Saturday, July 11, 2009

Expat Experiences

Rivan Sanzilay, has been in Mumbai,India for more than a year yet she finds herself being stared at to the point where she feels a faint twinge of fear. It wasn;t that way when she first landed in Mumbai. The crowds were enormous( at least to her), the throng of people overwhelming and the smells assailing! It was an experience that the faint hearted might have found difficult to cope with.but cope she did. A year down the line, she still feels disoriented by the throng of humanity but she's learnt to deal with it. It no longer affects her as intensely as it used to before. But the fear remains.Stories of foreigners being raped in Goa and Delhi have made her wary. Though she doesn't seek out the protection of the expat crowd, she does have some friends among them nevertheless. But most of her friends are true-blue Indians and she has learnt to mingle freely among them. Of course, Language in India is not much of a problem. English is universally used unlike China where it's even difficult to find someone to converse with in the international toungue. rivan is beginning to get the hang of life in Mumbai. She enjoys herself over the weekends with her husband and friends while during the week she is busy tending to her upcoming tourism business. She has to survive here, it's an expensive city afterall especially for foreigners. She gets incensed easily at the prices quoted when she goes to buy stuff from the market so now she's decided to let her bai(maid) do the purchasing. At least she wont get fleeced that way! The only places she finds foreigners getting reverential treatment are restaurants, pubs and other entertainment joints. t disheartens her to see people being treated unequal, and she realises that even market driven societies have class barriers. Something that might not have come to light in a non-asian country!

As told to Johnson Thomas

1 comment:

Crish said...

Spain is leading the ranking of worldwide expatriate destinations. In 2008, the country welcomed almost 800,000 foreigners, followed by Germany and the UK (Eurostat, 2008). In 2008, expatriates already accounted for 11.4% of the Spanish population, and this number is expected to increase to some 20% in the future.