March 2, 2010

Oh, they are so friendly!

After my many visits to foreign lands I would come and tell my family about how friendly the people there were. My dad would listen to my stories with a smirk. He would then tell me " You will only know about the people when you start sharing daily bread with them". People who are friendly to a new face in a foreign land will turn into devils if you end up costing them money or taking away from them rather than contributing. People are selfish any way you look at it and they like you because you are a novelty and can ( at least as far as their hope for you goes) improve their condition of life, be it as a source of entertainment, friendship, love, or most importantly, new money and profit. If you do not deliver as they hoped and become a burden, few will help you. Most admiration they had for you will turn to scorn. Unless you run into some holy man, your experience is such a land will turn into hell alongside with the new devils by your side.

By the same token a person who visits a country will form a completely different impression of it from the one who has to work and live there. A guest is always treated differently from a resident. Again, being a new face who is relaxed and on a visit and does not have to work and take away jobs from the locals works in one's favor. People like guests or tourists. Once you start living and working there, your whole perception changes and you will have to go through a big culture shock from which you may or may not recover completely.

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