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Old 08-16-2011, 12:43 AM   #21
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If everyone else is driving like drunken lunatics then perhaps you should adopt that style.

Don't think of it as a challenge. Think of it as an opportunity.
Bingo! You get it. I think living enjoyably in a new culture requires these steps: recognizing the differences, understanding when it's in one's best interest to adopt or adapt to the difference, treating it as an opportunity, being able to carry out the change.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:00 AM   #22
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I'm seen generic advice on what it takes to be an expat about how country's civil and criminal legal codes and their implementation vary widely. That one needs to understand things taken for granted like presumption of innocence and the power of contracts are far from universal. Good advice, but what does it mean in practice? In some countries it means the following.

Ask yourself if you could live in a country where you had two options after being cheated* out of the home you purchased: 1) accept it, 2) pour money into a black hole of legal fees in a hopeless and endless quest. *By cheated I mean all means illegal, quasi-legal or with the force of law behind them. Don't focus on the word 'cheat'.

Ask yourself if you could live in a country where a security cam catches a foreigner being beat down bad enough to put him in a hospital for days, where the video clearly shows the perpetrators who are known to all the staff and foreigners who frequent the establishment and where the odds of the police doing anything about it are close to zero?
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:24 AM   #23
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Some people find "adventure" or young economically disadvantaged women to be sufficient reason to put up with stuff like this, as well as toxic air and all the other 3rd world nifties.

I think for me it would only be if I absolutely could not afford to continue to live in an advanced country.

Ha
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:32 AM   #24
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Some people find "adventure" or young economically disadvantaged women to be sufficient reason to put up with stuff like this, as well as toxic air and all the other 3rd world nifties.

I think for me it would only be if I absolutely could not afford to continue to live in an advanced country.

Ha
You and me (and DW) ...

I know that a lot of folks on this board plan on retiring to another country (and I do recognize that some have done so, succesfully), but I would say for most folks - especially for those that have not traveled outside North America (e.g. USA/Canada) don't recognize the differences in culture.

As for me/DW (who have traveled much - world wide, along with my employment by a foreign country that required me to spend a lot of time outside the U.S.), I would say that we're happy to remain here.

As for others? Whatever "floats their boat"...
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:05 AM   #25
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I am not committed to expatism. It is my Plan B. Having traveled a little and having researched the world for years now, there is no place like home, for sure. However, there are a few places that might hold up--for a while. And all I need is 'a while'.
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:21 AM   #26
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Some people find "adventure" or young economically disadvantaged women to be sufficient reason to put up with stuff like this, as well as toxic air and all the other 3rd world nifties.

I think for me it would only be if I absolutely could not afford to continue to live in an advanced country.

Ha
I am sure that you can find adventurous economically disadvantaged women to fulfill your whimsy wherever you go.
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:22 AM   #27
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Great story Michael. As an expat living in the USA I could go on for hours about the language gaff's that I have made.
Me too!

The first 6 months after I arrived in the US were probably the best of my life. Yes, I did make a fool of myself on more than one occasion. But it was such an adventure that it didn't matter much!
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:31 AM   #28
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All of DW’s extended family members are expats, as are some of mine. They come from and live in developed and emerging countries in the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Together we have lived most of our lives as expats. Yet I have never heard any stories about the things being discussed here. They certainly do exist but in no way represent the norm. Exploitation and cruelty are not exclusive to developing societies.

I have always questioned people moving abroad just to lower their cost of living, because that usually involves other trade-offs they may not be aware of or ready for. This thread gives the idea that expat living is like an Indiana Jones Movie, with unforeseen dangers and repulsive cultural characteristics everywhere.

My experience is there are friendly people everywhere who have a lot in common, especially the desire for opportunities for their children and material well-being for themselves. Most places can be warm, friendly, and “home” as long as people are smart about how they live. There are also dangerous living conditions everywhere – even the US. There are bad locations and there are people that make bad choices.

As for what constitutes a successful expat? The only thing I can say is that all of our expat family members and friends have on common characteristic: they all seem to enjoy life wherever they find themselves...
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:48 AM   #29
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As an expat living in the USA I could go on for hours about the language gaff's that I have made.
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The first 6 months after I arrived in the US were probably the best of my life. Yes, I did make a fool of myself on more than one occasion. But it was such an adventure that it didn't matter much!
Sound like we have a lot in common and plenty of stories to share over some beers …
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:01 PM   #30
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This reminds me of a story

A Brazilian friend was assigned to the Venezuelan sub as an executive.......


Oh to be a fly on the wall at that meeting!
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:30 PM   #31
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I think for me it would only be if I absolutely could not afford to continue to live in an advanced country.
I'd love to stay in an "advanced" country, but the way things are going in the US, Western Europe, etc. I'm scared of Big Brother (and Uncle CEO) having more and more influence and citizens having less and less rights. At some point I may have to move out of these "advanced" countries to one without as much ability to monitor and track me.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:01 PM   #32
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There isn't just one way to say it, although all seem to agree that "New Orleeeenz" isn't it.
It's hard for me to understand the phonetic notation in the authority you give, especially the difference between <new> and <nyoo>. What all the local pronunciations given here:
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Local pronunciations: /nuːˈɔːljənz/, /nuːˈɔːliːnz/, /nuːˈɔrliːnz/, /nuːˈɔrliːənz/, /nuːˈɔrlənz/
Culture of New Orleans - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
have in common, in distinction from how it is said elsewhere, is that they do not have stress on the last syllable. That is, local "new ORleans" but foreign "new orLEANS".
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:58 PM   #33
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I'd love to stay in an "advanced" country, but the way things are going in the US, Western Europe, etc. I'm scared of Big Brother (and Uncle CEO) having more and more influence and citizens having less and less rights. At some point I may have to move out of these "advanced" countries to one without as much ability to monitor and track me.
I know what you're saying but where would you move?

Here is a link to Carleton (Canada) University's country ranking tables from its Country Indicators for Foreign Policy Project, which seems to have a good reputation: Country Ranking Table 2007
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:59 PM   #34
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I just found this on Raddr's board:
Three Year Syndrome: when expats get bored - Telegraph
Another datum.
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:55 PM   #35
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I have lived in so many places that I have no particular expectation of how any place "should be". I learned very early in life that you just have to go with the flow and accept what "is" wherever you may be.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:50 PM   #36
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I'd love to stay in an "advanced" country, but the way things are going in the US, Western Europe, etc. I'm scared of Big Brother (and Uncle CEO) having more and more influence and citizens having less and less rights. At some point I may have to move out of these "advanced" countries to one without as much ability to monitor and track me.
I'm trying to imagine a place with more rights and less influence than the U.S.

Switzerland? Canada? The Cayman Islands? Australia?

Even if you find a first-world country like that, I'm not sure how the rest of the "quality of life" factors would compare.
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Old 08-16-2011, 10:20 PM   #37
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I have lived in so many places that I have no particular expectation of how any place "should be". I learned very early in life that you just have to go with the flow and accept what "is" wherever you may be.
Unless of course you can have a good degree of control over where you find yourself, then you can indulge your preferences.

It seems to me that autonomy in life resides in large part in how many areas in which you are free to choose what you want, not what someone else chooses for you.

Ha
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:28 AM   #38
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Grew up in Dallas saying, "New Or-lens" for that magical, mystical city we all love:

In the heart of the night
In the cool southern rain
There's a full moon in sight
Shining down on the Pontchartrain

And the river she rises
Like she used to do
She's so full of surprises
She reminds me of you
In the heart of the night

There's a nightbird singing
Right on through till the dawn
And the streets are still ringing
With people carrying on

It's been so long waiting
Just to be here again
Anticipating
All the time I could spend
In the heart of the night down in New Orleans
In the heart of the night down in New Orleans

And I trust in your love never falling down
And I trust in your love
Just like I do in this town never falling down

And I'm so glad to be back in New Orleans
Please don't wake me, don't shake me,
If this is only just a dream
It's the only place I can face that feels so right
Below that Dixie moon and loving you
In the Heart of the Night
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:26 PM   #39
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I'm trying to imagine a place with more rights and less influence than the U.S.

Switzerland? Canada? The Cayman Islands? Australia?

Even if you find a first-world country like that, I'm not sure how the rest of the "quality of life" factors would compare.
Depends on what rights you are interested in. Of course, there are always trade-offs.

Got a list?
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Old 08-17-2011, 01:53 PM   #40
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Three key attributes of expatriate life

1. A sense of humor
2. A strong liver
3. The ability to say "NO"
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