Not in their wildest dreams...
DASHED HOPES: Foreigners share their thoughts and experiences about the City
Bangalore, one of the fast growing metropolises, is home to people from across the world. Though the City has been physically transformed into a modern IT hub, thanks to its thriving information technology industry, there has been little transformation in the behaviour of its people.
Foreigners in the City, when they came here for the first time, share their experiences on what their first impression of the City was and how their assumptions of Bangalore have proved to be incorrect.
They also suggest some measures to make the City a better place for living. Taraya Srivilas, an expat from Thailand, says that she had thought Bangalore would be similar to Bangkok.
“Bangalore and Bangkok share similar concerns like massive traffic jams, air and noise pollution and increasing crime rate. Still, Bangkok is way ahead of Bangalore in terms of infrastructure, public transport and cleanliness. In Bangalore, garbage is thrown on the roadside and people don’t use public toilets. The bus connectivity is not good at many places. And the City has to improve a lot in terms of drainage and waste disposal,” she says as she compiles a huge list.
Hamisi Fupi, a Tanzanian, says that his struggle started from the airport itself as he could not converse with the taxi drivers. “Most auto wallahs here are great fans of movie stars and they play film tracks so loudly. So you have to bear with them, even if you don’t understand anything.
Every time we board an auto, we have to make sure that the meter is set at a minimum fare. When my friend first came to the City, he wasn’t aware of the meter price and the auto he got into was set at Rs 50, at the time he boarded it,” he recalls and says that the people here are poor at forming orderly lines, and there is a need to wage a war against spitting and littering at public spaces.
Placidie, who hails from Kigali, Rwanda, says Kigali is cleaner than the Garden City. She also has had a bad experience with auto drivers. And the policemen didn’t come to her rescue as well. “Once an auto driver asked me more than what the meter showed so I sought the help of a cop. But the cop took the auto driver’s side. He told me to pay the auto driver the amount he was asking for. People think foreigners have a lot of money which is not true always and as a student, I am dependent on my parents.”
And Alnakhli Mohammed, who hails from Saudi Arabia, had a horrifying experience. A few months back, he was mugged by some people who snatched his valuables away and beat him up badly.
“When I was returning home after a party with my friends, some people suddenly attacked me. They forcefully took my valuables away and hit me on my head. I lay unconscious for hours. Though the people of Bangalore are very cooperative, certain anti-social elements give trouble to the foreigners and bring a bad name to the City,” he feels.
Most of them suggest that the government should come up with a programme to educate people especially auto, taxi drivers, hoteliers and police on how to deal with and help outsiders.