Having lived in China for a year now, it has been interesting to see how many Asian flavored “slurs” pop up in the American language. Sayings and attitudes that made sense before seem a little more foreign now. Because the American homeland IS slowly becoming the foreign place to me now. It’s the curse of the Expat.
One thing I have learned (or should I say real world lessons I have paid for) while being in Southeast Asia is how naive and guilty Americans are. When we are traveling abroad our guilt is used as a powerful leverage tool to part us from our money.
Two things to keep in mind when traveling in tourist areas in Southeast Asia:
- There are police EVERYWHERE and they are there to protect you. You will probably not get outright rolled over or beat up just minding your own business. (Although there’s always pickpockets.)
- The police can NOT protect you from simply being overcharged. So the main tool of the scam artist is using guilt to get your money. And guess who the number one easiest target is to use the guilt trip? Americans!
[Les Miserables] 10th anniversary – 17 VALJEAN Do you hear the people sing.
This was fun for me. I went to a local restaurant on Taipa Island in Macau, China and after the waitress takes my order she comes back and says “Can I have your autograph?”. In her hands is the Cirque Du Soleil ZAIA program and she has it opened to my picture for me to sign.
After I sign the program I realize that I also want a cup of coffee. But the waitress is walking around the restaurant showing people my autograph so I can’t get her attention for several minutes. So the lesson I’ve learned in this is that there is a price to fame: It’s more difficult to get a cup of coffee…