'It is like living in a movie'

'It is like living in  a movie'

It wasn’t just the exciting nature of the city that brought Dale Boone, hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, here. He liked Bengaluru for its inclusive character and for the availability of various opportunities. The CEO of ‘WLOCE LLC’ and an international investor, Dale has been in Bengaluru since 2008 and feels at home here.

Recollecting memories from Atlanta, Dale says that his hometown Brookhaven is a place of historical interest. “I was raised in Brookhaven and have been in Atlanta for a major part of my life,” he says.

He adds, “I did competitive eating back home and would put that money into various investments.”

It was a job handling the Asian division of an organisation that brought him to India. His job included working with different actors in the country. “One of them didn’t complain once even though we worked for long hours. As beautiful as one can be, she was a great star back then — Poonam Dhillon. She encouraged me to bring my talents to India,” narrates Dale.

He spent a while working in Chennai before moving to Bengaluru. “I had a friend who would often ride a bike to Bengaluru. I had a two-wheeler myself so I used to travel with him. It took me eight hours to reach here. The first time I came, I saw ‘TGI Friday’s’ and was really impressed. The concept of my work back then worked out better in Bengaluru and that encouraged me to shift here,” he says.

The fact that Bengaluru has a more international character made his stay here easier. “In Chennai, I had to learn Tamil. But here, I could manage without learning the local language. Also there, I had to stick to a diet of ‘chapati’, fried rice and ‘chicken 65’ all through the day. Here, we have a variety of culinary options including ‘Krispy Kreme’ so there are fewer reasons to miss America now,” he says with a smile.

Of all the things that make Dale stay in Bengaluru, hospitality and the many options in Continental food available here top the list. “The city also sports various characters within itself. Koramangala has one, Indiranagar has another and so does JP Nagar.”
Dale remembers that in the beginning, people would stare at him, but now they have started getting used to foreign nationals roaming around in the city.

    “Some of the people know who I am, and then there are those who don’t and would like to know more about me. I especially like it when they don’t know me at all as they are their usual selves then,” he says.

Recollecting some interactions with his friends  back home, Dale says that whenever he and his friends (who have been to India) would talk about the land, they wouldn’t know where to begin.

“It is like living in a movie. I don’t watch movies when I am here because India is like a movie itself. If you are open to adventurous things everyday and to the fact that everytime you step out, something new is going to happen — things that you see once in a lifetime — then you are set to live in India,” he says.

Dale says that for a person looking for better opportunities, Bengaluru is a great space to do so. He has invested in real estate, retail and entertainment. “India is a ground zero for investment,” he says.

Despite having travelled across the globe, the Indian voyage was his first expatriate assignment. “I’ve never been in any other place for long. In Bengaluru, I have seen the city grow to become what it is now. The traffic is crazy because everyone owns a car now,” he observes.

Though Dale moved into a high-rise when he came into the city, he later moved to Whitefield and is now living in an apartment in Indiranagar.

“It is impossible to understand the place and its local flavour without understanding the people and the regional elements. One is very isolated in a high-rise building. But right now, most of my neighbours know me,” he says.

Dale also holds the position of an ambassador for ‘InterNations’, which is a community for expatriates and global minds. “I have a lot of friends here, including Indians and expatriates,” he says.

He points to the city’s global character saying, “People could mistake me to be from so many different countries as there are people from everywhere living here.”
The expatriate, who claims to be the present world champion of competitive eating, also enjoys digging into Indian food.

“At one contest, I ate a 100 ‘idlis’. I didn’t dip them into the chutney though. I love ‘samosas’, fried rice and ‘Chicken 65’ too,” he says. He adds, “There are a variety of places to eat at in Bengaluru.I like ‘Easy Tiger’ for its homely feel, ‘Hard Rock Cafe’, ‘The Hilton’ and ‘Cafe Noir’. The nightlife is also vibrant here, and even the older crowd has options.”

Dale also appreciates the many choices for shopping available in the city. “I love the ‘Sunday Soul Sante’. I wish it would be held more frequently though. There are also many different malls that one can shop at,” he says.

The expatriate has travelled across the country. But Bengaluru is home for Dale and he feels at ease here. “I had plans to move to Goa. But everytime I think of moving to another place, Bengaluru seems to outweigh the option,” he says.

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