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?