Myths about Expat Life

The article linked above is a great piece on the difference in the life we live and the life our friends and family back home think we live.

In general, I don’t think many of our friends and family back home have an accurate perception of our life here, save those who have lived abroad themselves. I feel like mostly their perceptions of our life swing on both sides of the pendulum, but few that are balanced. Some think, “Wow, you guys have a house help, that must make like easy!” (easier, yes). This side swings toward thinking it is easier than it is. Those who think it is more difficult than reality might think we don’t have any amenities in our life or that we live in a yurt or mud house.

Then there’s the myth that because we’ve lived here awhile, we know something. HA! We have very little figured out and we learn something new all the time. Last week I learned that a Kenny G song “Going Home” is the unspoken signal for everyone to pack up and go home. Shopping malls, markets, offices, anywhere. When this song is played, everyone (except me, apparently) knows it’s quitting time. (There’s an article about this in the NY Times if you want more info. I can’t link to it since it’s on a blocked site)

On top of that, there are also the myths that our local friends believe about our life here. My husband’s grandfather died  recently. When we were sharing with some local friends about being sad about not getting to go home one said, “Wow. Until this moment I thought your lives were only happy here.”

How about you? What myths would you to like to debunk about your life here? Leave us a comment with your thoughts.


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