The Australians call the Brits a nation of whiners. The stereotype British is a non-stop moaner. Moaning about this and that. Moaning about how it works in the e UK. Moan moan moan. Now, being a Brattish national I have to admit there is an element of truth in that stereotype. But, in my defence I prefer to call the moaning and whining a conversation.
In fact amongst the expats when we get together we all seem to have a group moan. I think this is more a “feel good” group therapy with other ex-pats. We talk about the food, traffic, communication problems and those all so important cultural differences, as well as Filipino time. We take turns and nod our heads accordingly, all agreeing with each other.
Our Filipino friends listen intently at first to our” moans2 and then they eventually get bored with our non-stop whinging and talk amongst themselves. And so they should too. We expats are in the Philippines because we do not want to be in our country. We are here because we want to. So, by that very fact we have already decided to live with, or endure the differences. Mostly we enjoy the differences.
I am sure if I was sitting in a pub in the UK and a group of foreigners spent hours moaning about the UK and that they cannot get the food, communication and the understanding that they can from their own country I would be annoyed with them. I might not say anything to them, but I would be thinking “If you don’t like it, go back to your own country”. Well, honestly my Filipino friends are just the same.
They welcome us into their country and we moan and moan the moment we get in a group with other expats. I know I do it too much, but in my defence I probably start to join in the moan as a common conversation piece. It only takes a few minutes to bond with fellow expats when we start talking about those differences.
Slap me hard now. As I am going to really try and curtail my silly moaning. I have decided to live here and I like it here. All those things that I may miss from my country are trivial really when I compare my happiness here. So next time I am in a bar and you overhear me moaning slap me with a wet fish.
And to all my Filipino friends. I am sorry.