How long have you been in India?
Just over a year
What brought you to India?
My job – and curiosity about how retail happens in India!
What do you love most about being here?
Everything! The vibe, the energy, the sense of “anything could happen”… India feels like it is bursting with potential. I just love the colour, the heat, the smiles, the scents. It is such an exciting country to explore – with rich history, great food, interesting politics and fascinating religion.
Are there any great moments that particularly stand out for you?
Stepping out onto the rooftops in Udaipur. Seeing the Taj Mahal. Running along Marine Drive at sunrise. My first taste of proper chai. Cycling through the tea plantations in Munnar. Visiting the Sassoon Docks fish market. My first tuk-tuk ride. The Mysore Marathon through Kaveri National Park. I could go on…
What have been your greatest integration challenges?
I watched a great TED lecture by Devdutt Pattnaik called The Myths that Mystify. He explains very nicely why the western style of ‘doing business’ is process oriented… and in India it is a bit more *wobbles head*!
Have there been any individuals or organisations who particularly helped with your move and integration?
The chaiwallas, the local pharmacies, the taxi drivers, the friendly kid called Bippin Patel who runs the stationary shop next door to my apartment (and has an unreliable photocopier)… Nope. Probably should have though!
India feels like it is bursting with potential. I just love the colour, the heat, the smiles, the scents. It is such an exciting country to explore – with rich history, great food, interesting politics and fascinating religion.
Do you have any practical tips for ex-pats moving to India about how to integrate or deal with cultural differences?
Smile. And then smile some more. (Even if you are not really smiling inside).
What does the future hold for you?
Well, my contract in India is only for 18 months. And my kind and supportive husband is keen to get back to his ‘proper-work’ in the UK … so come April time I will be back in the UK with a bucket full of great memories wrapped up in thermal vests.
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