The India pied-à-terre: Video Tour of Big Construction Mess & Confusing Electrical Outlets

First, I am so so so SO sorry! I’m so sorry I’m one of those people who hold their phones vertical when filming video. Yeah I’m one of them. After uploading a bunch of vertical videos, I will never do it again! But you’d think with everything technology can do now, couldn’t phones give us a warning when we hold our phones vertical: “Ummm, hey vertical lady, how about considering filming video horizontal? Really, it’s highly suggested. You might like the result better.”

There was no warning. So here’s some vertical videos for you. These are from our apartment in Chennai, India, filmed last September. I shared them on my personal Facebook, but not here yet. Video is the best way to get a feel for the place and see all my confusion with the electrical outlets. :)

These first two videos give a glimpse of all the workers in the apartment at once, and all the frenzied progress. Hit the “Full Screen” button to see these videos big enough to actually see them:

Sorry if you got seasick watching that. I learned fast and filmed this one slower:

I’m still surprised at how much we accomplished in 3 weeks last September. We finished two bathrooms, painted all the walls and ceilings of the whole entire place plus the outside stairwell, repaired the balcony railings, lined all the walls with baseboard molding. We also installed A/C, clothes washing machine, hot water booster, oven, range, fridge and kitchen sink. And we installed a lot of electrical lights indoors and outdoors. Whew!!! AND we attended my niece’s 3-day wedding.

After the first morning’s work, we popped into the apartment around lunch time and found it was nap time! And I also found a big mess:

Everyone worked on the floor. Some built tools on-site, like a miter box.

Also to explain my shoes … it’s customary to remove your shoes at the door in India. Even in all this construction mess, the workers removed their shoes. I wasn’t going to walk barefoot for safety reasons. I work for a safety organization and there were so many hazards here (note how they were using the electrical outlets to power their tools). My shoes didn’t go out on the streets so I hopefully wasn’t tracking much stuff into the apartment.

Here, I could NEVER figure out all these light switch panels! I still haven’t figured them out! (also please excuse my voice, I already am not thrilled with listening to it and it’s bouncing around all the hard surfaces of this place):

This was filmed on our last day in India last September. The apartment as we left it, after all the workers were done. You’ll see confusing light switches again:

I can hear here, the cough I always pick up from exposure to the road pollution. I get out there in the roads, walking to the paint store and other shops, walking to restaurants, and riding in rickshaws.

Finally, here’s the place cleaned up before we locked the door … until next time …

I showed super cool detail on the farmhouse table imported from Indonesia. Love it! And the three ceiling pendants I stenciled and had our electrician install. Love those too.

And you see that the electrical switches that I know very well are those that control the ceiling fans and the air conditioning. Very important electrical switches in the heat and humidity of Chennai, India.

I have some videos showing bathroom details, which I’ll share later! This is enough annoying vertical videos for now.

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3 Replies to “The India pied-à-terre: Video Tour of Big Construction Mess & Confusing Electrical Outlets”

  1. Thank you for sharing your home with us. It’s so enjoyable to see the progression. I look forward to the finished ‘product’! You are an inspiration. Have you ever thought about having a small, private group to take on a shopping/eating/girltime trip around your area?

    1. Thank you so much Susan! :) Maybe some day I will host a group. It would be fun to share India with people, and going there for the first time is easier when you go with someone already familiar with the country.

      You might be surprised by this, but I really don’t know Chennai or other areas of India well enough to feel I could lead people! I go for only a few weeks every few years (trying to get there annually now), and for the first 5 or so trips, I really only saw the living rooms and homes of my in-laws’ relatives there. We did not see much else at all. Now that my husband visits India more often, family maybe feels like they see enough of him. And now that construction on our place is done, we’ll spend less time at lumber and toilet stores!! So we can now branch out and see a bit more. On my next trip, I even want to learn to drive there, so I can go places I want to see and not be limited by where people want to send me. I hope on future trips to experience more of what’s around Chennai – restaurants, shopping, cultural experiences other than temples. Maybe some day I’ll feel qualified to be able to host people! It would be fun!! Meanwhile, I’ve been looking up hosted trips myself, especially in Northern India (Jaipur, would love to see!).

  2. Thanks for your reply! You’ve definitely got your work cut out for you :) I’ll look forward to updates on your adventure!

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