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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.

HotCrossPun Sun 30-Jun-13 20:10:22

What's the AIBU?

MsVestibule Sun 30-Jun-13 20:10:54

And you think you may be unreasonable because...?

Roshbegosh Sun 30-Jun-13 20:11:54

Is she going back to the idyllic Middle East? Good riddance. Other wise she has some serious adjustment to do.

aldiwhore Sun 30-Jun-13 20:12:11

Annoying, but I hate your thread title, I know a few Ex-pats, some are like that some aren't.

I know people who've moved around the country and look down their noses at wherever they were before, they're always better than where they left and it's pathetic, but meh, people are strange.

I guess that if you've been pampered in the sunshine long enough and had the finer things in life, it's hard to see your embittered pasty friends without feeling mildly superior? (I jest)

Ignore. Just match her gripes with how much you love where you are.

I get awful prickly heat, the tepid damp climate of the UL suits me just fine.

poppydoppy Sun 30-Jun-13 20:12:14

AIBU to think expats are a different breed?

aldiwhore Sun 30-Jun-13 20:12:20

UK sorry

elQuintoConyo Sun 30-Jun-13 20:17:37

I don't see expats the same way as emigrants. I'm an emigrant, I'll never be an expat.
I see expats as behaving superior to the people in the country they've moved to, not speaking the local language, bitching about the country, only having fellow ezpat friends, buying all the UK newspapers, still watching Sky.

Your 'friend' sounds insufferable and I feel sorry for the ME to have to have her back! (Is she going back?).

Oh, a thought: I've lived abroad 15 years, can I not send my DS to a university in the UK?

Roshbegosh Sun 30-Jun-13 20:21:17

You can send DS where you wish, the fee status ie home vs overseas makes a big difference. Having said that I only teach PG so may be wrong regarding UG courses now that UK students pay so much anyway.

LurkingBeagle Sun 30-Jun-13 20:24:46

YABU to think that expats are a different breed but YANBU to think your friend is an insufferable pain in the ass because she sounds like one!

Incidentally, your friend may be perfectly entitled to have her op on the NHS - many expats (including me) still keep paying NI to keep their contributions up in the event we ever return. HTH :-)

WhiteShakette Sun 30-Jun-13 20:25:33

I think people who identify as 'expats' (as distinct from people who live in a country that is not their native one) often have a certain set of behaviours I don't find terribly attractive, I must say. I say this as someone who lived in the Middle East and met a lot of them. The whole 'expat package' thing, plus the expectation in many cases that they will move on in a few years to another country, breeds a kind of bubble mentality and lack of real engagement with the country they live in. Not helped in many cases by the fact that the woman is on a spousal visa and can't work, and the (ethically highly dubious) availability of cheap labour means she doesn't have to do housework or much child care.

It used to depress me that they used to talk about how they would move on to 'another expat country', which seemed to mean somewhere else with cheap labour where they wouldn't have to learn the language or deal with living like or among the locals.

And yes, the British people I met there continually talked about how awful the UK was, and often how stupid people who didn't leave were.

Scarletbanner Sun 30-Jun-13 20:25:33

Someone has to have been living in the UK or EU for the last 3 years to get home fee status. Does your expat friend's ds not live with her in the ME?

WhiteShakette Sun 30-Jun-13 20:26:56

ElQunto, exactly. The difference between an emigrant and an expatriate is huge.

poppydoppy Sun 30-Jun-13 20:29:27

Her friends over there are just the same. I visited her for a week last year, whilst at dinner I knocked my wine over and started to mop it up one of the women said "oh leave that a Indian or Filipino will be along in a min to clean it up" then a whole conversation about Indians started up, how disgusting and smelly they are, how they cant stand their drivers because they smell, how they wont let their staff eat or cook in the house, how they hold their passports so they cant leave. It was so awful i left early.

ElQC, If you can prove you are in temporary employment abroad and mean to return to the UK you can get home status, and as the UAE only offers visa to expats they found a loophole.

poppydoppy Sun 30-Jun-13 20:32:48

Whiteshakette, you hit the nail on the head. Cant these women see how awful they are?

XiCi Sun 30-Jun-13 20:42:23

Yes YABU. So every single person who lives or works in a country other than the one they're born in is a complete arsehole? What crap

People don't completely change character after a couple of years in the UAE. She was probably unbearable before she went, maybe you should choose your friends more wisely.

JacqueslePeacock Sun 30-Jun-13 20:45:14

I'm not sure that degree of racist vileness has been acquired in just a few years abroad, tbh. They were probably pretty ghastly before they went.

May09Bump Sun 30-Jun-13 20:48:51

I'm an expat and I'm not like this, but know where you are coming from.

When I moved to NYC, I was in a playroom and started talking to another mum (not spoken to her before) about messy toddlers and cleaning. Then she said "oh you do have to get one of them" - I was sort of half listening and naively said one of what, expecting her to say a steam cleaner or something. She said a Mexican - it completely floored me, she was talking as if her cleaner was a second class citizen. I told her straight that her comments were completely disgusting and to have more respect for another person, then left.

She obviously thought as I was white, it was ok to talk to me this way - she didn't know that our family is half Spanish and we have a lot of contact with the Mexican community, naturally developed as we have a common language and my son is learning too.

It's ok to buy in services (creates much needed jobs) - but can't stand those who don't treat their employees as equals!

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 30-Jun-13 20:49:15

Well, your friend is a racist shit for brains. However, I know masses of expats, lived abroad during my childhood, had family members who did the same. Some are twunts, some aren't. FWIW, having 'servants' or 'maids' IMO is bad for people's attitudes regardless of expat status.

poppydoppy Sun 30-Jun-13 20:49:55

I think its specific to Middle Eastern expats. She was a lovely person before the move.

DuchessFanny Sun 30-Jun-13 20:51:37

Oi !! I'm an ex-pat, i don't have a huge house, cleaner, or nanny, always speak the local language when out and about shopping or when talking to the neighbours and the majority of my friends work, i believe that mostly we're making the best of having to move lock stock and barrel away from our entire support network. I am so proud of my home Country and am actually more patriotic than when I lived there ( instead of seeing it as an escape from blighty I get upset if I hear anyone slag off Britain or the Brits) and the majority of lovely men & women I've met here have had crushing homesickness at one point or another, even though our standard of life IS better here .. I'm sorry you've met the nobber ones who go on and on about how shit the UK is and how they wouldn't move back by choice -- they are about but they don't account for all of us - promise !!

TheMagicKeyCanFuckOff Sun 30-Jun-13 20:56:13

Hello as an emigrant. Most aren't like that.

I know a good few Middle Eastern expats and all bit a tiny minority are great, many love Britain but also love their country of residence, understand the local language (for example, Arabic) and make an effort to fit in. In some cases, such as Dubai, they've moved to an expat 'community' where emigrants all move to and live in. If you've a job out there, it's not easy to avoid that because of your work/partner's work. But most are anything but snooty, will often talk about the good sides of Britain and what they miss (and what they like there of course) and cook, cleans and does housework.

I am an expat (from Sweden though). I moved country. That's a tiny part of me- it doesn't define me whatsoever. Emigrating doesnt change if a person is good or bad, friendly or not, nice or not.

gnittinggnome Sun 30-Jun-13 21:03:47

As an ex-expat, I would suggest you either speak to a few more people who have lived overseas, or not generalise from one unpleasant person. The expat lifestyle in the Middle East is quite different from the one I experienced in Asia (and probably both are very different from other parts of Asia, Africa, Australia etc), and whilst there were a few of those kind of people around, there were just as many obnoxious locals/tourists, over there and when I came home.

I'm sorry your friend has had a hard time adjusting to being back in the UK, uprooting yourself and your life can be difficult, but as you say you're no longer friends what's the problem?

KD0706 Sun 30-Jun-13 21:09:55

I think you're tarring all expats with the same brush and it's not accurate. I guess I'm an expat, but I'm none of the things you describe your friend as.

However I do agree that some expats. Particularly the ones who go to places like the middle east where they get Maud's, drivers etc can seem like another breed.

It's just another way of life and doesn't turn all of them into wankers

WhereYouLeftIt Sun 30-Jun-13 21:18:06

I would not regard this as typical of expats. My parents lived abroad for over a decade (no work in the UK of the 1980s) and never behaved like this. I suspect this woman was just some sort of proto-twat, awaiting the right conditions to flower into the massive twonk she is now.

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