Being a foreigner

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Being a foreigner

Postby 3Boys » Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:18 pm

Really enjoyed this article, just thought I'd share it.

http://www.economist.com/displayStory.c ... D=15108690

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Postby autumnbronze » Sat Dec 19, 2009 6:48 pm

Hi 3boys,

Thx for sharing the article. A very interesting analytical piece! :D

Oh and BTW, can you pls provide a brief write-up as to how/why you chose your nick/avatar in the most CREATIVE nick/avatar thread. You've been nominated :D

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Postby autumnbronze » Fri Dec 25, 2009 11:07 am

Hi 3boys and all forummers,

Just watched a Harrison Ford movie entitled 'Crossing Over' last nite.

It kind of reminded me about this article. A brief sypnosis from the movie:

"The US offers hope - but that oftens comes at a price. Many can earn citizenship legally through a lengthy bureaucratic process, but others find themselves out of luck in a country where virtually anything can be bought. Sex, violence and betrayal become their currency. Some wait in line for permission to enter the U.S while others take matters into their own hands."

If you've not seen it, I recommend it.

I enjoyed it :D :celebrate:

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Postby autumnbronze » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:46 am

Hi,

I just want to share my thoughts on this...

This article reminded me of an expatriate couple who lived in Japan for over 30 years. They picked up Japanese - both spoken and written along the way. They made friends and made themselves really comfortable in the host cty. They travelled widely and in fact invited me over to Japan and brought me to Disneyland and took care of me really well when I was there. They also brought me in their trips overseas in the month or so that I stayed with them. I so loved being in Japan that I refused to go back aft a mth. In fact, it was the lady who taught me all about being a lady, if you know what I mean ie the proper way to eat bread, sit etc....

The gentleman was posted there over 40 yrs ago to manage a company and his wife followed suit. They have no kids. He made his money and when it was time to retire, he decided to spend the rest of his days in his birth cty and also to be near his family.

So they spent a large sum of money renovating the flat they purchased there, fitting it with the most modern appliances/amenities. It was done up well. And so they moved in.

Within a year, the gentleman fell ill. He was almost 6 feet in height in good health, but overnight he just shrank physically. He became a shadow of his former self. Within 2 years of settling down in his birth cty, he passed away.

When I read the article, I just wondered if they had not decided to move, would he still be alive today? I am asking this because I have this feeling that aft spending over 30 yrs in a 'foreign' cty, would you not have assimilated into the lifestyle, environment, culture of the host cty?? Of course that doesn't mean that you forget your own culture.

To me, its more of an issue of health/healthcare. He had the money, his wife is still getting pension till today from the company. It was just the thought of wanting to spend his retirement days with family that prompted his move. However, I felt that it kind of backfired on him in the end and he left (passed on) too early. Because prior to that, he had had no major health problems. Its like his cty of birth turned its back on him. And if you look at it this way, ironically he became a 'foreigner' in his cty of birth. Or maybe his body could not take the 'air' of his birth cty? I somehow feel that he would have been better off staying put in Japan and make several trips back home to see his family or vice versa.

The same issue cropped up when my dad passed on. My 2nd bro wanted to bring mom over to Spain, where he is settled. But I was adamant cuz I somehow felt that my mom would not have been able to fit in the lifestyle there (despite the fact that there is less stress) aft living here for like donkey years.

For me, its the issue of family, healthcare, safety, environment to name a few that is really preventing us from making a permanant move out of S'pore. Yes, the lure of Spain, London, Switzerland, Australia is irresistable and I love being in these places (cept Australia, haven't been there yet), but I'd rather go there as a getaway or temporary job posting than on a permanant basis, at least at this point of time.

But then again, who knows what the future entails ..... :D

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