Annoying Expat Behaviours
Sep 22,2015   Article on  2Nite

Dear 2Niters,


Today’s post is dedicated to some of our expat friends and some of their annoying behaviours as perceived by other expats and locals.


1. ‘Knowing China’

No, being in China for over 18 months, 2 trips to Beijing and 1 to Suzhou don’t mean you ‘know China’. Being able to say ‘ni hao’ and ‘tai gui le’ doesn’t mean you’re a Confucian scholar. Taikang Lu, Xintiandi, the Bund and a pool party do NOT mean you’ve been around China. Far from it, it simply means you’re one step above from getting lost in Shanghai. An expat who hasn’t travelled for business in a place where there is no English menu has not even begun to scratch the surface of ‘knowing China’.

A variation of ‘knowing China’ is ‘knowing how to do business in China’. As if there is something mystical one needs to master before being able to approach a business deal in China without hoping to fail. Strange that most expats who talk about business in China do not get paid to give such advice; and there’s a reason for that: it’s typically not worth much. 9/10 will not be comfortable in answering the following: ‘How many people have you managed in China?’ ‘What kind of budget were you handling?’ ‘What types of contracts have you signed off?’  


2. ‘Beijing’

Pronouncing Beijing ‘Beige-ing’, as in the colour ‘beige’. Seriously, what’s up with that? It’s just wrong, being a foreigner doesn’t mean it’s ok to pronounce the country’s capital incorrectly.


3. Posting Exotic Places on WeChat Moments

This has to be one of the most annoying expat behaviours. ‘Just having a morning coffee in Paris’, ‘enjoying a swim in Boracay’ ‘me and my pals in Bali’. You’re privileged; we understand. Stop trying to rub it in. You’re away on holiday in a beautiful location and you want to remind the rest of us who are not, as often and as much as you can.

4. Willing to pay for overpriced imported foods

Please don’t this; you’re encouraging retailers to keep selling us 120gr of cheese for 590.7 USD. That really isn’t cool at all; and it’s especially ironic when you spend 25 minutes bargaining for 10 RMB at the fake market.


5. ‘That’s not the way it’s done in my country’

“In Germany they’d take away your driving license for doing that”, “In France you’d never be able to serve that kind of food’’. Ok we got it. You work for some sort of International Standards Bureau.


6. Taking up all the tables on Yongkang Lu

This just isn’t right. You want to sit down and have a sandwich and beer on Yongkang Lu and annoying expats have taken up all the chairs and tables. This is infuriating (unless we happen to be the expats who got a table first; in that case it’s actually cool).


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arif123 hossen
Excellent topics!!!