considering expat move to Chennai

#1 May 28th, 2007, 03:37
Join Date:
May 2007
Location:
USA
Posts:
71
  • gkj is offline
#1
Hi everyone. Please excuse all my questions

My husband is considering a huge opportunity to take a position with his company in Chennai and would offer and incredible amount of money. However, I am freaking out a bit, is money that important?!
We have 3 kids under 11 yrs old, one dog and are used to living in the country. I am open to moving to a "subdivision". We would be paid very well and the housing would be paid for so that is not a concern. But are there nice areas near Chennai for us to live where the kids can run and play? Would you have to live so far out that the commute is way too long? How is the air pollution? We visited Beijing a few years ago and it was terrible (but then they have the mountains...not that you could see them ) How is grocery shopping? Can you find good meat? what about milk and other dairy products? I know it can't be like the US but would like to be able to find products that I am used to. Are the international schools far from expat housing? Are the mosquitos terrible? What about snakes? Do you feel safe from terrorism? Okay quit laughing at my questions, I will stop

Thanks for any info you can provide!
#2 May 28th, 2007, 09:20
Join Date:
Sep 2001
Location:
Land that shakes and bakes.
Posts:
15,883
  • edwardseco is offline
#2
you came to the right spot. We have a resident expert on site. Paging Nick..
#3 May 28th, 2007, 10:17
Join Date:
May 2007
Location:
New Delhi, India
Posts:
7,748
  • shashank.aggarwal is offline
#3
yeah Nick..the good Ol' englishmen..

by the evreything can be answered by nick..but lemme start with this...

Please do not worry about snakes and terrorism..
Foodiye - If you are looking for Indian Recipes and Eating out suggestions.
#4 May 28th, 2007, 11:05
Join Date:
Oct 2006
Location:
On the move
Posts:
343
  • Familyonthemove is offline
#4
Nick must be asleep? NICK!

I brought my family to Mumbai - and they like it .... most days!

I have a friend who's in Chennai with his family .... and he loves it .... every day. He has a large house (out of the question in Mumbai) and the family goes to the beach on Sundays.

You'd really need to see India if possible .....

As for shopping - some dastardy people are opening Reliance Fresh supermarkets all over India! Also - Chennai was really the birthplace of modern style supermarkets in India - so that will not be a problem. Although many people on this site will tell you that the local kirana and markets are better than the supermarkets ..... and they have a point.

If you like people (lots of them!) you'll like India.
#5 May 28th, 2007, 11:36
Join Date:
Oct 2004
Location:
Chennai, India
Posts:
70,948
  • Nick-H is offline
#5
Yep, even I have to sleep!

Chennai seems to be an increasingly popular place among new-comers to IM... Delhi and Mumbai are being left behind.

There are a number of expats here that post on IM, and I suggest you read through their threads for their comments, worries, reactions positive and reactions negative.

From what I read here on IM, it is a much cheaper city to live in (catching up, though ) than Delhi or Mumbai, and you will be able, as Family' says, to get a big house. Sea views, swimming pools, garden; all these things are perfectly possible if it is a higher-paying job.

Yes, we have supermarkets. We even have one or two that differ in being a bit brighter and newer, and having the name Reliance on the front (oh, yes, the veggies were better than Spencers, the one time I looked inside). But for everyday stuff it is hard to beat the local shop man who will deliver your needs within a few minutes of your phone call --- or the security man who will nip to the shop for you.

Do not let anyone tell you that you can get everything here. You probably can get every thing but you will not get an array of choice like you probably see at home. Shopping in India is a great experience, but is different, and there are times that I crave for a London shopping complex --- I'm a shopaholic.

I live a relatively modest life in retirement; it is a good life, there is not much we want for. I would say that, on an good expat salary you can have a wonderful life!

If the money really is huge, you can live in an area called Boat Club... you won't even think you are in a city. Even if it is more modest, Chennai has many leafy suburbs (catch one quick, before they pull it down and build apartment blocks ) within easy reach of just about everything.

I don't think there is any way that you could compare it with a posting to a European city: this is India, it is going to be an adventure, there will be frustrations.

There are no terrorists. Snakes killed all the terrorists.

There are no snakes. Mosquitoes killed all the snakes.

~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#6 May 28th, 2007, 12:31
Join Date:
Apr 2007
Location:
Mumbai
Posts:
285
  • mairangi_vice is offline
#6
well, Nick seems to have covered it all, as usual, but still...

Chennai has lots of nice areas, but dont expect an american style subdivision. It will be nice (potentially very much so), but will still be Indian. You probably wont find many food brands that you are familiar with (I know I cant) but it doesnt matter as the local stuff is great, and imported stuff tends to be pricey.

I also have been to Beijing, and I can guarantee that Chennai is at least 100 times better.

And as for snakes, you have snakes in the USA also right? when was the last time you saw one in the city?
#7 May 28th, 2007, 12:50
Join Date:
Oct 2004
Location:
Chennai, India
Posts:
70,948
  • Nick-H is offline
#7
Quote:
And as for snakes, you have snakes in the USA also right? when was the last time you saw one in the city?
Good one .

Have a feeling I might be quoting you on that one

But it is true that there are very many deaths each year in India from Snake bite --- but, as you say, not in the city.
#8 May 28th, 2007, 19:07
Join Date:
Oct 2006
Location:
On the move
Posts:
343
  • Familyonthemove is offline
#8
.... did I mention that there are Reliance stores in Chennai?
#9 May 28th, 2007, 20:06
Join Date:
May 2007
Location:
USA
Posts:
71
  • gkj is offline
#9

are you sure no snakes in the city??

Okay, you guys have be rolling about the snakes, mosquitos and terrorists! Thanks for you sense of humor. I have this mental image of a cobra laying around every door lurking for a fresh human meat

So, it sounds like there is a chance to get out of the city. Is it true that you will always see dead people on the street? And the smell of the city is so bad that you want to puke? Please don't laugh again, these are things people are telling me. We do need to get more input and then make a trip over. If we were able to live in an area such as the Boat Club how near are schools? And is it a long commute to Chennai? I have heard things like 4 hours in traffic to go a short distance. Would international schools be close by? It sounds like there are grocery stores that are clean and have plenty of stuff. Can you find good beef, chicken and pork?

Someone made the comment that Chennai is better than Beijing. How so? Is there no pollution in Chennai? Do you see the bright
blue sky? Are the beaches clean? Once again, you hear rumors about the beaches.

Thanks everyone you have been great, keep it up

What about churches, any protestant churches?
#10 May 28th, 2007, 20:12
Join Date:
May 2007
Location:
New Delhi, India
Posts:
7,748
  • shashank.aggarwal is offline
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by gkj View Post Okay, you guys have be rolling about the snakes, mosquitos and terrorists! Thanks for you sense of humor. I have this mental image of a cobra laying around every door lurking for a fresh human meat

So, it sounds like there is a chance to get out of the city. Is it true that you will always see dead people on the street? And the smell of the city is so bad that you want to puke? Please don't laugh again, these are things people are telling me. We do need to get more input and then make a trip over. If we were able to live in an area such as the Boat Club how near are schools? And is it a long commute to Chennai? I have heard things like 4 hours in traffic to go a short distance. Would international schools be close by? It sounds like there are grocery stores that are clean and have plenty of stuff. Can you find good beef, chicken and pork?

Someone made the comment that Chennai is better than Beijing. How so? Is there no pollution in Chennai? Do you see the bright
blue sky? Are the beaches clean? Once again, you hear rumors about the beaches.

Thanks everyone you have been great, keep it up

What about churches, any protestant churches?

well again..your fears of Dead people on the street and bad smell and uncalled for..other things can be cleared by people living around the area...once again **Calling Nick**
#11 May 28th, 2007, 21:12
Join Date:
Oct 2006
Location:
On the move
Posts:
343
  • Familyonthemove is offline
#11
I thought I saw my first dead person on the streets of Mumbai last night ...... till he got up

Often see elephants on the street (live ones) .... they are a soddin' nuisance! Cause traffic problems and they are only there for begging. Apparently they can be rented for 500 Rs a day - and the mahout can make 1500 Rs per day.

Not seen a snake yet.

A few mozzies have seen me.
#12 May 28th, 2007, 21:15
Join Date:
Oct 2004
Location:
Chennai, India
Posts:
70,948
  • Nick-H is offline
#12
Just a few things....

Hindu people carry their dead, all covered in flowers, through the street with lots of drumming and noise. If you want to, you can certainly catch a glimpse of a dead person's face among that all.

As to seeing bodies on the street. I don't think I ever have, but it is certainly more possible here than it would have been in London, and they wouldn't get 'tidied away' as quickly.

We see far too much clear blue sky. Far too much, especially over the past couple of weeks when the temperature has been exceeding 40C. Yes, there are traffic fumes on the main roads, but I don't find it too bad. But I'm used to it.

There are lots of churches. Do remember that St. Thomas brought Christianity here in the first century AD (well, unless he lived an awful long time, I suppose he would have had to have done!).

There is plenty of Christianity, of all different flavours. My [Indian] wife is a devout christian. I know she attends Catholic and something-else services every Sunday (you might gather that I am not a christian!). We have St Thomas Mount, where, apparently, St T. met his end, we have a cathedral..... Mrs N. says yes to the 'protestant' churches!

I don't eat beef, and consider pork to be too risky. The chicken will be the freshest you ever ate --- they'll kill it for you when you buy it .

I don't know where you get all these scare stories from! Time you came to see for yourself!

Traffic is, most of the time, much much easier than in London, where the rush hour now seems to last all day and be at its worst on a Sunday afternoon. But, in London, people do inconvenient things like stick to the right lane. Just slows everything down.
#13 May 28th, 2007, 21:17
Join Date:
Dec 2006
Location:
Chennai
Posts:
156
  • gertie is offline
#13
Gkj,

From the questions you are asking, I suggest you spend some time browsing through all sorts of threads on this site to get a general feel of India and Indian life. Read some books - travel guides, novels set in India etc.

Of course there is pollution in Chennai - this is India. The air is ok most days, the rivers, canals and beaches are not. Does it smell? Sometimes, in some areas, during the hotter weather.

I haven't seen a dead person on the street and I've been in India for a year.

Yes, traffic can be bad. Will it take you four hours to go a short distance? No. Your commute will of course depend on where your partner is based - your residence will also be influenced by this.

The Boat Club is in Chennai, fairly central, about 10 minutes from the 'centre'. I don't know that this would suit you as its mainly apartments and there aren't many play areas for children. Maybe a house on the East Coast Rd would be better - 30-40minutes out of the city and you could easily have a garden and a pool.

The American School (reputable) is located near to the ECR.

The majority of people here don't eat a lot of meat, if any. Its not widely available in supermarkets as you would find at home. The quality is often poor. However, if you desperately need meat in your diet you can order it direct from a supplier. Good quality fish is plentiful.

Just as an aside, I think you might want to stop listening to the 'people telling you things' - I think you are hearing a bunch of worst case scenarios with a bit of artistic license thrown in!!

Gertie
#14 May 28th, 2007, 21:22
Join Date:
Nov 2006
Location:
Chennai
Posts:
151
Send a message via Skype™ to TrinTrin
  • TrinTrin is offline
#14
While I am often too kind to India with my posts

You and your husband have each other - hopefully that will be enough cause there aint much else. It sounds like your kids are young enough that they won't suffer to too much socially. I'd say as soon as they reach adolescence they will want to be back home. As for running around outside and playing - nope - you won't want them doing that in a major urban center here.

Your dog, well there are lots of other dogs wandering about that it can play with.

Do you have a time frame on how long you will have to be here? That is important. If this is the typical expat short-term 1-3 year stint than the experience will be worth it. If you are really making your bed in India than its an enormous consideration which youll need to make.
#15 May 28th, 2007, 23:28
Join Date:
May 2007
Location:
none
Posts:
24
  • Blowball is offline
#15
Hello gkj,

Basically I am in a similar situation (which is why I registered on IM), only I would be moving from Portugal to Bangalore. So, thanks for your thread

It seems to me that basically what you are looking for is a little version of the USA within Chennai. That might be unrealistic and maybe not even desirable.

Thankfully, I don't have your problems (have been vegetarian for decades, live in a small rented apartment, have a Jaina mindset, hardly any possessions, no car), but pollution is an issue to me, too. So are potential deceases and dealing with beggars and poverty in general. I already feel guilty being better off than many Portuguese (I myself am not Portuguese). Not to mention passing by beggars in European cities without giving.

What do your children think of your plans? I assume the dog might not be too happy, depending on the breed. And it might have a hard time dealing with native dogs (some of which carry rabies if I am not mistaken).

Regards
Reply

Similar Threads

Title, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views Forum
Mumbai: expat population? Dec 17th, 2009 01:47 11 14968 Moving to Mumbai
Possible Move to Chennai Dec 18th, 2006 13:39 18 4265 Moving to Chennai
Expat expectations Aug 3rd, 2006 13:56 7 5204 India Expat Area
Expat Contract - Chennai Relo Dec 5th, 2005 12:40 8 2989 India Expat Area
Expat in Bangalore. Take it or not? Nov 3rd, 2004 11:05 25 22270 India Expat Area


Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2018
Page Load Success