Stephane Portha explains why it’s cool to be an expatriate in India?
Stephane Portha is an American expat living in Bangalore, India. He moved to India with his wife and young daughter. It was a big move for the couple as they had to learn and unlearn a lot of things. He relocated to India as a trailing spouse when he got a job in Chennai, India. He now lives in Bangalore fondly known as the “garden city of India” when the company transferred him to this beautiful city.
Although there are many challenges that Stephane Portha faces living in a diverse and eclectic country like India, he has loved the experience. If you are an expat man living in India, you do attract a lot of attention and not all of it is pleasant. You either need to accept and ignore it or think of innovative ways to make it work in your favor.
Living in India
Living in India can be wonderful, chaotic, fascinating and scary all at once. You may have the time of your life, as you will experience a culture that is completely different from the western world that you are so accustomed to. You may experience things that you may never experience living in America. This used to scare the hell out of Stephane Portha as he did not know what to expect.
If you want everything to be orderly and predictable and nice and sterile, you may feel a bit uncomfortable with the chaos around you. But when you embrace this chaos, you may experience things that can open new levels of awareness that you never thought possible.
Hindi is the official language used for communication. English is a popular language and a large section of the population is fairly conversant with the language. Stephane Portha has never found it difficult to converse with neighbors and shopkeepers in her area. They all seemed to love the opportunity to converse in English. Learn the local language to bargain better and get a good deal.
Cost of Living
Bangalore offers expatriates a very good standard of living at a low cost. If you are an expat, you can have quite an affluent lifestyle. The cost of housing, food, entertainment and education in India is much lower than the cost in Western countries. This enables you to afford help for doing various kinds of chores. You can choose to hire a cook, driver and maid to do all the work for you.
Many expats in India report greater savings on everyday expenses compared to other countries. This enables them to have a better life and work balance as they can spend more on their family and loved ones. Most expats tend to save a lot when they work in this enchanting country and this enables them to have a good life even when they go back.
The food in India is mostly spicy and if you are not someone willing to experiment there are many supermarkets that sell international food items. Stephane Portha has now got used to a little bit of spicy Indian food but prefers to cook for her family. This ensures that her family gets to eat what they are accustomed to even when as they develop new tastes for the local cuisine.
You may find many restaurants offering pasta and pizza and although they may not be the same as what you used to get back home they are still good to indulge in once a while. Many international restaurants that specifically cater to the growing expat population in India has made life much easier for people looking for food cooked exactly as it did back home.
Climate and Weather
India is a land of extremes when it comes to weather and climate. The northern part of India is hot during the months of March – September and is relatively cooler from October. Monsoon starts in the month of June and continues for the next couple of months. The heat, rains and the winter months all add to the unique character of living in India.
Stephane Portha loves the climate in Bangalore as it is pleasant and not as hot and humid as the rest of India. When it rains, it pours in this city and although commuting may become a problem, you can stay safe if you plan properly.
This is one of the big concerns that Stephane Portha had when he decided to move to this country. He did not want her daughter to suffer due to the decision that they had taken. He was surprised to find many international schools following American and British education syllabus and curriculum. This ensured that her daughter was studying the same things that were taught in American schools.
India is a vast country with so much to see. It may take more than a lifetime to see the whole of this amazing country and understand its culture. Stephane Portha has managed to travel to different parts of India and fell in love with what he saw. Each region has something different to offer with the language and food habits changing after a few hundred miles.
The number of expats living and working in India has gone up significantly over the past couple of years as India is the fastest growing economy in the world and this offers a lot of working opportunities to people from all over the world.
The challenges that expats face in India are unique only to this country and this is what makes them special. You may probably never face such challenges anywhere in the world. One thing is for sure, that life is not dull when you decide to work and live in India.
After you get over the initial shock of seeing so many people at every place, you slowly start falling in love with what you see. Stephane Portha has managed to contact a group of expat and working men from America. They meet regularly for lunch or dinner and catch up on conversations pertaining to living in a country that throws up new excitements and challenges each day.