'It's nice to see such diversity'

comfortable Petra and Von Merkatz Arwed.

Bangalore has witnessed a boom in the number of expats who have made this metropolis their second home. Just six months in Bangalore and Petra and Von Merkatz Arwed are in love with the City. It has been a home-away-from-home for them.

Having spent most of her life in Germany, Petra, a homemaker, came to Bangalore with her husband Arwed who works for Nokia-Siemens Network as a software engineer.

“Bangalore is a wonderful city. Everyday there is something new and fresh to start with. Despite the City being chaotic, the people here are very friendly and cosmopolitan, unlike Germany and that’s what we really like about the City. The pub culture, the bars and the multi-cuisine restaurants are some of the things that we like about the City,” they say.

“The weather is very salubrious. Unlike Germany, it is moderate here. In fact, after being here for the last six months, I have started feeling cold when it is 18 degrees here in the evenings,” adds Arwed humourously.

When asked how different Bangalore is from Germany,  they say, “Bangalore is very green and has a lot of old trees. Although there are a few varieties of these trees in Germany, they are not as big as they are here. This is what makes the City pleasant to live in.”

About the kind of food they like, they say they are ardent lovers of spicy food. “Initially, it was a bit difficult to get used to spicy food. But now we like masala dosa, idli, vada, samosa and all the Indian breads.” Among the sweets, I love carrot halwa,” adds Petra.

 On weekends they hang out on M G Road, Brigade Road and Church Street. “I love the Matteo Café near Brigade Road. We usually have our breakfast there. We also like Ullas refreshments where we have Indian food,” they say.

What is their favourite pastime? “We like reading books and have read quite a few Indian authors. They are pretty interesting and make for a good read.”

Their favourite place in the City is the Bangalore Palace, “It is so sprawling and majestic. It stands testimony to Bangalore’s cultural heritage,” adds the couple.

Ask them if they have had any problems with the auto drivers and they say, “We rarely travel in autos. But there have been times when we have come across a few drivers who charge big bucks. In such cases, we refuse to travel in autos.”

About the pollution bogging the City, they say, “We are used to the traffic and pollution. It doesn’t affect us much.” On the flipside, they are quick to talk about the sewerage system. “One thing that is sad about the City is that whenever it rains, the roads get flooded. It encroaches on the pavements and the slush makes it very difficult for the pedestrians and commuters. It needs some attention,” they say.

“We plan to invite our parents this Christmas season to India. If that doesn’t work, we will have a good Christmas meal,” they say about celebrating Christmas away from home.

They are fascinated by Indian culture and its rich heritage, “It is  multi-ethnic and so diversified. There’s so much to learn from it. There are so many religions, beliefs and customs that people adhere to. It’s so nice to see such  diversity in in one country and one city,” they sign off.

Comments (+)