Visit to discover Indian blogs


Shopping for home appliances in Lagos

Hey expat in Lagos! How have you been? What? You missed me? Aww… I missed you, too. I know it’s been really long, but I wasn’t well so could not take you to shopping. Taking good care of your health in this coastal city is of utmost importance. I will tell you all about the healthcare some time soon, but for now let’s go shopping. Are you ready with your wish list?

A TV, refrigerator, microwave, mixer and grinder, cooking range, ACs, fans and washing machine… anything else? “That’s pretty much it.” You are missing out on a very important thing, an inverter. You must be thinking what will I do with the inverter when I already have a generator for the back-up. Well, generator isn’t for the back-up, consider it your main source of power. Electric supply is the real back up here.  Most of the time you would be depending on the inverter since you can’t keep the generator running all the time. Some time it’s the fuel issue and sometimes you just need to spend a peaceful hour at home. And don’t forget to add stabilizers to that list to keep your appliances safe.

One of the most dependable places to buy all these things, in my opinion, are Cash ‘N’ Carry stores. We have around four stores dotting the city all the way from Ikeja to VI. Besides this, SPAR stores also have an array of home appliances. We have three stores of SPAR in Lagos. And for the typical Indian things, one of the stores in Ilupeju is the place to go, but more on it later.

If online shopping is your thing, than you can also checkout ecommerce sites like Jumia and Konga, but personally, I won’t recommend buying expensive appliances online. You can’t really be sure about the quality of electrical devices. I would rather suggest that you go to an authorized dealer and buy all that you need.

Now that you have acquired most of the bigger home furnishings and appliances, next time we will go looking for all the kitchen utensils and accessories that you need to finally settle down in your new home. Cya soon, my dear expat in Lagos!


Shopping for home furnishings in Lagos

Hope you enjoyed long weekend of Eid, I too had relaxing time that is why I couldn’t write to you earlier. But now the wait is over. I’m all set to help my dear expat in Lagos settle down. Let’s go shopping for your household goods.
There are so many things to buy from furniture to electronics to utensils. So where do we start? We can’t buy everything in a day. We will need to invest 2-3 weekends to establish a fully-functional household.
Let’s go furniture shopping today. We have some nice furniture shops in Ikeja like Bedmate, Lifemate Furniture, Dream Home Furnishing, Adam and Eve. In VI, too, you will see some eye grabbing stores like American Furniture Gallery, Vava Furniture among others. Here you will definitely find some quality things, but they will come at a price. If you are looking for something at a lower price range, than I would suggest that you get it made. This will give you the choice of upholstery and style. You will have a free hand to decorate your house with your choice of colours and styles. Moreover, as I told you earlier, here the houses aren’t well-planned, so getting the furniture made to order makes much more sense.
If you still think the prices are still high, then you can always buy second hand pieces. Most of the expats in Lagos, while moving out or while upgrading their homes sell the old furniture and other household goods. They generally put up ads in the social networking sites. If this what you want, keep your eyes open and alert your friends too about your needs. Next time we can go buy all the appliances that you need.

Welcome home!

So you have put a seal on the deal. Right? “Ya, and I’m ready to move in, just need to pack a few things.” O wait, wait, my dear expat in Lagos. What’s the hurry? I know, I know, you need to settle down and all. But before you establish it as your home, please get it fumigated and painted. If your home owner has already got it done then consider yourself lucky.

Bugs and rodents are a big problem in this coastal city of Lagos. And I know you won’t want to run after a cockroach with a spray in your hand, when you still are unpacking. Best to get fumigation done and leave the house locked for a couple of days.
Moreover, it’s advisable to check all the electrical points and switches and all the taps and showers one more time. It’s easier to get the repairs done now rather than doing it while residing in the house.
Well, that seems to be all for now…No, no one more thing. you collected your prepaid electricity card and got it recharged? If not, then do so and get your generator functional.
Now, you are welcome home, my dear expat in Lagos!SONY DSC
Next time, I will take you shopping. Let’s make this house your home.

Looking for apartment in Lagos – Checklist

My dear expat in Lagos,
As promised last week, I’m here with the checklist for you before you say yes to that house. Without much ado, here’s the list of the points that you should keep in mind while taking a house on rent in Lagos.
1 Repairs
Negotiate with your real estate agent about what all repairs you would want him to do. Haggle your way to suit your pocket, don’t be shy. But remember this will not be the only time when you will need to get things right. Save the numbers of plumbers, carpenters etc for future use.
2 Pre-paid electricity meter
Always check what kind of meter is installed at the house. If it’s a postpaid one then be ready to see hugely inflated power bills. Go for pre-paid NEPA meter and life will be much easier. And also see that you have a place to install your generator.
3 Borewell and water tank
You don’t get the municipal water supply here, so please ensure that your house has a borewell and you have a water tank of your own. I’m sure you won’t like to pick up a fight with your neighbours over water. Would you? For kitchen use, you will have to depend on packaged drinking water.
4 Security guard
Please ensure that you have a security guard at the property. Besides 24X7 security cover, his job is to man the gate, turn on and off the generator as and when needed and ensuring that water tank is full at all times. The boy can also help you with some random errands, if needed.
5 Boy’s Quarters
Generally the houses with a boy’s quarters (BQ) or servant quarters come at a higher cost, but it’s always advisable to go for one with the room. If you have a BQ then you would never have difficulty in finding a domestic help.
6 Parking lot
Before you finalize the house, ensure that you have a designated parking area otherwise it could cause conflict with other residents of the property.
7 Neighborhood
As an expat in Lagos, it would be better for you to have your own countrymen as your neighbours, but it’s your personal choice. My suggestion is that you talk to your neighbours about the pros and cons of staying in that area. No one could be a better guide than those already staying there.
8 Payment
When in Lagos, you don’t pay rent monthly, the house owner takes money for the entire period of the lease, which could be anything like one year or two years or even three. So make calculations accordingly and keep the money ready. Read the documents carefully before you ink the deal.

Well, that’s all for now. But don’t worry I won’t leave you alone until I help you make Lagos your home. See you next time!


Looking for apartment in Lagos – II

Hi there! Have you zeroed in on the area you want to make your home, away from home? “Yes.” Then the first step would be to find a real estate agent. Even if you see ‘To Let’ boards here, you will still need to contact the agent, who’s number is given on the ad. Here, house owners don’t really do the talking. You will have to negotiate with representative of the landlord.
By the way, when you go looking for apartments in Lagos, don’t be surprised if you don’t find a well-designed house. But to make up for this flaw, the places here are generally big and spacious. If you see a room with a sink in one corner, then it means that’s going to be your kitchen. It’s common here not to have any slabs and cabinets in the kitchen. Even cupboards could be missing. You will either have to get these things done yourself or you will have to ask your agent to get the job done as per your wishes, but you will have to haggle with him over the expenses.
Besides these points, you will have to keep your checklist handy before you sign the dotted line. And don’t worry, next time, when I see you, I will have the checklist ready for you.


Looking for an apartment in Lagos – I

IMG_20170529_190021426I hope your stay is comfortable at the hotel of your choice. What? You are missing the warmth of home? No wahala, for those new to Nigeria, wahala means problem. Let’s go apartment hunting.
Before you start looking for an apartment in Lagos, you need to first decide which area of the city you like more. My suggestion is to put up near your office to escape the heavy traffic jams.
There are many areas where Indians live such as Victoria Island, Lekki, Ikeja, Ilupeju, Gbagada (pronounced Bagada), Anthony village. These are just a few areas where you can start looking for an apartment in Lagos, but most of the Indians live in Ilupeju because of the proximity to the Indian Language School, which is affiliated with CBSE, and a couple of Indian stores.
Rent in these places starts from 1.2 million naira per year and if your budget allows you can go for a service apartment for a minimum of 3.5 million naira. Generally, your company provides you the house, so it depends on how well you negotiate the terms with your employers before joining your new job. To those who don’t understand the difference between the service apartment and the regular apartment, let me enlighten you – service apartment comes equipped with a generator. You must be thinking why would you need a generator, when you can do with an inverter, but believe you me, generator is the life line here, in fact in entire Nigeria. Your life here will be mostly dependent on generator for power supply here is very erratic. So no matter which apartment you choose, you will definitely need a power source.
This is not all, you will need to know many other things before you go out take an apartment in Lagos on rent, so stay tuned for a detailed guideline. See you next time!

Finding Hotel in Lagos – III

Are you still standing at the airport and weighing your options for hotels? Don’t worry, let’s take a round of the city and look for some pocket-friendly alternatives. Lagos is not know as the financial capital of Nigeria for no reason, you can take your pick, depending on your budget. Not just budget hotels, let’s also check out some of the Indian hotels that will serve you your home cuisine. You won’t have to worry about the curry.
If you are looking to save some money and still enjoy the luxury, then you can try settling in Ibis Hotels, one of which is near the airport and the other one in Ikeja. Here you can stay in style for only $55-60. Then there is beautiful property in Victoria Island called The Blowfish. You can even enjoy a dip in the inviting pool there and the room rent is just around $80. And guess what, they even serve Indian food at their restaurant called Purple, besides other cuisines.
Other hotels that serve desi food include Smridu Hotel in Ikeja’s calm and green part called GRA. Here you can get a room for around $65. But if you want to stay near the Indian dominated area, then you can either check into the Hotel Newcastle or Hotel Anantara where you can get a room for something around $50.
Besides these hotels you can also check in to one of the many guest houses in the city. And before I sum up, let me remind you there is always a cheaper option at Airbnb where you can strike a deal even before landing in Nigeria. Stay safe. See you next week at a new place.

Finding hotel in Lagos – II

A ride to Victoria Island from Mohammad Murtala International Airport via the Third Mainland Bridge is a precursor to what beauty you are going to witness, once you enter the most-affluent area of Lagos. The 12-km bridge over the Lagos Lagoon was once Africa’s longest, but even today, it’s still as majestic. Driving over water is such a calming experience!
Victoria Island besides being the main business and financial hub of the state is also home to most of the consulates and thus has many hotels. But today we will check out some of the best that the city has to offer.
Let me first take you to the Intercontinental Lagos that looks over the port and gives you an uninterrupted view of the city’s skyline and mostly plays host to diplomatic travellers in Lagos.
If you want a heady mix of business and leisure, then I would love to show you the rocking Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel. It’s perfect for the business traveller as it’s very close to all the corporate headquarters and when you are done toiling hard, you can head to the nearby malls to unwind.
If you want to experience the real Africa, I would suggest you should check into Eko Hotels and Suites. They offer the traditional African hospitality blended perfectly with modernity, at par with international standards.
To enjoy all these beautiful places all you need to do is loosen your purse strings and spend anything between 190 to 1400 USD. Ouch! Is it out of your budget? Don’t worry we will go looking for some budget hotels next week. Until then, enjoy the water views!

Finding hotel in Lagos – 1

“Taxi!” Hey, wait. There’s no need to shout for a cab. At Lagos, even before you are out of the airport, there will be 10 people asking you if you need a taxi and chances are if you are here on a business trip your employers would have already arranged for your transportation.
So the big question now is “Where to?” Don’t worry, I’m there to help you select one of the good hotels near the airport in Lagos. I suggest that you stay in mainland Lagos if your office is there and put up in the beautiful Victoria Island only if you are going to work there. Both mainland and the island are a part of this bustling city, but, believe me, you don’t want to get stuck in the never-ending traffic jam, which in pidgin English is called the “go-slow” and aptly so.
So, for mainland, I would like to take you to the newly-opened De Renaissance Hotel or the tried and tested Protea Hotel, then there is classic Sheraton, all different brands of Marriott hotels. All three are located in and around Ikeja, where most of the businesses are based.
All three 4-star hotels are within 5-km range from Murtala Mohmmad International Airport. You can enjoy all top-class amenities, such as swimming pool and gym and free WiFi, for anything between $95 to $950, depending on your choice of room.
If that’s not what you are looking for, then we can go to the beautiful Victoria Island for hotel hunting next week.
Until then, have a pleasant stay!