 2009, 17:21
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  • Priyanka Chanda is offline
#15
bagbazar to kakurgachi is about 15 min.s w/o traffic of course! otherwise its difficult to predict the length of the journey with the bustling traffic which is usually there in the mornings and evenings...prmarily during office hours, that is!

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