My Camera & My Chai: Those Expats!


I have been an expatriate. I confess, and I hang my head in shame. But, in my defence, milord, I did try to blend in with the local population, and I did have a lot of fun doing so.

Milord, when I did this, I discovered whole cultures, oceans of humour, and ways of doing things that I would not have learned otherwise.

Yet, kind sir, I must confess, that an expatriate lives in a bubble.

You see, Milord, that the expatriate believes that he/she lives in some sort of rarefied atmosphere, and on limitless expense accounts.

He – I will continue with the use of the masculine, begging your pardon – believes that he is above the rule of law, and that barking out arguments in rude English will get him past the uncultured and unwashed and illiterate natives.

Sir, and I crave your pardon for not bringing this to your notice earlier, I noticed this in Shanghai, in Beijing, and in Singapore.

There was once a German I knew, who lived in China for five whole years. In these five years, he learned five words of Chinese.

One word per year, Milord, and I don’t mean to exaggerate.

To redeem myself in your eyes, I was at a traffic light, when I noticed this gentleman on the bike, with his young lovely, turn right when his light had turned red. The traffic coming towards him stopped in confusion. He lost control and fell.

When the traffic policeman caught up with him, he shook his fist at the poor man, and wheeled off without paying his fine.

Mind you, Milord, not one penny – or rupee – did he pay. Even though he is has a large expense account, and is paid a huge ‘hardship’ allowance. Milord, he earns twice as much as he would in his own home country, and he wheeled off without paying.

Begging your pardon, sir, but he just shook his fist in the poor policeman’s face.

I thought I must bring it to your attention, Milord.

Can you do something about this?

Begging your pardon, sir, but could you do something?


      1. I doubt there will be more of this, until I see another crazy expatriate. Arrogant, is the word

        2017 is the year of 2 new private photography projects, and the year of getting on with some unfinished writing ones – Tales of Mystery, The Journey to Hell… Time permitting – the Fables of Vlad The Bad..

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