'The City reflects the spirit of modern India'

Expat zone

Bangalore has time and again emerged as the best Indian city when it comes to the quality of living for expatriates. Metrolife interacts with Elise Cambournac an expat from the US to find out about her life here.

Discovering : Alban and Elise Cambournac with sons Benoit and Julien.

Three years after moving to Bangalore for work purpose from the United States, Elise and Alban Cambournac and their sons Benoit and Julien say there could not have been a better home.

They have no complaints and say they have settled in the City and have adapted to its culture and ethos pretty well.

Yes, they concede that having come from a perfect environment to a rather chaotic one, they did face teething problems in the initial days but they, as a family, always preferred to look at the brighter side of things. And now, Elise says the children love Indian food, she stocks more salwars and kurtas in her wardrobe and her husband Alban too has made himself at home in a country known for its vibrance.

Metrolife caught up with the family members and asked them how their journey has been thus far. Elise explains that they moved to Bangalore from Nashville in the United States, the home of country music, to be precise.

“My husband’s company had an office in Bangalore and the choice of the City was made for us. But we knew we would love moving to India. When the opportunity came, my husband, who always keeps a great spirit for adventures, trusted my judgement and took the opportunity to move here without even visiting India,” explains Elise and adds, “The City is dynamic, fun, exciting and of course, sometimes a little crazy. But to us, it truly reflects the spirit of modern India. We liked it instantly.”

Elise recalls that they had to get to work immediately when they moved in and barely had any time to settle down.

“For me, it was not only about starting  afresh in a new country, but also about working for a new company. So we had to get things done quickly and efficiently and learn the Indian way of dealing with everyday matters really fast,” she explains and agrees that things in India move at a snail’s pace.

But she says that despite a few tough situations, the transition was smooth. “We’ve never really missed any food or items we used to get back home. We’ve always looked at what is available, what the people around us are cooking, buying, etc and do the same. Sure, we get excited when we find good cheese or great chocolate, but we don’t really miss it,” she says rather honestly.

The couple lives in Whitefield and there are a few things Elise would like to change about the City. She says that she spends more than half her time travelling in the City. “It’s not so much about the traffic, it’s just that wherever you are and wherever you go, the minimum time taken is one hour. It used to be better three years ago when we moved here. Unfortunately, I don’t see much improvement coming in the next few months or even a couple of years,” she observes.

And Elise is quick to add that she admires the energy of the City. She feels it is a melting pot of culture.

“Bangalore is one of the few cities in India where women can wear skirts and not seem at odds with their surroundings. And you find something for every taste from food to culture, art to outdoor activities,” she explains. 

They don’t drive into the City very often but when they do, they hang out at the UB City, discover new small eateries, go shopping to Commercial Street, eat at traditional Indian restaurants and sometimes even go to the City Market.

And food is no issue at all. “We love Indian food. Our children are quite Indian now. They like Indian food, eat with their hands, speak with an Indian accent and just love living in Bangalore. They have learnt to play cricket and love it. From the zoo to the science museum, they have visited all the kid-friendly places in town,” she sums up.

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