A soft-spoken and hardworking man – that’s Akio Natsui for you. An expatriate from Japan, who came to the City recently as a consultant for the BWSSB, Akio Natsui is no stranger to namma Bengaluru. In fact, he had first come to the City in 2007 on work. After that, he kept visiting the City on and off.
“I had come to the City three years back,” he explains to Metrolife. “Post this, I used to keep coming here every now and then. I would come for a month or two every time. So totally, I have spent a lot of time in Bangalore.”
Currently residing in R T Nagar, Akio loves his work as a consultant and being in the company of his Indian friends and colleagues. “I just love the weather of the City,” he says. “Though I find it a bit congested like Mumbai, it’s heartening to see greenery in the City,” he adds.
It’s not just Bangalore that Akio is familiar with; he has travelled a lot around the country as well. “I have visited places like Agra, Mumbai, Delhi to name a few and all of these cities are beautiful.” But coming back to Bangalore, does he like the food of the City? Not really, he admits shyly. “I don’t like spicy food,” he says modestly. “Though Bangalore’s food isn’t as spicy as the North Indian cuisine, it’s still too spicy for me,” he smiles.
So he keeps looking for Japanese restaurants in the City to eat at. He often goes to restaurants on Church Street and Residency Road. Is the abundance of vegetarian food a bit of a problem too? “No,” he disagrees. “I don’t mind eating vegetarian or non vegetarian food. My only condition is that it shouldn’t be too spicy,” he smiles.
Akio is so fond of food that even in his free time, he goes out with his friends or colleagues for lunches and dinners. “The only authentic Indian food I have tried so far is Chicken Biryani’ but…,” he laughs as he doesn’t finish the sentence and we assume that it was too “spicy” for him.
Though he feels that the traffic of the City is a lot, he still loves the City for what it is. “I have not faced any problem at all in Bangalore. I enjoy my work here and have made a lot of Indian friends,” he gushes. “Though Tokyo, the place where I come from, is bigger than Bangalore, there are some similarities between both the cities when it comes to development,” he notes.
Speaking of Indian films or television programmes, he is honest when he says he hasn’t watched any. “Whenever I tune in, I just watch HBO or Star Sports,” he says innocently. Akio enjoys hanging out in various parts of the City. One of his favourite hangouts is UB City on Vittal Mallya Road. “It’s a nice complex and I go there often,” he admits.“Recently, KFC has opened its branch in R T Nagar. Since it’s close to where I stay, I keep going there too,” he exclaims.