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Foxibus
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25 Jan 2022, 3:21 pm

A couple of years back I emigrated from England to Sweden. (Family reasons unconnected with this forum.) I've always been able to make myself at home wherever I wound up, but still, I was pleasantly surprised at how smoothly I settled in to living in a new country.

Recently it dawned on me that being somewhere where I don't know the social rules, don't know how the system works, sometimes don't understand what people are saying... is normal to me, and always was. No wonder I found it easy. In a very real sense, I've always lived in a foreign country.


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Fnord
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25 Jan 2022, 3:56 pm

I have the same experience in my travels, with the only real difficulty being the language barrier, which can be overcome.



1986
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25 Jan 2022, 9:45 pm

I went the other way. I emigrated from Sweden, first to the UK and then to Japan. The latter move had its fair share of culture shock but I remember there being next to none during my 3 years in London. Very international city, with a high tolerance for idiosyncrasies. I imagine it might not be the same in the farther ends of Cornwall or something.



Benjamin the Donkey
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26 Jan 2022, 7:39 am

I've lived in foreign countries for 20 years, and I absolutely agree. Being an alien is nothing new; I've always felt that way. And the local people attribute my eccentricities to cultural differences rather than just weirdness.


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Fireblossom
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26 Jan 2022, 9:54 am

So like, we're weirdos everywhere, but when we're weirdos in a foreign country, we have an excuse for it? :D



Fnord
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26 Jan 2022, 10:05 am

Fireblossom wrote:
Benjamin the Donkey wrote:
I've lived in foreign countries for 20 years, and I absolutely agree. Being an alien is nothing new; I've always felt that way. And the local people attribute my eccentricities to cultural differences rather than just weirdness.
So like, we're weirdos everywhere, but when we're weirdos in a foreign country, we have an excuse for it?
That seems to be the case.  Even among immigrant communities in this country, my aspie "weirdness" is dismissed as Yankee eccentricity.  I like it that way.

:D



txfz1
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26 Jan 2022, 11:23 am

I can relate as I’ve lived in Scotland, moved there from Texas. I do think I said “what” a few more times than normal but felt comfortable. I travel around the US now and feel the same level of comfort. I would also say it’s the same level of comfort when at a black tie affair or talking to the homeless on the street, for me.



ToughDiamond
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26 Jan 2022, 2:40 pm

I know what you mean - if you feel foreign in your country of birth, there's some truth in the idea that you may as well become literally foreign and live in another country.

I've become something of an expat myself, natively English but I've been in the USA for 2 years now, and look set to remain substantially here for the foreseeable future. But I've been reclusive for many years, so there's not been much socialising in either country to allow much of a comparison, especially since Covid messed up most of the plans I had for mingling with the natives. From what little social experience I have, I'd say there's an upside and a downside, and that overall it's neither better nor worse. As usual, my musical abilities have opened most of the social doors that I've been able to get through.



AprilR
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27 Jan 2022, 11:00 am

I don't know, i have been in several different countries before.

In some ways i feel safer and more secure in western countries, since laws are actually being followed there. And there is the plus that being a foreigner people excuse social faux pas. But at the same time, in western countries i feel a bit anxious and scared.

I briefly lived in Spain and basically i never left my room when i didn't have to, i felt like people were constantly waiting for an oppurtunity to make fun of me. Maybe it was because i was in a bad period of my life but i am too scared to live in another country. I wouldn't be able to live without my family's support anyway.



kraftiekortie
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27 Jan 2022, 11:02 am

People in Spain are just like people anywhere----they are mostly into their own crap.

Most of the time, especially in a large city like Madrid, they probably wouldn't even notice you----unless you, all of a sudden, stripped naked.