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- Looking at Expats in Other Regions Outside of Latin America
Recently, I’ve taken an interest in the life of expats in other parts of the world outside of Latin America.
Of course, these regions include mostly Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe.
Oddly enough, expats living in Western Europe, the US or Canada don’t seem too interesting to me.
Though sometimes people relocating to the US do seem a little bit interesting to see if there is any similarity between my experience being a foreigner in Mexico and the experience of a Mexican perhaps living in the US.
Anyway, so I got interested in learning about expat life elsewhere.
Not because I am thinking of relocating elsewhere…
As I mentioned in this article here, I couldn’t see myself relocating realistically speaking to any other region of the world outside of my home country again.
Though, if you put a gun to my head and forced me to do so, I’d probably pick Portugal or Spain.
Anyway, this new interest I have taken up is largely because, somehow or another, I stumbled upon these videos about life in China as you can see here.
And so it got me going down a rabbit hole of watching more and more about China…
Before moving on and looking at content made for Ukraine, Thailand, etc.
Even took a little bit of interest in expats living in African and Middle Eastern countries like Ethiopia for example.
Which is particularly even more interesting because you almost never seem to hear their stories.
At least from what I have always noticed for a long time now, it always seems like the regions that take in the most interest for an expat life are Latin America, Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia.
Anyway, here are some things I have noticed when watching these videos.
The first thing I noticed right away is that certain grivances seem to exist in most other areas that expats go to.
Of course, every region has special issues that other regions don’t have as much or at all.
Like how, from my understanding, getting citizenship in a country like China or most in Asia doesn’t seem particularly easy.
But, above all else, similar grievances seem to exist!
The feeling like an outsider effect.
Learning a new language.
Group mentality and xenophobia placed against you by the locals.
Foreigner (gringo) pricing.
Cops extorting you for money.
Bargaining in the markets.
People showing up late to everything.
How inefficient everything is.
The crappy customer service.
Legal issues with staying anywhere.
So on and so on.
When watching all of these videos and reading blog posts from expats who live elsewhere…
It often felt like I was rewatching a movie that I had already seen a thousand times.
A familiar story about a cop wanting money or a local trying to fuck you over somehow…
Maybe using sexy women as part of the scam to trick you somehow..
You stick your hand out and yell “I’VE SEEN THIS ONE BEFORE!” while eating dinner.
In a way, it’s very entertaining to see the same issues play out elsewhere in that regard and to see how other expats deal with them.
Though, if we are being honest, it doesn’t seem like other expats always give an honest assessment.
When consuming all of this material, I noticed the same thing when I look at websites talking about life in Latin America…
Which is that you always got the same folks who want to bullshit you about life in whatever part of the world.
Usually coming from folks who only talk about how amazing a place is..
Or folks who are trying to sell you affiliate programs because UKRAINIAN WOMEN ARE BEST WOMEN.
Shit like that which I find funny playing out elsewhere.
Observations Emphasized for a Particular Country
In a way, I think looking at all of this material about places like China and elsewhere has also allowed me to do some self-reflection.
At times, I complain a bit about life in Mexico or whatever Latin country.
In those criticisms, I can sometimes find myself thinking along the lines of “oh damn Colombians! They want to scam EVERYONE!”
You see this type of thinking among expats who are annoyed by something that happened to them recently.
While watching a lot of these videos about expat life elsewhere…
It’s come to my attention that, to a degree, the criticisms are not always fairly presented.
And you know where this is going.
In that, yes, these issues happen elsewhere and it’s not particularly one nationality that only does x issue.
That, from what I have come to believe, a large part of it does come down to how structured society is and the ability of the state to properly punish people for their crimes and scams.
Without that, you naturally have more people taking advantage of the system.
And, to a degree, you’ll notice less ability to enforce laws against criminals in poorer countries for various reasons like corruption and lack of resources to name a few.
Having said that, I’m not against either mentioning how certain behaviors might be more common among certain nationalities than others due to culture or whatever else.
For example, it’s been my experience that Dominicans and Colombians (particularly those on the coast) engage in more shitty behavior more commonly.
Trying to fuck over others much more aggressively and regularly than other nationalities.
On the other hand, other nationalities like Mexicans or Chileans seem to be more honest to me on average than Dominicans and Coastal Colombians.
That’s just been my experience anyway.
Regardless, watching content by expats showing the same issues has made me a little more sympathetic to the critique one would have against some of the stuff I say about life down here in Latin America.
And I emphasize “a little more.”
Not a lot more.
Finally, I have come to wonder if the motivations to expat to other regions like Asia or Europe are different than those who expat to Latin America.
After all, someone who expats to Paris probably needs a lot more money than someone expiating to a nice little city in Colombia.
And, as we know, the low cost of living is a motivation for why plenty of folks relocate to Latin America.
Then, from what I have noticed, the motivation of being paid relatively well to teach English seems to be a bigger motivation for those going to a place like Saudi Arabia.
So it all varies I’m sure and I imagine the motivations might be a little bit different than what you typically see in Latin America.
Any New Content?
So I definitely have found all of this content to be enjoyable to watch.
Particularly about China and Saudi Arabia.
Here’s some more videos of expats in both places that I found interesting.
At any rate, do you have any recommendations?
Any resources you find interesting about expat life in other parts of the world that give an honest and entertaining assessment with cool stories?
Could be a Youtube channel, a blog or whatever else.
As a shout out, here’s a cool blog called “in the middle of the middle kingdom” where you can find cool articles of his like this one here.
Recommend you check it out.
And if any of you reading this have something you recommend…
Granted, it could be about Latin America also!
That’d actually be more interesting to me to find a cool blog on life in Latin America as it would be more relatable.
But whatever you do recommend, throw it my way.
And follow my Twitter here.
Thanks for reading.
Thanks for the shoutout! That reminds me, I need to get writing some more articles!
I think with Asia – being the huge place it is, you have those differences like you do in Latin America, I find here in China there are less scams (though scams exist where there is a bigger foreigner presence, such as the decades old ‘Beijing tea house scam’) and the cops are pretty nice actually, they’re the nicest cops ever, they have never shook me down the once – but you have to put up with xenophobia, nationalism and racism – you are ‘othered’ like no-one else, you can’t pass as Chinese unless you are of full Chinese ethnicity yourself but overall, it is a nice life here – there are annoyances such as I can’t use facebook, youtube or twitter and other social media platforms… my favourite part of Asia is actually Malaysia, I love that place.
Other parts of Asia like Thailand and Philippines are worse for scams and police corruption and bribes but then it is more ‘western friendly’ and other places like Cambodia and Laos which are underdeveloped and ‘wild west’ in nature – some of the expats there are off their trolley more often than not – there was a great blogger who was in Cambodia and he had some videos on YouTube but I forgot his name.
With expat life, you pays your money and takes your choice. With Asia over Latin America it is a question of safety (for the most part) but everything else, probably Latin America is better. Mileage may vary.