Taking the spice route from Taiwan

expat zone

Vincent and Alice Lin have been in Bangalore for six months now but their journey together is yet to begin. 

   The couple moved to the City from Taiwan because of their work with Amway and plan to spend the next three to five years here. 

   “We met in college but we didn’t really become good friends at the time. After that, we graduated and started working. Later, we happened to bump into each other on the bus and we started talking. One thing led to another and we got married,” says Alice. She adds, “It was only later that we found out we had gone to the same elementary school!”

Their work involves marketing Amway products. “India is one of the biggest growing economies and we want to be a part of that,” says Vincent. He adds, “I am the second generation to join Amway. My parents wanted me to do this before but I had refused initially. However, when I started work after college as a chemical engineer, I found that I couldn’t strike a balance between time and money.”

He decided to quit his previous job because it wasn’t giving him enough time for family and was affecting his health. Alice has a similar story, “I had studied diamond rating and gem testing in college. So my first job was in a Japanese diamond company with a good salary, except I was having my dinner at 10 pm every day.” 

“I soon developed problems with my intestines and digestion, and I was only 24-years-old. This worried me so I shifted jobs to an auction house, where a majority of the women were unmarried at an old age, which meant they didn’t have time for a family. This left me confused,” she adds.

The young couple likes having a stress-free environment. “In Taiwan, if you want to have a high-paying, interesting and challenging job, it means you have to sacrifice your family and health. But if you want the latter, you have to settle for a so-so government paying job,” says Alice. 

She adds that now she has the freedom to travel, kids and a future together.    “Before, we had nothing in common because we were working in two completely different fields. Now we have something to talk about and won’t grow apart in the future.”

The two, who have travelled extensively, will soon be taking a trip to Rajasthan. “My parents loved to travel so I have been to over 30 countries,” says Alice, while Vincent is still making his collection.

When asked about how their stay in Bangalore has been so far, Vincent says, “The people are very nice and friendly and we like the culture here.” 

   But they are unable to adjust to the food here. “It’s a little too spicy. The food in Taiwan is very mild and not very salty or oily so we can’t eat much here,” says Alice. 

   That doesn’t stop them from trying though. “We like butter chicken, mutton curry, chicken curry and ‘dal’ curry, although we ask for everything non-spicy,” says Vincent.

   What do they eat every day? “We cook our food but we never find all the ingredients. We cook with whatever we get. The Chinese and Taiwanese cuisines have a lot of green leafy vegetables in them,” says Alice.

Have they had any unpleasant days so far? “Most people are friendly except for the auto drivers, who try to charge you extra,” says Alice. 

   Vincent says, “I dislike it when it rains, the traffic is terrible and the tax they charge in restaurants is very high and different in every place.”

But they both love the discount season in India. “Even the normal prices here are cheaper than what we get in Taiwan so when there is a 60 or 70 percent discount on good brands, it is amazing!” they say. They claim that they were warned not to shop until the discount season came along.

After a year and a half of marriage, they say that they still have a long way to go and don’t know where they will be in the years to come. But they do look forward to travelling and spending time with each other.

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