well what can i say,
it's different, i have just returned to the uk (fri 9th june), will be here until september time then back to Ahmedabad. i have been there 6 times in the last 2 years, our last trip there was from oct 2005 until june 06.
life here takes some getting use to as its so different.
right trying to remember your questions.
driving, forget it, unless you have nerves of steel!, the roads are totally mad, there is a system but 99.9% of the locals do what they want. the local goverment body called AUDA is improving the road system eg traffic lights and lines on the roads but i think it will take time to get people to use them as they should. for transport we would either use a rickshaw of hire a car for the day, costing about 800 rupees, thats with a driver, you cant hire a car and drive yourself. if you buy a car you can hire a driver for about 2000 - 3000 rupees per month, that for 8 hours a day 7 days a week.
there is a british libary there, i have driven passed it many times, but i have not got the address to hand. also there are about 4 stores called Crossword which keep a large selection of international books.
the shopping is something which is growing fast, with many shopping malls opening, at first all the shops where of the little 1 man band type, but now there are super markets, big bazar of which there are 2 stores 1 at the satalite area and one at kankria (10 Acre mall) and then there is Star bazar which is on the way to the satalite area. these stores are quite big and they are now starting to stock more types of western food items, but forget it if you like meat, they dont sell it.
we found that we needed some food parcels from the uk, to give us a change, as the diet there is made up mainly of veg and rice. there are some good cake shops, pizza hut and dominos, oh and Mcdonald (only veg burger, fish and chicken served).
toliet bits, most available, some ladies bits not so easy to get, tampons are very hard to get, my wife took a good supply as only seen them in star bazar and then they dont always have them, all stores have pads though! thats enough of that. as for eveyday bits yes you can get good brands of body wash tooth paste ect.
compared to KL it's another world, but its strange, it does grow on you at first we thought what we doing here we must be mad! but now we are back in the uk it all seems so quite and dull, we return in september came back to avoid the monson season, can be very wet.
day to day there is quite abit of cleaning to do as the city is very dusty, me and the wife where kept busy with this.
there are some good areas for shopping CG road has many shops as for ladies going out by themself, this is not done so much, dont get me wrong you a just as safe as anywhere else but it can be quite intimidating as the indian men do have a habit of looking rather alot, this is at white men aswell, i thought i had grown another head! but now i take on notice of it.
well i hope i have not put you on a downer, it will be hard at first as any new country is, but i myself am looking forward to returning later this year.
if you think of any more questions please ask away, i will do my best to help.
bye for now richard