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Old 19.11.2012, 19:52
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Rule #1 for expat living: Be nice!

I had a wonderful experience in a shop today that reinforced one of my key beliefs: there is very little that can't be accomplished with a sense of patience and a warm, friendly smile.

I was trying to buy a piece of furniture. I tried (unsuccessfully) over the weekend, and gave up because I didn't speak the language, there was one chap serving, and there were 15 people in line behind me. I got the gist of the conversation -- the piece was out-of-stock, but could be ordered -- but my German wasn't good enough to make any more progress.

Undaunted, I asked a colleague to translate a letter explaining that I wanted to order the furniture. Armed with the letter, I went to the shop and apologized for not speaking any German. Thankfully, the shop attendant spoke a few words of French and we found some common ground. She was charming and helpful, and clearly really did want to be of assistance.

In the end, the price had changed since the weekend. She was incredibly understanding and even matched the price.

If there were one piece of advice I could give to other new arrivals, it's this: be nice. Smile, and be patient. Realize that even if you could live your life at whirlwind speed back home, you're the outsider here. You'll be amazed how much easier expat life becomes.
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Old 19.11.2012, 20:10
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Re: Rule #1 for expat living: Be nice!

Thanks for the good reminder. It's easy to get frustrated when getting a handle on the language and you had a splendid solution.
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Old 19.11.2012, 20:31
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Re: Rule #1 for expat living: Be nice!

"Be nice" should be Rule #1 no matter where you live, whether it be "home" or abroad.
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Old 19.11.2012, 20:38
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Re: Rule #1 for expat living: Be nice!

My grandma, bless her long-dead cotton socks, has no teeth but is desperate to eat an egg. Any tips?
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Old 19.11.2012, 20:50
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Re: Rule #1 for expat living: Be nice!

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My grandma, bless her long-dead cotton socks, has no teeth but is desperate to eat an egg. Any tips?
One only needs to wander through the 'Complaints Corner' to appreciate that from time-to-time, a refresher-course in egg sucking is no bad thing.

Actually, I was convinced I was going to walk away empty-handed again this afternoon. That I succeeded (and with a discount!) reminded me about how a little kindness goes a long way.
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Old 19.11.2012, 20:57
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Re: Rule #1 for expat living: Be nice!

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My grandma, bless her long-dead cotton socks, has no teeth but is desperate to eat an egg. Any tips?
Be nice to the egg.
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Old 19.11.2012, 20:59
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Re: Rule #1 for expat living: Be nice!

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one only needs to wander through the 'complaints corner' to appreciate that from time-to-time, a refresher-course in egg sucking is no bad thing.

actually, i was convinced i was going to walk away empty-handed again this afternoon. That i succeeded (and with a discount!) reminded me about how a little kindness pity goes a long way.
ftfy
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Old 19.11.2012, 21:04
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Re: Rule #1 for expat living: Be nice!

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"Be nice" should be Rule #1 no matter where you live, whether it be "home" or abroad.
Or where ever you are
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