Living in an Expat Bubble

Life as a trailing spouse can be hard.  I get sympathy from my friends, family and fellow bloggers on the homesick days, the visa frustration days, the powercut days, the house-maintenance-argument days, the language-barrier days, the culture-shock days, the “help, there’s a snake in my garden!” days, and the days when everything goes wrong and you just sigh and say resignedly, “TIC” (This is China) or “Incredible India”.  So now I’m about to throw away all the sympathy.  I’m having one of those days when life in the Expat Bubble is good.

I woke to sunshine in India, instead of a dark November morning in the UK.

PM Palm trees

Our home in Bangalore is bigger than our home in London, and today our water, electricity and internet have all been pretty reliable.

PM villaI am in India because of my husband’s job, so I am prevented from working, by both laziness and the rules of my visa.  The only thing in my diary was an 0830 meeting on the tennis court, and that only took a couple of minutes free-wheeling down the hill on my bike.  The tennis group is relaxed and welcoming, and pretty international.  It is rare to have more than one or two players from the same country on court at the same time.

PM tennis court

I can stay in this expat bubble all day.  No need to go to work; no need to shop for groceries (I sent my driver off to the shops with a list); no need to water the plants or cut the lawn (we employ a gardener).

gardener with hose

I do usually cook my own meals, but today’s tennis was followed by an impromptu birthday brunch for an American friend at the sports club.

PM table

In the afternoon I went back to the club for a swim.

PM pool

Now I’m ready for some tea in the garden.  Funny how my “comfort drink” has changed in my expat years – now it’s Japanese tea in a Chinese teacup with an Indian jug on a Japanese tray on a Thai tablecloth.

chinese teacup

When my husband gets home, we may open a bottle of wine (Australian chardonnay bought at the airport leaving London) and sit out on our terrace.  Where’s your sympathy now?

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39 Comments Add yours

  1. Envious 🙂 working 2 jobs across time zones!

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      You deserve a rest!

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  2. pilipala51 says:

    I’m glad today is a good day. It looks tremendous where you live.

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      Thank you. Hope you are having a good day too.

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  3. I think it’s safe to say that I ENVY you. Great photos.

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      Thank you for commenting. This lifestyle won’t last forever, so I’m determined to appreciate it.

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  4. Sigh. I do get to travel, but I have to keep working…. I’d love to just take a few months off.
    Save me some tea 🙂

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      I will save you some tea, but the Chardonnay is all gone.

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  5. ottominuti says:

    I am so jealous now!!! I am sure there are tough moments but I could really use the sun, the gardener and the chauffeur plus the tennis club (not always in this order):-) Enjoy the bubble!

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      When the moments do get tough, diving into the pool or the Chardonnay really helps.

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      Bring some more Chardonnay, and you are welcome anytime. And actually you are the right person to restock my supplies of Japanese tea, so you are doubly welcome.

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  6. barbedwords says:

    Wow, your ex-pat lifestyle looks slightly more glamorous than mine…no gardener, no maid, no tennis club, no amazing looking swimming pool – what on earth am I doing wrong???

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  7. Karolyn Cooper says:

    But you have the pizza and gelato! I thought you had the sunshine too, until I read your post about rain in Rome.

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    1. barbedwords says:

      Ok, it has reached 27 degrees this week so we do get the sunshine and I did visit a gelato that had 200 flavours of ice-cream (may be slightly for tourists but, yum yum). I think I just want a dip in that pool!!

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      Thank you for commenting. And yes life in the sunshine can be great.

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  8. So there’s an upside, too, it seems 😉

    Sounds like you had a good day. Hopefully there’s still some sympathy left for the next round of frustrations.

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      Yes, there is definitely an upside. Thank you for commenting.

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      Thank you for commenting. Best wishes for your move to India!

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  9. That sounds like quite the life! Though I live away from home I don’t think I ever want to live in the expat bubble. But it sounds really nice and luxurious once in awhile…. 🙂

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      The bubble is a great place to recharge your batteries, ready for the next adventure. Tropical bubbles are probably easier to find than Arctic bubbles.

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      1. Yeh that is true! Tropical bubbles sound so much more tantalising than Arctic bubbles! One, you can afford so many more mango lahssis and I really miss that 🙂 though it is quite an experience living here… We are experiencing a crazy snow storm as I am writing this 🙂

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  10. Pecora Nera says:

    Powercut days, house-maintenance-argument days, the language-barrier days, the culture-shock days sounds like Italy. I am envious of the pool, house and tennis court. Well maybe not the tennis court, tennis sounds like too much exercise.

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  11. Karolyn Cooper says:

    I know I’m lucky, especially in November when it’s getting darker, greyer and colder in Europe.

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  12. i*Kan says:

    Hahaha… so true. I wish I could live the expat life back home in India 😉

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  13. rigmover says:

    Hey thanks for the visit and like on my blog, you have a great blog here.

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      And your blog will continue to be interesting even if there are no rigs in the photos. I lived in Dalian, China for a few years, in an apartment with a great view over the shipyard where all kinds of ships and platforms were built and launched. Your blog might finally explain to me what those floating platforms were for!

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  14. Vince N says:

    Catherine could get used to this!

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      Best wishes for your move- I hope you get to enjoy many sunny days by the pool.

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  15. Despite all your luxuries that we don’t have in Sicily, like fairly reliable electricity, a house with running water and so on, what I envy most is that fact you live where they have the best tea in the world!!!! Fancy swapping?

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      We need a three-way swap, or an even longer chain. You can come to India, but I don’t want to drink espresso, so we need to find someone in Japan who will let me take their place drinking sencha and matcha, while they move on to Sicily or to another link in the chain.

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  16. Kim in Fiji says:

    I love your description in the first paragraph of the ‘taken for granted’ things that incomprehensibly aren’t granted … funny, eh! Getting through stuff like that is big part of the fun of living out here for me. How long have you been in India?

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      Two years and three months, and then suddenly it was all over. We’re back in the UK and taking the water and electricity for granted again.

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  17. Kim in Fiji says:

    It’s all over??? Oh drat! It was such fun reading your blog from India. I hope your hubby gets his next job or post somewhere equally interesting – because it would be a great loss not to have your keen eye weaving the wide world together, detail by detail.

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    1. Karolyn Cooper says:

      Yes, the India posting officially ends after my husband’s final trip there next week. I don’t know what 2014 will bring. I will keep visiting interesting blogs like yours, while I look for something interesting to capture for mine.

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