Inaie: Out and About
Keeping in touch with your friends back home and around the world is, of course, an important aspect of expat life. Inaie had so much to say that she just had to start her own blog for technical reasons, as you will find out in our interview below. Her bilingual blog, Out and About, not only chroncles her adventures abroad, but also gives you insights on expat life in Bahrain.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Bahrain, etc.
My name is Inaie, I am Brazilian and left Brazil 12 years ago. Since then I lived in Australia, New Zealand, Emirates and now I am in Bahrain. We moved here in 2009 and I love it.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
When I first moved to Australia, I e-mailed all my friends and family with stories about my new experiences. People always suggested I started a blog, but my intention was only to keep the people close to me updated.
I was afraid of losing touch and the e-mails kept me close to the people I care for.
After a while my e-mail providers decided I was a spammer and started blocking my accounts for a couple of days at the time. That was very annoying and I found blogging would be the way out.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
No. My blog is a register of my experiences, feelings, emotions. It is a “diary” kind of blog.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Bahrain differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
Everything here is different. The culture, the landscape, the diversity of the people.
I had no trouble adjusting to Bahrain. The locals are very welcoming and the other expats are always happy to help and support newcomers.
It is also much easier to make friends in a “transitory” country like here.
I did not have a culture shock, as I came prepared to enjoy myself and learn about the country. I believe the key to adjusting to the differences is to come to the Middle East with an open mind.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Bahrain? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I had lots of help from my husband colleagues when we first arrived, so settling in was easy.
But we arrived in summer and this is something I truly recommend you avoid!
House hunting, school interviews, furniture shopping in the Middle East summer (50°C) is a nightmare.
If you have kids, I would suggest you contact the schools before moving – their admission process can be very stressful if you are not prepared.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
I got lost on my way to pick up my kids from sailing classes. When I stopped to ask for directions, the gentleman decided I was not dressed appropriately to drive through a local village, so he simply opened my car door, sat next to me and went all the way to the Yacht Club to pick up the kids.
According to him, he was a very modern man who studied abroad, so he would protect me from possible harassment from the locals.
I never felt so worried in my whole life. I only relaxed after I dropped him back at his car and we went our separate ways.
I confess that behaved like a gentleman during the whole time, but I was terrified he could be a weirdo.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Bahrain?
- Come with an open mind and a desire to succeed
- Don’t be afraid to reach for help, there are plenty of people willing to give you a hand
- BE CAREFUL! YOU WILL PUT ON WEIGHT. The food here is amazing!!
How is the expat community in your City? Did you have a hard time finding like minded people or fellow expats?
Not at all. There are many groups that are willing to welcome you. If you have a hobby, it is quite likely you will find a group related to that hobby. If there is none, you can start one when you get here.
How would you summarize your expat life in Bahrain in a single, catchy sentence?
Living in Bahrain is an experience of a life time!