Archive | December, 2016

Where they will be good to me

Posted on 09 December 2016 by American expat!

In my early years of living here, the smallest acceptance or kindness would mean so much. Before I arrived, I took certain (OK many) things for granted. After arriving, and even still today, it’s quite simple to make me happy: Good customer service (so rare…), a helpful bank teller, a compliment from a stranger (wait, the last one has never happened–literally never–though I still dole them out as I much as I please, much to the surprise of strangers).

I cherished these rare acts of kindness directed at a foreigner. It definitely opened my eyes to the struggles faced by foreigners living in my own country and how locals treat non-native English speaking immigrants, visitors and expats. It certainly changed my behavior when I visit.

A lot of where I shopped and did business–and still do–has to do with where people are nice to me. I frequent the Chinese and Pakistani owned shops because they speak more clearly and do not get impatient when  you stumble over words. The Indian restaurant owners fall over themselves to please you. There is an understanding with these shop and restaurant owners: we are all outsiders here.

I’ll admit, I am trying much harder to integrate now, in fact it is a particular goal of mine: To belong to this city. But when something bad happens or I am feeling especially lonely or isolated, these are the places I return to.

 

 

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