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I am an expat living in India AMA

27 replies

jjwelcomd · 13/07/2018 23:00

just that really......

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nervousnails · 13/07/2018 23:13

Where in India are you? Hows the weather? What do you enjoy about India? Also, are people friendly and welcoming? Sorry, too many questions.

jjwelcomd · 13/07/2018 23:20

Hi Nervous,

I live in the South of India - Bangalore.

I enjoy the culture, the people, the weather (but not the mosquitoes), the culture. The fact that anything you want to learn or do you can do at a very low cost.

Bangalore is very temperate because it is high up on a plateau so it can actually get frosty in the winter (in the morning) despite being in the South and very close to the hottest part of India - Tamil Nadu.

The people are amazing. No matter how poor they will help you - foreigner or Indian. They are welcoming and kind. Extremely community orientated. I have learned the importance of community from living in India.

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WhatCanIDoNowPlease · 13/07/2018 23:50

Why India?

What do you do each day?

Do you visit temples?

Do you miss Wilkos, Boots and Sainsbury's? (That is a serious question.)

How often do you come back to the UK, assuming that's where you're from?

waterlego6064 · 13/07/2018 23:55

Oh, I would love to visit India. I’d love to hear about the food! What sorts of things do you eat regularly? What are the best dishes of your region?

ClaudiaWankleman · 13/07/2018 23:56

What do you think the difference between an expat and an immigrant is?

jjwelcomd · 14/07/2018 00:09


Why India?
My husband works there heading up a huge outsourcing project for his company

What do you do each day?

I wake up at 5:30 to send my kids to school - it starts at 8:30 but the traffic is so bad they need to leave at 6:45 to get there on time (school bus)

7-8:00 working out at compound gym

10:30 usually head out to meet friends or to shops for groceries and/or on to various charity projects I am involved in.

2pm Home to sort out dinner, admin,

5pm Kids arrive home - then homework and extra curricular activities.

Dh works evenings so I'm usually in bed same time as kids at 8:30

I have a maid and a cook. The cook arrives at 9:30 and prepares the evening meals before she leaves at 2 - (she prepares Indian and Western food, cleans the kitchen and does our ironing). The maid arrives at 12 and stays until 8. She cleans the house and takes care of our dog. She also babysits - anytime I need it.

Do you visit temples?
On a day to day, no. Although I have taken time time to visit the important temples in the region and if any of our helpers has a special occasion I will go. There are temples on every street corner, and one right on the boundary of our property (which is very noisy) so I might not be there physically, but I am for sure there in every other aspect (and I LOVE it).

Do you miss...
YES YES and Yes it's the best part about coming home. That said, with a bit of effort you can get most things there.

How often...(I'm Scottish)
Due to a medical situation I come back quarterly. If it wasn't for that I would come back annually. I love it there, and will be very sad when I can no longer claim it as part of me.

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jjwelcomd · 14/07/2018 00:10


Oh, I would love to visit India. I’d love to hear about the food! What sorts of things do you eat regularly? What are the best dishes of your region?

MASALA DOSA x10000000000000

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jjwelcomd · 14/07/2018 00:13


What do you think the difference between an expat and an immigrant is?

Personally speaking: I'm there supported by a company - they organise my visa, my transport in and out, my housing, my medical insurance, my tax. When I leave they ship me out and sort out my tax. IMO an immigrant is someone who moves to a country and stays there under their own steam.

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waterlego6064 · 14/07/2018 00:29

Thanks, I’ll see if I can find one. Or maybe a recipe!

waterlego6064 · 14/07/2018 00:31

I’ve just looked it up and love the look and sound of it. Not sure I fancy my chances at making dosa- I’m shit at pancakes 😬 Will give it a go though.

jjwelcomd · 14/07/2018 00:35

best thing about it is the potato - amazing and quirky addition to a roast...

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Girlgoneglobal · 14/07/2018 00:42

@jjwelcomd couldn't agree with you more. Used to live in Chennai, loved it, and miss a proper masala dosa (plus chutneys) more than I ever thought possible! Have a few for me please.

jjwelcomd · 14/07/2018 00:49


home for the summer holidays but OMG the cashew chutney.... my cook is Tamil btw

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nervousnails · 14/07/2018 06:57

@waterlego go to your local sri lankan market. They sell Dosa batter. Just pour onto a hot gridle and you have dosas. I have eaten masala dosa and I am not a fan. Too carby and makes me dull. Must be the quality. Never eaten 'proper' ones.

OP, Do people stare a lot because you are non-indian? I got that a lot when I visited India a few years back.

Itchytights · 14/07/2018 07:00

I have heard that when people travel to India, many people become ill with gastric type illnesses.

Has this happened to you and your family?
How do you avoid it?

I ask that as an emetephobe who would love to travel there but am put off a bit by this.

squashyhat · 14/07/2018 07:43

Itchytights I never had a problem on my Indian trip. Just take sensible precautions re water, ice in drinks etc and stick to vegetarian food. The meat (or as it's called 'non-veg') options are often less appealing anyway.

OP I found even on a short trip I very quicky became immune to the poverty (which sounds callous I know) but found it hard to get over the rubbish everywhere. Even in beautiful rural villages there would be huge piles of plastic and other waste with rats and pigs rooting through it. Is the Government trying to do anything about this - it must surely be an enormous health risk.

AtrocityNeedles · 14/07/2018 10:35

Have you been to Mysore yet? It's beautiful!

NameChangedAgain18 · 14/07/2018 11:18

I love India and have been several times, including my honeymoon in your neck of the woods (Bangalore, Mysore, Belur & Halabidu, Coorg, Kabini, and then north Kerala coast - just stunning, all of it). I would love to live there for a period.

How easy is it to meet people and make friends? Have you been able to travel around the country much? If so, which is your favourite place / region? Do you or your husband drive around Bangalore or use a driver?

Cactuar · 14/07/2018 11:28

Is Pub World still there? Visited Bangalore many years ago and loved Pub World! 😁

jjwelcomd · 14/07/2018 11:34

Hi Name Change,

Yes that IS my neck of the woods. You were definitely off the major tourist trails weren't you? I really like Kabini and Mysore - we've been many times to Mysore as it's just up the road and love the palace there.

Is it easy to make friends?

Yes very easy - most (but not all) foreigners tend to live in Gated communities (alongside locals) so you can easily meet friends that way or through school. I've been living away from home for over 20 years now and this is our fifth posting so it's quite easy for me to just throw myself in there.

We've travelled all over India and Nepal. Everywhere is so different and amazing in it's own way but I do LOVE The very North - Darjeeling, Shimla and Assam. That said when there are any long weekends we tend to jump on the plane and head up to Goa. I've been there countless times. Kerala is fantastic too and we've also been up and down the coast there. It's very easy and cheap to get around India - even if you choose the luxurious route it is much cheaper comparatively.

We are not allowed to drive. We have a driver.

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jjwelcomd · 14/07/2018 11:42

Nervousnails - the dosas in India are sold with a delicious, tasty masala mash inside. On the side we get a delicious curry sauce - Sambal and amazing chutney made of coconut, ground cashews and Dahi (natural yoghurt). The dosa itself is very light.

People in the South are much more relaxed than the North and don't really bother as much. That said, we are very wealthy comparatively and you definitively get treated a lot better (but not always) just because you are a foreigner.

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jjwelcomd · 14/07/2018 11:47

Itchy tights - We only drink bottled water (although brush our teeth from the tap). We don't tend to eat street food - the kids definitely not. We do eat out a lot. Touch wood in the 5 years we've lived there we've never had any really bad tummy's. In fact he one dodgy tummy I got from eating a curry was in the UK!

If we're in a situation where we have limited choice veg and rice are generally not going to upset you too much....

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jjwelcomd · 14/07/2018 11:49


I've never heard of it and a quick google suggests it's closed.

There are some VERY cool and hip bars and restaurants in Bangalore - Yautcha, Sly Granny, Fatty Bao.....

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Urbanbeetler · 14/07/2018 11:58

I loved Bangalore and Mysore and would love to revisit one day. I’m very envious of your masala dosa availability! I thought Kerala was an incredible place too and loved the bird life on the waterways. I found Chennai harder work though and exhausting as a tourist. The railways were a joy - loved train travelling in India.

jjwelcomd · 14/07/2018 12:56

Yes to everything - I've never actually been to Chennai but loved Pondicherry and Mahalabalpuram with its amazing Shore Temple

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