What is the housing for diplomats like?

In 2013, I stayed with a consul general’s assistant from a western country while in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. He lived by himself – no wife, no kids, no roommates.

He had a fully furnished four bedroom (all ensuite – three full, one 3/4) apartment in Poes Garden (same neighborhood as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu) . Marble floors, huge western style kitchen with giant oven and fridge. He also had on demand hot water (though it smelled heavily of sulphur), and empty tree lined streets that were reminiscent of typical American suburbs.

While the power went out regularly in the rest of the city, theirs was almost never turned off because the Chief Minister’s house was in the same neighborhood. He said she had backup generators just in case of an extended outage, not to mention the half dozen armed guards at the gate.

If I remember correctly, he said the rent the embassy paid was in the neighborhood of $4000 USD a month not including utilities or his two maids. My guess is that it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 3000 square feet.

Here’s a photo of our room:

Formal dining room and entrance to kitchen:

Living room:

And remember he’s just one of the assistants.

In 2008, I had a similar experience staying with another consul general’s assistant from a western country (though not as rich) in Bogota, Colombia. It was in a very nice apartment in a wealthy area. Two bedrooms, one full ensuite with a walk in closet, one shared bathroom with a rainfall shower. Large open plan kitchen/dining/living room with Ikea style furnishings and a large fireplace in the middle of the room.

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