'There's no dull colour here'

Expat zone

Gines Bernal Ros from Spain, who teaches at Canadian International School (CIS), came to the City a year back and loves it. With his wife Virginia Garres Aragues and son Ismael following soon, the City has become home for this family.

It was work that brought Gines to the City. “I had got different job offers. With the knowledge that I had of the country and thanks to the internet, I was able to take a quick decision — that Bangalore would be a good place to be in,” he says. Virginia, who also teaches at the CIS, says that the people here are very welcoming. “In Spain, the picture one has of India is a very different one. But when one is here, one will know how lively the streets are, how people love going out at night, about the ethnic groups here and more,” lists out Gines.

The couple, who resides in Yelahanka, avoid coming to the heart of City as they find it chaotic. “Driving in this country requires a special skill. When everyone’s going at a particular speed and driving in a certain manner, someone like me who doesn’t honk unnecessarily, will not be able to communicate on the road,” says Gines.
Having travelled to the north of the country, Gines and Virginia say that Bangalore is an easier city to live in. “Knowing that Bangalore has so many cultures and people from everywhere, it is nice to see them co-exist. The south-eastern part of Spain, from where we come from, is of a homogenous nature,” says Gines.

“The atmosphere here is pleasant,” he says. Gines also observes that people here don’t care about looks. “One could easily miss quality restaurants if one didn’t look beyond the heap of garbage that might be lying in front of them. A good cafe might have some really good dishes and specials but have an unclean set-up around it. But the citizens are able to look beyond such things and enjoy,” he says,
Virginia says that it was in India that she discovered that there were so many shades in one colour. “Bangalore’s a very vibrant city. I discovered different combinations of colours in this City,” she says. Gines adds that it was amazing to see how there were different shades in colours, and all of them, so bright. “There’s no dull colour here. Everything is so lively,” exclaims Gines.

Commenting on the festivals in the country, Virginia explains how special Deepavali was with the children at the school. “I got to wear the sari, then I changed into a salwar suit and joined in the festive dances. The lights and the crackers were also amazing,” says Virginia. Gines points out that they also have a festival very similar in Spain, but the festival is celebrated in June. He adds, “We also burst firecrackers to shoo away the evil spirits and bring in light.”

Talking about the cuisines in the City, Gines says that they haven’t been able to adjust to the spice levels here yet. “We do enjoy the naan, chapathi, paratha and biryani. But the spice level is much higher than we are used to,” says Gines. The couple say that they are most comfortable with continental, Chinese and some Indian dishes that are served to them at the school.

They also have their share of worries here. “We miss the pavements on the roads. There are these long stretches, where there is absolutely no space for someone who wants to walk. Also, the cows and other animals on the roads just shock us,” shares Virginia. Gines says that something else that has left him wondering is the queues here. “The concept is so lucid here. People just get into a line even if others have been waiting for a long while,” smiles Gines.

Nonetheless, all this is made up by the warmth of the people, say the couple. “It’s really endearing to see how the people welcome you home and share a meal. We have the same customs too. Back home, we make a guest feel at home by indulging them in food,” Gines wraps up.

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