InterNations Featured Blog
Recommended Expat Blogs: Mumbai
Everybody who has spent time in a different country knows that expat life is not quite like anything else in the world. The confusion of the first few days and weeks, the slow, but steady process of acclimation, the little peculiarities and quirks that might strike you about your new surroundings: almost any situation you encounter can make for a great story. If you are so inclined and want to blog about it, of course!
Our InterNations recommended blog section features talented expat bloggers from around the world. Their offerings to the blogosphere have been selected for their great entries and high quality, whether they may be funny, informative, interesting, deeply personal or a combination of all of the above.
Let’s hear from our featured bloggers in Mumbai:
When I first moved to India I was very clear that I did not wanted to live like an expat but try to interact more with the locals and to live as a local. So for the first few months I didn’t really interact with other expats at all. After some time I realized that this made life a bit boring for me. Nothing wrong with interacting with locals, but many of them are quite busy with family and other obligations, so it was not that easy to find that many to hang around with. I went to some InterNations parties, and through that I got to know more people. That has really helped me in my life here.
However, going back to Canada was more difficult than coming into India. Years later, reverse culture shock continues to affect me, because now I spend so much more time in India than in Canada. I also think that long term expats feel a different type of culture shock over time, which people deal with in very different ways, to different degrees of success.
For a long while I actually kid myself into trying to do everything Indian to just fit in, dress Indian, eat Indian, cook Indian, and even look down on all things western. That was stupid, and I came realising that I don’t have to change all that I am to fit in, beside is there such a thing as fitting in? Not just in India but anywhere.
We were not prepared for the high cost of education and property rental. There are many changes I would have made in retrospect, too many to mention here. Perhaps it was just as well that we came to Mumbai without knowing how difficult the first few months would be; otherwise we might never have come. That said, I have no regrets we have seen a lot and learned a lot.
I can honestly say moving to Mumbai has been the most difficult experience of my life but at the same time the most rewarding. I lived in the UK for 25 years then moved to Singapore then India, to say I had a culture shock would be complete understatement but when you can look past the poverty, and the daily hardships you start to appreciate how lucky you are to have this experience.
I haven’t lived in Colorado since 2008, but moving to Mumbai after living in Thailand for 3 years was just as much of an adjustment. Thailand is relatively clean, organized, easy to navigate, and tourist- and female-friendly I think I went through an intense period of culture shock when I moved here last year, but I handled it by visiting my friends in Thailand often. This year I decided to explore India more, which was taxing but also very rewarding.
It always amazes me how much British expats or white foreigners in general sometimes held in awe by our fellow Indians. When we are travelling within India, my husband – being blond and blue eyed often gets stared at. Indians often come up to us at tourist sites to ask us if they can have their photo taken with us.
I think everyone experiences culture shock in Mumbai, even people who were born here and return after some time away. I think the toughest transition is not driving here. Although we live in Powai, where we can walk many places, we can’t just hop in the car and decide to go somewhere. We must be accompanied by our driver everywhere.
I enjoy my everyday life adventures in bustling Mumbai. The contrast between rich and poor are enormous here, and the impressions can be overwhelming. I work as a volunteer in an NGO with kids’ education, and really enjoy it. The days are very varied and exciting. It is hard to see the poverty and also women’s’ role in society. I share many of my impressions on my blog – it can be kind of being on an emotional roller coaster- expating in Mumbai!
Are you an expat blogger and would like to be featured here? Get in touch with us!