What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?
We didn't know anything about Hyderabad before moving there. We had never even heard of it until it showed up on the bid list! Most of our friends who visited had never heard of it either (except those who work in tech or with call centers). That said, we kept our expectations low and our expectations were always met or exceeded! I did not know how hard it would be to get wine. The commissary is 25% more for Hyderabad folks because we pay for shipment from Delhi (absurd), and the wine through commissary is about $10 for the cheapest bottles (when considering the shipping markup, which you pay later) and $12-15 for an average bottle. It's mostly terrible and spoiled, but we got used to it. You can't put any wine in your HHE. Local wine is not recommended. Buying on the local market is the equivalent of $30 for a bottle of Yellow Tail. I know it's bratty and "rich people problems" of me, but that's been the hardest part of the experience. Followed closely by the mostly tasteless produce (I eat 80% produce). - Jul 2019
That I couldn't buy hairspray or hair dye for non-dark brown/black hair here (or ship via pouch), that non-Indian food options are still somewhat limited here. - Nov 2017
Everything is hard to accomplish and takes several tries. Nobody cares about anything. Don't try to understand it. India has been a constant assault to my senses: the pollution, the smell of the city, the rampant poverty, ignorance, the amount of people, the body odor, the traffic, the lack of common courtesies, lack of personal space, the constant staring have make it difficult for me to live here. Add the numerous daily power outages, water outages, maintenance issues, limited entertainment options. Life here grinds you down. If all of the above don't bother you, then you should be fine. - Sep 2016
I'm not sure - haven't been too surprised by much, honestly. - Mar 2015
It's easy to find an Indian equivalent food item, e.g., Lays potato chips, Oreos, granola. Indian-produced wine and coffee is not very good. You'll have to purchase your alcohol through the commissary. - Jan 2015
If I had one word to describe India it would be "intense." From the moment of your first arrival to your wheels up, life is a full-on assault on all your senses. You are constantly bombarded with the most intense sights, sounds, smells, taste, and feels and there is no escape. It can be disorienting, terrifying, depressing, delightful, frustrating, exhausting, and exhilarating - all at the same time. India is many things but it is never dull. I was relieved to complete my time in India but now, sometimes in a quiet moment, I find myself missing the colors, the tastes, the sounds, and the general insanity that is India. Compared to India, life back in the U.S. can seem technicolor. Then I take a breath of fresh clean air as I contemplate the clear blue skies and think again. - Nov 2014
How conservative it is, especially Hyderabad. There's also much more jingoism here than I had expected. That the consulate had a serious rat problem. - Jul 2014