British Expats

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-   The Sand Pit (https://britishexpats.com/forum/sand-pit-116/)
-   -   Discussion. (https://britishexpats.com/forum/sand-pit-116/discussion-790347/)

Scamp Mar 13th 2013 5:14 am

Discussion.
 
Good morning all,

Had a question put to me last night and please don't think of the obvious answers only.

"Have you changed much since living in Dubai / abroad?"

I know some of you have lived abroad in various places for many, many years but maybe think of your first posting or first move?

How did it change you?

Personally, I'm a hell of a lot more independent. Not that I was a Mummy's boy before - in fact, I rarely saw my parents, but I didn't know what I was doing half the time and was occasionally irresponsible and just not quite under firm guidance from myself. I still do stupid shit, but independent enough to understand fully consequences and what I can / can't do.

I'm also a lot more confident. If I can move 3500 miles on my jack jones then I can do whatever the **** I want, frankly.

Those are the two things that I've benefitted (not completely, I still seek help everywhere, but that's certainly no weakness in my mind). Along with an increase in impatience, a greater level of tolerance (most of the time) and a better grasp on the value of money.


SO.

What has changed about you lot?

gottheTshirt Mar 13th 2013 5:31 am

Re: Discussion.
 
My first assignment took me from Newcastle to London a 5 hour journey: completely different language and culture. They drank very strange flat beer. But the mail only took 1 to 2 days so a I was able to stay in contact with home.
My next excursion was from London to Northern Nigeria. Travel time was 2 days and Mail took 2 to 3 months so communications with home were more strained. Return leave was every two years. But less of a culture shock than the move from Newcastle to London: The local Guilder and Star beer were excellent.

Personally I do not see living in the GCC as "abroad". I can return to UK easier and faster than I could travel from London to Newcastle, I can communicate by phone, Skype and internet, I get Newcastle Brown (although now I have taken a preference to London Pride) and I can shop in Debenhams. I may as well be in Guildford.

UKCityGent Mar 13th 2013 5:58 am

Re: Discussion.
 
During childhood I spent more time out of the time - with boarding school and summers on holidays with friends than with parents so i had to be self reliant and confident.

When travelling abroad - im always amazed by the different cultures, the food, the difference between rich and poor (especially in this region) and people living 2-4 hours from my base can be so different - i stunned even now about social differences and keep thinking "there but the for the grace of God".

NorthernLad Mar 13th 2013 6:04 am

Re: Discussion.
 

Originally Posted by Scamp (Post 10600459)

How did it change you?

I have lost all patience since moving out to the Middle East.

And my driving is far more aggressive, maybe why the missus always drives when we are back home.

Scamp Mar 13th 2013 6:14 am

Re: Discussion.
 

Originally Posted by NorthernLad (Post 10600500)
I have lost all patience since moving out to the Middle East.

And my driving is far more aggressive, maybe why the missus always drives when we are back home.

Think again, do you always lose your patience or do you now wait longer before losing it? Do you sometimes just shrug and accept the lengthy / stupid nature of some things / people.

I was impatient in the UK and now I flick between being on an incredibly short patience fuse to being completely unfazed by some things.

NorthernLad Mar 13th 2013 6:20 am

Re: Discussion.
 

Originally Posted by Scamp (Post 10600508)
Think again, do you always lose your patience or do you now wait longer before losing it? Do you sometimes just shrug and accept the lengthy / stupid nature of some things / people.

I was impatient in the UK and now I flick between being on an incredibly short patience fuse to being completely unfazed by some things.

I was was patient in the UK, now the slightest thing sets me off.

weasel decentral Mar 13th 2013 6:24 am

Re: Discussion.
 
Perhaps the biggest change I have found in myself over the last few years is the level of apathy I now have to the plight or condition of other people's lives.

I don't think I have any feeling left for poverty or general mistreatment of the usual suspects from India, Pakistan etc

I see local or concentrated aid attempts as a complete waste of time and money now, and anyone who believes that saving one life is worth it is a naive ideologist.

So in short I am a horrible uncaring bastard.

Scamp Mar 13th 2013 6:26 am

Re: Discussion.
 

Originally Posted by NorthernLad (Post 10600516)
I was was patient in the UK, now the slightest thing sets me off.

Fair enough! I can be like that but definitely have balanced it the other way a bit too....so I'm the same on average maybe.


Originally Posted by weasel decentral (Post 10600523)
Perhaps the biggest change I have found in myself over the last few years is the level of apathy I now have to the plight or condition of other people's lives.

I don't think I have any feeling left for poverty or general mistreatment of the usual suspects from India, Pakistan etc

I see local or concentrated aid attempts as a complete waste of time and money now, and anyone who believes that saving one life is worth it is a naive ideologist.

So in short I am a horrible uncaring bastard.

Fair point, I think I was always horrible and uncaring.

The_Citizen Mar 13th 2013 6:36 am

Re: Discussion.
 
My driving is much more aggressive, I am more patient but sometimes there is nothing you can do but loose it! I have to speak to suppliers daily and sometimes it is extremely hard work.

I also know I can depend on myself rather than needing family around for support etc. Your friends back home will always be waiting but you become a lot more sociable living away from home as everybody was in the same boat at some point.

And finally I drink a hell of a lot more here than I did back in the UK!!!

shiva Mar 13th 2013 6:41 am

Re: Discussion.
 
I drive like a **** and have no tolerance left in me and that's just in the last 8 years.

I do find expats to be less naive than resident Brits both to internal uk politics and global affairs. For example I have an uncle who loves solving the middle east issues from his kitchen in dumfries as he's now an expert having visited morocco and turkey. His ideas sound sensible to those who know nothing about the middle east and beyond laughable to those of us who do.

I've spent most of my life abroad so it's hard for me to judge what has changed but I do find people who have never lived abroad to be very parochial and in general utterly ignorant of the world as a whole and how it actually functions

Welivehere Mar 13th 2013 6:52 am

Re: Discussion.
 

Originally Posted by NorthernLad (Post 10600516)
I was was patient in the UK, now the slightest thing sets me off.

The patience thing is a hard one. With me a lot of it boils down to common sense, if you're using it I tend to breathe deeper and wait. If common sense is not there or something is difficult for difficult sake I tend to get wound up quicker.

It also appears that to have an inbuilt gauge that assesses how much patience I have based on what I perceive as peoples ability to deal with the situation. Trying hard to help = more patience, being difficult or deliberately obtuse = I'm already starting to devise the various methods of torture that could be applied....

Driving - Yep worse, if I drove in the Uk the way I drive here I am fairly sure I'd get slapped fairly sharpish (and rightly so)

Arrogant - This is one that got bandied about in the Uk, last time I was back. My argument was what they perceived as me being arrogant was more a case of self belief and strong conviction. To me you have to have fair amount of both to a) make the move as an expat and b) survive once you've made that move....

Millhouse Mar 13th 2013 6:53 am

Re: Discussion.
 
I developed a Dale Winton permatan

Millsyisland Mar 13th 2013 6:54 am

Re: Discussion.
 

Originally Posted by NorthernLad (Post 10600516)
I was was patient in the UK, now the slightest thing sets me off.

Me too, I feel like a coiled spriing at times, and usually release some of the tension whilst driving (in the form of shouting and swearing at most other road users).

Without the driving I think I'd either beat my wife and kids or become another Daily Mail article.

shiva Mar 13th 2013 6:57 am

Re: Discussion.
 

Originally Posted by Welivehere (Post 10600549)

Arrogant - This is one that got bandied about in the Uk, last time I was back. My argument was what they perceived as me being arrogant was more a case of self belief and strong conviction. To me you have to have fair amount of both to a) make the move as an expat and b) survive once youve made that move....

this is a very good point. self reliance and an ability to deal with endless daily shit storms i find leads to a sense of self belief seen as arrogance. its not

Scamp Mar 13th 2013 6:58 am

Re: Discussion.
 

Originally Posted by Welivehere (Post 10600549)
The patience thing is a hard one. With me a lot of it boils down to common sense, if you're using it I tend to breathe deeper and wait. If common sense is not there or something is difficult for difficult sake I tend to get wound up quicker.

It also appears that to have an inbuilt gauge that assesses how much patience I have based on what I perceive as peoples ability to deal with the situation. Trying hard to help = more patience, being difficult or deliberately obtuse = I'm already starting to devise the various methods of torture that could be applied....

Driving - Yep worse, if I drove in the Uk the way I drive here I am fairly sure I'd get slapped fairly sharpish (and rightly so)

Arrogant - This is one that got bandied about in the Uk, last time I was back. My argument was what they perceived as me being arrogant was more a case of self belief and strong conviction. To me you have to have fair amount of both to a) make the move as an expat and b) survive once you've made that move....

I agree with that, it's easier to be patient when someone is busting a gut.

I wasn't very patient the other day when the shop assistant was watching a mother trying to calm her lunatic child down instead of firstly swiping the shit I was buying and then secondly taking my card and then thirdly giving me the card machine. It then took a full 25 seconds of her staring elsewhere to realise that she hadn't pressed the button for the second receipt. At that point I got the green light from the Mrs to ask her what she was doing.

Felt good to wait. Even better to say something.


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