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The Ugly American Expat

September 1st, 2010 by The JetSetter Team | Comments Off on The Ugly American Expat

expatIf you decide to expatriate, one thing you should get used to is the fact that you’re always going to be an Ugly American. No amount of time, money, or plastic surgery will change it. So why become an expat? There are too many reasons to list: adventure, new horizons, unusual employment fugitive status. Doesn’t mater what your reasons are because they are as legitimate as any. But why must you be classified as an Ugly American? You haven’t personally offended anyone.

The answer goes back decades and you can thank your leftist expat friends for the rancor they’ve stirred up while languishing in Europe. In every city, at every hip cafe you find them. Alienated, angry, affluent, middle-aged males smoking Gitanes, claiming to be writers in search of the unique European experience – the new Henry Miller.

These expat brats are American Failures, having secured a college degree of sorts, financed by mommy and daddy, in the art of their choice. Upon graduation, they realize that their classmates who didn’t spend every waking moment spewing bile and vitriol at the American way of life have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, and accountants. Seething with the resentment of failure, our Ugly American hero heads for Europe where his diatribes against the evils of capitalism will be properly appreciated.

He calls himself a writer but his European acquaintances see through that bit of smoke and mirrors. The Ugly American’s unique literary gifts and cultural insight are no better appreciated on the far side of the Atlantic, largely because they are non-existent. This financial failure goes on childish rampages against the evils of monetary reward for effort expanded.

Remember the Ugly American expat while suffering the quiet scorn of citizens around the world. It is he who went before you and left a bitter taste in the mouth too large to overcome.

The Jetsetter Team


Flickr / ferminet