Post # 166
Overjoyed: Thanks for the update OP, I’ve really enjoyed this thread. I’m glad your friend realized (even belatedly) your discomfort & helped get you out of there. lol yeah, my Fiance would probably mention that a week later too
As for cooking in someone else’s home at an event- I’ve only ever done that with my Fiance (before living together) & my own sister IF I’ve been assisting them in hosting and IF I got there hours before the event or even the night before. But not to show up AT the event and proceed to take over the kitchen! Besides delaying things- the guest is making the presumption that you will have space to allow her to prepare/bake etc. What if the oven was being used to capacity already with 2 other dishes awaiting their turn? What if half a dozen guests took this approach & there wasn’t enough counter space to go around? If I bring a dish, I make it at home & at most it may need warming up or a small last minute detail added.
I love cooking and I really don’t think this is common at all. I guess it could be cultural???- but our families and closest friends comprise Irish, Italian, Jamaican, Scottish, German, East Indian, British, Chinese, Japanese, Iranian, Polish, Cuban & French & I’ve never been to an event where people served only the men drinks or left guests without offers of food for several hours or brought bags of groceries at the TIME of the event- or even later!- and took over your kitchen/ held up your dinner party.
Is it possible (as you’ve heard ex-pat circles can be cliquey & inhospitable) that they see you as ‘too Americanized’, because you say you’ve lived in America before as well, and so they seek to take you down a notch since you’re (in their eyes) ‘Westernized’ and think you’re better than they are? I definitely don’t see you as thinking you’re better than them, in fact they seem the ones with the ethnocentric bias (which would explain the ‘poem’ on the door in English that appeared to single you out), but could it be they have a chip on their shoulders and view you as a snobbish American as opposed to a ‘true’ ex-pat?
Post # 167
RobbieAndJuliahaha: your last paragraph has definitely given me something to think about! What an interesting way of looking at it. At first blush, I’d say this:
this isn’t my first time living abroad, but this IS my first time encountering North American expats who behave this way. In the last place I lived, all the “Westerners” (Americans, Canadians, Brits and even some Europeans) relished opportunities to get together and revel in their culture. They even invited locals to some events in order to show off their traditions. As far as anyone can tell (based on my appearance, accent, knowledge of American culture, etc), I’m American so I think it’s quite fair to say that I’m “Americanized.” In fact, people are often surprised to learn my actual background. I’ve only had this be a boon to me when it comes to breaking into expat circles, it’s never been a hindrance. I guess I could also add that the expats I’ve met here aren’t like business people or diplomats or English teachers. They’ve been here for a 5-10 years or more and have probably developed their own version of “western” culture at this point and consider themselves the guardians of it.
P.S. I told my Dad the story and he wonders if there’s a racial component there. My husband and I were the only non-Caucasians in the room. My Dad felt that maybe the hosts weren’t expecting this and and seeing us threw them off their game (which might explain why the other guests were mostly well taken care of). I personally didn’t get that vibe, but I thought I’d bring it up since we’re throwing ideas around.
TL;DR- you have a good point. And I have NO idea about it. Lol.
Post # 168
Good God , I hope your dad is wrong , that would be so awful . I want to invite you to dinner and have you sit on the couch with wine and do fuck all until I (quickly) serve up my best dishes.
Mind you , your husband will have to be plied with beer and bored with motorbike chat and viewing, that being my my h’s idea of being a host.
Post # 169
Overjoyed: I hope there’s no racial component there, that would be beyond horrid of them. I’m hoping that if the hosts were racist your friend would know this and not subject you to their bigoted behaviour- or be friends with a racist. But hard to say for sure, ditto my theory about them having an ‘us’ vs ‘them’ menatlity and viewing you as Americanized.