AIB xenophobic or is she BU?

(78 Posts)
Sixparrotspullingupcarrots Sun 17-Mar-13 13:38:10

My friend is not from the UK, but from anther English speaking country. Her DH is British. They have a child who was born here. She's always going on about how great her country is, how she can't wait to move back there, how rubbish the UK is, how she could never bear to have another child here because the NHS is so bad etc etc.

Her DH is looking for jobs in her country. Although she keeps moaning about how the jobs he's applying for are in the wrong part of her country. He works in a very limited field so I think anything he can find would be good, if they are so desperate to go back.

They are currently back in her country visiting friends and family. Today she emailed me and a few of our other friends a video of the baby food aisle of a supermarket saying 'There's so much more choice here!'.

AIBU to tell her stop going on and on about how great her country is? She chose to move here. And now there are opportunities to go home, why is she moaning about them?

I know this post sounds a bit xenophobic, but I don't mean to be. I just find the constant comparisons of the UK and her home very negative and frankly rude.

cory Sun 17-Mar-13 13:40:23

You are only xenophobic if you make this about her being a foreigner- which frankly you do seem to be doing- rather than about her being a rude and silly woman who is never satisfied.

Tee2072 Sun 17-Mar-13 13:43:00

I knew someone like that in the US when I was younger and working in a shop. She was a co-worker. She used to sit in the break room and go on and on about how superior Germany was to the US.

I finally said to her, being young and much ruder then "Then why do you live here?"

It shut her up for awhile.

Sounds like your friend wants to go home. Nothing wrong with that.

TheBigJessie Sun 17-Mar-13 13:44:45

She's obviously very, very homesick.

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Sun 17-Mar-13 13:44:52

Some peopler like complaining.

If it wasn't about that it would be about something else.

Let her get on with it.

If she keeps going on about it just ask if she's not board of that topic yet and whether she could find something else to moan about.

FannyBazaar Sun 17-Mar-13 13:46:03

I would be very worried about anyone videoing a baby food aisle. Maybe she has no idea that babies can eat ordinary food? Maybe she can't cook? Do they have adequate cooking facilities where she's from?

AgentZigzag Sun 17-Mar-13 13:46:53

I thought all the things you say she's said would make her fit right in here OP grin

NoelHeadbands Sun 17-Mar-13 13:47:51

I don't think either of you are being particularly unreasonable, but it sounds very very dull.

And yes I'd be asking her if she's lost the plot with the baby aisle video

ElliesWellies Sun 17-Mar-13 13:53:08

You could always try the old Mumsnet 'Did you mean to be so rude (about the country I'm from)?'...

lovetomoan Sun 17-Mar-13 13:59:21

Is she from the US? I have a friend who is exactly the same and she is from the US, we might know the same person wink

Jokes aside, it might be that she is very homesick, because that's how my friend feels and that why I listen to her complains and haven't run away so far

My friend actually asks for things to be sent from the US when the same brands are available here I think that is a waste of money, but since it's not my money, I keep my mouth shut

She could just like complaining, some people are like that.

somewherewest Sun 17-Mar-13 14:05:29

No, you're not xenophobic and yes she is being rude. I say this as a foreigner living in the UK who gets very homesick for her own country

SilentSplendidSun Sun 17-Mar-13 14:11:47

Oh yes, I used to know a friend from the US. Same litany. Everything is bigger, better over there. Three years here, and she has toned down a lot. Quieter, more thoughtful, doesnt show off that much. Says so much for the UK Influence.

And funny thing, she wasnt even a native of the US, going back decades. She was a first generation immigrant. grin

itshothere Sun 17-Mar-13 14:12:34

Yanbu I would tell her that if things are sooo bad here then she should go. It becomes very draining to listen to some people banging on about how great/ fantastic their own countries are when they reside some where else. I live outside of the UK (my DH job) and I get homesick too but I don't complain about the negatives--too much-- especially to the 'locals'. She isn't a prisoner she can leave, just as I can (and do) when I need to get away.

dopeysheep Sun 17-Mar-13 14:16:16

Just because she's homesick doesn't give her free rein to be obnoxious. I think she sounds rude and extremely irritating.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Sun 17-Mar-13 14:24:39

You can be patriotic (and dislike the negativity towards the UK) without being patriotic grin

other than that, totaly yawn. She needs to get a life and find something more interesting to discuss.

No, you're not being xenophobic, she sounds annoying, and even if she is homesick, she should learn not to bang on. I know someone who does this. On and on and on about how her country is so much better, the cycling is so much better, the language education is so much better, the country is so much more eco friendly, etc. etc. etc. Towards the end of her stay here she had some mates over and we all went out to the pub, her and me and another English girl, plus all of them. Cue two hours of 'oh, Britain is so much better, you would love it here, everything is better ...'

hmm grin

We couldn't believe it, she had no shame and obviously thought we wouldn't notice she'd done a complete about-face now she was trying to impress her Dutch mates.

maddening Sun 17-Mar-13 15:07:34

I had a german housemate at uni who did this kind of thing.

Eg I was talking about my dyslexia (as had been asked about it) and she said that Germany has a lot less dyslexic people than britain (she was a photography student so I doubt she was really in any place to know)

Then comments about how awful x was here and how they don't have x in germany. From graffiti to poorly constructed housing to naughty children etc

It can grate one's gears after.a while.

aldiwhore Sun 17-Mar-13 15:12:34

I have a foreign colleague who is constantly making comparisons to home, slating everything British and her favourite phrase is "you wouldn't get that in my country people are just generally nicer".

Now I love the particular country she is from and have a few friends who live there, plus some distant family, so I have nothing against the country or the people from there, but quite often I DO want to say to this colleague "well fuck off back there then" ... while this iS a phrase that is much loved and used by xenophobics, racists and others of intolerant persuasion, as a response to the constant criticising of where someone spends most of there time, it can also be valid!

I tend to respond by saying "when do you plan to go back there, you must miss it terribly".

My mum has stayed in the UK all of her life, but has moved around the country a fair bit, she is always saying how much better where she is now, than where she was before, and anywhere she previously loved is 'shit' once her's moved on, until she is with people who live where she is at that moment, at which point she does exactly what LRD's friend does and slags off her current location. I just don't get it.

You have to laugh.

zwischenzug Sun 17-Mar-13 15:12:53

Can't be that much better if the parents in her country are so dependent on multinationals to feed their babies.

xkittyx Sun 17-Mar-13 15:13:54

No grafitti in Germany?? Ha ha ha, take it your housemate hadn't been to Berlin then!

MummytoKatie Sun 17-Mar-13 15:19:45

A video of the baby food aisle?!?!

That's really really strange!

slambang Sun 17-Mar-13 15:21:45

YANBU. It's really annoying.

I have a friend who came from another European country but grew up in the UK (boarding school and then uni) and her parents lived all over the world with their job. She would forever tell us how the people, food , laws, road system, everything was so much better in her country.

She finally got a job there and lasted a whole 6 months. She hated it! She's back in the UK now still telling us how much greater it is there. confused

ReluctantBeing Sun 17-Mar-13 15:26:45

Is there any point in being friends? Her moaning is annoying and she'll be moving soon anyway.

She sounds like she's from the US. and very homesick. Sadly if she has lived in the UK for a long enough time, moving back here may not help. Her Dh won't have anywhere near the time off he got in UK and has to work a year to earn it. It'll probably be reverse culture shock.
I hope she can figure it out. Encourage her to get her UK citizenship before she moves, because if she does move, and changes her mind, moving back is now harder under the new immigration rules that came in last summer.
Poor woman I feel quite bad for her.

bran Sun 17-Mar-13 16:01:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

krasnayaploshad Sun 17-Mar-13 16:15:39

OP, how long has your friend lived in the UK? I have found her attitude I have to be more prevalent in someone who has only recently moved to a new country (say in the last 5yrs)
I agree with others, she does sound homesick, which tends to make someone long for things back home rather than looking at the positives.
Things that don't help though are when you get people asking questions such as "Do you miss America?" or "What do you miss about America?" You can't help but then focus on the stuff the UK doesn't have.

British people that move to another country will also make comments on how great the UK is compared to where they live now. I have a British friend who lives in my home country & he will whinge about the way things are done there.

I'm friends with a group of people from Sweden & would listen to them moaning about the UK & how things are better in Sweden. Another Swedish friend who still lives there enjoyed pointing out to me all the great things the UK has & the not so good things in Sweden.
She said that it's easy for immigrants to have a rose tinted view of their home country, especially if they have lived away for a long time. They don't realise their country has moved on with the rest of the world.
In terms of your question, you are xenophobic if you assume your friend's attitude is exclusive to her nationality or to all non-Brits. Otherwise YANBU.

dopeysheep Sun 17-Mar-13 16:24:15

"Encourage her to get her UK citizenship" - but why? We have enough homegrown whingebags.

lljkk Sun 17-Mar-13 16:26:51

It's very self-centred behaviour. She's entitled to her opinion but to go on and on about it suggests she doesn't care how it comes across. yanbu to find it irritating.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 17-Mar-13 16:30:44

I'm American living in the UK, and I try to keep certain things to myself, unless asked. A lot of people express surprise that I want to live here, and they ask if I miss home.

I tell them that I miss certain things like hot summer nights, 24 pancake houses, and big houses. But, I always say that I love the NHS, the countryside and the history.

I have gone through periods of homesickness. Americans are raised to be patriotic. I still believe in my bones that it's the greatest nation on Earth, even though I know that that is a subjective thing and not based on logic.

plantsitter Sun 17-Mar-13 16:32:43

Sorry but I couldn't be friends with someone who sent me a video of a baby-food aisle and expected me to comment in an interested way upon it.

Not xenophobic at all. I've lived with people like that. This one australian couple were so bad for it that they pissed off not only the three Brits (including myself) that they lived with, but the 9 other Australians too, who eventually compiled a massive list of things that the UK has that Australian doesn't and threw it in their face. Shut them up for a few hours hmm

Moominsarehippos Sun 17-Mar-13 16:41:14

When she goes home it will be 'oh, in england we have this' 'in London we did that' 'oh, don't we have this over here?' Wait until she realises how bloody far she has to travel to go abroad (no Eurostar! No Chunnel! No weekend breaks to Madrid!). She'll be asking you to crate over baked beans, proper tea and cadbury's chocolate.

digerd Sun 17-Mar-13 16:46:59

I know an american lady married to a german man, living in Germany, and she will not go back to US when he retires < they have no children and she does not work> due to US superior weather, as the german Health System is brilliant < it is> and US is awful. Her words.

Also know a german couple who lived in US - El Paso- for 3 years,who loved it there and didn't want to go back to Germany. All their german visitors loved it there and wanted to live there too.

bran Sun 17-Mar-13 16:47:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

infamouspoo Sun 17-Mar-13 16:56:51

Am grin at videoing the baby food aisle. Was it amzingly awesome in a way that ours arent?

LinusVanPelt Sun 17-Mar-13 17:00:03

"Three years here, and she has toned down a lot. Quieter, more thoughtful, doesnt show off that much. Says so much for the UK Influence."

SilentSplendidSun sorry but you sound as bad as OP's friend! Everyone is soooo much nicer where you're from than they are in other countries, I'm sure hmm .

Moominsarehippos Sun 17-Mar-13 17:01:13

Why does having an eye watering amount of choice sound like a good thing? We have so many tv channels and 99% are bollocks, repeats or porn!

Bet they don't sell faggots, haggis or Barrs Irn Bru!

StuntGirl Sun 17-Mar-13 17:06:15

Oh my god Irn Bru. Couldn't live somewhere that didn't sell that.

I actually found out yesterday that until recently Kinder Eggs were illegal in America. The greatest nation on earth my arse!

Moominsarehippos Sun 17-Mar-13 17:09:10

When my sister emigrated she needed care parcels of Tunnocks tea cakes / caramel bars, McCowan toffee, Jazzy drops, rainbow drops, topic bars, bournville dark chocolate...

I assume Kinder in case someone eats the toy (duh). So they don't put toys in cereal either? Land of the free, my arse!

SucksToBeMe Sun 17-Mar-13 17:16:03

Tbf, if it she is in fact American I would have to agree that everything is bigger!

Tee2072 Sun 17-Mar-13 17:25:30

They do put toys in cereal.

The FDA states that you can't have something inedible encased in something edible.

There is a new Kinder sort of egg that just came out. They got around the rule by having a think strip of plastic show to the outside of the chocolate.

The US is not horrible. But it is not great either.

Just the like the UK.

grovel Sun 17-Mar-13 17:35:11

Our peanut butter is pants compared to Jiff and Skippy. Or even Peter Pan.

grovel Sun 17-Mar-13 17:38:35

And anyway are we talking about living in downtown Detroit or Beverley Hills?

grovel Sun 17-Mar-13 17:39:19

Or some ghastly, sprawling 'burb outside Atlanta?

StuntGirl Sun 17-Mar-13 17:40:07

Yep its because of the toy inside. They have their own version coming out for easter which sort of gets around it by not having chocolate all the way round. Madness!

My American born but UK educated friend asks for Hula Hoops, Wotsits and Dairy Milk to be sent over. I ask for Mountain Dew. It's a fair swap grin

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 17-Mar-13 17:54:22

American supermarkets really are awesome. Especially in California, where all the produce is grown. The selection of ice creams or breakfast cereals is mind-boggling, and you can buy everything in multiple sizes. If you want a gallon jar of Mayonnaise, you can find them on the bottom shelf.

I was talking to a client the other day who was asking the typical "what do you miss about America" questions and I said "Well, everything is big and easy there" and he knew what I meant. He has a disabled son in a wheelchair and he remarked upon the size of the sidewalks and parking spaces, etc.

Obviously, America isn't perfect and I love living here. But, like someone said above, you can't help but notice the things that seem inferior to what you grew up with.

It's rude to talk about it or go on and on about it, and I think there are rude people of every nationality doing it wherever they live. I have definitely heard Brits moan about living in the States! But, polite people choose their audiences carefully.

grovel Sun 17-Mar-13 18:11:32

Katy, where are you from in the US?

Tee2072 Sun 17-Mar-13 18:21:16

That's a really good point, grovel. I've lived all over the US, except for the deep south, although I've visited.

The differences are immense.

KatyTheCleaningLady Sun 17-Mar-13 18:23:51

grovel I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I spent my 20's living in San Francisco and my early 30's in Philadelphia. Lived here and there in between. smile

MidniteScribbler Sun 17-Mar-13 20:15:20

Sounds like the common phenomenon of British immigrants in Australia whinging about how hot it is here compared to the UK. Well what did you fucking expect? confused

Weissdorn Sun 17-Mar-13 20:22:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Uppermid Sun 17-Mar-13 20:23:49

My old manager is a kiwi and my god she used to go on so much about "how back home we do xyz" all the time, I did want to say to her if its so fucking good go and live there, but she was my manager so I thought I'd better not!

And the sex shops Weissdorn - I almost passed out in Germany when I saw a dildo and gimp mask displayed in a city centre shop window. Germany definitely outdoes the UK on those grin

I spent my time living in Japan missing quite a lot of UK stuff, and was completely shocked when I arrived back to find how grey it is, and how miserable and scruffy everyone looked (I am a scruff myself but that's different). In my memories the sun was always shining and everyone was happy grin

BegoniaBampot Sun 17-Mar-13 20:41:45

She sounds very rude and insensitive. I've lived in other countries and would never run down a persons country in this way. Might discuss some aspects of pros and cons but not just slate it constantly no matter what I secretly thought. Feel the same about my ho e town I left any years ago. Think it's a shithole but can't say that those that stayed.

StuntGirl Sun 17-Mar-13 20:47:12

It's not just Brits who moan though. My friends mum is from Grenada and by god the woman can bitch. According to her EVERYTHING about the UK sucks and Grenada is practically Utopia by comparison. In fact Grenada is SO good she hasn't lived there for 30 years.

Fakebook Sun 17-Mar-13 20:58:58

You should have emailed her back telling her about the benefits of baby led weaning and not needing a "choice" of shitty tinned food for babies.

Weissdorn Sun 17-Mar-13 21:00:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Preposteroushypothesis Sun 17-Mar-13 22:19:29

My DP is from another country that is lovely in a lot of ways (mainly weather and natural beauty) but has a lot of problems. I very frequently find myself in a large group of people from his country and am the only English person. It does send me a bit potty after a while that they spend 80% of their time complaining about how xyz is so much better back home and I have to restrain myself from saying yeah but abc in your country is so shocking that you are all here...I try and remind myself at the end of the day that they are just homesick and they are only here because of the opportunities and that, in a strange way, makes them resentful of this country because if they had a choice they wouldn't be here...

Where I really want to lose my rag though is where I will sit for 45 minutes while they slag the uk off then turn to me and ask if we have any plans to move to said country. I calmly say no we don't because of the NHS and schooling, and we are simply not wealthy enough to bring up a family in their country where this is not available for free (I don't even go into the other issues that make me not want to live there as they are very political and always a sore spot) and then they all act hugely offended!! So it's ok for them to rant on about my country but I'm not allowed to say anything negative about theirs when asked!!

kawliga Sun 17-Mar-13 22:52:45

preposterous, it doesn't work that way if they are from a third world country. It's socially acceptable if you're from a poorer country to moan about life in rich countries, but it's not socially acceptable to be critical of life in poor countries if you're from a rich country. Not really sure why but I think it's perhaps an implicit power thing. If your country has the capacity to pulverise their country at the push of a button then somehow it's not the same for you to diss them as it is for them to diss you. It's kind of fair between Brits/Ozzies,Kiwis and maybe between Brits/Europeans and that's about it. If an Indian person is complaining about something like the tube being crowded with grumpy commuters you can't really respond with complaints about the commuters in India who hang off the trains and sit on the roof etc. It should be equal, give a moan take a moan, but it's not. That's why it's kind of fashionable to diss America but it's not considered fashionable for Americans to say anything bad about anybody else. They're a superpower so they're supposed to just take all of it on the chin and never answer back. Turn the other cheek and all that. It's terribly uncool to be patriotic if you're American but it's very cool to wave your own flag if you're from the Maldives or somewhere nice like that which is considered a pretty harmless and maybe powerless country especially if there's a lovely national costume to go with it. People just say 'ah, bless'. Try draping the flag of St George and nobody will be cooing at you they'll just think you're a bit loopy and probably a Little Englander.

The moral of this long post: all countries are equal but not all countries have equal rights to moan about other countries.

Preposteroushypothesis Mon 18-Mar-13 06:51:44

Yes kawliga, i understand that, except DP's country isn't a third world country it just doesn't have free healthcare or decent free education and it has a lot of political upheaval. His friends are all quite well off, privately educated people who think they are a cut above most people here so that doesn't apply to them

digerd Mon 18-Mar-13 07:06:34

And the german FOOD. When I went to live there I was homesick for UK, but when I came back to UK I was homesick for Germany - except for their long hard winters. Never was into biscuits - missed our chocolate though.

Weissdorn Mon 18-Mar-13 07:18:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cleofatra Mon 18-Mar-13 07:24:50

I think you are being a little harsh, as this is a classic sign of not coping in a foreign land. Some people spend the first year or so appearing negative and making comparisons. For some people, the only way to understand their new surroundings is to compare and equate. It's like a little struggle within the soul. Things at home were so easy, you know where everything is and you have familiar things

Yes, its annoying, but Ive seen it so many times. She is lonely and isnt coping.

I've been there, as an immigrant, and see it so clearly in others in those first few years.

If you like this girl, I'd stick with it until she is settled.

digerd Mon 18-Mar-13 07:45:16

Cadburys chocolate, I meant, although I loved the Mon Cherie with the cherry liqueur inside, mmmmm.
Not into sausages, only one I liked was the fried schincken Wurst.

I miss their butter, Kasseler, Green cabbage /Kohl, whipping cream, Hansa potatoes, all their tasty meat and the half poulet and french fries - all so tasty.
Curry ketchup.
My fried potatoes done in their Mondamin fat - scrumptious and now getting hungry !!

digerd Mon 18-Mar-13 07:46:41

Oh and their best Strawberry jam and rolls for breakfast- even hungrier.

lljkk Mon 18-Mar-13 07:52:11

I miss good Mexican food. The stuff that gets labeled Mexican food here is laughable.

And brown people: where i live now we don't have nearly enough brown people.

Putting margarine on every single sandwich. No matter what the other toppings are. WTF is that about? confused

but I don't miss... drive-by shootings, helicopters hovering over the house most evenings, annual wildfires, no paid holidays, meth-houses on the corner (I lived mostly in quite DesRes neighbourhoods, too), polarised politics, the food culture, my crazy family, pedestrian-hostile landscapes.

Moominsarehippos Mon 18-Mar-13 08:12:20

People will compare, but if only negatively then its a pain!

Weissdorn Mon 18-Mar-13 08:16:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kawliga Mon 18-Mar-13 16:20:30

Fair enough preposterous since I don't know which country you're talking about so maybe this is irrelevant to your situation, but no decent free education and no free healthcare suggests no welfare state, which suggests the country isn't as wealthy as the UK. I think countries have to be more or less viewed as equally wealthy for the criticism to go both ways, or people from the poorer country feel as if it's unfair.

digerd Mon 18-Mar-13 17:17:38

The German Health Care system is amazing. The only things I missed were, apart from cadburys chocs, my family and the SE English climate, as we lived in Northern German which had the record for the most days of rain, least hours of sunshine in the summer, and apart from the east of germany, the longest winter and shortest summer.

Don't forget about the Australians calling UK immigrants 'whinging poms '.as they never stopped whinging about everything.

Feminine Mon 18-Mar-13 17:42:23

Yes, I agree your friend sounds h/sick.

I had it a bit when I moved to the US.

I missed the UK so much. I have now discovered I miss the US now -masses.

Curse of the ex-pat!

SolomanDaisy Mon 18-Mar-13 17:53:40

Ah, you really have to try and keep moaning to other expats, though it's difficult when people ask directly. I usually say, 'I like the life here, but I miss home'. Is she quite young? I was only 19 the first time I live abroad and was probably tactless about the problems I was having adjusting. I think after you have lived in a few places, you realise that the reason home is better is that it's home, not that it has anything actually superior about it.

Coffeenowplease Mon 18-Mar-13 18:21:26

Is she from the US by any chance ?

Coffeenowplease Mon 18-Mar-13 18:31:32

Ive actually found British supermarkets to have more choice in the stuff thats not crap food like burgers, pizza, sugary cereals,cakes but actual food like cuts of meat/types of meat/breads/fruit and veg (which admittedly we do import a lot of) and that kind of thing than anywhere else ive been.

Singapore is close though. Wasnt impressed with the US supermarkets , was all canned drinks,sweets and chocolate with hardly any choice of actual food.

Moominsarehippos Tue 19-Mar-13 12:46:51

And lots of lovely soft fruit and berries. A million types of cereal isn't of interest to me but I would kill for a sweet-smelling punnet of scottish raspberries.

My friend who went 'home' says that she misses Sainsburys and Waitrose most of all (where she is the main hypermarkets are all out of towners, and the local stores are tiddly corner-store type affairs). She can't get a 'proper' range of 'ehtnic' food either that is available in London (eg hummous). However, when I visit I could cry at the sight of all the lovely fruit, veg and salads (and the rediculously low prices of these compared to the UK). I still see mamas with baskets full of Dr Oetker pizzas and Pepsi though!

fedupofnamechanging Tue 19-Mar-13 13:30:45

Most countries have good things and not so good things about them and it's natural to miss home (wherever home may be). But it's rude to move to another country and then slag it off.

I take the view that no one is compelled to live here, so if they are not happy, then they are free to bugger off back home and it's not xenophobic to say so.

Moominsarehippos Tue 19-Mar-13 14:05:06

But some people are just whingers! Always looking for something to complain about.

Send her to Wholefoods for her US-shopping fix. The NHS may be mixed but I've seen my sisters healthcare and dental bills in the US and they are eye-watering! And their bread is crap...

Moominsarehippos Tue 19-Mar-13 14:07:39

I find it annoying when one parent bleats on about how awful the culture, weather, people... are in the country of the other parent. So mums country is perfect and dad is just all crap? Pretty disrespectful until the kid gets to an age when they can say 'actually mum, I'm half British, so you are insulting me too'.

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