With a few days’ distance from my first really negative experience in England, I’ve had time to reflect on expatriate life and Google for information on others’ experiences as well. Today I came across the Ex-Pat Manifesto, to which I would like to add the following point:
- While I am a representative of my country, please consider that perhaps I left it for a reason. The probability that I disapprove just as much as you do of the government that I left behind is high. I’m happy to engage in intelligent discussions of my reasons for leaving it, but as a human being with feelings, it hurts if the first thing you say to me is along the lines of “I hate you people”. That said, I will still respond civilly to these sentiments. I’m a guest in your country and I respect that. I hope that one day we can share a mutual respect and that our learning about each other will give some hope for the world learning to get along peacefully on a global scale.
The weekend really left a poor taste in my mouth. I was hurt, but I’m not going to allow the actions of two people to discolour my impression of an entire country. Doing so would only be hypocritical.