Moving to India? Remember These Tips…

Moving to India? Remember These Tips…

Living in India is balancing modernity with traditional ideas and practices according to the website Expat Focus.

You will also find differences in the ways of life in the metros such as New Delhi and Chennai and the tier I cities like Pune, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, which are also quite different from the Tier II cities such as Nagpur, Mysore, and rural areas.


There are at least as many cuisines as there are States in India – each having its own kind of charm and distinctive type of cuisine. Street food too is of varying kinds and has a special allure as in all countries. However, do be careful eating off the streets or in roadside inns or ‘dhabas’, as the food may not be very hygienic. Also avoid eating raw vegetables in salads even in better establishments. At all times, do carry your own supply of drinking water wherever you go. If you do happen to catch a stomach bug, eating plenty of yogurt and drinking safe water will keep you hydrated and your gut happy.


With the exception of the Metro trains in Delhi, Kolkata, and Bangalore, public transport in India is crowded and difficult to adjust to. The three-wheeled auto-rickshaws, if and when available, are one of the alternate choices. Ola cabs and Uber are now available in cities. Ola also has a share-a-ride facility which is affordable. Download Google Maps on your smartphone and feel more confident by following the path being taken in hired transport.


In metros and tier I cities shopping malls are ubiquitous and you will find chain stores such as Marks and Spencer, or Westside; others are brand outlets such as Accessorize, Puma or Nike to mention a few. At such places one pays the price on the tag. However, at smaller establishments and mom and pop stores, some bargaining is a must. Start with 50% – 60% off the original price quoted and settle for about 40% less than the initially offered price.


You will find them at traffic lights, tourist spots and outside hotels and, well, just about everywhere. While they do arouse pity and compassion in each of us, ‘helping’ them by giving them a few rupees may not be very helpful as most of them are part of well-organized cartels. Please do ignore them. There are many deserving NGOs that operate in every city and which do good and far reaching work in education, health and other social causes. Supporting such organizations with a donation or even volunteering your time and expertise at such places will be very rewarding.

Understanding a ‘Yes’ in India:

A head-shake, sideways, shoulder-to-shoulder often means a ‘yes’. And universally most people in India are culturally wired to say ‘yes’ to you so as not to appear rude or offend you by saying ‘No’. So make sure to tell the person that they are free to say ‘no’ if they really cannot help in what you may want them to do, and you will be completely OK with that.


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