Off the beaten track

Expat zone

Off the beaten track

Soon after Ana Carolina Tramontini came to Bengaluru in 2015, she went on a short trip to Mysuru with her friends. Upon her return, she realised that she had lost her purse containing her wallet, cellphone and passport.

She filed a complaint at the police station but the officials told her to inform the embassy about the loss. When she had lost all hope, a couple of weeks later, she received a message on Facebook from a police officer in Mysuru informing her that her valuables had been found. She went there to retrieve her things and returned feeling hopeful that this could be the country she would fall in love with.

Today, she works as a project manager at ‘Greenbooks Learning Solutions’.
The enthusiastic Brazilian didn’t know much about the country before she moved here. She says, “I was looking for a job in India and that’s when I heard about this internship with an organisation. I started researching about the work culture and how it would be to live here. Before moving, I had only heard about cities like Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata; the information I had about those was also quite vague.”

One of the things about Bengaluru that instantly clicked with her was the variety of food available. She says, “Apart from the great weather and abundant career opportunities, I love the array of food available here. I visit ‘Mustard Cafe’ in Koramangala at least twice a week to savour the hot chocolate. I also enjoy the food available on Mosque Road and the best part is that eateries there are open till about 1 am. For South Indian breakfast, ‘Airlines Hotel’ is the place for me.”

Before Ana moved here, she worried that she wouldn’t fit in. “But everyone was so sweet, especially my colleagues. They introduced me to the different places and have always been there for me when needed. I have had Indian food in Brazil but it can’t be compared to what is available here. It was mostly North Indian dishes like ‘chapati’, ‘naan’ and some non-vegetarian gravies that I had there. Being a vegetarian, I didn’t have much of a choice.”

Ana does miss home and the lifestyle there. She explains, “I come from a town called Balneário Camboriú which is located on the beachside. The universities are very popular there, so the population mostly comprises students and retired professionals. The city grows to almost twice its size during the summer. But since everything is closeby, you don’t need a vehicle to get to places. I miss hanging out by the beach and the park.”

That’s why she chooses to visit places in Bengaluru that are quiet. She says, “I like going to ‘The Meditating Monkeys’ to gather my thoughts. It’s also a great place to just hang out, meet new people and hear the birds!”

Sometimes, she also heads out of the city with various trekking groups. “Having grown up around the beach, I used to go on treks with my friends. However, it isn’t considered a big thing there, it’s just regular walking for us. So when I heard about trekking groups here, I thought it was a lovely idea and now I make sure to go on one at least once in couple of months,” she says. Her most exciting trekking trip was to Mount Sinai in Egypt.

Ana also likes visiting pubs that offer live music. ‘Church Street Social’, ‘Windsor Pub’ and ‘Easy Tiger’ are some of her favourite haunts. She says, “The quality of musicians in the city is phenomenal. I’m used to seeing a guy playing his guitar and singing by the beach. But here, the musicians have something different; they make a living out of music.”

Being the environment-friendly person that she is, she wishes people would stop honking on the roads. “It breaks my heart when I hear old Bengalureans talk about how wonderful this city used to be. I wish I knew what it was like then,” she expresses.

Though she doesn’t know how much longer she will be here, Ana is trying to make the most of it. “I’ve had such wonderful experiences here. I want to learn more, explore more. It’s a beautiful city and I am thrilled to be a part of it,” she says.

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