Discovering a new country and culture as an expat is exciting, exhilarating and sometimes exasperating. It takes a brave soul to pack their bags and start over in a new place, especially if their country of origin is so different from their destination. We are pretty sure that some people do it better than others, but despite their differences, they’re all on the same boat.
While we would never mindlessly lump people into groups or stereotypes 😉 we still think that some of the expats you will meet are very interesting.
The one who has been here forever: They might have been born here, or their whole family is here or they have just been here for so long that Kuwait has truly become their second home. They know how to get stuff done, who to call and where to go. You don’t really appreciate them until you need their help.
The one who is here for the money: They might as well be yelling “Show me the money” at the top of their lungs constantly because that is more or less how they behave. They don’t want to spend any money. Ever! And they ask about the price of everything and will try really hard not to pay for anything. You might not meet them unless they work with you because they never go out anyway and can’t really afford to make friends.
The one who is fresh off the boat: They are easy to spot because they do look like a deer caught in the headlights. They still haven’t finished all their paperwork, have no idea what wasta means or why they need to know who the mandoob is. You really need to help them out, because that is the right thing to do.
— Shelby Price (@_ShelbyPrice_) September 30, 2013
The one who hates everything: We’re not sure if they really hate living here or if they are just curmudgeons. They complain about the dust, the heat, and traffic. Every. Single. Day. They refuse to try the local food or accept the customs. They insist on telling everyone how things are much better back home. Sometimes it is just homesickness and shock. They either end up going home or figure things out and start enjoying it.
— Courtney (@CourtneyJBurns) March 23, 2014
The perpetual tourist: These might be our favorite type of expat. They are curious and want to see and learn everything. They have probably been to places you didn’t know existed in Kuwait. They have had machboos and love roaming the streets of Moubarkiya. They immerse themselves in the culture. They probably have an Instagram account and hashtag all their photos #expatlifeisamazing. We love how they remind us how amazing life can be if you just pretend you are experiencing it for the first time.
They also sometimes turn into the next kind of expat.
The serial expat: This might be their first rodeo or their fifteenth, but they love moving from country to country. Packing doesn’t scare them. They don’t feel the need to grow roots and want to be nomads forever. They are the kind of people you would want to live vicariously through. They are always fun at a party because of all the stories they can tell you. And they always remind us that ships might be safe in the harbor but that is not what ships are for.
Trying anything new is an experience unto itself. And we totally understand that it won’t always be easy but it can be a whole lot of fun if you let go of some of your biases and give it a chance.
Featured image by Francesca Tirico