Everybody here made us feel welcome'

Expat zone

Everybody here made  us feel welcome'

It was David Parker’s job as managing director of operations with Accenture that brought him and his family — wife Vanessa and daughters Jade Lauren Parker and Alana Kay Parker — from Harlington, UK to Bengaluru. They say that the City, which is a melting pot of cultures, has helped them settle down well.

“This is my first expatriate assignment wherein we have all moved together to another place. Earlier, I used to travel for work. This has been a very different experience. Everybody made us feel welcome, both the community and those at work,” he says.

It has been a huge change for their daughters too. “To see a different lifestyle and culture and grow up in it, is another experience altogether,” he says.

More about the life here, he says, “It has been interesting! Even work has been different. I was excited when we came in. India was one of those places one had heard about, read about, and seen on TV. Initially when we saw such programmes, we would think that these were just clips put together; but when we came to India for a short trip before we moved, we realised that is India,” says David. The traffic, the way people drive, the cows on the street, all seemed unreal, but they are what one finds here, he says. “It is part of our lives now,” he laughs.

David has travelled across the world for work. “From Singapore to Houston, USA, I’ve worked in a few places. I had spent some time in Paris and New York also. The office environment here is similar to anywhere across the world. But two things that stand out are the number of security guards here. And the second is the amount of time taken to travel a few kilometers. The company provides transport, which includes pick-up and drop,” he says.

 He says that it has been amazing to see the phenomenal amount of distance covered by the transport provided by the company every day.

“There is an increased level of positivity among the people here. The quality of the individuals around me at work is very different compared to other places. I don’t think I’ve ever been surrounded by so many high-class graduates or ‘toppers’ (as they are called here) in my entire life,” he lists out.

 About the difficulties at work, he says punctuality has been an issue. “But the kind of training given at work has assured that deadlines are met,” he says.

 David says that he has not seen anything different in terms of work efficiency. “What is different is the team bonding. We hold trips with the team and it was surprising for me to see the number of people who were ready to give up their weekend with families for it. This definitely helps in the betterment of work as it helps build a stronger bond among employees,” says David.

The family has adjusted well here and that includes measuring the time it takes to travel from one point to another in the City. “In the UK, if a place is three kilometers away, then you know that it is going to take five minutes or so. But here it is unpredictable!” the couple point out.

The weather is a huge add on, say the couple together. “There’s just nowhere which can beat this weather,” says Vanessa. “It took me a few months to adjust in. The culture and people are very different,” she says. But, nonetheless Vanessa says that it has been a colourful experience. “The people are very warm and friendly. It was nice to see that people talk fluent English. Everything has been fine,” says Vanessa.

The family has been to Bandipur and Coorg. “We’ve been to Bannerghatta National Park and ‘Wonderla’. It’s culturally different to see people going for  water rides fully-clothed than in swimming costumes,” says David.

 The girls, who go to The International School Bangalore (TISB), say that their school is what they love most. Jade, who is in grade four, loves the fact that she can talk to and be friends with a lot of people.

 “There are people from different places and the food is also varied,” she says. Jade feels that the school is much bigger and it’s a lot more fun than her earlier school. The teachers are also very kind and helpful,” says Jade’s sister Alana, who is in grade one. The couple, who love their stay here, adds  “We have learnt a lot and there is lot more to go”.

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