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Religion in the societies

In India, it is important to choose your building well… And its inhabitants!! Because what they call “society” will not let you free… All the bored people (the retired ones, the housewives, the servants, the watchmen) will find your life worthy of being watched…


This is how, in Pune, I had a hard-time finding a “society” that would accept a non-married French-Indian couple. The landlords were cool about it. But they had to ask the permission of the “society”!!


Then, once I arrived in Mumbai, I moved into a Sindhi “society” – Sindhis are the Hindus who came from Pakistan after the partition. Nothing special to say apart from the fact they all were Sindhis.


And then, when I shifted to my new building, I was very happy to discover a catholic “society” - I thought that they would be a little less “conservative” that the others but well, not really. In short, in my building, there are only Rodriguez, Pereira, Rebello etc. families and this makes me laugh every time I see the board with all the names! And then, one fine day, I get a note from my “society” stating that the annual meeting took place and in  introduction: “after praying, we started the meeting…” Would be interesting to try that in France!

We are also regularly invited for masses (for birthdays, deaths etc) in our small garden. At least this brings people together...


The most constraining “societies” might be the Muslim ones, from what I heard. A French friend was accepted in one of them only because her husband was Muslim. And in another one, the French guy promised not to bring in alcohol nor pork.


No judgment here. It is just a little surprising, at the beginning.


Seeking the good life abroad?

 Best overall locations:

Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the United States are the three countries to emerge as best expat locations overall in our expat survey.

The United Kingdom and France were amongst the lowest rated destinations, scoring poorly on their levels of luxury and accommodation.


Earning and spending:

Expats spend more whilst still being able to save.

Over half (58%) of expats surveyed save and invest more than they did in their country of origin.

Comparing their country of residence to their country of origin expats spend:

·          52% more on food.

·          49% more on shopping.

·          45% more on socialising in their new country of residence.

Where six-figure salaries are the norm: Expats based in Hong Kong and India have the highest salaries in the world; with close to half earning more than £100,000 p.a. Interesting thing to discuss in the beginning of next year with my boss !!

The highest paying professions were in finance and management with 43% of people in these industries earning a six figure salary.


India scores quite well, 9 out of 14. This is due to the fact that expats in India can save (they are paid high to face hard conditions?? ;) ). For instance a V.I.E. (kind of contract for young expats) will get 2 360€ per month in Mumbai and 3 000€ in New York. So ok renting a place in Mumbai is super expensive but the rest is really affordable…


Another thing to notice is how long people stay in India: 1 year!! So India actually ranks very high in “luxurious” which is mainly related to employing staff. Apparently having a driver and a maid won’t make anyone stay in India though!!



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Philippines!! Travelling without Indians ;)

At the time you will be reading this article, I will be somewhere in Philippines!!


The first thing I came across when I decided to go there is that there must be very few Indians visiting Philippines!! And how did I get this feeling?? I visited about 10 bookshops and there was no travelling guide!! I had to order it online…

I have to say, since I am going on holidays, and anyway carrying a walking reminder of where I live, this sounds quite good!!


And figures prove it – anyway it is not too difficult to figure out why Indians do not go to Philippines: Indians who travel have money (lots of money) and Philippines has not so good a reputation (quite poor and unsafe, no electricity etc.):


In 2006 they received 18,000 tourists from India (whereas 8 millions of Indians had travelled abroad – 0.22%). Reciprocately, only 5,000 Philippinos went to India that year.

In 2010, they received 34,800 tourists from India (whereas 12 millions of Indians had travelled abroad – 0.29%).


Apparently Philippines are now targeting Indian tourists, starting with a direct flight from Delhi in March 2011… Let’s see!! After ads on TV for Malaysia, maybe we will see Philippines soon!


And if you wonder what are the top abroad destinations for Indian tourists:


·          Colombo

·          Singapore

·          Kuala Lumpur

·          Fiji

·          Maldives

·          Bhutan (Thimpu)

·          Paris

·          Hong Kong

·          Rome

·          Geneva


Sources : ;