Bangalore, India Report of what it's like to live there
Personal Experiences from Bangalore, India
1. Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?
No. I've lived in Kampala, Sydney, Lusaka, Abuja, and a few other places.
2. How long have you lived here?
3. What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?
Working on an IT major, came here via an exchange program.
4. Travel time and best routes to this city from Europe or the US:
About 20 hours from Chicago via Frankfurt.
Housing, Groceries & Food:
1. What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?
Housing is a mixed bag. Most expats live in gated compounds where they enjoy a lifestyle similar to back home. The locals live in extremely cramped houses with no lighting or ventilation, most houses illegally extend on to the streets, there's no fire safety, water quality is poor, and there's no power for up to 15 hours a day in some areas.
2. How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?
Very expensive, poor quality.
3. What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?
Peanut butter, tacos, nachos.
4. What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?
Few, like KFC and Mickey Ds. The local restaurants are totally filthy.
1. How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?
DHL, Fedex, USPS.
2. What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?
Spotty, the better ones are very expensive. The local ones tend to be very unhygienic.
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?
You can get mugged at ATMs for small sums of money.
4. What English-language religious services are available locally?
All, including LDS.
5. English-language newspapers and TV available? Cost?
6. How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?
7. Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?
Even people without disabilities have a very hard time getting around.
1. Do you drive on the right hand side of the road or the left?
Left, but anything goes. People are lawless, and disregard stop signs.
2. Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?
Affordable, yes. Safe, no way.
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?
Ideally, a 4x4: Bangalore's roads would put the moonscape to shame. There are simply no decent roads, period. All roads are in extreme states of disrepair and nobody is interested in bringing them back to shape.
Phone & Internet:
1. Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?
Yes, costs around $100/ month for a decent DSL line.
2. Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?
Everybody has one.
3. What is the best way to make phone calls back home?
Use your cellphone, tariffs are incredibly low.
1. Quality pet care available (vets & kennels)?
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?
At work -- casual. In public, anything goes.
Health & Safety:
1. Pollution index (Good, Moderate, Unhealthy, or Very Unhealthy)?
Very unhealthy. Men wearing suits and ties urinate on the streets. There's rotting garbage everywhere. Sewage overflows on to the streets. The city gets marooned after a light drizzle.
2. Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.
Many. Terrorism, road accidents, high homicide rate, petty theft, car break-ins, disease, etc.
3. Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?
Too many: all the third-world diseases thrive here. Bangalore is among the world's filthiest cities, and provides a healthy breeding environment for all kinds of organisms. There are some hospitals, which are good.
4. What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?
Humid and muggy, hot in summer.
Schools & Children:
1. What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?
Some are good, but the best ones are very expensive.
2. What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?
None, special-needs kids are considered a curse.
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?
Spotty, most 'daycares' are nothing more than concrete shacks. "our kids r our kids," and "Kara's playschool" are among the better ones.
1. What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?
Moderate, a few 1000s.
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?
Some pubs that cater to wealthy expats.
4. Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?
None for all. Many Bangalore citizens pretend to ape the west, and parade in skimpy clothes hoping to attract wealthy men. The pubs are nothing more than places to get your hearing blown off.
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?
Yes to all. Indians value fair skin, anybody with a darker skin tone gets nasty looks and is considered inferior. Crimes against women don't even get reported in the papers, and perpetrators are seldom punished.
7. What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?
None, there are too many security threats.
8. Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?
9. Can you save money?
Words of Wisdom:
1. Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?
Never, this is a punishment posting. Even Africa is cleaner. People here are very greedy, everybody seems to want to make a quick buck at the cost of others'. Rarely have I seen a population where people lack humanity as in Bangalore. People lack a sense of hygiene and compassion for fellow human beings. The so-called lawless Eastern Indian state of Bihar would seem civilized compared to Bangalore.
2. If you move here, you can leave behind your:
3. But don't forget your:
4. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?
5. Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?
6. Recommended movies/DVDs related to this city:
7. Do you have any other comments?
Rather than going to Bangalore, consider Africa.