Today is one of those days when I feel like a fish out of water.
I went for a coffee with other moms from the school and after a few minutes I found myself struggling to fit in, trying to make a good impression and later on, giving up, not caring about fitting in anymore.
I introduced myself and they asked me where I come from.
Then silence. Embarrassment.
After a second they all started talking about their jobs, quite a few mothers are studying to become school teachers and they started talking about what’s their course like, how difficult it is, and other details.
In a corner of my mind there was a little voice whispering “tell them you’re a teacher too, you got your qualification in the UK, you’d like to work here too”, but there was another voice in my head shouting “nobody cares if you are a teacher too because you haven’t experienced it here in Australia”.
I decided to stay silent, listening to them.
I thought they were assuming I’m a stay-at-home-mum with no qualification and I’m lucky to be living in Australia.
I stayed quiet, I smiled and went home with a heavy heart.
I guess I could have made myself more involved into their conversations but…deep in my heart I thought it was not worth it.
After one year and a half spent in this Country I realize I can’t fit in, I haven’t made any Australian friends, I just have acquaintances, people I have small talks with, but nothing deeper.
I thought about this many times in the last few months and it might be because:
- foreigners can be cool at the beginning, kind of puppies, but when they have been around for some time, they become strangers with whom you don’t have much in common
- foreigners will always been perceived as “inferior” in a way, they’ll always come on second position, even unconsciously
- having an interesting life, with lots of moving from one Country to another can make people think: “I have an ordinary life, you have so much going on, I can’t compete (if this i the word) with you!”
- last but not least, if they know you’ll be moving again soon, they’ll make no efforts to become your friends, why losing time on someone who won’t be here anymore in a few months?
If you are an expat, have you ever felt like this? what’s your experience?
If you have never moved Country, have you ever become friend to an expat?