Fifty Shades of Expat

Expat stereotypes are everywhere, little cocoons of half-truth that we assign to large proportions of people who live overseas.


So, Word being the staid, unoriginal publication that we are, tried to jump on the stereotype bandwagon. “No, don’t do that,” we hear you shout. Well, we did, but with a difference.


From the hundreds of potential stereotypes out there — and there really are loads — we whittled down our categorisation to 10. A loose 10. As you’ll see when you read through these pages, some of the labels, from The Creeper to The Intern, could really be an amalgamation of many types of people.


We then came up with 50 stories, or hey, 50 shades, and assigned five to each stereotype. Some fit perfectly. Others don’t. You may even recognise some of the stories, from real situations you’ve heard about or encountered during your time living in Vietnam. And many will be familiar — you or your friends may have encountered similar scenarios. But key is that all of them tell of experience, the experience we have living overseas.


And that is what we wanted to achieve.


Whether you’re labeled an immigrant, expatriate or migrant — the distinction is often very foggy — we wanted to get a sense of what it’s like to live in a place that was not originally our home.


It could be a full-blooded, million miles-an-hour ride or a never-ending nightmare. One thing’s for sure, the adventure of living overseas is unique.


  • NickR
    NickR Monday, 20 April 2015 05:36 Comment Link

    Hahahaha! Well, everyone's entitled to their opinion, Eddie Trang. As for Starbucks, sounds like you didn't read the article. Our judges voted for the chain, not us.

  • Eddie Trang
    Eddie Trang Monday, 20 April 2015 01:37 Comment Link

    This is the biggest load of shit I have read since Word listed Starbucks as one of the top ten coffee shops in Vietnam.

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