'This city has a lot of vibrancy'

Expat zone

Dan Durkin and wife Kristen Kirchmann from Colorado, USA with daughter Lily Marie Durkin moved to the City a while back.

 The family loves their stay here and says that the City has treated them well. Dan, who is the Chief Operating Officer of Habanero, a restaurant chain, says that he loves his job. 

“Going to a place for a short time, and picking up everything you have and relocating to the place are different experiences. It has been a wonderful journey till now. Everything has been fairly smooth for us,” says Dan. 

He says that things have been different in Bangalore compared to their stay in Singapore as they were used to getting everything at their doorstep there. 

“This has made us actively go out and figure out how to get stuff done,” adds Dan with a smile. “Nothing has been that hard. It’s been an interesting stay so far,” he says. Dan, who has stayed and worked in the USA and Singapore before, has also done consultations for companies in Thailand, Hong Kong and Indonesia. Comparing the work experiences, he says, “They are all very different from each other. I don’t think there’s much of a language barrier here. In the restaurants here, the level of spoken English, even among the low-level staff is good. This has made it easier for me.”

Dan feels that the people in Bangalore work hard and want to see their organisation grow. “Most people work six to seven days. People are passionate about what they are doing and the interest for their job can be clearly seen in their working style,” he says. 

His work has helped in the growth of the company and he says that his role is to spread the business to other places like Hyderabad, Chennai and Singapore. “I was a chef in the past and so I understand the details of the kitchen. My work involves improving the standard of the offerings by the restaurants and expanding the business,” says Dan.Talking about his experience, he says that the people here seem to be more connected with each other.  “Most of the staff can be seen doing things together like going for lunch. They seem to be more cohesive here. At other places that I have worked, once work was over, everyone went their separate ways.” 

He feels that this might be giving the people more time to discuss and get projects done efficiently.

He also feels that people at his workplace are curious. “They also want to know why something is done a certain way. This is a good habit. It’s always better to ask questions and be willing to learn more.” He feels that people are open to change and want to see growth. “In Singapore, people are resistant to change,” he says.

While they seem to be enjoying their stay in the City, ask them what they dread here and Kristen and Dan say in unison that the traffic is never-ending. “To get from one end of town to the other is a journey. There seems to be a big focus on growth, without proper planning,” say the couple. 

Where do they hang out when they have some free time? “We like to hang out at restaurants and cafes in Koramangala and Indiranagar. Being a bit of a homebody with an interest in antique furniture, I’m looking forward to dig around some of the shops in the City,” says Kristen. 

“The City has a lot of vibrancy, and one can see so much going on in the streets,” she says.

 She adds that she appreciates the people here as they have been great to them. “They are genuinely warm and gracious.” 

Eight-year-old Lily is excited about being in the City. “I like the atmosphere here and my school. I also enjoy the festivals and Ganesha Chathurthi is my favourite. I like all the fireworks and the excitement of the people as they sing and dance,” she says. 

Lily adds that she thinks that the people are kind and warm-hearted. “I love the students and teachers at school as they’re really nice,” she sums up.

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