Monday, December 29, 2008

I Found A Kindred Spirit Blogger - Another American Expat in Gurgaon!

I found another blogger who's American and lives in Gurgaon. Yay! A lot of what they talk about on their blog is different from mine and I seem to have only gottten my feet wet here while they've really spent some time roaming around Gurgaon and finding the more "Indian" parts of the city... the parts that remind me of Kolkata. It was great reading for me - someone living, but unfamiliar with Gurgaon.

American Expats in India

I left them a comment to introduce them to a couple of groups that I thought they might want to get involved with, that are exclusively useful for Gurgaonites (as we're called I here), and I realized, "Hey, maybe others could use this info, too." My buddy, Sudhir, gave me the first two, the third I found when I live in Kolkata and helped me once I got to Gurgaon, and the last one came from Lambert, someone I met through the third one. :-) Yeah, I know. It's a bit confusing.

The Gurgaonite Connection:

I don't have a lot of love for this group, but they are sometimes useful. Let's say your grandmother is coming to visit from Kansas and you need to find out where in Delhi you can get Slimfast. This tends to be mostly for "ladies who lunch" and their types of "issues", but if you're looking for house staff - don't. Most are overpriced because most of these ladies don't care what things cost (ex. 40,000 rupee salary for a maid in a house with a dishwasher and washer/dryer who doesn't sweep, clean bathrooms or windows, or do the dishes. Doesn't cook either. Also expects a 2,500 rupee uniform cost quarterly along with a 1,000 rupee transportation monthly. Oh, and medical care. Oh and two weeks vacation.) A professional friend of mine, a German guy, said to me, "Can I apply for that job? It's certainly easier than mine."

They can be quite judgmental as well. IMHO, they're the group of expats that are living on western wages here, most of whom have never experienced this lifestyle wherever they're from (think British Raj). I'm sure I'll get flame mail from them for this.

If you're looking for birthday cakes, nice places for tea, suggestions for restaurants to wow the boss, clowns for the kids' birthday party, warnings about shops and servants who cheat you, day care, school reviews, tutors, extra curricular activities for kids, coffee mornings with the gals, this is the place to go.

This group is all Delhi and the NCR Region. I find the people on this list more practical and direct. Much more helpful for those working for rupees and trying to make their way like all the other folk here. Lots of people looking for places to rent, furniture for sale, people recommending staff they're leaving behind that haven't been spoiled by a previous expat employer, vets, doctors, therapists... You can find those on the Gurgaonite group too, mostly massage therapists, though :-) I just feel more connected to this group - it has people looking for spiritual things, literary things, less material things and less of the gala benefit type things.


Internations is an invitation-only group of expats (and the locals that love them) and serves the entire world. Membership is free, but there are fees for different events. Typically once a month we do something, like listening to Sufi Ghazals at the Mosque in Nizamuddhin, or just a meet and greet High Tea, stuff like that. I try to instill a cultural learning component, while my co-ambassador handles the simply social stuff... He's REALLY good at that. I happen to be the current co-ambassador and would be glad to invite you. Simply comment with your email address, and I'll invite you for membership. The membership is world-wide, so wherever you go, there are friends.


This group is much younger, more the backpacker type, roaming the globe, but there are some fabulous locals who host these folks in their homes in the group as well. They typically have ad hoc events that are fabulously fun and everyone is very friendly. It a much more casual affair than InterNations, which feels more "professional networky" in my opinion, but both have their place here. Many people seem to belong to both. Membership again is free, but events usually have a fee or a "Bring Your Own Whatever" call.

There are lots of other groups, but these are the ones I get mail from regularly and they all serve their own purposes. Let me know if there are others that should be added to the list and if you know of other expats in Delhi/Gurgaon,, by all means let me know. I (and others) can learn from their wisdom and experience.

Happy New Year everyone!


  1. hey! I loved your post on internet marketing! Let's just say... Been there! The group you mentioned sounds cool. Can you add me?

    Also, you mention Aurora...fermilab.... I'm from Wheaton originally. Small world.

  2. We used to live in Aurora between 2002 and 2006. Fermi Labs was just up the street. My son almost interned there... :-)

    Add you?