Category: Lifestyle

My time in the UK – Part 2

We moved into our rented flat in North Finchley in May of 2011. The flat was a medium-sized two-bedroom unit within a low-rise brick unit of flats. It was located on the ground floor and had a separate entrance through the kitchen. The place was tastefully done and perfect for a small family.

The place was about a 7 minute walk from the local high street which had pretty much all the shops one would need to frequent. The public bus terminus was a 12 minute walk while the metro stop was about 15 minutes away (it was on the other side of the high street from where we were located). It was a bit of a commute to my office (around 45 minutes) but that was an improvement over my previous commutes in Sydney and Mumbai, so I was not complaining!

May was a great time of the year to begin our new innings in London. The trees were by now all green, the weather was steadily getting warmer and the days longer. Work was also very busy, and after a couple of months, we decided to take a small road trip which I will write about later.

Finally, a note on the shops that we used to visit. For groceries and other essentials, our primary port of call was Sainsbury’s. We also had options at either end nearby – Aldi when we wanted to be more budget conscious and Waitrose for the occasional splurge! A special note for the ready-to-eat pizzas and other items we found at Waitrose – these were delicious, and far better than any we had seen elsewhere. There was a fashion store with good quality reasonably prized clothes for the entire family, Argos for domestic products as well as charity shops from where I added to my CD collection. There was an Indian store manned by people of Indian (Gujarati) origin where we could find delicious Indian and Gujarati food items. With a few cafes and restaurants nearby, the place was pretty much self-sufficient.

Why is Muesli so expensive in India?

Photo by Ovidiu Creanga on

I didn’t know Muesli until I went abroad a little over a decade ago. And once I discovered them, they were my favourite breakfast item.

After moving back to India, I fell back on the comfort of delicious, warm and fresh South Indian breakfasts. Idlis, dosas, upmas, poha, sabudana khichdi (ok, the last two are not strictly South Indian), washed down by a cup of South Indian filter coffee are as different as they come from the traditional continental (European) breakfast.

Having said that, I did miss my Muesli. And when I started to hunt for Muesli in India, I realised that:

  • It is reasonably easy to find, especially on online grocery sites
  • The range is reasonably diverse
  • They cost a bomb!

To elaborate on the last point, a kilo of muesli costs between 1.5 to 2.2 pounds (I am sure they could go higher) in the UK. Even if we assume an average of 2 pounds per kilo, that translates to around Rs. 200 per kilo.

The typical price in India for a kilo of Muesli varies from around Rs. 450 to Rs. 600. It’s safe to assume an average price of Rs. 500. This makes Muesli in India 2.5 times more expensive than Muesli in the UK!

I am curious as to what could be the reasons for this steep differential. Is it that the ingredients for a Muesli are more expensive in India? Is it because the market size is small and therefore, the per unit overhead costs are higher? Or is it simply a case that manufacturers know that the target audience of Muesli consumers can afford to pay these high rates?

I am not an expert, but would love to learn more about this phenomenon. Please do comment if you have any insights.

Albums of the Week

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The music albums I listened to in the past week:

  • Contemporary:
    • Dua Lipa – Dua Lipa
  • Classic Rock:
    • After The Gold Rush – Neil Young
    • Bryter Layter – Nick Drake
  • Alternative:
    • In Utero – Nirvana
    • Different Class – Pulp
    • Parklife – Blue
    • Kid A – Radiohead
    • Kimono My House – Sparks
  • R&B / Rap:
    • My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West
    • channel ORANGE – Frank Ocean
    • Starboy – The Weeknd

Albums of the Week

Photo by Alina Vilchenko on

I had written some time back that I had not been enjoying listening to music for a while. Well, I am glad to say that the joy is back! The secret, I realised, was to eschew the random playlists and radio stations and go back to what I had called, Slow Music. Pick an artist and listen to an entire album of theirs in one sitting.

I have been listening to a few albums over the past couple of weeks. I thought it might be good to create list of these, so I can refer back to them later. So, in no particular order, here are some of the albums that I have enjoyed over the past couple of weeks:

  • Jazz:
    • Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
    • A Love Supreme – John Coltrane
    • Relaxing with the Miles Davis Quintet – The Miles Davis Quintet
  • Classic Rock:
    • Hunky Dory – David Bowie
    • Bella Donna – Stevie Nicks
    • Deja Vu – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
    • Harvest – Neil Young
  • Alternative:
    • Document – REM
    • Meteora – Linkin Park
    • Slanted & Enchanted – Pavement
    • The Queen is Dead – The Smiths
  • Easy Listening:
    • Tapestry – Carole King
    • Blue – Joni Mitchell
    • Feels Like Home – Norah Jones
  • R & B / Disco:
    • Talking Book – Stevie Wonder
    • C’est Chic – Chic
  • Contemporary:
    • Future Nostalgia – Dua Lipa
    • Manic – Halsey