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Gerhard Nel
 
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Expat haters and hater expats

26 November 2010, 11:05  - Gerhard Nel
I see there is a lot of hate for expats here on the web. As an expat, I’m the first to admit a lot of that hate is well deserved.

I also hate expats that continuously and nonstop have to tell everyone how crappy SA is and how much better they are off for leaving the country. I also hate those expats that still walks around with the old SA flag.

You know the type. They are probably part of your family.

In any case, there are many reasons people leave. Not everyone is doing the fabled "running away" thing. Some people might have suffered hurt beyond belief or anything you can understand. Some people do it for the adventure of seeing the world. I know I did.

Others might have lost their work due to affirmative action. They still need to feed themselves and their families so they simply take their skills to someone, somewhere willing to pay.

What? Should they stay jobless and suffer or should they make use of this one life and leave and be prosperous? When it comes to feeding my wife and kids I don’t care about nationalism or taking one for the greater good. They are more important to me than anyone else or any country can ever be.

So why do expats still hound the message boards and forums? Some are just plain assholes, other care because they just do. It might because they are planning to return or because they have family and friends in SA which they care about.

Mostly they do it because in their heart they are still South African. You can take the South African out of Africa, but you can never take Africa out of the South African. Because then you will just be called a South.

Still there are a bunch of us, I will dare to say most of us that are very good ambassadors for SA:

1. We tell people to visit, thereby promoting tourism.

2. We visit our family in SA, bringing foreign currency.

3. We buy SA products and promote them to our friends in the countries we live in.

4. We send money home. Sometimes buying property etc.

5. We establish business ties with SA, through our new employers.

Please haters, be reasonable. We all have only one life to live and if someone feels that they need to do it in Iceland, because that will make them happy, then so be it.

I sometimes think this nationalistic BS is a disease. We live in a global world today and we already have enough that divide us as humans.

To summarise, when you insult all expats across the board then I personally think you are just as stupid and short sighted as those expats that insult SA across the board.

- Are you a South African living abroad interested in sharing your views? What is it like for a South African living in a foreign country or how do you view South Africa from a distance? Send us your columns to feedback@news24.com and you might get published in our new Beyond Borders section.

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