Monday, November 7, 2011

Things expats love: paid vacation

Expats love paid vacation because it is yet another opportunity to show friends and family that theirs is the superior way of life. Sure their friends may have houses, nice clothes, cars, and accessories in the form of tiny humans, but they do not have as much paid vacation time as the expat. The expat never misses an opportunity to mention such vacation time in conversation, provoking both envy and awe.

The easiest way to reach the most people and spread the word about superior expat life is via annoying facebook statuses like, "Thinking about the time off I have left this year. When am I even going to take these 2 weeks?" Of course, the expat will then rely on some hapless non-expat to comment something along the lines of "You saved up your 2 weeks until now?" so that the expat may respond, "well sure, I mean, I already took my other 3 weeks."

Of course, this may not work to well if the expat has friends with an even higher number of vacation days (teachers don't count as even though they have a lot of vacation time, they are underpaid, overworked and stuck in a room with children all day, and so do not threaten the expat's feeling of superiority). If the expat has friends in countries where the vacation time is even better, it's best to stay off facebook, twitter, and social media in general. The expat must also avoid emailing her French colleague to brag about her day off, lest she find out that the French colleague has almost a month's worth of bank holidays.

If social media is out of the question when it comes to bragging, the expat can then slip the topic casually into conversation. Something like, "I have to go home to renew my visa, and it could take up to a month. But even though I could take 4 of my 5 weeks to do this, it's best if I only take 2 and try to work from home."

Of course, the expat could also write about it in a blog. What are blogs for anyway, but to extol the virtues of one's own life?

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