The Worst Kind of Expat

Westerner expats, particularly those in Asia, have become caricatures.  The bitter, jaded, unshaven figure hunched over a bar, drinking to numb the pain of knowing he picked the wrong horse… alcoholic, prematurely aged, and for the modern age, active online in bitch fest forums populated by other expats who are similarly miserable and stuck.

We’re an enviable bunch.

But what is “the worst kind of expat”?  Hmm?  Of all the unhappy stereotypes to choose from, which is the bottom of the barrel?  I’d say it has to be a archetype that other expats generally despise… so let’s look at a few:

The Apologist

This motherfucker is one of the loudest voices in the room.  He’ll blindly and ardently defend the infallibility and honor of his adopted home with the verve of an evangelical Christian defending creationism, despite overwhelming evidence of its failures.  The Apologist cannot sit idly by while other expats disparage Klown, its culture or its people.  Common counterarguments leveled by The Apologist are things like, “You haven’t taken the time to understand their unique culture!” or “If you don’t like it you should leave!”.  Well Mr. Apologist, it doesn’t take much to understand Klown kulture in terms of basic human decency, cleanliness or the kind of etiquette most 4 year olds have mastered, so fuck you.  As for the latter, we’re all here for one reason or another, but near none of us because we love Korean culture and want to play defenders of the Han faith… that means we’re allowed to be here AND not like things that are offensive or just plain filthy, so fuck you.

Ironically, The Apologist doesn’t seem to have any problems bashing the west.  A lot of the most vocal apologists are also the most vocal anti-American types.  So the country that gave you your freedoms, privileges, education (or freedom to be educated in that manner if you aren’t American), security and cache as an international traveler is open season meat, but the country that despises you, treats you like a criminal, steals from your nation’s innovators and lives in a perpetual state of hate-filled war-readiness is something that you need to defend, let alone find defensible?

The Apologist is often a complete social failure in his home country.  Anger at being an outcast as a youth back home, coupled with the necessity to deny the glaring problems in his new home to maintain sanity create the beast.  The Apologist may also mistake the stares, pointing and insincere personal compliments (you is handsome!) with Klowns actually expressing warmth and acceptance.  Behind the apologists back the envy-driven loathing continues.  At least back home, the loathing was up front and honest.  Apologists usually end up teaching kindergarten until they are too old to be marketable (40), then reach out to their Klown “friends” (who no longer talk about how handsome he is) to find that they no longer have any use for the novelty foreigner.  The Apologist may jump off a building, eke out a meager existence in Klown or return home to work at Best Buy.

Worse than The Apologist is the upgraded version, The Sycophant.  This guy was beaten up so badly and so often, and remained a virgin for so long, back in his home country that he has wholeheartedly thrown his lot in with the Klowns. The Sycophant wants nothing more than a pat on the head by some ajosshi and some very small degree of local fame (think the weather girl on a late night broadcast on a fourth-tier network in a small Midwestern state).  The Sycophant often speaks Korean fluently – he studied it full time for a year or so and spends all his time practicing with Klowns – and is a popular party favor at Klown functions (“Look at the western monkey speak our language!  Surely our culture must be famousuh and powerful.  Surely we must have the biggest, most swingingest penises in the whole world!  Let us throw some pocket change at the monkey and tell him he is a good boy!”).  The Sycophant works at a university as a “professor” (with a bachelors degree and perhaps a meaningless Klown-issued masters in cum guzzling) or on different radio/TV shows (for very little money), trying to be “famousuh”.   Sam Hammington – undisputed master of self-humiliation and pride allergies – is a good example of The Sycophant achetype.


The Delusional

The Delusional is the expat who doesn’t want to accept his fate.  This individual tells people he is “a business consultant” or “hired to develop corporate education systems” or “a curriculum management specialist” when he’s getting 50 bucks an hour to teach basic English to a few bored, hung over ajosshi suits – he may or may not have been able to choose his own book.  Some might tell you they are “entrepreneurs” when they resell stuff on Craigslist that they picked up out of the trash or inherited from other expats who finally did escape Klown.

The Delusional is not always full of shit about how he earns his money.  It could be that he claims to bed a different supermodel-level beauty each week when he’s actually pounding wrinkled granny poon.  Perhaps he’ll talk about how influential he is, how he’s on the board of some useless ATEK-like agency, how he has so-and-so’s phone number on speed dial; in reality he might have spoken at some sparsely-attended conference hosted by Seoul Global Center on “How Much the World Loves Sparkling Korea”.

In any event, he’s just an Engrishee teacher at the end of the day, or working some pissed-upon desk job in some office that nobody else in the world wanted to work at (by the way, JPMorgan is hiring for an office in Seoul, and apparently, at the meeting in London, not a single person wanted to move to Korea… who can blame them?).  The Delusional usually ends up seeking to impress a progressively lower demographic standard of people until he is bragging about how he once taught ESL at LG Electronics to a well-past-her-prime, one-legged hooker at some dive bar on the Hill in Itaewon.  You can find The Delusional nursing a cheap drink at some Itaewon hotspot, chatting with other Delusionals and trying his best to swagger.

The Internet ‘Winner’

A common theme among these candidates for “worst type of expat” is that, deep down in their heart or hearts, they all KNOW they fucked up and chose a cesspool of humanity for an adopted home.  The crushing weight of the self-hatred and despair is expressed in many ways, but perhaps none more annoying than The Internet Winner.

The Internet Winner has an account – nay, multiple accounts and socks – at every forum, message board and Facebook group related to expat life.  The sole source of joy in The Internet Winner’s otherwise sorrowful and suicide-worthy life is getting the last word in on online arguments pertaining to Klown.  Often The Apologist and The Internet Winner are one and the same, but not necessarily.  The Internet Winner is not exclusive to expat life, however… as expats we are all in roughly the same boat – minority pariahs in a world of shit – and shouldn’t resort to attacking one another when there are so many other worthy targets around us.  However, as the rest of us speak the same language, we shall remain constantly subjected to his bullshit.

Sometimes The Internet Winner is also “The Troll”.  And honestly, what lower form of humanity is there than the internet troll?  This asshole elects to spend whatever free time he has online trying to upset and aggravate others for no other motivation other than that he can do it safely from behind his keyboard without getting his teeth knocked down his throat like a pack of Tic Tacs.  The Troll may not be “the worst kind of expat” but is instead “the worst kind of human”.  Trolls exist to serve absolutely no purpose in life and should immediately kill themselves.  To think that someone wakes up in the morning with the goal – the actual goal – of exploiting some random stranger’s stress and anger in order to create more stress and anger as a form of “fun” makes me want to help them kill themselves.  In the expat world, an expat-on-expat troll deserves to have his face caved in with the butt end of a wine bottle, Pan’s Labyrinth style.

The Dependent

This expat often owns a business, or property, and is known as a “success story” in the expat world… only he didn’t earn any of it.  This guy was given his business or property by his in-laws.  Why?  One can only assume because he did the family a favor by marrying what may have been an otherwise unmarketable daughter… or because he agreed to move to The Human Centipede so that his wife could be closer to the toilet bowl society she hoped to escape by marrying a foreigner from an actually developed country.

The Dependent is actually a tolerable sort if he keeps his fucking mouth shut and has a humble attitude toward his success.  Unfortunately, too many examples of The Dependent need to mouth off about how successful they are, how great their business acumen is and how far above other expats they are.  Buddy, you married into money, or at least a family willing to give you whatever money they have.  It’s not a skill, particularly not in Klown where intellect is about as common as unicorns.  Shut the fuck up.  I might work at a public school teaching middle schoolers, drive a worthless beater and live in a studio apartment, but whatever I have, I earned.  If I was given a million dollars of seed money or assets to work with, you’d best believe I’d have it doubled in 5-10 years.  if you haven’t, you’re not a success, you’re a failure.

The Venter

I include myself in this category.  This poor fuck has snapped and no longer possesses the desire or capability of disguising his hate for Klown in the interest of political correctness and public decorum.  The Venter is full of poison and can no longer contain the voluminous venom inside himself.  You can find the Venter posting on blogs like this.  The Venter is trapped in Klown and hates himself for it.  The Venter either goes to prison, ends up a shell of a man or becomes heavily chemically dependent.

The Smiling Idiot

A great deal of my fellow E-2 visa holders fall into this category.  They come from Small Town, USA or UK or whatever.  They’re all gulps and “golly”s over the flashing lights of Seoul.  So weak is their cerebral puissance that these flashing lights hypnotize them in the same way shiny vintage hubcaps do chickens on a farm.  The Smiling Idiot can be found in Hongdae, drinking Soju (one of the most foul ways to get drunk) and Hite (horse piss branded as beer).  The Smiling Idiot knows, and loves to perform, the horsey dance from Gangnam Style.  The Smiling Idiot works as a teacher and gets paid less than almost everyone he knows.  Many smiling idiots are actually female.  The Smiling Idiot sleeps on a third-hand mattress on the floor and has a bag of Emart brand kimchi in his refrigerator next to a half-empty 2L bottle of Klown beer.  Often The Smiling Idiot authors a blog that contains many pictures of food, links to k-pop videos and asinine descriptions of their mundane adventures told as if taking the bus to the fish market was anything of note to anyone.

The Escapee

Fuck this guy pisses me off.  The Escapee actually got out of Klown and has some stability in actual civilization.  The Escapee constantly, constantly reminds the rest of us prisoners how great life is outside of Klown.  He will send pictures of pristine beaches, garbage cans on public sidewalks that are vomit and trash-free, nubile young blonds in bikinis, cars parked in straight lines and even cops doing (gasp!) their jobs.  The Escapee writes back to us and tells us, “Hey, you should leave Klown!” in a way that assumes that it is easy to do that without an actual plan and means of supporting oneself.

So who have I forgotten?  Which type of expat is truly the worst?


15 thoughts on “The Worst Kind of Expat

  1. Out of all of these, the sycophants are truly the worst. While the Smiling Idiot is annoying, his damage extent is limited to his friends, family, and those people who stumble across his blog. The sycophants KNOW (or choose to delude themselves into believing) that Klownland is the best and everyone should come visit, and please like, subscribe, and favorite.
    These people are enraging like no other because they advertise to a much wider audience that Klownland is the best country on earth and there are absolutely no downsides. Or if there are downsides, it’s simply a matter of “cultural differences” instead of not acting like a fucking uncivilized boor. I’d bet dollars to donuts that they’re indirectly responsible for keeping ESL wages down thanks to the Koreaboos that fly over here.
    List of sycophants:
    Sam Hammington
    Simon and Martina – FUCK these two piss me off, absolutely putrid shit they spew on Youtube that they get PAID for
    Marmot’s Hole
    If you haven’t seen this, go check it out:
    It’s a list of every stupid thing foreigners do here.

  2. I kind of shed my voluminous venom a couple years back — sort of. Now I wish I’d come across something like your writing then so that I may have found inspiration to vent about other things. I didn’t know who Hammington was so when I looked him up I thought, “Oh, yeah. That hack comedian.” The article I found about his wedding stated “the bride is known to be an ordinary Korean woman,” written by a Korean of course:
    I found your blog after discovering Jake@Expathell’s comments on Top Twelve Korean blogs by Kimchibytes. I found his site and then came across yours. Needless to say, that list was full of the typical blog describing general pleasantries of SK. None of them with insight like this.
    I’m the expat who’s resorted to hanging alone in his apartment day-drinking Tsingtao tall-cans watching HBO programs.

  3. Forgot a few:
    The Missionary. As an American, I’ve cultivated the ability to smell of these guys at distances up to 5km…so I avoid them with such ease…it makes running into their Korean counterparts all the more loathesome. The Mormons are a wily subset of this category…and usually they know better than trying to converse with anyone who’s graduated elementary school. The laughable thing is that typically I know more about the pyramid scheme they insist is a “faith” than their 19 year old “elders”.
    The Self-Proclaimed Alpha: Sure, they’re typically a subset of The Dependent…but the widespread annoyance and frequent fistfights their leviathan-propotioned egos (and bank accounts full of money they either married into, inherited, were born into, or otherwise acqired by virtue of being both morally and ethically bankrupt). This asshole is always moderately educated or insufferably overeducated and have a knack for oversimplifying their “success” in effort to disguise the fact that they have no more insight into making money than ICP does regarding the magical properties of magnets. If they don’t directly refer to all other males as Betas (or whatever is after that) they immediately delve into their multitudes of carefully rehearsed conversations that will establish themselves as the noble Patrician and all others as the mis3rable serfs that are merely the raw materials success is extracted from. Impeccably dressed, fit as shit, never in hurry, and always at ease (everything about him screams SURPLUS OF TIME AND MONEY? YOU BET YOUR ASCOT!!!)…the proper greeting for this category of expat is a humiliating kick in the genitals.
    Note: many British, European, or Commonwealth (Canadian parvenues. mostly) types will attempt to demonstrate they belong in this category no matter how laughably untrue it may be.

  4. Haha what a sad fuck you are. One of the many things that makes me happy is seeing sad, unfulfilled people, who blame their failures and shortcomings on others. Keep it up bro.

    • Seeing others sad and unfulfilled gives you pleasure? Wow. I may be bitter, but at least I’m not a sociopathic sadist.

      You sir, win Klown of the Day honors. What a klownish thing to say. You are why this kuntry is the Human Centipede

  5. I was probably The Smiling Idiot in my early time here. However, these days I see myself as the guy who’s just going with the flow. Got one eye on the future to see what the easy money here can do for me investment wise, and just going day-to-day. Korea annoys the piss out of me at times, but compared to the stress of being in the US and within driving distance of my family, this is the lesser of two evils. If I could redo things, I’d have picked a major with more marketability than ‘Visual Communications’. So I’m not sure what you’d term that one. The Pessimistic Optimist?

  6. There needs to be more rage directed the shitty expat community here. Since Expat Hell shut down, this blog is all there is. No one is telling honeymooner sites like that this shit has already been covered 1000 times before and they aren’t adding anything particularly new or interesting.

    • I’ve got to remember to put all this together in a post… but basically I see some holier-than-though, fresh-off-the-university-protest-circut Kaucasian Klowns and some wanting-desperately-to-find-cultural-identity gyopos attacking sites like Expat Hell.

      Their “outrage” at the nasty, insulting, honest and direct way that an entire sub-culture (unfortunately for the Korea by far the dominant one) is ripped to shreds in words is backed by either some sense that they must be politically correct/suffer white guilt, or simply that they can’t stand to have their bubble burst.

      In any case, they toss around loaded words like “racism” and “rights” and “respect”, then try to have the sites they don’t like (and shouldn’t be reading) shut down, completely violating the idea of free speech, something you’d think their bleeding heart liberal mantras would hold most dear of all.

      Death threats, threats to report me to MoE, telling me they wished my kids will die, threats to report me to (chuckle) Klown Cybersekurity…

      You know what I do if Fox News comes on TV? I change the fucking channel. Because I don’t want to see it. Because it upsets me. Because it offends my sensibilities. I do, however, support their right to say their piece so long as they aren’t slandering anyone or violating any rights. I wouldn;t threaten to kill the newscasters, I wouldn’t petition the government to have them pulled off the air.

      It’s hilarious when they want to call me a bigot or a racist when they’re the ones acting like Nazis.

  7. Simon and Martina are actually pretty cool in person. Generally, the more successful you are the more people resent you. As far as Kimchibytes goes, I’d say I’m all kinds f**** up. Delineating how and why just makes me want to kill myself.
    Great read!

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