It’s their party (and they whine if they want to)

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Visiting a country as a tourist -or a traveller if you’ve got too much edge to call yourself a tourist- is most definitely a very different experience than residing in one. Aspects like cuisine, music, way of interacting and all that jazz concerning culture, which seem cute and exotic when you’re visiting can be quite annoying when you’re in the place on a more permanent basis. I always wondered why expats often tend to stick to their own little community and are trying as much as possible to make a duplicate of home away from home. They don’t learn the language, send their kids to ‘expat schools’ and many interact with the natives as little as possible. What then is the point of living abroad? In the city’s neighbourhood of Kafr Abdu, which is an affluent part of Alex with a fair amount of leafy trees, consulates and foreigners, is a club frequented by expats. We used to go fairly often in the first few weeks. The location is pleasant; it has a nice courtyard and the actual building is a colonial style construction with several spacious rooms. The vibe however can be quite depressing because what many expats are very good at is whining. Whining about the country and its people and that they don’t sell they’re favourite beer at Carrefour. It seems contagious this vibe. Being rather appalled by the negative attitude of these expat-losers at first it looks like that we have been here long enough to suffer from it too. And I’m not liking it. Since last week I feel I’ve been emerged in this vibe of whining people who can’t stop talking about that their fed up with being stared at, harassed or just made uncomfortable. I understand why one may be fed up with all these nuisances, I really do. I don’t understand why people don’t get a grip and just get over it. That really annoys me, probably even more than the nuisances themselves. I find the whining so self-centred; they’re the only ones who are experiencing these nuisances and if not their suffering is the greatest of all. They’re annoyed by a native’s action -or inaction- but don’t have the balls to say something about it to that particular person. I’d like to say that every woman in this country is suffering from harassment. Not only them. I’d like to say that as a dark fairy when you’re not in a big city-and sometimes even if you are- you get stared at all the time almost everywhere in the world. I would like to say that they should make an effort to learn Masree so they can say something back instead of muttering under their breath and let me pick up the bad vibe. I would like to say that the sun is shinning, that life is a lot cheaper than at home, that we lead a good life and are surrounded by good people while some people in the same country don’t have access to clean drinking water and others elsewhere die of hunger.

But why would I, it’s a free world. If people want to whine they’re very free to do so. I just shouldn’t make to it my problem. If they want to give themselves a hard time that’s their prerogative. It doesn’t have to effect me, especially if I don’t want it to. I’m here to take the very best out of the experience and let other people’s vibe not effect me. I guess whining can be nice. It’s a way of letting off steam ’cause one can’t always be positive and upbeat about the expat experience. But it is what we make of it and my choice is to make it good. And let nobody give me no bad vibes.

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About Lemba

Non-conformist Writing Soul and Language Geek from the Lowlands with a South London accent, currently living a nomadic, location- independent lifestyle. While executing the Big Fat Writing Plan I’m invading cyberspace with my views on 'expat living', travel and other lifestyle choices, current affairs and other randomness. Welcome to the Dark Fairy Zone.

2 responses »

  1. Yes, whining IS nice! I saw it not only from western expats in developing countries but also from expats and students from developing countries in developed countries.

    Whining gives some people a fake sense of superiority, and gives others the illusion that they are the hardly satisfied persons they love to think they are. And to many others it is just plain assholism.

    I do not ignore that when we live abroad we find negative aspects that we might not like, but to let this fact overshadow other facts and colour our whole experience, say more about the person than about the relevant country.

  2. Many thanks for your observations and insights. I very much like ‘Whining gives some people a fake sense of superiority’ which I guess it does; At home everything is better. And that it works the other way around as well. My cousin from Angola was in London with a friend for a term and she didn’t like it. They both agreed that the buildings were ugly (?) and the city was boring (!?!). Luanda was so much better. I’ve been to Luanda. I can’t say I agree with them.
    The term ‘assholism’ should appear in the next editions of mainstream dictionaries!

    Indeed, we should aim to make the best of our situations.

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