Do expats remember what drove them mad in their home countries

Published:  22 Apr at 6 PM
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Tagged: Moving, Emigration
Following an amusing take in the expat media about frustrating experiences in the host country, do expats still remember what drove them crazy in their countries of birth?

It’s easy, once the trauma of moving across half the world has subsided, to forget what prompted such a drastic solution to the stress and strain of everyday life including co-existence with colleagues and neighbours. A recent quiz asked Brits still in residence about instances which pushed them towards the thought of emigrating.

The top gripe against neighbours, unsurprisingly, was cats doing what cats do on newly-mowed lawns, in borders and in pots containing favourite plants which died as a result. Dog haters had their say as well, mostly about over-zealous barking well after dark and, again unsurprisingly, frightening next-door’s cats by chasing them away from lawns, border and plant pots.

Another favourite moan was neighbours who park across drives or steal regular parking spaces, leaving the frustrated home-owner to find a space in an adjoining street and trudge home in the rain. Another infuriatingly un-neighbourly act involved gardens resembling council tips, followed immediately by householders who literally tip their unwanted sofas, broken fridges and more onto the pavement outside.

Everyone loves a celebration, except the people next door who put up with the street’s party central for wayward teenagers every Saturday night while their parents are down the pub, and non-stop when said parents take their annual Costa del Sol break. Also high on the list were neighbours who leave burning their garden rubbish until the washing’s on the line next door and those who park their vintage caravans in their drives.

If all this is a horribly familiar reminder of your former life, spare a thought for the same neighbours struggling with floods, unseasonal freezes, power cuts and the nanny state, and consider yourself lucky to have escaped. Unless, of course, the neighbours from hell have followed you.
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