Impressed by India

Expat zone

Impressed by India
When Shaun Agle was asked to come to India for work, he wasn’t sure about what life would have in store for him. But one never knows till they try and he decided to test the waters with a short trip.
      
Though India didn’t make him fall in love with it at first sight, he still decided to take the plunge and make the most of it. Now account manager at Rolls-Royce, Shaun has been a happy resident of Bengaluru since February last year, before which he lived in Delhi.

He says, “I heaved a sigh of relief when I moved to this city. I was a lot more comfortable and at ease here. The city is westernised, liveable and everything I need is at close distance.”

The stay in Delhi was not a very pleasant experience, he adds. “I stayed in a hotel for the six months I was there. Maybe it would have made a difference if I had stayed in a house but I’m not too sure. When I first moved to Bengaluru, I stayed in a hotel again but I was able to make friends easily. And the people I befriended then are still very close to me. I feel at home here; even though we are culturally different, something just fits here,” he explains.

Hailing from Flint, Michigan, Shaun says that he had a wonderful childhood, though things are not the same anymore. “Once upon a time, Flint was known for the General Motors company there but things have changed drastically. Now it is known for gang violence and a water crisis. Thankfully, I didn’t have to spend my childhood with these problems,” he shares.

Shaun’s family moved to the suburbs of Michigan when he was around 12 years old. He grew up playing soccer, football and baseball and opines, “I think soccer has helped shape me as a person. I learnt how to be a team player and several other good qualities because of the game.”

A globetrotter by nature, he makes the most of his time in the city when he is here. He likes going to the gym a couple of times in a week and Sunday brunches, house parties and musical events too keep him occupied. Cubbon Park is another favourite hangout spot.

Ask him about his choice in food and he says, “Unlike other expatriates, I enjoy spicy food, it’s one of the best things in India. However, I do try to stay away from the American food offered here as it is too Indianised for me.” He enjoys visiting ‘Pot O Noodles’ and ‘The Fatty Bao’ for Asian cuisine, the ‘Madurai Idly Shop’ for its ‘dosa’ and ‘Nagarjuna’ for the vegetarian meals.  Though he says that the city has been wonderful to him, he wishes that he wasn’t given privileged treatment because of his skin colour. He says, “I’ve noticed that when I go to certain places the security does not check my bag but if an Indian friend is with me, he is thoroughly examined. I’m not fond of such privileges.”

That apart, there are quite a few qualities that he wants to emulate too. “I love the sense of togetherness everyone has over here. It’s great that people have a sense of family here. I think we really lack that in the US,” he says adding, “I know that many Americans hesitate to come here because of their preconceived notions but they should see it for themselves. India a fun country to be in and offers a lot of interesting experiences, which can’t be had anywhere else.” 

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