- What’s your name?
Tatjana Chen, or short Tats
- Where are you from?
- When and why did you move to Mumbai?
I came a little over 4 years ago. I met my now-husband in Dubai. He moved back to Mumbai and after 2 years of long-distance I decided to move to Mumbai as well. So yes, I came for love… 😉
- What was your experience of giving birth to your daughter in Mumbai?
In one word: fantastic! After the initial hick-up of finding a doctor and hospital I felt comfortable with, it was great. Even though family is far away, I had an amazing support system here with my midwives and doctor but moreover with moms I either knew already or met through the many parent-baby-groups. I got an answer almost immediately for any question or concern I had.
- How is life with a young child in Mumbai?
So far it’s been great. It is great to have so much help at your hand with maids and nannies, cooks and drivers available. That would certainly not be the case back home. On the other hand you have full-day kindergarten in Germany and to find a decent day-care, especially when the child is still young is not all that easy. There are many places to explore like the different indoor play areas in the city and restaurants are mostly very kid friendly. When I did visit home I loved being able to just take a walk with my daughter in the stroller and I was missing proper sidewalks when I got back. But I was baby wearing right from the beginning and cannot recommend it strongly enough. Great way to move around with the little ones with the additional benefit of having your hands free.
- What are your favorite places in Mumbai? (Restaurants, parks, shops, museums, anything and everything)
Oh dear… This might take a while. I am a foodie and with Mumbai’s ever changing and expanding food scene, where do I begin? Well, there is definitely Taj Mahal Tea House in Bandra Reclamation. If I had to choose one place, this would be it. Delicious chais, scrumptious snacks and the gorgeous environment with all its books – there are not enough words to describe it. Other than that, I love the atmosphere in Prithvi Cafe – ha, and there is a bookstore right there, too. When I want to shock friends visiting from abroad, I take them to Pali Village Cafe. Nobody would set foot inside the place looking at it but the food is to die for. When I crave something healthy and light, I am going to Bombay Salad Co. I could go on forever… ha, one more: afternoon tea at the Taj Mahal Palace!
So much about the food. I love reading so I enjoy popping into the various book stores around town, especially Granth and Kitab Khana. My favourite places are the Bandra Fort (great view of the Sea Link) and the Forest Park in Powai (you really feel as if you are in a forest!), and walking through the lanes of Bandra or Kala Ghoda. To get pampered I enjoy a nice foot massage preferably at the Sukho Thai Spa on Turner Road. I am not much for shopping in the big malls. I much rather go for the various pop-up markets and discover smaller brands with a story and beautiful quirky things to sell. One store though, does stand out for me: Good Earth in Lower Parel. The decor, the sounds and scents in the air – even if you don’t buy anything you leave happy and relaxed. Wait, is that why they call it retail therapy?
- What was the biggest challenge for you when you moved to Mumbai? How did you overcome it?
Hmm, I think I had a much easier start into life in Mumbai than most expats. My husband is Indian and so for any questions/challenges/language barriers I had somebody at hand to ask. Also, as he had moved here much earlier, I came into a fully set up apartment, so no concerns like “I need WiFi, NOW”. However, as I was used to working full-time I quickly felt bored but didn’t yet know where to go and what to do. The various expat clubs really helped me, introducing me to people and locations around the city and from there I started off on my own and haven’t looked back since. So in brief: my biggest challenge was where to start exploring 😉
- What are your tips for people who are moving to Mumbai to make this city home?
Jump in, deep end, head first! It’s a crazy city (in a good way!) with lovely people and something on offer for everybody. You just gotta find YOUR places and people and you will have an amazing time.
- Show us your phone screen: what are your favorite apps to use in Mumbai?
Definitely Google Maps and Uber – the way to find places and get to them. Facebook! Only just because I feel Facebook is a much more used tool in Mumbai than anywhere I lived before. When it comes to sharing events, new restaurants/stores etc., basically whatever happens in the city, you will hear about it on Facebook.
- Anything else you would like to share?
#1 I love Mumbai! #2 I am really excited to be joining the Gwenda Glocalista team and spreading my love for the city!