What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Describe how you "dreamed" expat life would be before you moved overseas. Please provide as much detail as possible.
I never dreamed of living in India, to be honest. I was informed by hubby that we were moving there, much to my dismay. However, I decided to go with an open mind since I've been on the move in my 20s. I really didn't know what to expect. In my mind, I envisioned a dirty place (which came true), slums (well, there are a lot), great IT infrastructure (since banks outsourced their service there), loneliness (far from it) and Taj Mahal (saw it twice).
How has your expat experience met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?
Regarding dirtiness, that came true. There were people who cleaned the streets but equally, there were people who littered extensively as well. I've seen rubbish being thrown from cars while they are on the move. It's like people have the mentality that it's not my area so I don't care! It's sad as they do keep their personal space in a spick and span condition but are happy to litter elsewhere. On top of littering, you have to make do with sporadic power outbreak. Initially, I was informed that Thursday was the day where power would be cut off for a few hours. A couple of times, power outbreak lasted over 24 hours. Sometimes, it did extend to other days as well. As for slums, there are a lot, and they coexist among the newly built condominiums too. The
divide between rich and poor is so obvious. At every corner, there are beggars begging for money. It's something you have to learn to be immune to as you can't be giving all the time and some are organised gangs of beggars. Regarding the IT infrastructure, I thought there would be in place great wifi service but they still relied on copper wires and downloads were slow! There were days where it wasn't worth going online. It was a problem for my kids as their International School used Google classroom and they did their homework online. I had to subscribe to data packages on the mobile as backup. As for the Taj Mahal, I saw it twice and it was awesome. There are places in India that are worth visiting and it's fairly cheap to do so when you are already in the country.
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How has your expat experience NOT met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?
I thought I would be lonely when I moved to India. However, I had an enriching lifestyle. I met loads of other expat people, enjoyed events organised by 2 expat groups in India and learned new stuff while living in Pune. I wasn't allowed to work according to my dependent visa which was a pain as I had job offers coming in. But I took the time to learn about yoga & became a certified yoga teacher as well as a certified makeup artist. I improved on my language skills as I met foreigners who spoke French and Mandarin. Instead of being lonely, I was very busy each day. I got to know the locals as well and you learn to appreciate local delicacies. I enjoyed eating Indian food. That was one aspect of being an expat that lived beyond my expectation. I will definitely miss living in India for this reason!
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