Moon Living Abroad in India
By Margot Bigg, 1st Edition
Paperback, Avalon Travel
Reviewed by Volker Poelzl
The first edition of Living Abroad in India is the latest volume of Avalon Publishing’s expanding series of Living Abroad guides for Asian countries. India is not known as a popular destination for Western expatriates, but this is slowly changing. With India’s skilled labor force often employed abroad and in short supply at home, the country’s rapidly expanding IT sector is beginning to attract a growing number of foreign professionals. In line with this new trend, Living Abroad in India is a timely and important guide for foreigners planning to work in India. The book is not just written for IT specialists with jobs lined up in one of India’s modern technology centers, but for anyone interested in spending an extended period of time in this exotic, fascinating, and often incomprehensible country.
Moving to another country is a complex process, and expatriates need to quickly learn about many issues and have vital information readily available. This is especially true for a country as vast and complex and India, where different millennial traditions, cultures, and ways of life exist side by side forming an often impenetrable web of cultures, customs, and ways of life. If you need a reliable source of practical up-to-date information for your move to India, “Living Abroad in India” is no doubt a smart choice. The book is quite useful in helping foreigners deal with the complexities of living in India. The material is presented in an easily readable format and covers all the important aspects of daily life in India. In addition to providing in-depth information about the practical aspects of moving to India, the book also introduces readers to Indian customs and etiquette, social values, religion, and the arts.
Author Margot Bigg, a journalist and dual U.S. and UK citizen, has lived in New Delhi for several years, and the insights she shares in her book are based on her own experiences of moving to India.
From her perspective as an expatriate, Margot Bigg conveys her impressions about India. As she writes in the opening paragraph of her book: “Nothing can truly prepare you for India, because India is not like anywhere else in the world. Oftentimes you feel like you are on another planet, or at least in a parallel universe, where order is replaced with what seems like chaos, where extreme wealth and shocking poverty exist side by side in some sort of idiosyncratic harmony.”
The section about daily life consists of various chapters that cover important practical aspects of moving to and living in India, such as "Making the Move," "Housing Considerations," "Language and Education," "Health," "Employment," "Finance," "Communications," and "Travel and Transportation." In addition to a general overview of the practicalities of life in India, the author also goes into great detail about how to set up your new life in India—from dealing with utilities to opening a bank account.
The section about prime living locations introduces readers to those Indian regions and cities that are most popular with expatriates, such as Delhi and surroundings, Mumbai, Bengaluru (Bangalore), and several other regions. These chapters provide information about the lay of the land, where to live, daily life, getting around, and other useful facts about India’s prime living locations.
For additional information not covered in the text, readers can consult the Resources section at the end of the book, which provides contact information and other additional facts about the topics covered in the previous chapters. There is also a glossary, phrasebook, and a list of suggested reading and films.