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More of My Expat Observations

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Post by Winston » March 18th, 2009, 6:41 pm

wuming wrote:Ladislav, I read all your posts and writings (hundreds of pages now) closely and with great interest and appreciation - thank you for sharing a lifetime of experience, with remarkable frankness. Have you considered collecting and organizing your writing into a book? Your stories and observations deserve a wide(r) audience.
W: I've already collected them into an ebook, which I send out as a bonus gift to those who order my ebook :)
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Post by ladislav » March 22nd, 2009, 2:45 pm

Many first-worlders, upon migrating to the Third World and getting a local girlfriend or wife, often discover that she does not know how to budget money, goes through the husbands/boyfriends’ allowance like it was water , and her family also keep asking the husband for money and other types of financial help. When the help is given, the money is promptly spent on seemingly nonsense things, and more requests for help start coming. “The people just do not seem to have basic financial literacy�, the first-worlder realizes. Then he starts talking about “cultural differences� and the “culture� shock.

The shock is really not about “culture�, but social class. It is all about the long standing “peasant versus the bourgeois� conflict, as the two classes have been clashing since cities had been established way back when. A city dweller did not have land, had to pay rent or city taxes; had to budget and value money as a precious resource. He had nothing else, really, unless he was a landlord, but even then, money had to be budgeted because of all kinds of expenses. A peasant, on the other hand, often could live off the fat of the land while money was secondary because it would always be there sooner or later as the result of the land giving him its wealth. The two classes could never relate to each other- the peasant would have many children who would then help in his agricultural activities, the city dweller could only afford a few, the peasant was generous with money and shared it among the members of his family and expected the new members of the family (new husbands and wives) to pool money together for the common good. The peasant would ask the bourgeois for money, but often could not pay it back because he had never learned how to manage finances the way city folks do.

The peasant thus perennially accuses the bourgeois of being stingy and greedy, of being selfish and cold-hearted, while the bourgeois keeps accusing the peasant of being a profligate and a bumbling provincial fool.

In the 1st world, peasants have long since become “farmers�, and, slowly, adopted the city ways of budgeting, had smaller families, and, pretty much, became “rural bourgeois� with now, very few differences in mentality between them and their urban counterparts. However, in the so called ‘developing’ countries, the peasant mindset is still very strong even though many former peasants now live in the cities: they have large families, they do not have money saved up, they do not know how to budget and often appear to behave in impractical, provincial ways. If the country is tropical, and harvest can be gathered all year around, the peasant classes appear even more indifferent to money, more relaxed and care-free, and less respectful of the Western bourgeois ways of doing things. Upon marrying a beautiful (peasant) girl, the American or other Western husband soon discovers just how irresponsible she can behave with his money and how disrespectful the whole family is of what he has- they expect him to buy them things- buy food, buy houses and buffaloes, and also help with medical bills. Haven’t they heard of medical insurance? They have not, apparently. What did the father think when he was making a family of twelve which he now cannot feed? He thought nothing. He just obeyed his “thirst�.

They are peasants, man. They hoped that land would take care of them. As it had for millennia.

So, a Western man runs into all kinds of confrontations, gets called a “cheap Charlie�
and gets accused of having no pity when he refuses to share his hard earned money with an enormous extended household. Then, he starts complaining about “cultural incompatibilities “between Americans and Thais or Canadians and Filipinos or even Japanese and Indonesians. But this is not about culture, man, it is about ‘class’. Unwittingly now, you are participating in class misunderstandings and class struggle but on a very miniature scale. Karl Marx revisited.

Had you chosen a real city girl, whose family has lived in the city for generation, and who knows the city ways of doing things, you would rarely have such problems, but city girls are often stuck up, unfriendly, and do not have the “warm heart� of the peasant. So, a man is stuck in a dilemma that is hard to solve. Some simply prefer not to marry into any family although some do get lucky and end up with a good urban wife. Good for them! Some succeed at training the rurally-minded girl in the intricacies of budgeting and manage to keep the money hungry other members of her clan away, or negotiate for smaller allowances. Different people deal with it differently. Some just can’t hack it, and end up leaving the country complaining about not being able to adapt to local “culture�. But few ever realize that what they come up against has nothing to do with culture, but is, basically, the thousand year old conflict between the rustic hicks and the city slickers which has been very much alive and well in the developing countries up till now, which has not yet gone away and which will, probably, still not go away for a long, long time.
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Re: More of My Expat Observations

Post by josephty1 » November 3rd, 2015, 9:08 am

I have learned a lot more about world history (and big picture connections) in your writings (and Winston's) than how it was presented in my high school history classes
If there is a nation that is somewhat similar to Saudis in behaviour, it is the Japanese.
Interesting. With all the obvious propaganda this is refreshing to know.
There is a small percentage of world population which I would term socially displaced people. These people are strangers everywhere they go, are unneeded as friends and lovers and are lonely as all get out. In this article, I would like to show how we can improve their lot by making them multipatriate- i. e, residents of more than one country and how we can upgrade them to an Expat status which is an honourable title in many parts of the world. I will only talk about those misfits who are citizens of the Western world but who cannot enjoy its social benefits. These are usually 1st and 2nd generation immigrants, naturalized citizens, mostly males and mostly young.
Yeah I have noticed that in my Vietnamese family. My father somewhat regretted going to Vietnam and marrying my mother there. He shouldn't had her go to the United States to become citizens
No, if you were in England or other such places, you would be bombarded by all exaggerated, pessimistic messages about the impending collapse, layoffs and a depression which is right around the corner. The bad news coming from TV, the radio and your printed media are not a good motivator to get the consumers to start buying things. After hearing the news, you would most probably hold on to your money, stay at home, and not spend anything thereby delaying any economic rebound your country is yearning for so much.
Reminds me of Alex Jones and the "economic collapse 2015" google searches
I say, nothing wrong with that if they like it, but when you see a girl shaking with shyness and fear and looking around scared and then telling you some strange things many of which can be true, you think twice before trying to induce her to go with you. Actually, if you have any heart and integrity at all, you will most probably want to help.

Some people who do not want to be in the bar or on webcam are so poor, they are really pitiful to behold. Only a truly heartless person would not feel compassion for those. One girl left a webcam den with only clothes on her back and absolutely nothing to her name. A hundred dollar bought her a cell phone, some underwear, clothes and shoes

However, be careful of scammers who pretend to be “innocent�.
I am mentally crying as I read those paragraphs. Oh yeah the feminists in USA are oppressed all right - then again they grew more "spoiled" than the rest of the world

Thanks for writing and your blog is also interesting to read
Public school and the people in it are fake as shit. Money and workaholic culture replaces healthy social interaction.

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