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Common misconceptions and clichés about life in the East Timor

Hello everyone,

Old clichés die hard, as the saying goes... and living in the East Timor can generate lots of misconceptions in the eyes of the people.

What are the most common misconceptions about the expat lifestyle in the East Timor?

What are the most common clichés about life in the East Timor in general?

Did you have a biased view of the country before moving there? What is you view now?

Thanks in advance,

Priscilla

Hi Priscilla,

Thanks for initiating this interesting topic.

I think you are very right, in saying that living abroad can generate lots of clichés and misconceptions in the eyes of the people. It is very true for East Timor (now it is called Timor Leste.)

Some of the most common misconceptions and clichés about life in the in the eyes of the people are as the followings:

1.  Foreigners (or expatriates) are just here in Timor Leste to steal their jobs. This might not be true, since many foreigners hold jobs that the locals might not be able to do, due to lack of education or experience, etc.

2. Foreigners (business people) are just here in Timor Leste to "dig-out gold" or in another words, just to get rich. Their views that foreigners get richer and the locals get poorer. To some extents, this might be true. Many restaurants, shops owners are foreigners. Of course, they make profit, but don't forget that they also provide employment opportunities for the locals.

3. Foreigners "owe" the locals money since they have benefited and profited from working or doing business in Timor Leste. However, the locals forget that the foreigners either business people or the expatriates also contribute to the economy, and to the society as well. Also, don't forget that foreign countries also give their foreign aid, as well as to send their technical experts to help the people,

4. The locals can survive without foreigners, because foreigners may bring more disadvantages rather than advantages. With heavy dependence on oil production as a main source of country revenues; I am not sure if the country really does not need foreign aid.

Anyhow. Those are my opinions, which can be accurate or otherwise.

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