10 rules for expat life in Bangalore
Ema Trinidad, Vice president of the Bangalore Expatriate Club (BEC) shares with us some tips that will help you prepare for your new life in a new city.
People these days leave their home countries to live and work abroad for a wider variety of reasons than ever before. Expats moving to new countries may often find themselves having to deal confusing and contradictory traditions and various other cultural differences. It’s almost never easy leaving home and getting started in a new place. Ema Trinidad, Vice president of the Bangalore Expatriate Club (BEC) talks to us about how expats who move to the city can acclimatize with these ten rules.
1. Become a member of an expatriate club like the Bangalore Expatriate Club (www.bangalore-expatriate-club.com). You will get a lot of support and assistance from fellow expats who have lived here for some time. You will know where the best places to eat and shop in the city. Also you will get good deals and discounts if you are a member of this Club.
2. Learn some basic Kannada words which can help you when shopping or commuting.
3. You should learn the art of bargaining with whatever you buy in Bangalore (especially in stores with no fixed prices). When you are a foreigner, vendors usually double the selling price, so be smart.
4. Do not enclose yourself in a community where you only deal with expats like you. You are in India; you can only experience the richness of Indian culture by going out and interacting with the locals.
5. Learn to eat with your hands when you are in a gathering or a restaurant where Indians are eating with their bare hands. Your host will warm up to you when they see that you are exerting the effort to experience their culture and you do not try to be so "foreign."
6. If you do not want to be stared at, avoid wearing skimpy or sexy clothes in broad daylight in very public places. If you are comfortable with eyes popping out, go ahead.
7. If you ever dare wear a saree one day, do not buy the ones that are pre-sewn and you just wear like a skirt. Do it the traditional Indian way -- drape it. You will miss the beauty and the fun of wearing this beautiful costume if you do it the easy way.
8. Learn to recognize the meaning of the famous Indian head shake. A head shake means Yes!
9. Do not always travel in the comfort of your air-conditioned car. Take the autorickshaw sometimes. It could be challenging at times, but that's how you experience the real India.
10. Stop complaining! Foreigners usually complain a lot about everything. Observe, analyze and adopt. There is no perfect society. Learn to accept the things you cannot change, have the courage and patience to change the things you can. Be grateful for the privileges you also enjoy as expats here -- having your own maid, driver, gardener and cook (which could be unaffordable back home).