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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Last Weekend & Conclusion about living in India

I cannot believe this is already my ultimate weekend in India... I will be flying back to fabulous Zurich next Friday to finally see my family and friends again. So I thought this is the right point in time to summarize my living experience in incredible India (After going through several culture shocks).

Coming to India from Europe you will be able to live like a king here. I have a personal driver, a luxurious apartment (finally I created a video that shows you my apartment), there is a swimming pool, maids that clean my room and do my laundry (although I still prefer to do it myself because they do not fully understand how to operate the washing machine). There are people that cook for you, people that ride the elevator with you... man power is available at such a cheap price and in abundant quantity - it is simply breathtaking and at the same time very disturbing for us who grew up in the western world. Even though you get used to have "slaves" you will not feel 100% comfortable when letting your driver sleep in the car while you attend some party until 4am in the morning. Well I guess I got used to it :)

Check out the video tour of my apartment

My major conclusion though is that if you decide to live for a longer time in India you should be absolutely sure about your decision. Make sure you know exactly what you will be working on and try coming first for a visit to check out the place. Towards the end of my internship I concluded that I definitely could not picture myself here for any longer. Indians live life completely different, they love different things and do not appreciate things I think are completely essential for good life quality.
For instance cultural events, arts and museums: Almost non-existing here. You cannot go to the theater, there is no good museum, no art galleries,  no concerts... Indians do not seem to crave for that. It is impossible to go jogging in a forest, it is under no circumstance possible to swim in a river or lake around here. There are no barbecue spots outside and I did not find a nice spot to enjoy sunset. All these magical offerings are unavailable here in Bangalore; the city that is full of roads, cars, shopping malls and concrete. Bangalore used to be called the garden city... not anymore.
On top of that Indians do not value work-life balance. They will work very long hours for 5 days a week... and then sleep the whole weekend to recover and prepare for the next week. There are usually no meet-ups with friends after work because these Indians have to be stuck in a traffic jam for two hours and then when arriving home they will just collapse in bed. I would probably burn out after a short time living life like this...

I have been drawing quite a bad picture up to now. Surely there are many things that I will miss: my awesome office mates that helped me out all the time, the tasty food, tavelling & exploring India, the beautiful women and last but not least the matrimonial section of the Sunday Times:
High status cultured Punjabi family seek alliance for their charming beautiful daughter, 5'1'', June 1983 born, educated in the US & India. Currently working with reputed Delhi-based company. Father CEO of MNC. Looking for professional, well placed boy from similar family background. Caste no bar. Please respond with biodate and recent photos to sonib683@gmail.com.
After all: I can't wait to breath western hemisphere air, re-celebrate my birthday the Zurich way and hopefully go for a dip in the lake of Zurich.

Apart from celebrating the last weekend I went for a big souvenir tour and traveled a lot the past weekends:
PS: Please do not get me wrong - India is an awesome place to travel and discover. One of the most magical places to travel actually. In this post I was focusing on life quality only.
PSS: Just attended a music festival today and slightly changed my opinion. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bombay. Maximum City.

Bombay is a bombastic, buzzing and bolorful place (colorful has been misspelled for the sake of the alliteration). For the first time in India I felt like I am in a real city, a metropolis of the world. Other cities, for instance Delhi or Bangalore, do not give you the feeling of being in a world city. Compared to Mumbai they seem like an endless sequence of malls, roads, poor areas, rich areas and malls again. It is the same "soup" repeated over and over again. It feels like variety is missing in these places and the repeating pattern cripples your lust for adventures. In Bombay there is not enough space to repeat that "soup" over and over again as the city is surrounded by water on three of five sides (if you include the vertical :D).

So Mumbai was very different. It boasts with very European neighborhoods and restaurants, has a ample marine drive along the bay and for the very first time in India I spotted tall buildings. I spent an adventurous weekend in Mumbai with my fellow interns from Accenture, Eric form Italy and Dustin from Canada. We explored many different neighborhoods, visited the national theater to see a fun show called "Get rid of my wife" and enjoyed night life in Bandra. The two days were full of fun but weatherwise they couldn't disagree more: On Saturday it was pouring rain and on Sunday I got sunburned... see yourself in the Mumbai Photo Album. Make sure you check as well the video at the end of the album.