So You Want To Move To Woodstock, Part IV: General Supply

So You Want To Move To Woodstock, Part IV: General Supply


India has a surprising ability: you can find almost anything, for a price. However, sometimes those things you cannot find cannot be bought for love, money, or anything else. Here’s a list of things Adam and I strongly encourage people to bring over – and notes on what our usual “resupply list” is when we go back West.


  • Flannel and/or fleece sheets: Excellent for monsoon and for winter, we’ve abandoned regular sheets in favour of these. An Indian double bed is literally that – two singles pushed together – so bring a set of King-sized sheets (especially if going the fitted route) to make sure they fit.
  • Foodstuffs, as mentioned with the Kitchen post: we bring back flavoured teas, maple syrup, parmesan cheese, beef jerky, spices, and various other oddments. Friends have suggested pepperoni and other dried meats, which we hope to do this year.
  • Sporting equipment: If you’re into specialized sports – whether it’s running, biking, kayaking, climbing, football (of either breed) or something else… if you have good gear, bring it with you. You may be able to find equipment to tide you over, but specialized running shoes, bicycle equipment, climbing harnesses, and so on are not easy to find – and may either be very expensive or of questionable quality.
  • Hobby equipment: If you’re into fiber arts such as knitting or crocheting, you’ve probably seen balls of yarn in your local yarn store: Indian wool, sari silk spun into yarn, and so on. Those do not exist in India – and buying non-acrylic yarn is virtually impossible. Acrylic is of variable weight, and while functional, is always questionable on whether you can get the colors you want in the weight you want. We have found undyed cotton yarn available by the kilogram at KKM (which would need to be used carefully, as it often includes the cotton hulls and other detritus), and apparently a local shop will sell wool… in 10kg increments. Needles are always (Indian) size 8 straights. Anticipate similar situations for other crafts – you may be able to get your supplies but they will not necessarily be comparable to what you would get in your home country. This does mean it’s a great opportunity to try something new out, without a lot of purchase commitment.
  • Electronics: A minimum 10% import tax on electronics means anything from outside the country is a pricey option. If you come from a country like England or Australia who shares a voltage/frequency with India, you’ll be in good shape to transition your electronics. For anyone else… you may need a converter, a transformer, or both. Dehradun boasts a number of name-brand opportunities, from LG to Whirlpool to Canon, so it is possible to find familiar brands. Before bringing lots of electronics out, however – talk with a buddy or a current staff member to find out what outlets will be like in your new house! Our kitchen has exactly six outlets in it: two set specifically for the washer & dryer, one specifically for the water filter, one specifically for the refrigerator… leaving us with one “large” outlet and one “small” outlet to use the remaining appliances with. We have one outlet in our living room that can run the vacuum – though there are a total of 4 outlets there!
  • Computers in particular: Computers are best purchased in your home country (and our best tech support is for Dell, HP and Lenovo – but locally we have a number of IT people who can offer repairs). A desktop is not suggested for a number of reasons, among them power surges and the unpredictable power outages, plus the lack of portability. Woodstock offers a Bring Your Own Computer program for teachers (I’m not certain about other staff), so it may be a good thing to discuss with your supervisor before coming out. Another not-suggested thing is a Chromebook: while pretty and quite reasonably priced, the internet challenges here mean they are not the best computing decision. (For what it’s worth, Adam has a new Sony VAIO Flip, and my new computer is an Acer Aspire – both purchased in the USA).
  • Clothing: This topic gets its whole own post next in the series, but suffice to say India is excellent for raw fabrics and bespoke items – but things like stretchy knits, athletic mesh, and ready-made high-quality pieces are a pain to find. Jeans are available (I know of at least 3 Levi’s stores) but often cater to trends (… and all of those Levi’s stores only stock skinny-leg jeans for women) or have a very limited supply. It cannot be said enough that unless you like shopping for your unmentionables at a roadside stall – consider bringing them from abroad, especially if you’re a brand-fanatic or on the larger end of the spectrum (US cup size of C or higher for bras), and/or you want very durable clothing.
  • Assorted Things: Space-Saver vacuum bags; giant Ziploc bags (both for storing clothes off-season or in monsoon), silica gel packets (for being included with electronics during monsoon), a hatchet (for trimming wood to size in winter), any great medical ointments/products you love (Paw-Paw Ointment from Australia, Orajel for teething babies, the fancy Tylenol with codeine (222’s? 220s?) that we always get when we’re back in Canada for my migraines), toys (for adults or children – our Perplexus gets a lot of wear and tear, from our 6month old to the grade 12’s who play with it!), good headlamps/flashlights.


If you have any questions on what you can – or can’t – get here, just ask!

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