'Shivajinagar is an interesting place'

'Shivajinagar is an interesting place'

Expat zone

Surasak Saewang, an expat from Phare, Thailand, has been living in Bangalore for a year now. He admits that he didn’t know much about India before coming here.

“I wanted to learn English and when I searched on the internet for a country which offers quality education at a reasonable price, India was the first to show in the results,” he exclaims.

A civil engineer by qualification, Surasak came to Bangalore to learn English. “I had worked for three and a half years and was involved in the construction of the Metro in Thailand,” he says with pride!

Ask anyone about his or her favourite hangouts in the City and one would expect the usual answer of the malls and multiplexes. But Surasak’s favourite place in Bangalore is Shivajinagar and a playground near his house in Cooke Town.

“I like to watch the crowd shopping in Shivajinagar. It’s the most interesting place,” he says. Speaking of the playground, he explains, “It’s fun to see people playing cricket and sharing a good relationship. In Thailand, you have specific grounds reserved for specific sports. You cannot play any sport of your choice in a ground.” He loves the temples and churches of the City as well. “Since I am a civil engineer, I like their beautiful architecture.”

Surasak feels there are a number of similarities between Thailand and India especially when it comes to the number of religions existing in the two countries.

“There are many Hindus and Sikhs in Thailand too. Then there are those who believe in Lord Ganesha. Both the countries give a lot of freedom to the people to follow a religion of their choice. The only difference is in their appearance,” he quips.

“In fact, Thai people love Indian actors because they have a sharp nose,” he laughs. Does he like watching Indian films too? “Yes. I really liked ‘3 Idiots’ and ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. ‘3 Idiots’ was quite popular in Thailand also,” he answers.
When it comes to food, he just loves Indian food. His favourite Indian dishes are kofta, poori and idli. “I have idli for breakfast everyday,” he smiles. “Thai food is mostly dry. Soups are the only watery dishes. However, in India, you get a lot of gravies. But there is one similarity between both Thai and Indian cuisines and that is both are spicy,” he says.

Apart from communication problems, Surasak says he has hardly faced any difficulties in Bangalore. “The auto drivers cheat you sometimes but now I am used to all that. I even travel by the bus as it costs me less and helps reduce pollution that is on the rise in the City.”

He adds, “There is no difference between the buses of India and Thailand. The only difference here is that the men and women sit  separately.

He has many friends of different nationalities here — Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian, Iranian and of course Indian! “The moment you say ‘India’, education comes first to one’s mind. I now want to get my family here as they have never seen the country,” he signs off.

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