Friday 23rd April 2010

I was doing some research on expatriate children last week and I can across a very funny article named, “You know you’re an expat kid when.”

It got me thinking and I decided I would create my own version. I started with the concept of “You know you’re an expat when…” but then decided to narrow it down to my neck of the woods and cover some of the things that are unique to Asia, as well as some of the broader expat-isms.

You know you’re an expat in Asia when…

  1. You own a rice cooker and a dehumidifier.
  2. You mentally convert the price of something into three or four currencies before you make a decision about whether to buy it or not.
  3. You know the weather conditions in six countries just by logging onto Facebook and reading your friend’s status updates.
  4. You add “ok la” or “is it” to the end of every sentence you use.
  5. Your car cost more than the average family home in your country of origin.
  6. Your nieces and nephews are more familiar with the concept of nuclear fission than they are with you.
  7. You think that owning a lawn mower is the ultimate status symbol.
  8. You have to look twice if you see a woman without a Louis Vuitton handbag—or a man for that matter.
  9. You find it hard to control your emotions when you visit a supermarket back home, and you get more excited about your friends bringing your favorite products when they come to visit than you are about seeing them.
  10. You start to think that all Caucasians look the same.
  11. You pay your maid, driver and gardener less than $5 USD an hour and expect nothing short of blood.
  12. It’s normal to repeat your order several times in a restaurant and it’s also normal to get something completely different from the food you requested.
  13. It doesn’t surprise you to see six men crowded around a ladder trying to change a single light bulb.
  14. When you contemplate Sunday brunch you think of champagne, not eggs benedict.
  15. Your friends come and go quicker than Tiger Wood’s love interests and you have a lot of friends that you don’t really like but keep in contact with in case of a friend shortage.
  16. You can't say goodbye to someone anymore without voicing the last vowel for at least six seconds: "bab biiiiiiiiiii"

That’s my take on things anyway. Perhaps you may like to share your own version that covers the area of the world that you live in? If you’re up for it, please send them in to or leave a comment below. We’re looking forward to reading your expat lists!

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