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I cant stand those pesky expat types

(65 Posts)
poppydoppy Sun 30-Jun-13 20:07:33

I have a (now EX)friend who has just returned to the UK from the Middle East talk about transformation, She cant leave the house without the Maid in tow, lost all ability to clean, cook or look after her children. She looks down her snooty nose at all things British and slags the UK off at any given opportunity yet shes having an operation on the NHS (despite not living here for the last 5 years) and sending her eldest to Uni here (home status)
Mrs Bucket, springs to mind.

XiCi Sun 30-Jun-13 21:24:57

The way you are over generalising about all ME expats is almost as bad as they way your friend is generalising about smelly drivers etc. Maybe you still have more in common than you think.

I have friends that live in the UAE that have not changed one bit since they left the UK 7 years ago. All of their friends that I have met are lovely as well. But according to you they must all be racist obnoxiuos twats just because your mate is. Have you any idea how ridiculous you sound?

Jinsei Sun 30-Jun-13 21:30:08

Yabu to think all ex-pats are like this. Yanbu to find this particular friend obnoxious.

MyThumbsHaveGoneWeird Sun 30-Jun-13 21:35:21

So the people at the dinner party were generalising about a large number of people based on only the small number they knew. You are right, that is horrible bigoted racist behaviour.

And your judgement of "expat types" is based on knowing how many exactly? One? And having met a few of her (like minded) friends?

Can you see what you've done here?

Orangebirdonatable Sun 30-Jun-13 21:41:03

Mythumbs, you just wrote what I was thinking.

exexpat Sun 30-Jun-13 21:43:57

YABU. Obnoxious people will find a way to be obnoxious no matter where or how they live. I have met one or two expats who sound similar to your (ex?) friend, but they are vastly outnumbered by those who are nothing like that.

I am a former expat (obviously - see username). I spent many years abroad, in countries where I did not expect to settle permanently, but always learnt the local language, and had at least as many local friends as other nationalities. YABVU to say all expats are the same as one deeply unpleasant-sounding woman.

Salbertina Sun 30-Jun-13 21:44:18

I am an expat, there are many variations. We have no package as such and don't feel i should never lift a finger lovely never to hoover or iron though! Your friend sounds awful anyway, nothing to do with her status, everything to do with her inherent superiority /racism.

Don't tar us all with the same brush, I've never had a nanny or even a regular babysitter as we can't afford it. She is just up herself and would have been a snobby beggar no matter if she'd moved abroad or not.
You can get home fees for Uni if you can prove you have been on temporary work contract abroad, they want to see contracts. My kids however will pay full wack international fees as we have no contract to show.

Mimishimi Mon 01-Jul-13 00:26:30

YABU, I've been an expat and generally people are quite nice and hardworking, the minority who are obnoxious, arrogant twats generally tend to be obnoxious, arrogant twats in their home countries too. The use of cheap foreign labour for domestic services did worry me a bit though - we didn't employ anyone because our flat was so tiny it didn't take much to keep it clean but we heard/read so many problems with maids stealing, taking out loans with loansharks then employers getting abusive phonecalls/threats, abusing children, trying to seduce partners, slipping off at night for a bit of work on the side, being forced to work 16 hour days etc. The good ones seemed to be few and far between but because the supply was so plentiful - people didn't care, they'd just keep hiring and firing until they found someone they were happy with. You can imagine the kind of desperation that those they weren't happy with found themselves in.

Agree with the points made about the servants.

DW is a South African. Her mess-making abilities are remarkable. She will make a sandwich without using a breadboard and leave crumbs everywhere. She will leave the lids off jars. She will leave dirty knives over the table and the worktops. She won't clean up because she doesn't like to. Right now, I glance round the living room and see various things she's got out and simply hasn't put away. She doesn't regard herself as at all untidy, and doesn't understand why I should make a fuss about having to come home from work and before getting the dinner on, clean a heap of dirty dishes.

Her family have the same traits in common. What they also have in common is employing a maid.

It drives me round the twist. Don't ever employ servants. They are bad for you.

In fairness, I should point out that she and her family aren't racists, and were snooped on and harassed by the SA secret services back in the 80s.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Mon 01-Jul-13 06:31:50

Toad I'm as messy as your DW.I've never had a maid (or expected anyone else to clear up after me). Some people are just messy and not bothered about it

Morloth Mon 01-Jul-13 06:58:31

Well I have been an expat many times, in both first world and developing countries.

I have had cleaners and maids etc.

Still never behaved like you describe.

Your friend may be a twat, but it isn't because she is an expat. That has just given her twattishness a flavour.

Dixiefish Mon 01-Jul-13 07:14:00

YABU to assume all ex-pats are like this. There are quite a number of parents at DCs' school back from foreign postings and they are all pretty normal (apart from being loaded!) and most of them haven't even brought their Filippina back with them grin

Most of my friends are expats & none behaves like that.

As indeed am I. My DH and I are from 2 diff. countries & currently living in the UK.

Your friend sounds like a twat, but she'd be a twat even if she'd never left these pleasant pastures.

KarlaPilkington Mon 01-Jul-13 09:10:03

I think your friend is nouveaux riche. I've been an expat for 16 years and have never had a maid. I have a cleaner who comes over and helps me out with my ironing but that's it and I pay her 8 quid an hour. That may not be a lot in the UK, but it is quite a lot here. Most of the expats I know who brag, treat employees like crap and swan round guzzling champers in kaftans are those that have newly acquired wealth and little brains. Combine those two and the result is not very pretty.

CuChullain Mon 01-Jul-13 09:32:50

Your friend just sounds like an arse.

I am an engineer in the oil industry, I have had the privilege to live and work in a variety of countries and from my experience expats come in various guises and it is daft to pidgeon hole them all into one narrow stereotype. Yes, you do get the “I can be arsed to learn the local language watch Eastenders drink lager and only hang out in the English pub eating fish and chips’ types who I generally avoided like the plague. Most expats however, made an effort to learn at least a few words of the language, got stuck into the local cuisine, respected that’s countries customs, made new friends and generally grabbed the chance to experience life in another country as they knew they would only be there a few years and wanted to make the most of it.

I have employed a cleaner in the past, there is nothing morally dubious or exploitative about it, I did not treat them like shit, paid them well over the local wage and generally looked out for their family as a whole. My industry often operates in some pretty broken countries and while employing a cleaner in the UK may be frowned upon as being some kind of middle class Islington dwelling smug thing to do it is often a life changing opportunity for someone from Luanda/Gabon/Ghana/Lagos where well paid employment opportunities are exceptionally rare. I also found the cleaner to be more than just a ‘cleaner’, more often or not they helped teach me the local language, showed me where the best shops and markets were, introduced me to their music and culture and generally be a bloody good friend.

SunshineandShandy Mon 01-Jul-13 09:57:00

You can't generalise Middle East expats like that OP. Your friend is up herself, but that is her, not everyone else.

We have a Maid. She is here to help me. Simple as. She keeps the house clean and she helps me with the children. We have no family out here and it works for us. She is happy, we are happy.

I know no one who would would say 'an Indian or a Filipino will be along shortly to clean up'. It sounds to me like you read the Dubai bashings in the Daily Mail too much and surround yourself with the wrong people.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 01-Jul-13 10:02:39

Does she sound nice? No.
Are all ex-pats the same? Not in my experience.

louisea Mon 01-Jul-13 10:09:57

Your friend doesn't sound very nice but don't tar all expats with the same brush. It is hard enough moving away from family, friends and support networks without being judged for how we cope/d while away. The adjustment when moving back home can be just as hard, if not harder, than the initial move overseas.

poppydoppy Mon 01-Jul-13 10:13:56

http://www.expatwoman.com/forum/topic207958-overheard-at-mcdonalds-summer-2013.aspx?Page=1

I have just been reading this expat site. I dont think my friend is a one off according to this site. What a bunch of racists. There is also another thread where they're slagging off the NHS

KarlaPilkington Mon 01-Jul-13 10:41:18

Poopyd, sorry but I have been an expat for 16 years (as mentioned) and I know people who are CEO's of massive companies and some who are stinking rich. I have to say that I have very, very rarely come across women who talk like that. There is a bit of competitiveness with the kids at school but that's about it. If you hang out with people who talk like that, well you know the old saying, birds of a feather......

CuChullain Mon 01-Jul-13 10:44:01

@ poppydoppy

Seems like you are going out of your way to find evidence that supports the title of this thread.

Have not looked at that link but people are allowed to criticise the NHS you know, its not a sacred cow. Sadly you will find racists in all walks of life, not just ex pats.

Salbertina Mon 01-Jul-13 11:02:14

That is an expat site for those in the ME, specifically UAE, i believe. Are you saying ALL expats live there? And all go to McDonalds (and speak like that when they do)?! Quite ridiculous generalisation. It's like saying "all Welsh people" or "all those who drive a Volvo"

louisea Mon 01-Jul-13 11:28:39

You are also commenting on something that you know nothing about.

MyThumbsHaveGoneWeird Mon 01-Jul-13 11:50:30

Maybe poppydoppy is looking for material for a Daily Mail Dubai bashing piece?

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