Desi Aussie

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A late recap

Well, my respect to all the bloggers out there who hold a full-time job and still find time to blog regularly went up ten folds.

Can’t believe its been two months already since my last post. I was planning to blog through my two week trip to Sydney. But like a typical onsite IT guy, I had to work both Australian and Indian timings close to 14 hours a day. 

Its been more than a month since I returned, but let me reminisce my trip in no particular order.

– The immigration officer, the cashier at Travelex, the Vodafone salesman, the cabdriver to hotel, the receptionist at the hotel were all Indian or of Indian origin. The first non-Indian I met was the kid at McDonalds, the KFC next door has all Indian staff. 

– The way we Indians collect change from cashier might be a little different. I am not sure how, but most of our shopkeepers keep the change on the counter/desk and we take it from there or we open our palm and they keep the coins in our palm. In Australia it was from hand to hand. This might be a simple case where I’m a little quirky.

– Noticed higher percent of old people on streets/restaurants, it might be demographics(higher percentage of old people) or just that Indian old people prefer to stay home.

– Lots of East Asians in Sydney CBD, must be around 25%.

– Cab ride from Airport to my hotel in Ryde cost 83 AUD. WTF!

– Amazing public transport and the best part is bus, train and ferry were all integrated. full day multipass and can hop on anything you see. 🙂

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First trip

Soon after recieving the Australia PR, the good person that I am, immediately informed my employers about my future plans. I like to think of myself as a master manipulator, coz I don’t have any plans to leave the company for another 3 to 4 months. But I know that with our Australia project in a critical stage we need someone onsite for a few weeks and with my announcement I will be the obvious choice, but I also wanted to see if they would offer me a permanent transfer. As expected the short term trip and the offer for transfer both came, I said ok  to the first and would think about the second. So here I am now in airport flying to Sydney for a couple of weeks.

By the way, I had my first embarrassment today. Not that I didn’t expect any, but thought they will start once I reach Sydney. I was on my way to my gate, when a sales girl asked if I want to take a sim. My instant responice was sorry I am leaving, only to realize in a sec that she was selling matrix overseas calling Sims. Not a biggy I know, but I could sense the giggles the sales bunch were trying ygard to conceal.

First Steps

  Once received my PR grant, had to decide when to move. As I changed job just 8 months ago, my first thought was to complete the year. I know it sounds trivial, but don’t want my resume experience section showing that I left a company within a year. Add to that I’ll have to repay my joining bonus if I leave before completing a year 🙂 .

 In the meantime I created a spreadsheet on Google docs/drive, with tabs like things to take, things to do on arrival etc. One thing I know for sure is, I am NOT going to take any food related items. The reason is simple, I have never cooked in my life. I’m one of those entitled Indian sons, who doesn’t do any household chores.

The other day I called my friend in US. He was ironing his shirts on a Sunday. That’s when reality hit me. I don’t remember the last time I ironed my clothes, must be during school days, when my father brought a new fancy Philips Iron. We Indian middle class men are not just pampered at home, I have been living on my own for 12 years and never did my own laundry or cleaned after myself. Always had a maid, once when I rented a room in building with full time watchman, I didn’t visit a grocery store for couple of years.

 So moving to a new country where for the first time I have to ‘take care’ of myself, according to me is the biggest challenge I am going to face. Work is the easiest part, as I have worked with Australian clients for more than two years already. Don’t you people laugh…..I was going through the Gumtree.com.au website looking the shared accommodation section, most the people advertising for a roommate wanted a clean and tidy person, problem is I don’t know how clean I am, if I am left to cleanup after myself. 😦

 

 

 

 

First Post

About 8 months ago soon after I turned 30, I changed job and met many new people. After the early pleasantries there was the obvious question if I was married. It was obvious that I will be facing this question more and more and as my hair gets thinner most people will be reacting surprised if they find out I’m still a bachelor. For Indians marriage is not a matter of choice, just like belief in God.

I have long decided marriage isn’t my cup of tea and informed my parents in my early 20s. It took them almost a decade but they have finally understood I’m serious. But still I was aware of the issues once all my friends are married, life in India will not be the same. I already had an unpleasant experience calling my just married friend and hearing his wife wonder if I don’t have a life. 😦

So, I had to do what I resisted a decade earlier, move overseas. When most of my friends were going abroad, I was happy with my life in India. Now when most of them are returning to the buzzing Indian economy, I’m leaving.

What a sad life right?, well actually I’m leaving just to escape this phrase, because its hard to explain to my fellow countrymen that being single and happy is possible.

Why Australia?

English speaking: That narrowed down my choice to USA, UK, Canada, Australia. By the current economic environment and demand for my skills, Australia was the obvious choice.

The US visa process made me feel like a refugee, sorry I didn’t stand in Tirupati Q for lord Balaji blessings, I’m not going to stand in US embassy Q either.

After witnessing the UK riots, why would anyone think of immigrating there?

Canada: Sorry, too cool for my South Indian body.

And one big yes for Australia is CRICKET.

So, once I decided on Australia it was a pretty quick process. I got a PR within 6 Months of my application, Thank you DIAC 🙂

Though I traveled across India, I never lived outside South India. All my 30 plus years of life, ate the same food, same weather, more or less same language(s). So this blog is to chronicle my attempt at expat life, will it be A Passage through Australia or a Discovery of Australia.