Reflecting on Living in Bangalore During My Trip Back Home to Spain

Reflecting on Living in Bangalore During My Trip Back Home to Spain

Even when times are hard for me, I know very well that I’ve had it damn good all my life.  It’s easy to bitch and moan about things that aren’t going the way we expected in our lives and generally speaking I think everyone does it.  Whether you are old or young, rich or poor, single or married, employed or looking for work…from time to time, no matter who you are, the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.

Well for me, I am back home in Barcelona fixing my employment visa because I changed jobs recently, which to be honest has turned into a much bigger pain in the ass and monumentally much more expensive endeavour than I could have imagined.  Although I believe when I registered at the FRRO that the company I moved to India to work for was legally bound to help with repatriating me in the event this situation arose, they felt no inclination to help.  Well, I guess I am not sooo surprised given the fact they never even finished paying for my daughter’s flight over and other things that are expected of an employer when they relocate me half way around the world…and then subsequently terminated my employment with 30 minutes’ notice (for more read here).

Like so many things, India’s way of handling visas is different from what I have ever known.  After living in Spain off and on for the past 18 years I am not used to having to leave the country just because I changed employers.  Throughout Europe, when you have an employment visa, you can then change jobs as often as you like until your visa expires.  Then, if you’ve changed jobs, you’ll have to reapply using the new company’s details three months prior to the residency visa expiring.  It’s pretty simple.  But that is not how India operates, unfortunately, and I received a nice little letter a few weeks ago asking me to please leave the country and go fix this or stay out.  And since India is so VERY MUCH my home now…here I am in Barcelona again…cuz a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

The time back in my village on the Mediterranean Sea has given me time to reflect on my new life in Bangalore though, and it’s interesting how the grass seems greener in both countries, but for VERY different things!!

angela-carson-bangalore-sitges-blog

Ahhhh I am so happy to be back home in Spain (Sitges) in a bikini for a couple weeks turning my way-too-white skin from this colour (day 1) to caramel by the time I return to India next week!

First, after 5+ months in India I have pretty much grown accustomed to the fact that everyone – male and female, old and young – will take a peek at me out of curiosity (see my “what it’s like being tall, blonde, female” post).  Over the past months, I have even forgotten that things used to be the opposite and that I was almost invisible in Spain, especially to men!  Wrong or right, the fact is that Indian men pay much more attention to me than European men did…typically too much attention just so we are clear.  At first I thought it was kind of cool after not having any attention in Spain for so many years.  Then I realized quickly that the attention that I was receiving had nothing to do with me “the person inside” and that the men who were approaching me – for the most part – just wanted to hook up with a white girl.  Although I am not interested in 95% of the guys who approach me, as a single girl I like having some options again, which is definitely something I haven’t had in years.

My friends here keep laughing at me because I’m walking around wondering why the hell no one seems interested in me, haha.  Nothing has changed since I moved to India.  So I have got to say that the grass is definitely greener in India because I will take ‘attention’ feast over famine any day of the week now that I know the difference!

Second, I can actually think here because there is no noise.  Well, no constant horn blowing I mean.  In fact, in the past 10 days I think I have only heard two or three car or truck horns blowing.  The only comparison in India is when you are out in the country, someplace without a single car or road within earshot!  It’s amazing and so absolutely quiet that there is no need for ear plugs at night.  It’s possible and pleasurable to sit under the stars in the evening and have a lovely meal at an outdoor restaurant located on a busy thoroughfare.  Granted I am not in a place with the insane amount of traffic that Bangalore has (friends, think Los Angeles at rush hour but on city streets because there are no motorways!), people still seem to function pretty accident-free even without polluting the airwaves, which is a wonderful change.  It’s definitely going to suck BIG TIME having to acclimate again to the noise in India.

Third, I am in heaven running around in strappy sundress with my shoulders and legs exposed all day and night.  I love watching groups of beautiful women in silky, short sundresses pass by knowing that I won’t see this again for a long while.  And I am definitely over-the-moon feeling natural and NORMAL wearing a bikini in public again!  My body is so happy to have the warmth of the sun on it….and it’s fun as hell to run from a lounge bed at the beach to the bar located right on the sand for mojitos, then into the sea for a swim, over to the showers to rinse off with fresh water and back again.  Without covering up…which is the most natural thing in the world for someone who was born and raised in southern California.  Two thumbs up for Spain!!  I really do need to start spending more time at the pool at Leela Palace when I return!

Forth and last, I have to say that the growing economy in India hands down beats the 21% unemployment that Spain boasts today.  When I left I think the rate was at 19% or 20% so it’s quite sad to see it increase.  The whole reason I left Spain and uprooted the life that my daughter and I had was for the sole reason that I couldn’t support us anymore after being laid off from a job I loved back in May of 2010.  It was impossible to find a job after that at my level here in Spain.  So she and I went country by country and made a list of where we would most like to live our next adventure and India topped the list.  So here we are…and I love the amazing opportunities that have presented themselves.  My future is definitely secure and the IB programme my daughter is in is amazing – 80% of graduates receive scholarships to top universities (including UCLA where she wants to go)… so her future seems much brighter in India than in Spain too!

So the grass isn’t always greener in India but I have no regrets about the decision to move to Bangalore.  I love it and my new career path.  Love my new friends and the wonderful, gracious people I see and meet every day.  And see myself being very happy in India for years to come!

XOXO Angela

© Angela Carson, 2011

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Angela Carson
Angela Carson

At 21 I left uni, jumped into my Jeep Wrangler, and drove from my native California to live an adventure in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I’ve explored 35 countries on 4 continents, residing in 7 of them (currently Kuala Lumpur is my home). I even have a private pilot’s license and was shot at once by bandits!

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21 Comments

  1. 10/09/2011 / 19:14

    Oh, enjoy the sun! I’m sooo envious. Here I am back in Australia at the moment, and it’s just turned spring (but feels like winter). And I have found myself with a confirmed Vitamin D deficiency. Oh how can that be possible, people say (even the doctor was surprised). You live in such a hot country. Yes, but sitting around exposing one’s naked skin to the sun is not what one does there. 😉

    • 11/09/2011 / 13:33

      You have a vitamin d defficiency? I’m just astounded that someone was checking for that 🙂 could definitely be worse though, happy you just have to pop a tablet everyday. Well, I am having so much fun soaking up the rays! And thee blue sky with no clouds, day after day, is making my soul sing I swear to you!!! Gonna miss the blue sky more than the bikini….

      • 13/09/2011 / 07:50

        My mum insisted I get it tested (“there’s an awful lot of people with Vitamin D deficiency these days, you know”) when I went to the doctor’s to get a stack of blood tests done to generally check my health (because it doesn’t cost anything in Australia).

  2. ghati
    10/09/2011 / 20:43

    You seem to be genuine person devoid of any racism whatsoever. I think you will succeed big time in India. Who knows you might even find a surgeon or industrialist to marry and live a life of leisure.

    • 11/09/2011 / 13:35

      That is a very sweet comment, hope you will keep reading my blog. BUT with respect to the “marry a man for money” part, that’s not really been my style but who knows (never say never) 🙂 I think it’s more fun to make great money myself and NOT be married 🙂

  3. 10/09/2011 / 23:56

    Well, duh. Given the number of cows walking around greener grass surprises you?

  4. 11/09/2011 / 00:30

    Regarding the “attention”, I’ve had similar (but weird) experience during my trip to Syria (just a month back) for a friends wedding.

    Apparantly I am an exotic because of my brown color (South Indian). (Since I am a single guy) I gotta tell ya, it’s indeed different to be noticed.

    So enjoy the good attention & forget about the others. Cheers 🙂

    • 11/09/2011 / 13:36

      hehe, glad to hear that a man knows what I am talking about for a change!! 🙂

  5. 11/09/2011 / 01:22

    Hello Angela ! Happy to hear from you, and I cross fingers for your visa and papers to get right and bring you back and happy to Bangalore !
    Our nations are so different – European countries, and India (I don’t know about US). When I was in India for a feww weeks, I felt quite sad when I realized I couldn’t live fully in one or the other country (France versus India), and that both suddenly seemed to become necessary to me. I always wondered “how will I manage ? How can I do, now that I know ?” So I came back to France, and very often feel the lack of India here. All long, vast, “wild” roads in the countryside, with nobody walking there, nobody in the fields, no truck, no horn blowing, no colors like in India, I love it so much and at the same time, often fell such loneliness here, lack of human beings !
    But knowing both places and feelings is fulfilling.
    Bye ! See you !

    • 11/09/2011 / 13:37

      Hey Nathalie, hope you are doing great! Loved your comment, you summed up even better the message I was trying to convey 🙂 When you come back to India we are going out for champagne! –ange

  6. 11/09/2011 / 05:01

    I landed here from expat-blog, am a bangalorean considering a move back to bangalore after more than a decade.

    Your blog cracked me up :-), esp the “attention feast” para hahaha!

    You are very articulate, I will keep coming back to your blog…best

    • 11/09/2011 / 13:39

      Hi Kali, you should come back to Bangalore … it’s changed so much from what they say, well…I love it anyway 🙂 Thanks so much for your kind words. –angela

  7. 11/09/2011 / 14:38

    Hello again Angela, I will be very happy to meet you ! I should come to north India in october, and go down south in december-january… I just can’t wait for packing my luggage and flying away !!!!
    Enjoy maximum good spanish sun ! Bye !

  8. HARRY
    21/10/2011 / 20:44

    I’M NORMALY READER OF NRI ARTICLES . THAT’S HOW I FOUND YOU. I LIKED YOUR ARTICLE ON NO GIRLS IN NIGHT CLUBS OR VERY FEW. I WILL POST SOMETHING NEXT TIME. ALVIDA
    HARRY

    • 24/10/2011 / 17:38

      Hey Harry, glad you liked it…hope you’ll keep reading 🙂 –angela

  9. prasad3130
    13/06/2012 / 10:40

    People in India peeking at you is expected of normal human being I suppose. Its more because of the ‘exception in the crowd’ like the example an Indian gave about his visit to Syria in one of the comments above.

    About the strict visa policies, I suppose you might know the reason, particularly the work visas to foreigners.

    • 15/06/2012 / 10:23

      Hey that page is super! Thanks for the link 🙂

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