Renewing a French connection

Renewing a French connection

Renewing a French connection

For many years now, Bengaluru has topped the list of the most preferred metropolitan cities by expatriates.  Ever increasing career opportunities and the pleasant work  culture are some of the main reasons for this, apart from the abundance of green space in the city.  

These thoughts are echoed by Anais Libralesso from Nice, France, who landed in the city exactly a year ago with her husband Salim Said and their three children Ilan, Naila and Imani.

For the family, the city has proved to be a melting pot of surprises.  When her company, Amadeus India, offered her an opportunity to work in Bengaluru, Anais was more than excited to continue her professional and personal journey in a new place among new people. She works as director engineering with the company.

"Our stay here has been quite peaceful.  We have finally settled down and are embracing the city's way of life now. The best part is that my children are enjoying their days in the school
and have made friends too," says Anais.  

She adds, "India was a land we were yet to discover. Initially, when we came here, we looked forward to exploring the different cultures and  architectural splendour by travelling the length
and breadth of the country. However, that plan seemed to be difficult initially as Bengaluru itself is such a  huge city and we still have so much to explore here."

"Having said that, we go for family vacations whenever we get time. Belur, Shravanabelagola, Mysuru, Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur are a few places we have visited within the country as of now," she says.  Even with such extensive travel plans, the family can mostly be found spending time at their apartment and hanging out with friends within its premises, thanks to the Bengaluru traffic.  

During weekends, the family goes to watch movies, sometimes even Bollywood  ones.  Apart from taking a liking to the culture, Anais says that they have also fallen in love with the culinary heritage of the country. In fact, she says, all of them relish the different flavours.

When asked what she misses about her hometown, Anais says with a touch of nostalgia, "I miss running in the forest at noon during the lunch break during my childhood. And green leaves! Here the leaves have all been coloured orange with the dust from the new buildings, that keep getting built here."

For Salim, it is the weather that attracts him towards the city. He says, "Bengaluru is sunny every day, unlike in France where the weather is always cold. I am also enamoured by the fact that we can easily get  different things like mango, cassava and sweet potatoes here."  

Talking about her encounter with people in the city, Anais says, "Apart from the usual hiccups one experiences while settling in, we have not faced any specific issues otherwise. It is not at all difficult to mingle with people here,  they are very welcoming. I believe that it is important for me to keep an open mind about the place I am in  and the city will automatically accept me. From what I have seen, people in India, especially in Bengaluru, are very close to their friends and family. I like that!"