Elisa Contrucci, a Brazilian Expat living in India shared her experience.
Here’s the interview with Elisa…
- What did you know about India before coming?
Before I came I know about spicy food, high level of poverty, colorful clothes, Bollywood, crowd, vegetarian, cows and monkeys at street.
- What expectations did you have about your experience here?
Improve my English, it was my main goal, but actually this is really hard here, because people just talk in Hindi and those who speak English have a poor knowledge about that. I did not recommend India to get better at English.
- What was the first thing that shocked you when you first came here?
The Dust Everywhere, Every Corner. Impolite people at traffic and streets, man and woman spit all the time.
- What things took you the longest to get used to?
This is easy to reply. Of course, The Bath. I can’t feel comfortable taking bath with a mug, I don’t feel clean enough. And I can complain about the noise and horn too.
- In your daily life what are the main challenges you find?
Try surviving at streets, once side walks are not common and Indians do not follow traffic rules.
- Professionally what are main challenges you find? How do you deal with them?
Once again, the Language. To express myself. Indian mix English with Hindi, it’s so hard to understand. I am not interesting and to learn Hindi, but they still teach me Hindi words, not English.
- Culturally, what things are hard to deal with?
Eat with hands. I’ve been trying sometimes, but it’s really hard to get comfortable with that. And for sure, take bath with a bucket.
- What has helped you the most to get used to live here?
Get in touch with other foreigners, and I can say that I’m lucky to work in a good place, with good people that always helping me. Without them, it will be so hard. They are awesome. I am happy at my work.
- How about housing? Was it complicated to deal with landlords? Were there new rules you were not expecting?
Again, I have luck with this too. I live with a Indian woman, she is calm, good and I can’t be more grateful to meet her, she shows me all about Indian culinary, I think I never eat so well, and try so many new flavours in my life, I’m really grateful to live with her.
- Do people treat you differently because of being a foreigner?
Yes, they do. Specially Men. They used to look straight at you all the time. Sometimes I feel scare.
- Was it hard to deal with the immigration requirements?
My problems with immigration requirements starts at Brazil, when a guy charged more than usual to get a Indian visa, this is was a big problem that took nights of concerns.
Once here, the headache was just starting. I went to FRRO 3 times, each person there say something different to you to do, and nobody knows the right way. It was really stressful.
- What recommendations, tips and advice could you give to people coming to India for work?
Be prepare for the bad internet connection, be prepare to don’t understand ‘Hinglish’, and not found toilet paper at bathroom.
- What advice would you give to Expats that are looking to relocate to India in the next 3 to 9 months?
If your main goal is to get better English, don’t come. Be prepare to feel a mix of good and bad smell at streets, enjoy the food, it is amazing– and be prepare to get tummy (this is gonna happen for sure), to live here requires a lot of bureaucracy too.
- Finally, what are the positive things of being here? (BTW, thank you for your time 🙂 Have a great day!)
So many, I can start talking about the food. I am really enjoying Indian’s food, the rich culture – the older country of the entire world. Being at Asia it’s like being in other planet, everything it’s so different, I love this feeling. I wish I could stay for longer here.
Note about FRRO Experience:
“A huge headache. I came through AIESEC, so supposed to be something that they must help me, once expatriates it’s their business. But they did not. Was really hard gather all the right documents, the FRRO website it’s so poor, doesn’t work well, also the office, it’s a complete mess.”