I reckon I could be an expat for all of my life. Great Britain really is great, but I have no burning desire to lay my ashes to rest there.
While I’ve always relished my expat adventures, certain telltale signs let me know when I’m need of an expat detox back home. Sound familiar?
- Your temporary apartment is so ill equipped you beg your toddler to share his toy kitchen. ‘Come on darling, share the pan. Mummy needs to make real pasta.’ Photo by LornaJane.net
- You’ve grasped the basics of the local lingo but bureaucracy is a whole new language; a language invented to scare off foreigners like you.
- You’re scared to drive, but not to take a flight. When you do get in the car you keep asking your passengers which side of the road to drive on.
- You’ve shown guests to the same local monument so many times that the tourist board offers you a job. The Eiffel Tower again? Puleeeeease no.
- People in your hometown say you sound foreign. Or worse still, that you look foreign. (Maybe because you’re wearing a floor length kimono in Tesco’s?)
- You know local custom duty regulations like the back of your hand but you still can’t order a coffee the way you like it.
- You meet someone who happens to be from your hometown / -region / -country and within one minute you’ve invited them over for your kid’s birthday.
- When you get angry at your kids they shout back at you in a different language.
- You eat pasta with chopsticks / your hands / not at all (carbs are a cardinal sin where you live).
- You still can’t pronounce the name of your street.