I’d never even heard the word ‘ex-pat’ until I emigrated. Not once. I hadn’t a feckin’ clue what it meant. Literally no idea. So, I looked it up. Bare in mind this was nigh on 6 years ago and as you all know and appreciate the English language is a living thing that evolves. Much like an amoeba or a jellyfish. Or a Black Mamba snake. Poisonous if handled incorrectly.
When I looked it up I found a definition saying something akin to this:
Ex-pat: a foreigner who has moved to a new country, permanently or temporarily, to work for a company/business/state institution from their home country.
Ah, rightio I thought to myself. If I was sent to Poland to work for the Irish consulate I’d be an ex-pat. If I was sent to Poland to work for Paddy Power I’d be an ex-pat. If I was sent to Poland to work for Ryanair I’d be an ex-pat.
But I didn’t move to Poland to work for one of the above. I moved to Poland coz herself and meself were fed up with our jobs in Ireland and thought, naively, that we’d have it better in Poland. I emigrated from Ireland, ergo bitches, I’m an immigrant.
Fuck ex-pats. Seriously. Ex-pats are fuckin’ dickheads. And I don’t mean the Irish people working in the embassy in Warsaw, no way. I’ve had dealings with them over the years and they’re really great people there, doing mighty work and are a credit to the Irish governments they’d worked for over the years. I’m talking about the gobshite immigrants that call themselves ex-pats knowing full well they’re immigrants.
What the fuck is wrong with calling yourself an immigrant? Seriously? Have those rantallions working at the Daily Mail and the Telegraph made such an impression on the English language that you are afraid to use the word “immigrant”? Are you so xenophobic/racist that you can’t bear to be labelled with the same word that right-wing cum-buckets writing in the Daily Mail and Telegraph use disparagingly to describe people who have, unfortunately, had to emigrate to Blighty?
Because there’s no other reason is there? Why are you calling yourself an ex-pat when you aren’t one? It’s because you don’t want people to think you’re the same as the Romanian that’s moved to Huddersfield (you poor bastard Marin, Huddersfield sucks) isn’t it? It’s because you don’t want to be the same as Magda from Poland that moved to Aberdeen. It’s because you don’t want to be the same as Andris from Latvia that moved to Cardiff.
This bullshit of dividing up labels really wrecks my head. I don’t get why we all can’t just call ourselves what we are: immigrants. Poland’s a tough enough place to live as it is, people who are coming here looking for work should really be banding together and helping each other out. Instead, the ‘rich’ white westerners want to stand out. And it’s this arrogance that drives people away.
I still remember the first cunt I met here that called himself an ex-pat. Meself and herself had been in Krakow for a weekend. One huge row later and we came back to Katowice separately. I took the train, a 2 and a half hour journey that to drive takes 45 minutes, thank you Polish Rail. Herself takes the bus. So, since I was in the wrong and feeling sorry for myself and knowing I needed to make the mother of all apologies I decided to put off the enevitable and go for a few pints and watch some Premier League. I hit up Spencer Pub in Katowice.
I don’t like Spencer Pub, I really don’t, but it was the closest pub with Premier League football so I ventured in. It’s the kind of place ex-pats drink in. Anyway, I had barely paid for my drink when I was swooped upon by an absolute giant of an Englishman. He had the frame of Lurch, the manners of a drunk 10-dollar-hooker and the arrogance of Christiano Ronaldo but with none of the talent.
He proceeded to tell me about the factory he’s set up in Katowice where he was ‘printing money’, where he’d ‘given’ jobs to 250 locals. He’d told me he had a factory in Birmingham but relocated coz ‘Poles will work for fuckin’ nothing’. He told me he’d ‘fucked 3 of the last 4 secretaries’ he had. Finally he’d hired an ugly one so that he’d stop. That was big of him. His wife had found out about the most previous affair.
He also hated the European Union, so I’d be pretty sure he voted Leave in the
Brexit referendum. Well, I’m delighted he got what he wanted and that his business dealings are going to become a million times more complicated.
He also proudly told me he called his daughter’s boyfriend ‘a nigger’. ‘He’s in my fuckin’ house, I’ll fuckin’ call him what I fuckin’ want.’ He says to me.
What the fuck am I supposed to do in this situation. This is karma. I was a douchebag last night in Krakow and this is my punishment and it’s been doubled coz I was too chickenshit to go home and face the music.
He’s buys me a beer and a shot of whiskey.
“I’m an ex-pat y’know, I moved here years ago and I gave these people work, but I hope not so many more people come here from places like Turkey, Africa and shitholes like Latvia. What those bastards have done to Britain is awful. Those fuckin immigrants are ruining my country. It’s probably the same in Ireland.”
“No, in Ireland we like foreigners. Sure ever since you British didn’t help us when we were staving in The Famine we’ve been moving around the world.”
“Yea, but mate, that wasn’t our fault the potatos failed…”
“Of course, but yous did nothing to help the Irish, even though we were forceibly part of the same Kingdom back then.”
“Anyway, I was saying, I hope we don’t see any Pakis or niggers here in the future. If that happens I’ll pack up the factory again and go somewhere cheaper.”
I finished my drinks and went home depressed. Depressed that I had to go home with my tail between my legs and because I had to share the planet with dickheads like my Birmingham friend above.
The need for people to label themselves is pretty fuckin’ ridiculious. I’m a hipster, I’m a fashion blogger, I’m a vlogger, I’m a gamer, I’m an ex-pat, I’m a petrolhead, I’m a craft beer drinker, I’m a cyclist, I’m a vegetarian, I’m a writer, I’m a banjo-playing poet that specializes in Shakespearean love sonnets. This need to pigeonhole yourself into a category just screams that you’ve got no self-confidence, absolutely zero belief in yourself. So much so that you desperately cling to the one thing that you think makes you stick out from the crowd. Remember the line from Fight Club?
“You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We’re all part of the same compost heap. We’re all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”
Labels can shag off, they really can. I don’t want to be designated some term based on what you think makes me different. I’ve a better idea, you know what you can call me?
Call me Spud, that’s my fucking name.