'Bangalore has a lot of job opportunities'

'Bangalore has a lot of  job opportunities'

Expatriates love Bangalore for its cosmopolitan lifestyle, salubrious environment, food and people. Christopher Willcocks, an expat from the UK, shares his experiences here.

Christopher Willcocks from the UK came to Bangalore for a three-week holiday — but now, he calls this place a home away from home. The City mesmerised him so much that he decided to stay back. “The first flight that I took in my life out of Europe was to India. My friend invited me here to see what a great country it is. I realise now how true he is. I’ve made such good friends here — I’ve never met people like that back home in London,” he says.

He adds that Bangalore has a lot of career options that suit expatriates. “I work here as a cross-cultural communication trainer for the BPO sector. I train people to think from the UK perspective; I cannot imagine doing this job anywhere else. Bangalore has a lot of job opportunities,” he states.

Going down memory lane, Christopher mentions that he misses the charm that the City had a few years ago. “I came to Bangalore seven years ago. Back then, Bangalore had a good nightlife. It was not this crowded. It was calm and serene. In fact, it reminded me of a small city in England. But now, Bangalore is growing rapidly. It looks like a metropolis,” he says.

Most expatriates do face their own share of problems when they come to the City. For Christopher, it was the language issue.

“Since I have stayed in Bangalore for over seven years, many people criticise me for not learning Kannada. I consciously make an effort to speak in the regional language. But the problem is that in Bangalore, very few people speak in Kannada. I try to talk to an autorickshaw driver, and he wants to practice his English on me. He says, ‘My children go to an English-medium school, I want to learn English to speak with them’. Everyone converses with me in English. In such a situation, learning a language becomes difficult,” he says.

Indian cuisine is not just popular in India but across the world. Christopher points out, “I used to love Indian food, even when I was in England. The UK has the largest number of chains of Indian cuisine in the West. Indian food is very popular there. I love the simplicity that is present in Indian dishes, especially those from South India. My favourites are rice, rasam and dal.”

Adding to that, he says, “My partner is from the North-East. She enjoys different Assamese delicacies. The variety of food found in India is unbelievable!”

Ask him if he dislikes anything about Bangalore, and he says, “Garbage is a big problem here. The City is great and the people are friendly — so, if the garbage is managed properly, it will have everything in place to match international standards.” Christopher’s passion has always been music and in Bangalore, he has got a chance to pursue it.

“In 2006, I got together with a bunch of guys and formed a band called ‘Usual Suspects’. We were one of the first Bangalore bands to play punk rock. Currently, I am working on a project called ‘Crash TV’,” says Christopher.

Indian movies have always got worldwide attention. Christopher says, “Though I do not understand the language, I watched ‘Rock On!’ and enjoyed it. Another movie I love is Taare Zameen Par — I cried watching that film. Indian movies portray emotions elegantly.”
To sum up, Christopher says, “I love this City and its people. They have welcomed me here!”

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