Saturday, July 15, 2006

Random ramblings on being an expat

I was thinking of a couple things about living abroad. I am very thankful for the opportunity to live in another country and see life in a way that I may have never seen before. Two things the last couple have days have really made me stop and realize how I may have already changed from my experiences so far.

First I have been quite disturbed by the new about the happening going on in Lebanon. (I swear I am not going to go political in this entry.) I was watching a bit of the coverage on TV and listening to it on NPR. Recently, we met a couple that we have been hanging out with back in Chengdu who are on an expat assignment from a company based in Lebanon. The husband's family is all from Lebanon and went to France during the civil war they had years ago, but returned to Lebanon once it was over. I thought to myself, if I would have never left for China would I have even thought much about this news? Does it affect me more now because I know someone personally from Lebanon? Does living in a foreign country make one open their eyes to more things that go on in the world? I think yes to all of these questions, but what about people who don't get a chance to live any where other than the U.S.?

Now don't get me wrong I love the U.S. and I think it is a great place to live. I just think that living outside of the U.S. has opened my eyes to other things that may not have concerned me much if at all. What do you think? Do you think about things that go on all over the world, or is it just too difficult to keep up? I think before I would have paid as much attention to world news, especially things happening in the Middle East. I just didn't think it affected me in any way. Honestly before I moved to China the most I knew about it was that it is a communist country, now my knowledge is better, but still sub-par.

The second thing I have noticed about myself is that either the customer service has gone out the window in the U.S. or I have a major Chinese accent going on. I swear I have less patience with people now that I am back in the U.S. I feel like I should be able to say something once and people should understand me! I am so used to being patient and repeating my broken Chinese over and over and over again that I think there is no way an English speaking person couldn't understand me in the U.S. Ugh! Please let me know if it is me! I am starting to get paranoid!!!


Anonymous said...

You raise some good points. I think how you are raised and what you are exposed to helps shape the way you see World Affairs and what goes on. I grew up in the United States (I've been able to travel abroad) but I had parents that educated our family about "life" outside our little world. They didn't shelter us from anything. They encouraged us to learn about cultures, religions, beliefs etc. World News was a daily topic in our home. So, yes, what is going on in Lebanon does affect me. I do agree when one is removed from their comfort zone and placed someplace else, it does allow you to see things on a much broader scale. Hopefully by being an expat you can encourage family and friends to educate themselves beyond their "local" life. So far you are doing a great job!!!
Annette H.

Anonymous said...

YES! you are ficking Paranoid and try not to expect from other people by compassion @ patient with time - Studio Curious