Monday, August 12, 2013

How to be a snotty expat

I know how, because I've become one.

OK, not really, at least I hope not, BUT - I have noticed some attitudes and behaviors creeping into my way of being that alarm me. These are things that I know are wrong/annoying/indefensible...but I still kind of think/do them anyway.

Extreme, biased, cherry-picked comparisons. The weather here (in the US) is so nice! Because it's 120 at home. On the other hand, grr, fresh juice is so hard to find here and so expensive when you do! Because it's 5dhs/500mL at home. Get the idea?

Why can't everyone just come see us? Sometimes it's hard to realize that even after spending the greater part of 24 hours on planes to get to the US, we still have to drive around a whole bunch to see the people we care about. Sigh. Can we establish some kind of system where we hold court in some neutral location and everyone comes to us? No? Oh well. See also: we paid the most to be here and we came the farthest, so everyone else schedule their vacations around us, mmmkay? Ugh, I hate myself.

Who are these people? And by "these people," I mean "my countrymen." Look, there are annoying, public-space-taking-up, stupid-opinion-having people EVERYWHERE. It's just easier to bust out the righteous indignation when you're on vacation in the Motherland.

I'm not weird, OK? Oh no, of course not. I just pronounce words a little off and act like a tourist in the grocery store and drive too aggressively and am completely out of touch with the latest basic strategies of living in the US, such as how to shop around for the best gas price.

I will turn up my nose at you for turning up your nose at me, for eating low-brow American food and loving it. Look, these days I am positively enchanted by Oreos, hot dogs, Lucky Charms, and ham lunchmeat. DON'T JUDGE ME.

I will constantly talk about how cheap everything is. Food, clothes - it's like this country is just giving it all away!

In Dubai, blah blah blah. I know I probably say this a lot - sorry!

Did I get everything? Maybe I don't want to know if I missed anything. I feel especially bad about the second item on this list, because that is a super snotty attitude to have. And yet, it still creeps up on me if I don't consciously keep it in check. I know that summers of endless travel is something we signed up for when we moved overseas, but that doesn't make it any easier to live out of an increasingly disorganized suitcase for 4+ weeks and sleep in seven different locations over the same time period, all with kids in tow.

Of course, the stress is mitigated by the fact that between binge-packing sessions, our families show us a pretty good time. And that's what keeps us coming back.

9 comments:

Merkley Jiating said...

I am a believer in #2. If we come all the way from NY, TX, Nd, wherever to Layton, UT and Sam's brother can't manage to drive 20 minutes from Salt Lake to see us, you better believe I will be pissed. Not that it's ever happened or that I'm still angry or anything...

Timothy Browning said...

Or at the very least, why can't you live in a country where people aren't separated by huge empty spaces and everything is accesible by fast, cheap trains?

Crys said...

If I had to guess I'd say your blossoming state has something to do with number two, that being said I was guilty of it at my sisters wedding and I don't even live overseas. My brother was at a magic store and I called him up, "I didn't fly you out here so you could go galavanting around to your own haunts". IE, I aid the most so I own you :)

Suzanne Bubnash said...

#2 is a problem even if you live relatively close to various branches of the family (1000 miles, for instance). Can't count the times that I've driven that far (by myself w/ small children sometimes), spent gas/food/lodging $$, only to be told that so and so 20 miles down the road is too busy to come to my home base. Or the times Craig has taken days off from work to attend an organized extended family reunion only to have the locals hardly participate because they have activities they don't want to miss.

I try hard not to judge when in another place, but at times am as guilty of snarkiness as anyone else. OK, I have to mention one. Like the times I've visited a certain eastern state and noticed that everyone is fat, smokes, and talks like they just crawled out of a swamp. Yikes, that sounds terrible. Really, it's only about half the people there that fit that description. And none of them are related to me, thankfully.

Bridget said...

YES. There is such a thing as pregnancy inertia, and I am THERE. Oh to just be still for a few days...

Bridget said...

That would also work for me! Or for the others coming to see me, either way.

Katie Lewis said...

I've never really left the US and I'm still enchanted by Oreos. Just sayin'.

Ariana said...

To item #2 -- I grew up in MN with almost my mom's family in UT. We would seriously have to drive to visit people in various cities in the SLC/Provo area because they "were too busy" to come to one giant gathering. So incredibly irritating! Now that we live in Utah, if someone I know comes into town (within about a 75 radius) and they are interested, I try to go see them. I think people must assume that since you just traveled thousands of miles, surely traveling a few extra hundred is no big deal to come see THEM. ugh

Liz Johnson said...

I did all of these all of the time growing up. I still don't see anything wrong with being a snotty ex-pat. It's not your fault that you're cooler than and different from everybody - just embrace the superiority. :)

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