Saturday, July 21, 2007

Exaptriates are HATERZ!!!

This post is going to probably piss a lot of people off, but the truth hurts.

The Expats here are Haterz! (If you don't know what a "hater" is, then you are out of touch. Google it).

Our first 4 months in Uruguay were spent with ZERO contact with North American expats. In fact, we weren't even aware of how many existed (they blend in quite well most of the time).

However, as fate would have it, we were introduced to a circle of expatriates through a good friend, Mikey, who has recently had to return to the US (please read about mikey's trials and tribulations here and check out his entrepreneurial endeavor in Uruguay here Lately, I've grown nostalgic for the days when I didn't know any expats. That can't be good.

Why, you ask?

(sarcasm) Since everyone likes to be put into a box and classified (/sarcasm) I'm going to describe five types of expats I've met here in Uruguay:
  1. actively working for a foreign govt (diplomatic corps) and are very well compensated by Uruguayan standards.
  2. actively working for foreign multinational profits or non-profit and very well paid by local standards
  3. retired and living off of big business or big govt pension or social security (common) or savings (more rare).
  4. young and has some savings but will run out of money eventually and have to go back to earning money someday.
  5. young (in spirit at least) and has an idea and enough cash to get something started here, but doesn't have infinite resources.
At various times I've heard some real negativity thrown around between each one of these sub-groups of people. To each and every person, of course, their source of income is honorable and beyond reproach. However, others' methods for trying to get by are questioned, demeaned, ridiculed, unsupported, negatively gossiped about, or somehow looked down times, I've even heard people demeaning the way that *I* chose to support Golden Lotus and myself without realizing what I do for a living without realizing what I do.

Personally, I have my own bias as well. I'd like to attract more entrepreneurs to come and create, work and thrive here...but....

If the expats can't even support each other, how in the world do they expect a bunch of semi-xenophobic south americans that think every North American is born independently wealthy to do it?

I don't know if the "hating" is being driven by ignorance or petty jealousy or what. However, I pledge to do my part to stop the "hating" by trying to treat each person, regardless their station in life or how they came to find Uruguay, with non-judgemental dignity and respect.

Whether or not the collective decides to follow suit, I can only hope.



happynz said...

Immigrants often moan, that's a given. Moving outside one's comfort zone to a new country and having to cope with a new language can be quite daunting to most. Some work through the changes and eventually learn to cope and celebrate the similarities and differences. Others never climb out of the pit of culture shock and revel in spreading bitterness.
Top marks for hanging in there. I wish you continued good living in Uruguay.

Anonymous said...

FU,I guess is an "international disease". I am an Uruguayan that left home 28 years ago and has lived all over the US and a few cities overseas. I can confirm that everytime I got in touch with the "diaspora", I regreted it...
Regarding trying to get entrepenurial juices going in my Paisito, good luck and don't forget to get some Tums... Nevertheless, if you stick around for a while, the next time I visit I share some ideas and the first "Cortado" is on me.

Anonymous said...

What about distrustful bohemian types?


Sandlapper said...

Hey there, fB - you taught me something today! Since I'm out of touch, I didn't know what a "hater" is, but I googled it, and now I do.

It's sad that you've observed this inclination in expats. It's certainly not healthy for the expat community, but also especially bad for the "hater". IMHO, envy or jealousy that leads to this way of thinking likely contributes to any number of chronic conditions, mental & physical.

BTW, been meaning to tell you how much I enjoy your rants about trading and the general direction of the economy. I've thrown away about 10 grand myself doing stupid things trading. And, I agree with you that saving is probably a basically dumb thing to do - it's much more fun to have sharks in the pits eat your money in huge bites than to have moths just nibble-nibble-nibble your savings.

Urufish said...

My vote's for petty jealousy as the root cause.. Happynz's points cover the local stressors.. the worst of it is that many people dont know any other way to gain height than to stand on someone else... But for most people, these are transient thoughts.. mindless comments that dont seem to harm anyone, but make them feel a bit better.
I'd add that many of us aren't as busy as we used to be... we're reaching for things to keep us busy... idle hands (and minds)..

To Uruguayans, we're monolithic... all the same, envied as a group... strength in numbers eh?
but within our group, we're individuals.. fair game to snipe at... amongst ourselves... even brings a little missed 'tribalism' into the picture... and we all know how good that feels.

fuBarrio said...

thanks for all the comments/feedback....

i feel myself slipping into an online howard stern-eque sort of character since when i stop self-editing is when i actually say something controversial enough to be worthy of a comment :)

E, you're in a class all by yourself!

happynz, thanks for the positive encouragement

daniel, lookin' forward to the cortado

sandlapper, yeah, the market can certainly be a cruel task-master. i definately enjoy playing with the sharks....of course, the title "savers are frickin idiots" was really just trying to get someone to disagree with me! hahhahah, i guess i have to increase my readership from 4 to 5 before that'll happen!

:) in the meantime, i'm going to keep serving my "base"!


Anonymous said...

I think you're already non-judgmental to begin with....compared to most people, I don't have a "pot to piss in nor a window to throw it out of"... but you've always been nice to me even though I couldn't "do" much for you.
Arffff!!!(thanx dude)