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Why???

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Please help on me on something. I don't know if it's just me or am I just wrong and an experienced traveller and Expat.

I have seen on a few platforms including this site where users moan about their new country where they have moved too.

They can't get their home country food or they don't like The food in their new found home!
The prices for every day items are expensive.
There are no 24hr shops.
Shops are closed on Sunday.

These are just a handful of moans and groans I've come across.

Surely if you make the move you have to adapt to your new surroundings, try new foods. After all you can't expect your home country to follow you.

The whole adventure is trying new things surely?

Sure don't get me wrong, I am a Brit, and I love a nice pint of Bitter. But in order for me to have one, I have to travel to Vienna (an hour on the train) but even then it's not a proper cask ale pint. I don't complain because I can't at my local bar.

So when you decided to make the plunge and move, did you do your homework and look into the customs, habits, culture first?

If you did and you found you did not like it, you only have yourself to blame, surely?

So why moan!

If you didn't do the research, why Not?

Again, you only have yourself to blame.

Am I missing something here?

I agree wholeheartedly.

There are those who do nothing but moan and groan when in a new country. Met many of those sorts in my travels.
They should not have gone in the first place. It shows their ignorance, lack of forbearance and highlights the fact that they were wearing rose colored glasses when they moved. No research  of any kind done and when the glasses slip they show even more ignorance by complaining loudly. No middle ground with them.

Adapt, accept, try to fit in.

So what if the food is different, your brand of beer is not available. There are alternatives. And those things you miss will have a greater value when you are back home.

I am sure they would not have lasted more than a week in some of the places I have lived in.

Way too many expats moan as they don't do enough research or arrive somewhere new with a whole load of expectations in which most cases do not match reality.
I guess it all depends on the new expat wants and the reason for going im the first place.

After 10 years away from England I forget mostly what English food tastes like and I don't search it ouy but just get on with living and focus on family amd being successful and local food is great.

If new expats do not like their new home they should go back but often the moans don't start until the pressure is on and the homesickness kicks in and then perhaps the missing comforts of home make things a little less bearable, then they are stuck in a rut and can't find a way out.

Saying that all the expats I know are long term and happy and I do try avoid new ones as much as possible in order to keep sanity levels at a decent level.

I am pretty sure that those same people moan in their own country as well. :) And I agree, if you have problem adjusting, then don't go.

The explanation lies in the psychology underlying Culture Shock.
I quote from the Wikipedia article (which I co-authored):

There are three basic outcomes of the Adjustment Phase:
- Some people find it impossible to accept the foreign culture and to integrate. They isolate themselves from the host country's environment, which they come to perceive as hostile, withdraw into a "ghetto" and see return to their own culture as the only way out. These "Rejectors" also have the greatest problems re-integrating back home after return.
- Some people integrate fully and take on all parts of the host culture while losing their original identity. This is called cultural assimilation. They normally remain in the host country forever. This group is sometimes known as "Adopters" and describes approximately 10% of expatriates.
- Some people manage to adapt to the aspects of the host culture they see as positive, while keeping some of their own and creating their unique blend. They have no major problems returning home or relocating elsewhere. This group can be thought to be somewhat cosmopolitan. Approximately 30% of expats belong to this group.
Culture shock has many different effects, time spans, and degrees of severity. Many people are handicapped by its presence and do not recognize what is bothering them.

The people you refer to are from the first group. They are pitiful individuals who won't be happy anywhere - an don't recognise that the problems lie not in their surroundings but within them. They are often driven abroad by the perceived "terrible" conditions at home (push factors), rather than "I'd love to live there" (pull factors), and they also often have the worst re-entry shock when returning and realizing that home isn't as wonderful as their continuous whining abroad made it (in their imagination).
I am of the third group, and happy for it!

Oh so true.  I hear daily from other Expats how things here are not the "same as back home" Well Dorthy you are not in Kansas anymore.
Research is so important before you take the plunge.  I always tell folks to come and visit as a non tourist for a couple of months to see if the country "fits" for  you before you burn any bridges badk "home".
We have some folks living here who buy only imported products, live in thier gated communities and associate only with other Expats from thier home country, never really explore thier new home in any fashion and then complain how things are not like back home.  Well you should have never left home to begin with.  LIving as an Expat is sometimes challanging and certainly not for every one.

Bob K (living now as an Expat for the last 12 years)

Bob K :

Research is so important before you take the plunge.

Nah, preparation is for wimps. I often went without - I love the adventure. And if thousands of locals manage, why shouldn't I?

Bob K :

We have some folks living here who buy only imported products, live in thier gated communities and associate only with other Expats from thier home country, never really explore thier new home in any fashion and then complain how things are not like back home.  Well you should have never left home to begin with.  LIving as an Expat is sometimes challanging and certainly not for every one.

How do you know they won't whine in the same way at home, too?
I learned to avoid such people wherever I am. Much better to be surrounded by happy faces!

I hoped to be able to get decent Indian curries but I'm having real problems here.
I researched and saw Indonesia had a fair Indian ethnic population but most of the curries are between crap and atrocious.
Can I get some Indian dudes from Bradford to come and open some proper places where I can get a really good curry (North Indian)?
Other than that, the roads are rubbish but everything else is spectacular so I'm staying here until some bugger digs a hole and dumps me in it (Hopefully after I've snuffed it).

beppi :
Bob K :

Research is so important before you take the plunge.

Nah, preparation is for wimps.

True.
Apart from the curry thing (and I got that wrong), I did a grand total of bog all before I came here except bring a sack of cash.
Made a fair load of mistake ranging from silly things to enormous cock ups but had a great time and didn't get arrested for anything.
More fun if you wing it.

Fred,

The best Indian curries are from South India. Have you ever tried Kerala's curries? Expats love the curries from there as they are light on the tummy and less spicy.

Curries can be easily cooked at home without a lot of effort involved.

Nash1984 :

Fred,

The best Indian curries are from South India. Have you ever tried Kerala's curries? Expats love the curries from there as they are light on the tummy and less spicy.

Curries can be easily cooked at home without a lot of effort involved.

This expat loves heavy and hot enough to launch spacecraft.
If you can't feel the wind in your trousers after eating it, it ain't a curry.

Try Andhra, Naga and Chettinad curries. You will end up destroying your digestive tract. These regions are known for their fiery and spicy curries.

Or visit Thailand - I never cried as much as while eating there!

Thai spicy curries are mild. No offence.

I didn't mean Thai curries, but Tom Yum soup or Som Tum salad.

Oh same here:( especially if there is language barrier:( but you have to be flexible:)
Research and go out:)

beppi :

Or visit Thailand - I never cried as much as while eating there!

Never liked Thai - all ginger and no flavour.
I've had North Indian and Pakistani stuff that comes with a health warning - These curries aren't for little girls.
A really nice place opened up near Sheffield just before I did a runner - excellent Pakistani place called Akbar's. It was almost worth hanging around in the UK just to get their snap.

Fred,

North Indian and Pakistani curries are mild when compared to the fiery Andhra, Naga and Chettinad curries.

The South Indian and North Eastern Indian curries are for grown-ups, not for kids who like North Indian and Pakistani curries. ;-)

Nash1984 :

Fred,

North Indian and Pakistani curries are mild when compared to the fiery Andhra, Naga and Chettinad curries.

The South Indian and North Eastern Indian curries are for grown-ups, not for kids who like North Indian and Pakistani curries. ;-)

Sounds like a challenge - Any idea where I can get these in Jakarta?
A little girl I am not.

This thread has derailed from culture-shock-induced depression into Scoville scale (yes, go and Google that!) of various cuisines. Both pretty serious issues, but I think we should add expats' inability to focus on one topic to the mix!

“Culture is like an onion that can be peeled, layer by layer, to reveal the content.

Moving to a new country is difficult on its own and it's like a culture shock. You have to deal with a lot of administrational issues, find  a source of income, find a place to stay and when the time is there you have to start packing the things that are important. Make a list on your phone with things you should not forget. That way you can add new things and always have the list nearby. Add things such as photos of friends and family and little trinkets that have personal value.

try to be respectful, patient, and humble. After all, you are a guest living in a foreign country, at least until you have made the transition from expat to compatriot.

beppi :

This thread has derailed from culture-shock-induced depression into Scoville scale (yes, go and Google that!) of various cuisines. Both pretty serious issues, but I think we should add expats' inability to focus on one topic to the mix!

It's the curry that caused it.
I make some at home but concentrates are never as good as the real thing no matter how much chilli I stuff into the pan. I do find a lot of onion helps with the flavour but the results just aren't the same as the wonderful wind generating curries you get from an experienced Indian or Pakistani chef.

Heck no. You're complaining for the right reasons. I found the same attitude amongst the Bangladeshi community in UK complaining about 'revealing dresses of the ladies' and what not. I gladly told them-*****.

Don't ban me for profanities please. I'm generally very friendly. :)

beppi :
Bob K :

Research is so important before you take the plunge.

Nah, preparation is for wimps. I often went without - I love the adventure. And if thousands of locals manage, why shouldn't I?

True, very true.
It's a sense of adventure and the thrill of knowing the unknown that has always driven me from inside.
I never did any research or preparation.
At home and abroad my friends still keep asking me how I can stay so free-of-worry while travelling to a new country.
My answer has always been very simple and straight from the heart.
I don't know how it happens but it's true, every time my flight takes off, I feel a beautiful void within myself... a void that is craving to get filled with something new, something very exotic.

I believe not everyone can become an expat (in the true sense of the term) . I know people back home who have resources, education, successful careers, have top jobs offered from half across the globe,  may have already travelled abroad many times .... yet .... when it comes to embracing an alien culture, they just buckle or simply refuse to do so. Not that they are intolerant or anything, they just can't open up.

That's what I've come to understand from my experience in all these years.

------- :offtopic: --------
Ah! here's something quite inspirational for our dear Fred.
"Phaal of Fame"....  :lol:
" ... Made using eight chillies, the dish has left diners vomiting and crying. Some have hallucinated and two were rushed to hospital..."

senwl :

------- :offtopic: --------
Ah! here's something quite inspirational for our dear Fred.
"Phaal of Fame"....  :lol:
" ... Made using eight chillies, the dish has left diners vomiting and crying. Some have hallucinated and two were rushed to hospital..."

YUMMY <lick lips>

You are so right!  I spent three years in Madrid while at La Complutense.  Since Madrid is a very international city, there was a significant number of American tourists, students, and visitors young and old.  It seemed to me the majority spent more time groaning about "it tastes different at home," "It's not like that at home," "why can't I get the same as it is at home?"  On several occasions, I engaged the individuals in chat, always ending my part of the conversation with something to the effect of, "This sure isn't like home . . . but I'm not home, am I?" 

I could always tell, from the slightly startled expressions, that my message had sunk in, or at least hit a mark.  For the rest of the time I may have crossed paths with them in the tourist areas of the city, I barely heard any more complaining  (at least not while we chatted!).   :lol:

To me, those who complain in that manner are the epitome of the "ugly American" so derided throughout Europe.

I  certainly do not understand why people leave their home, get to an airport, get on a plane, land in a different country, go through the immigration process -- which confirms being in a different country -- and spend the majority of their time -- in that different country -- complaining about not being in their own country

I would suggest, if it's too different from home, too uncomfortable from the way it is at home . . . well, go home!

I don't get it, either.   :/

Once I heard a lady order a curry in a Thai restaurant "but please don't make it spicy". Ummm...then why don't you go elsewhere and order a plain soup? :)

Poor waitress was completely confused.

Ribosom :

Once I heard a lady order a curry in a Thai restaurant "but please don't make it spicy". Ummm...then why don't you go elsewhere and order a plain soup? :)

I must admit I did this all the time when I lived in Thailand - my first (and most important for survival) Thai sentence was "Mai au phet" (I don't want Chilie). But I do love Thai food and I don't complain - the problem lies within me and my wimpy palate.
(For the record: Thai curries are usually less hot than Thai soups!)

It is very common for Thais themselves to request more or less spice when ordering spicy dishes.  Taste varies by region, ethnicity, social class and from individual to individual.  There is no need to be shy about asking the Thai chef to tone down the spice dial.

To clarify, she was asking for it not to be spicy at all.

If made entirely from scratch on the spot, no problem making it not spicy at all.  If the dish requires a base which is time consuming to prepare then all they can do is add sugar to try and cool things down and that often ruins the taste, so best to select a different dish.  Thais do not only eat spicy food so there is plenty to choose from.

It's all part of culture I think, that's why. :)

WhiteSnake :

It's all part of culture I think, that's why. :)

I hope there is no culture on this planet that encourages whining...at least I'd like to think so. :)

Ribosom :
WhiteSnake :

It's all part of culture I think, that's why. :)

I hope there is no culture on this planet that encourages whining...at least I'd like to think so. :)

I agree . . . there is no 'culture' that *encourages* whining, but it does appear to have become a basic characteristic of the human condition . . . unfortunately, more than ever before.

Seems to me . . . the concept of the 'stiff upper lip' disappeared a couple of generations ago!

Which whining are you talking about??...every culture whines..

Every culture does whine or at least complain about something. But in my travels I have found that there are also many cultures that are accepting of the status quo.

Some expats tend to complain about everything and anything and do not take the time or effort to look around them and see how others live, get by, survive. To me this belittles those expats, makes them stupid and highlights their lack of acceptance.

One thing I note about many expats is health insurance, something that is a micro of bad expats.
The price of expat insurance is generally between crazy and unbelievable but loads take out expat health insurance without even noticing the locals aren't dropping like flies.
I assume this is the same in most countries, but insurance here reflects the market and the market prices are way less than expat prices but, apart from the thing about going to Singapore to get better treatment for an ingrowing toenail (I cut them out with a Swiss army knife if I get one), local insurance deals give you just as much cover but with way cheaper premiums.

Point is, bad expats don't open their eyes, think, or accept what's around them.

Couldn't agree more..no need to add anything too..that sums it up pretty well..
You need to get out of your comfort zone and your own bubble..
It makes you diverse..gives you a new flavor..makes you seasoned too!
Cheers!

Not sure if this is appropriate thread BUT....I am a missionary/director at a small childfren's home in Croix des Bouquet.   Meeting monthly financial needs can be difficult...my church is a small rural church in Tennessee with members of modest means. 

I am retired and do NOT take a salary; I pay for my flights to Haiti and for many of the expenses.  I feel blessed that I am able to do so...HOWEVER....

I wonder why Haitian American Christians, wealthy Haitians AND the Haitian government do not support efforts to help and protect THEIR children.  The government has all these (costly) requirements yet does nothing to help foreigners serving their people. 

Yes, it is discouraging to face this apathy among Haitians yet we are committed to doing what we can in Christ's name.

Comments?  (No hating!)

As with all religions, good and bad things are done in Christ’s name and by people who think they are Christians.
I am not sure any of the Gods care ...

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