You know you like Weird Al, don’t lie.
I was having a conversation with my tribe over at the SMP Forum and we got to talking about what “Living like a local” means.
One of the guys said he didn’t get why we use the term living like a local because a large portion of the men in South East Asian countries are bums who have no marketable skills. He also thinks that the men would rather be lazy, sitting around drinking all day and sending their women to work even to the point of hooking themselves out than get a job themselves.
I do not feel the same but I can attest that guys in a lot of countries can be kind of worthless.
That includes the states but in some places, it seems that being worthless is kind of a national past time.
There are loads of perfectly awesome women who get treated like shit the world over due to this.
He drinks too much, he thinks she is a punching bag, he uses her as his Bankomat.
The list goes on and on and this is what this cat thinks of when someone mentions living like a local.
If that is what comes to mind, I understand where he is coming from but that is not what comes to mind when I think about living “like a local” which is terminology I use quite often, hence me caring.
What I mean when I say living like a local is not living like a tourist or as a westerner who just can’t give up McDonald’s.
The ways I want to live like a local is through the acts of:
- getting a long term apartment (though with some amenities that some locals may not have)
- staying 6 months to a year… or longer depending on the place. I want to try to experience as much of a place as I can and get to the point that I can find my way around.
- not necessarily trying to avoid other expats but not seeking them out either, being ok being around locals pretty much all the time
- Eating primarily local food… I have an acquaintance who lives in the Philippines who doesn’t eat local food and it blows my mind. It is awesome he is getting to live the life he wants overseas but to experience a culture, you have to get down on the food too.
- Learning the language… this is something I am going to try to make an absolute must anywhere I go.
- Touching a local lady inappropriately… or several, I am easy… just so long as I am not having to live life like in the states.
- living on as much of a budget as needed due to financial restraints. It is home, not a vacation.
This is what “living like a local” means to me and what I think of when other people say it to me.
Not the desire to live in squalor and be a shit-bum.
But the desire to integrate yourself into the community that you have chosen.
Sure, in my case I will always be the big tall white guy but becoming as much as possible a neighbor rather than the white guy next door sounds like something to strive for if you really want to experience where you are.