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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

We interrupt this regularly scheduled program.....

My laptop has been hijacked. The one with all my pictures on it! We have 2 computers and 3 laptops in this house but it was MY laptop that allows us to watch some of our missed American shows. So, my kids are currently watching Disney favorites that haven't made it here to Singapore yet through MY laptop that is hooked up to the TV. I can't get to my computer to give you the awesome pictures of the Japanese gardens or the Terra Cotta Warriors or the fireworks or anything else I want to do! The joys of motherhood and always sharing!
So, I will instead refer you to a cute little post I found one day while browsing through some expat blogs. This post talks about the "ugly expat". Even the comments are note worthy, alot of comments but all really good. 
So, here are the 12 steps to being an ugly expat, blatantly copied from this blog

1. Don’t waste your valuable time researching your destination or its people before you move — a country’s history or dominant cultural values are no concern of yours. And for heaven’s sake, don’t throw away your money on any of that cross-cultural training mumbo jumbo — everyone knows what a scam that is.

2. Likewise, don’t bother reading up on the causes and symptoms of culture shock, or how to alleviate it. That’s what Valium is for. (Pack lots!)

3. Isolate yourself. Shut yourself up in your compound/condo and refuse all contact with local people. If there’s an exclusive expatriate club nearby, rejoice: you’re saved! Choose your new friends with care, weeding out any prospects who have Gone Native. (Being too chummy with the locals is a dead giveaway.) Successful candidates will have already aced the 12 steps and will embrace you as a kindred spirit.

4. show off your wealth, especially if you live in a developing nation. Your baubles and fancy toys will breed admiration and respect among the impoverished masses, who will revere you as a role model.

5. Under no circumstances should you eat local food. They eat that unsanitary crap because they don’t know any better; you do. (You can’t be too careful — who knows what you might pick up?) If you’re offered anything unrecognizable, be sure to show your disdain by peppering your refusal with terms such as “dysentery” and “intestinal worms.” Gagging noises are optional.

6. Let everyone know how backward the country is, and how much better things are back home. I can’t stress this enough — never let an opportunity to compare the two countries pass you by. It’s your duty to teach the local populace a thing or two, and opening their eyes to their own inferiority will endear you to them. (Bonus points if you can insult cultural and religious icons or other objects of reverence.)

7. Speak your own language exclusively, especially if it happens to be English. (If the locals haven’t bowed to global pressure and learned it already, that’s their problem.) In a pinch, speaking very s-l-o-w-l-y and very LOUDLY should help them understand you. Trust me, they’ll love being talked to as though they were 5 years old. If they still don’t understand, throw your hands up in disgust and walk away, muttering under your breath. There’s some body language that won’t get lost in translation!
8. Don’t try to understand — much less accommodate — local customs. If it’s not The Way Things Are Back Home, it’s irrelevant. (Let them know they’re not fooling you with that siesta thing, for example. Everyone knows daytime napping is nothing but sheer laziness. The steaming midday temperature is just an excuse.)

9. Treat your household staff like the servants they are. They don’t need a day off, and you and I both know that hot water would only spoil them. Since it’s for their own good, I’m sure they’ll thank you later.

10. Social networking was invented for people stuck in godforsaken places like this. Spend all day on Facebook, Twitter, and email, lying about how much fun you’re having. Then log onto Farmville and spend some quality time doing whatever it is people on Farmville do.

11. Drink. A lot. It makes life so much fun, both for you and those around you.

12. Take your frustrations out on your husband. It’s all his fault, anyway. If it weren’t for his precious career, you’d be back home among people who matter, instead of wasting the best years of your life in this hellhole.

I like this post. It makes me think about MY legacy I will leave here. It makes me become more aware of what I do, say and even think.
I do enjoy this expat lifestyle it is in many ways  a "break from real life". I try hard to assimilate myself to new ways and new traditions. I try to teach my kids that our way may not always be the best way but an open mind is! I don't want my legacy to be just another spoiled American expat. And because I see myself in some these traits I think I still have alot of work left to do for myself.


Tanya said...

Love it! We both failed though. We don't drink enough ;)

Laurel said...

Speak for yourself! With the cost of booze here I don't know how anyone can afford it!
I don't even HAVE household staff unless you count the Gecko that isn't do a good job of eating my ants! He's about to be shrimp on the barbie! LOL

malia said...

lol! i love it. i need to show this to steve asap!

Anonymous said...


My husband and I are in the process of working with his company on a potential relocation to Singapore in the next 6 months. I have been searching for blogs of expat wives from the US (we are from Pittsburgh) and have been fortunate to find several, including yours. As you can guess, I have many many questions because I have two boys (ages 9 and 7) and having kids can completely affect your perspective on things. Would it be possible for you to contact me via my email address so that I could ask you for some insight on the schools and the whole searching for housing there? My email address is Thanks,