You've spent so much time working in office that your own dog growls when you go home, you have published a paper on arcane things like transient cloud interoperability and have put your head so up your manager's ass that when you cough he burps; culminating finally finally into getting the holy grail of IT <drum roll>.................... ONSITE !
And after getting the visa, your shoes polished, not so subtly letting it spread it through your relatives & neighbourhood aunties and buying that new red tie you think all the hard work is behind you, right? No. You cannot be further from the truth! Sowing your crop is something, reaping it is a different ball game altogether.
But do not despair! Help is here! With the Idiot's guide to going onsite you can do this stint abroad like a boss!
1. See the first order of business is to get active on social media sites, reactivate that Facebook account that you deleted because potential wives were liking your 'drinking beer in my favorite lungi' pics. Get on instagram as well, because if you haven't instagrammed 'Spaghetti al carbonara' (even though you couldn't finish it) then you are letting the best things in life pass you by.
2. Second you really really need a DSLR, no self respecting Indian man abroad can take the pictures of autumn trees with an ordinary phone camera. Because a photo taken from DSLR with a watermark with your name and the title "I love <insert name of your city> in fall xoxo" really ups your swag. Take as many ketchup packets from McDonalds so that you can fund your DSLR.
3. Just photos of autumn trees wouldn't do, that was for the classy half of your friends, the other half are going to wonder why are you taking photos of dying trees, for them it is the picture in the <crash cymbal> Snow ! That will make them realize that you are not in India anymore.
4. And the final and most definite photo you need is with the Caucasian people. No that is not another type of Asian people, I mean the white people, the goras, the firangis. But it has to be casual, no forced hand on the shoulder, no white woman awkwardly leaning away from you when you grin like an idiot, no you photobombing when they were taking a photo. Best option is to do it on corporate get togethers when they are forced to socialize with you and post with a casual caption "Lunch with friends / Beer with Yuergen, Havier and Hema"
5. Now that we are done with people and other natural things it comes to the pursuit of the most perfect creation of mankind! CARS ! The formula to stand beside a car that you saw parked on the street and take a picture with it has been done to death by our seniors in the 90s. Now you have to be in the car to make it believable. So hunt for the cheapest rent-a-car and get 5 more guys to pool in and then take the picture in the driving seat in turns.
6. Photos and cars are good but they cannot nourish you, you need food for that, that means rice. Also some rasam, sambhar, gunpowder and pickle would be good with it. Even the people who are in the know of pickle-packaging-for-the-flight understand that 2 KG of pickle isn't going to last you forever, so hound Facebook for people who are traveling from India and carpet bomb them with requests to get Mukkala Pacchdi when they come. Also simultaneously ask the locals which is the cheapest place to buy sona masoori.
7. India's average saving rate is 30%, and that is just average, but you are no average Indian, average Indians are not sent abroad to do the most critical tasks like servicing hardware, entering data in tables and teach people how to use a software. You need to go beyond that, to boldly go where no man except an Indian has gone before, i.e for 90% of savings. For that, share a studio apartment with 4 other people and have beds from wall to wall, skip some meals entirely because they should not expect you to pay 107.50 INR for a sandwich, get your wife to cook the rest, travel only in groups of 11 to share costs, politely decline any invitations where you need to spend money, get a haircut once in a year, get a house in suburbs to travel 2 hours a day and get pressure cookers from India.
8. Praise their infrastructure, social security and healthcare while cursing the 30% taxation, mandatory health insurance and abundance of processes for everything.
9. Wait for 2 months then start treating the new immigrants like they have turnips growing out of their neck instead of a head. Correct their pronunciations, point out helpful facts like you can wait for 4 hours to take the bus instead of spending 30 dollars in a taxi, tell them to ask for 100% Angus beef before ordering in Burger King and memorize phrases like "Dos cervezas por favor" to help them out when they are having a tough time ordering a beer.
10. Be more Indian than Indians. Put a extra colourful Tricolour as your profile picture on 15th August and 26th January. Pay 100 Euros for a Kumar Sanu concert though you downloaded all his songs for free in India. Dress up in ethnic clothes on Diwali party on the weekend after Diwali and say things like "These westerners have no culture" in a mixed group and then describe the cleavage of the girl you saw in the train that day to the guys.
11. Cry and howl if you are being sent back to India by your company. Bring up issues like old mother and blind sister who need the extra income or the fact that you will resign if you are sent back or threaten to go full Julian Assange to the client. But also keep mentioning to everyone else how much you love India and want to go back soon.
12. And lastly but more importantly don't hate me for this, I do it too.