Mumbai, India Report of what it's like to live there - 11/05/08
Personal Experiences from Mumbai, India
1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?
2. How long have you lived here?
3. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?
4. Travel time and best routes to this city from Europe or the US:
15 hours direct from ATL and EWR.
Housing, Groceries & Food:
1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?
All apartments, some nice, some not so nice.
2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?
Most are available though finding them can be a chore. Costs range from extremely cheap to highway robbery.
3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?
4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?
Not sure about fast food except I have seen McDonald"s, never been though. Subway is OK.There are some good restaurants.
1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?
2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?
Available and cheap.
3. Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?
ATMs are everywhere and credit cards are accepted generally.
4. What English-language religious services are available locally?
Some Catholic I think.
5. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?
Both are available.
6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?
None. Have your staff translate for you.
7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?
Do NOT come here. They are not ready for those with disabilities.
1. Do you drive on the right hand side of the road or the left?
2. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?
I would never take a train or a bus because Taxis are super cheap. There are about 14 accidental deaths per DAY related to the train, so you be judge about their safety.
3. What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?
Bring something that you might enter in a demolition derby, except with air conditioning. Roads are in total disrepair.
Phone & Internet:
1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?
Medium speed internet. Costs based on usage.
2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?
Cell phones are cheap. Service is good.
3. What is the best way to make phone calls back home?
Cell, skype, vonage.
1. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?
Good vet care.
Employment & Volunteer Opportunities:
1. What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?
2. What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?
Health & Safety:
1. Pollution index (Good, Moderate, Unhealthy, or Very Unhealthy)?
Moderate. There is a great deal of rubble and filth everywhere.
2. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.
3. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?
Disease eradicated long ago in the developed world flourish quite well in India. So yes there are concerns. Medical care? Just hope that you don"t need any from the locals.
4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?
Rainy summer but cooler than March April May and October. Remaining months are VERY nice.
Schools & Children:
1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?
2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?
3. Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?
Hire a Nanny. They are cheap.
1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?
2. Morale among expats:
3. What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?
4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?
For those with patience in massive surplus - maybe for all three.
5. Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?
6. Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?
I have not realized any.
7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?
Golf is cheap and close by. Sailing club is cheap.
8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?
Bombay Sapphire? Does that count?
9. Can you save money?
Words of Wisdom:
1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?
No. Never. Not now, not ever!