'I love Indian food'

Expat zone

'I love Indian food'

Jos van Haaren, who hails from the Netherlands, moved to Bangalore a while ago when he was chosen as the research head of healthcare at Philips Innovation.

Jos doesn’t think twice before saying that he believes Bangalore to be one among the most welcoming cities, be it because of its people or its ambience.

Like every other expat who comes here, Jos and his family had a tough time
settling in their new home. In fact, he admits that finding the right places to shop for the food they’re used to was a task in itself. “Initially, we stayed in a couple of hotels before moving into our home. All our things had to be shipped from the Netherlands and it took us a while to completely settle down. Now, though, we’re more than thrilled to live in one of the best cities in the country,” Jos tells Metrolife.

Jos constantly interacts with a bunch of young people and he feels that young Indians are not only bright and intelligent but have a never-ending stream of ideas. “Young people have a better understanding of society, families and politics. In fact, young author Chetan Bhagat captures the life of Indians and their families very well in his books,” observes Jos.

Jos has two children, Els and Thijs, who study in the Netherlands. Jos lives here with his wife Hannie and he says that weekends are dedicated to exploring the many restaurants around the City. “When our children come visiting, we travel to the neighbouring states. Kerala is one of our favourite destinations because the food there is truly special and quite unlike what we get anywhere else in the country,” explains Jos.

For that matter, get Jos talking about Indian food and his face suddenly lights up. “I love Indian food in just about any form. I don’t mind the spice and relish dishes with chicken tandoori and paneer. I never miss a chance to explore the many Indian dishes,” he avers.

Jos has had his share of adventure with autorickshaw drivers in the City. “There have been autowallahs who have overcharged but I must say, they are pretty cheerful people who can really talk their way through anything,” he quips.

Like many others, he has his share of complaints about the traffic congestion in the City. “My driver can predict how much time it will take me to reach work and he’s never wrong. He is so used to the traffic congestion. No matter how early one leaves home, one will end up on the road longer than necessary,” he observes.

Jos and his family have done their bit of travelling as well. “We’ve gone to the summer palace of Tipu Sultan in Srirangapatna and the backwaters of Kerala are always exciting whenever we go back there,” he says.  

Jos works in the healthcare sector and thinks that India is making enormous strides in this industry. However, he feels there’s room for more to be done. 

He feels Indians are warm people and admires the close bonding that Indian families share with each other, especially between parents and children. “Indian parents are so proud of their children and they make an effort to inculcate a lot of values in them, at a young age. That’s admirable,” he notes.

He too spends some quality time with his family after work, especially when his children come visiting. “There are a lot of things we do together like swimming, cycling and going for long walks. My children have their own dreams and aspirations about what they want to do with their careers. And even though my wife and I sit and exchange ideas with them, I give my children the freedom to chart their future,” he sums up.

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