mungbean in india

Category Archives: Expat Life

Two Years

Well, I made it.  It’s exactly 2 years since I arrived in India. And I’m just about to leave Bangalore.  My last day at work is tomorrow, and then I have one more day after that to finish sorting things out before I fly back to the UK for a few weeks. The last couple of months have gone by really fast, and inevitably I still have a mental list of “things I never did” while I was in Bangalore. […]


Sometimes, to see something properly you have to stand a long way away from it. On the morning of 29 July 2012 I watched the opening ceremony of the London Olympics on the Internet. I watched as soon as I got up, around 7.30am, without my usually reading of the morning’s news over breakfast, to avoid any spoilers since it had gone out live the night before. As a piece of spectacle and theatre I thought it was really fantastic; […]

The Days are Going Very Fast

Eating my breakfast at 8am. The doorbell rings and Kannagi my maid lets herself in with the key I gave her. We  exchange pleasantries and as usual she heads straight into the kitchen, puts down her handbag and her phone, and starts chopping and cooking.  Once that’s under way, she starts sweeping the floors while the pressure cooker hisses away. “The days are going very fast now, brother”, she says. I agree, and we smile a sad smile at each […]

Nearly There

Only four and a half weeks to go and I’ll be home!  For the first time in 2 years.   Well I’ll be back in the UK anyway–I’m not really sure where “home” is these days. But it will be great to see my family for Christmas, and after that possibly living the life of an itinerant couch-surfer for 3 weeks, catching up with dear friends, many of whom seem to have participated in the British Baby Boom this year. […]

Now We Are Two

Time really does seem to be flying by.    It’s two years ago today since I set up this blog, just after buying my “one way ticket to India”.  Looking back now it’s hard to recall the trepidation of making such a commitment to jumping into the deep end, applying for the visa without understanding how it all worked, wondering about how I would find somewhere to live, and what it would be like to live and work in a […]


It’s the 17th of the month again, which means it’s exactly 22 months since I arrived in Bangalore. More to the point, it also means I had to get my employment visa renewed. So today I spent the whole day in or around the Foreigners Regional Registration Office, or FRRO–an acronym that strikes fear into the heart of many an expat in India. I had been looking forward to this about as much as a visit to the dentist (clue: […]


It’s another holiday!  Today is Gandhi Jayanti, celebrating the mahatma’s birthday. After a very long wait between Good Friday (6th April) and Independence Day (15th August) we’re now into the best season with 3 holidays in October and 2 in November this year.   It’s pretty disruptive to the teaching–our 4th term of the year starts in college this week–but very welcome nonetheless. One of the big surprises about moving out to India is that I’ve become a morning person. […]


It’s Independence Day in India today, my second one since arriving here, and a national holiday.   I’ve now been here for 1 year and 8 months. Assimilation is probably too strong a word, but I joked that I was fully assimilated when I bought a pressure cooker for my maid to use a few weeks ago.  I had never used one before, but the communal hissing of pressure cookers joins the sound of grass or twig brooms sweeping tiled floors […]

One and a Half

It’s 18 months ago today that I arrived in India, for the first time ever.  Three jet-lagged days later I started my new job. I’ve been trying to avoid “Robinson Crusoe” accounts of living here — notching up the days — but this feels like a bit of a landmark and anyway I’ve not really been counting since it was 1 year.  What I’m really interested in is documenting how it feels to become an ex-pat for the first time, […]

Festive 50 Part 4: 20-11

So I started a “Festive 50″countdown just before Christmas, but didn’t get to the end of it yet… mainly because I’ve been working absolutely flat-out at college since the start of January, and I’ve just been utterly exhausted. Plus I couldn’t decide on the categories for the last 20… :P Anyway, after Birds, Words and Food, here comes Part 4…  LIFE. Here are 10 of the most notable ways in which life has changed since moving to India. #20: Weather A […]