Aww, Don't worry! my name is actually tanja, but it was already 'taken' on the board....in the expatgroup, there are vey few women, and when we meet, our talks are rarely the kind of 'girl talk' of clothes and cosmetics and such!( though my wax adventure got a good laugh-from male and female alike
at dinner!).so what do we talk about: how to best de-worm kids and pets, which bike is best to handle with the shopping on the back, which machos to just avoid and which to hit. how to live and respect local customs, train staff-as we are all in the guesthouse business,-
security issues, how to hanlde certain kinds of guests, mace versus hairspray- no!this is not about hair-, the going rates of bribes,where to have guesthouse t-shirts printed,
(Mine came out -almost- fine- but would be highly offensive to certain readers, so will mail the texts privately to those who ask. they sell extremely well bye the way, must have hit a nerve there).
we trade already read books,
dvd's and emergency telephone numnbers.
Basically, there are several groups of westerners living here: ngo's ( as far as we are concerdned, bottom of the barrel), they come, write reports, ride around in big cars,earn a fortune mess up some issue or other and leave, to another place leaving our country to deal with the remains of their- most likely failed project. the missionaries, whow,they really do dammage! (insensitive to the local culture, they are hellbend to destroy it by any means they can devise- i do not serve them in my guesthouse. can't do that to my staff)
Un- staff- see ngo's
ambassy staff: to be gotten along with and more often than not we have a very good working relationship, based on mutual need.
sexpats, no explanation needed.
expats: we ara raunchy bunch, but our intention is to stay here and build a life for ourselves. for better or worse, we had it with the west.the joke here goes, we live here eighter out of sadness, madness or badness..
We are: bar and guesthouse owners, designers, fotographers, teachers (now that's a really wild bunch!),scientists,writers, deminers, doctors (as in Gloria, though she is unique),butchers, bakers and chefs, divers, pilots,etc.
we are very close as a group, exept for the french, they are only close to the french..
We come from australia, new zealand, germany, the netherlands,the us,russia, slovenia, switzerland, austria, england ,ireland,denmark, norway, and i surely forgot a few other countries..
you can immagine the babylonian accent mess when we converse! plus the expatois, words that we invented and integrated in our local slang.
loplop, means crazy in khmer, so we say somebody is loppers.we order a condom with our beercan, meaning a styrofoam holder to keep it cold, when we take the p..s we 'food' each other, meaning, summing up all kinds of food we can't get here. (that really gets to people)...etc. let me look for some kind of pic of a group of us, may take me a while though.
As for discimination,i have been discriminated against for just about anything, so my tactic is i discriminate too:against those who discriminate...
this pic was taken after a week of heavy biking in jungles and on bad roads, i am not allways THAT dirty...
<img src="http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-7/1050924/tan.jpg" alt=" - " />
..some ofthe snooky' 'pats at beercall in front of my guesthouse: <img src="http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-7/1050924/expats.jpg" alt=" - " />
<small>[ 08-14-2005, 08:50 PM: Message edited by: tan ]</small>