'I don't feel out of place'

'I don't feel out of place'

Expat zone

'I don't feel out of place'

Expatriates love Bangalore for its cosmopolitan lifestyle, salubrious environment, food and people. Mustafa Falah Javad, an expat from Iraq, shares his experiences here.

Mustafa Falah Javad, an Iraqi national, and student of East Point College, feels that Bangalore is a great place for youngsters and has an eclectic mix of modernity as well as traditional values.

He is a resident of T C Palya and has been in the City for a year now. Mustafa feels that the vibrant culture of Bangalore complements his nature. “After I came to Bangalore, I found so many friends. I love the City at night. We usually go for long bike rides. Everything is calm and peaceful and the roads are empty at this time.

I have a bunch of friends here who are from different countries and we like to explore the City. There are people here from many Asian countries, so I don’t feel out of place,” he says.

Though he loves the youthfulness of the City, he has had his own share of ups and downs. “My college timings are really long, which makes it difficult for me to do anything else. By the time I get back home, it becomes too late to even study.

Since we get up early in the morning, we can’t stay up very late at night. Sometimes, I feel a little unsafe — especially when I am travelling alone somewhere. I avoid taking public transport and have bought a bike,” he informs.

He goes on to say that by and large, the City has treated him well and he has made friends here. “There have been many times when miscreants in my area have tried to create problems. However, my neighbours and friends have been extremely helpful.

Things become a little difficult when foreigners like me face problems from the locals,” he adds.

Mustafa also feels that the City is well-planned. “The infrastructure in the City is great. I went on the Metro the other day and it was lovely. I am very impressed with the education system here; the teachers are very professional and helpful,” he states.

He isn’t a big fan of South Indian cuisine, but says that he enjoys eating non-vegetarian dishes and loves the fact that there are many places that serve continental food.

“We hardly cook at home. Indian cuisine is too spicy for me and I prefer eating at the popular burger joints in the City. There are so many eateries which sell continental food.

I also like hanging out at Shivajinagar — my friends and I often go there to eat kebabs, mutton fried rice and drink tea. Along with the malls, I like visiting M G Road and Brigade Road,” he explains.

Though he isn’t such a movie buff, he likes watching Hindi movies and says that Shah Rukh Khan is his favourite actor. “He is very popular in my country as well.

I don’t understand Hindi very well, but I like to watch some movies for their music and masala. I also like Katrina Kaif — she is very pretty. However, I don’t get time to watch many movies,” he says.

Mustafa says that he wants to return to his country soon, but will always remember his stay in the City. “I have met some wonderful people here and made some very nice friends, who have been there for me in good and bad times.

When I came to Bangalore, I had no friends. But now, it is only because of them that I feel at home in India. I will be really sad to leave them,” he sums up.

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