Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Moving to India- Things to know

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”-Walt Disney

We, humans are considered as one of the greatest creations of God on this earth. Apart from brains, other distinctions include the ability to talk (verbally), need for education and culture, adaptability and a habit of ‘moving on’ in search of a better living. So, if this time you are moving to a country like India keep in mind some essential points that will help you with your transition and settling into the new lifestyle.
  • Language: While English is the lingua franca for business, hospitals and other much important information, one should learn basic Hindi words to deal with people like, vegetable vendors, support staff, maids, shopkeepers etc. Even in workplace while everyone speaks and understands English, a lot of oral communication is in Hindi. Therefore, learning Hindi is important for work, along with social chit chat. 
  • Climate: The climatic conditions change according to the regional differences, however most of northern India is hot and summers are long here. You must take special precautions in terms of being out and about and food that you consume.Heat stroke, diarrhoea, dehydration etc. are not uncommon during this season even among the locals. So, you must be especially careful.
  • Accommodation: It is good to live closer to your workplace so that you don’t have to spend much time and money in the process. It is always a smart decision to stay near a railway/ metro station, bus stop, hospital and marketplace. A gated community might be safer or a Paying Guest accommodation in a good locality might be economical as well as suitable.
  • Domestic health: Start looking for domestic help/ maids too as you will need them badly for household chores. In India, people don’t use dishwashers, washing machine and vacuum cleaners generally. So, it is good to start looking for a place and maid too, in advance. Ask neighbours, friends etc. and arrange for help as soon as you can.
  • Home delivery: Since labour is cheap here, you can get a free home delivery for almost anything – groceries, bread, milk, fruits and vegetables, medicines, cosmetics etc. Ask about home delivery options from local mom and pop stores. Save all these phone numbers and keep them handy.
  • Cooking Gas: It is very difficult to get a cooking gas connection and you cannot rely completely on electricity for your cooking needs. Find out details of local gas suppliers and keep a few of them handy for your cooking gas requirements. Take help from a local resident if required.
  • Health and Safety: Common health risks include dengue fever,  malaria,  diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever, rabies, and influenza, as well as hepatitis type A and B. Proper vaccination and good precautions against mosquito bites are highly recommended. In terms of eating, don’t eat at roadside ‘thellas’ or any kind of street food, not until you are fully accustomed. People should opt for mineral water/ boiled water only during the initial days of living. Beware of thugs and beggars; take care of your belongings at all times, keep your eyes and ears open. At the first sign of trouble, raise an alarm.
  • Shopping: Shopping is a big part of the experience of living here. But you should either go to fixed-price shops or malls. To shop like locals, learn to bargain before you finalize anything.
  • Getting Around: Newcomers moving to India should get a pre-advice on taxi, auto-rickshaw and cycle rickshaw fares before traveling. For very late or early hours either arrange for an acquaintance to pick you up or pre-book a cab. For cities with Metro rail, get a metro card to for regular transit. Avoid going to remote areas alone.
Living in India is an experience in itself. While it may be challenging at times, yet there is so much to see and experience that some people just fall in love with being here! Wish you a happy stay!

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