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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey,
Uh well what do I say. OK just be honest it'll help.
I'm a nerd. I don't fit in America. Think of a Cowboy, a Cop, an Army guy, a Fireman- yeah the kind of guy that ladies like. I'm the opposite.

I'm mid 30s and sure that if I stay here I'll be alone for life. People say I'm good looking and smart but I'm maybe cute but not handsome or strong- not what Americans like. Gave up with online dating after years of rejection. Always say I'm not the right 'type' and I know what it means. If I had money maybe it would help with the nerd thing but I don't. I don't like anything about this culture. I don't like action adventure movies, I don't like war, I don't like Alpha male takes all, I don't like massive SUVs to run people off the road, I don't like football or any macho crap. I don't like materialism. I don't like winner take all. I don't like competition. I don't like conquering. I just want to live in peace in non violence in the opposite of this.

Where is that?
 

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Hey,
Uh well what do I say. OK just be honest it'll help.
I'm a nerd. I don't fit in America. Think of a Cowboy, a Cop, an Army guy, a Fireman- yeah the kind of guy that ladies like. I'm the opposite.

I'm mid 30s and sure that if I stay here I'll be alone for life. People say I'm good looking and smart but I'm maybe cute but not handsome or strong- not what Americans like. Gave up with online dating after years of rejection. Always say I'm not the right 'type' and I know what it means. If I had money maybe it would help with the nerd thing but I don't. I don't like anything about this culture. I don't like action adventure movies, I don't like war, I don't like Alpha male takes all, I don't like massive SUVs to run people off the road, I don't like football or any macho crap. I don't like materialism. I don't like winner take all. I don't like competition. I don't like conquering. I just want to live in peace in non violence in the opposite of this.

Where is that?
Behind your front door!!??

You build your own environment where you can be you. It doesnt matter about the world around you. Nowehere is perfect

Jo xxx
 

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As I've often said on this forum, you need to be running to something, not away from something. You've told us what you don't like. Now, tell us what you are looking for in the positive.

What kind of work do you do? (Necessary for getting a long-stay visa just about anywhere in the world these days.) What languages do you speak? (Otherwise you're limited to the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - all of which are probably more Americanized than you care for. Not speaking the local language will isolate you far more than you are isolated right now.) What sort of leisure activities do you like? You'll never escape football (the real thing, not American football with all the padding) - it exists everywhere - and while you don't have to follow it closely, football or some form of sport is usually a "conversation starter" when meeting people.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Actually I quite like Nerds. They don't have overinflated egos, don't think they are gods gift to women, don't have unrealistic expectations from life.

Bring on the Nerds:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Behind your front door!!??

You build your own environment where you can be you. It doesnt matter about the world around you. Nowehere is perfect

Jo xxx

Yeah I don't know. I've tried to build a life here. I really really have. I can try to pretend to be something I'm not (cowboy, fireman, etc) or I can be myself and just expect others to accept me for what I am. Unfortunately the latter just doesn't work. I can't get a date to save my life. And no matter what I build up in my mind or how positive I've kept myself for years at work, always the Alpha guy gets promoted over me. I wish I could build another environment, but it's just in my head and positive thinking only goes so far. Instead of more decades of building an environment around me, I'm going to maybe try to find one, already built, where I do fit.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As I've often said on this forum, you need to be running to something, not away from something. You've told us what you don't like. Now, tell us what you are looking for in the positive.

What kind of work do you do? (Necessary for getting a long-stay visa just about anywhere in the world these days.) What languages do you speak? (Otherwise you're limited to the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - all of which are probably more Americanized than you care for. Not speaking the local language will isolate you far more than you are isolated right now.) What sort of leisure activities do you like? You'll never escape football (the real thing, not American football with all the padding) - it exists everywhere - and while you don't have to follow it closely, football or some form of sport is usually a "conversation starter" when meeting people.
Cheers,
Bev
Hmm. Well I'm looking for the opposite of America. Not sure what that is exactly, that's why I'm asking :) I'm looking for a land with fewer SUVs and monster trucks, where intelligence and thoughtfulness are valued over macho aggressive violent bravado. Less materialism. Less pretentious bs posturing for personal gain. Less than half the national budget and total GDP spent on war to kill um well its always *somebody* isn't it. More people thinking and fewer believing. More artists, fewer jocks. That's what I'm looking for.

Language is not an issue. Neither is work. I can learn a new trade. I'll learn whatever they do or have in demand if the culture fits. I'm willing to travel a bit and see before settling, but have no idea where to start. I really am pretty smart, smart enough to learn any language. I learned passable Spanish one time with just a few weeks of Pimsleur DVDs. So it honestly is not a concern. And I don't have to make a great living. Any job will do. Material stuff is far less important for me than peace from violent hicks and the women who eat it all up with stars in their eyes. Why do the men keep making war, because the women are watching.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Actually I quite like Nerds. They don't have overinflated egos, don't think they are gods gift to women, don't have unrealistic expectations from life.

Bring on the Nerds:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

Are you typical in the UK? I expect little from life. Haha from college to today my expectations have plummeted. I just want a little cottage in a small town with little traffic and a sense of community and art and music and real people who don't hide behind their more manly trucks on the way to their more massive houses with their more more more wins over my less less less blah blah BS American rat race.

BTW, how is Cypress?
 

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Are you typical in the UK? I expect little from life. Haha from college to today my expectations have plummeted. I just want a little cottage in a small town with little traffic and a sense of community and art and music and real people who don't hide behind their more manly trucks on the way to their more massive houses with their more more more wins over my less less less blah blah BS American rat race.

BTW, how is Cypress?
A cypress is a tree. Cyprus however is a lovely little island in the Mediterrean sea with fab weather, good wine and friendly people. :D:D

Veronica
 

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Hmm. Well I'm looking for the opposite of America. Not sure what that is exactly, that's why I'm asking :) I'm looking for a land with fewer SUVs and monster trucks, where intelligence and thoughtfulness are valued over macho aggressive violent bravado. Less materialism. Less pretentious bs posturing for personal gain. Less than half the national budget and total GDP spent on war to kill um well its always *somebody* isn't it. More people thinking and fewer believing. More artists, fewer jocks. That's what I'm looking for.

Language is not an issue. Neither is work. I can learn a new trade. I'll learn whatever they do or have in demand if the culture fits. I'm willing to travel a bit and see before settling, but have no idea where to start. I really am pretty smart, smart enough to learn any language. I learned passable Spanish one time with just a few weeks of Pimsleur DVDs. So it honestly is not a concern. And I don't have to make a great living. Any job will do. Material stuff is far less important for me than peace from violent hicks and the women who eat it all up with stars in their eyes. Why do the men keep making war, because the women are watching.
OK, well from what you've told us so far, I can think of almost any European country I know as a possibility - so long as you stay away from the big cities (Paris, London, Rome). There are, however, other factors in each country that may drive you nuts in the meantime - i.e. corruption, too many rules, not enough rules regarding specific things, family-centric orientation (given that you would arrive with no family on site), other aspects of the local social system, personal hygiene standards, driving habits (with or without SUVs on the road), etc.

If you've already learnt "passable" Spanish, why not make some vacation trips to some Spanish speaking countries to start scoping out your options? To overcome the visa issue for most countries, you need to be able to find a job there, so a scouting expedition would allow you to check out both the social environment and your job prospects at the same time.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A cypress is a tree. Cyprus however is a lovely little island in the Mediterrean sea with fab weather, good wine and friendly people. :D:D

Veronica
Haha I stand corrected-

Turns out the Cypress tree actually is from the Mediterranean so at least I was close in proximity if off topic ;-)
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK, well from what you've told us so far, I can think of almost any European country I know as a possibility - so long as you stay away from the big cities (Paris, London, Rome). There are, however, other factors in each country that may drive you nuts in the meantime - i.e. corruption, too many rules, not enough rules regarding specific things, family-centric orientation (given that you would arrive with no family on site), other aspects of the local social system, personal hygiene standards, driving habits (with or without SUVs on the road), etc.

If you've already learnt "passable" Spanish, why not make some vacation trips to some Spanish speaking countries to start scoping out your options? To overcome the visa issue for most countries, you need to be able to find a job there, so a scouting expedition would allow you to check out both the social environment and your job prospects at the same time.
Cheers,
Bev
OK, thanks for the general recommendation.
I had thought about Asia but it seems the be a terrorist haven these days.
And maybe Australia/New Zealand, but it sounds like they could be the same culture as the US. So maybe it is Europe.

BTW, what do you recommend for an American going abroad to stay under the radar? I've heard of some putting Canadian flags on their luggage, jackets, etc to throw off the haters. Is this overkill or maybe a good idea?

Anyway, I no longer have any living family so no I won't be bringing anyone with. I really would like to settle down actually, but again, I don't exactly appeal to the American ladies and I guess that's OK. Maybe my assets will play out better in Europe. I have no idea haha. But I would like to meet someone and settle down.

And I like to get out so maybe not too sleepy of a town.

Good public transportation would be a big plus as I don't like to drive any more.

Access within a reasonable period of time to social programs, retirement plans, health care, education (I'd like to pursue grad school at some point) would all be a bonus. I have no idea how this would work in Europe.

BTW, I speak more French than Spanish actually. I took 3 years in high school and college combined. And an immersion course would have me up to speed pretty quickly. Again its not really a major issue I can learn languages pretty quickly as I do computer work and languages of sorts are my thing.

Have you seen the Mercer Quality of Living surveys? I wonder if any of these cities might be a good fit for me:
Mercer Quality of Living global city rankings 2009

Maybe Lyons, Vienna, or Amsterdam? Kind of leaning toward maybe Lyon or something in the south of France, but no idea if culturally and otherwise this would fit what I'm really looking for. Awful lot to sort out really.
 

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IMHO, the only thing you need to do to "lay low" is to keep your voice down (Americans talk loudly - much more so than most Europeans) and don't pontificate about the glories of the American republic, especially if you think someone is "criticizing" them. (Europeans love a good debate, and most can argue both sides of any issue. It's not personal - it's social and intellectual.)

In addition to Europe, there's all of Central and South America to consider, as well as some of the "islands" in the Carribbean and off the coast of South America.

France is an interesting choice, and I'll be interested in your reaction to France after you've done your scouting run. Most of the "objections" or irritation factors I mentioned in my previous post come from my own or friends' grouses about France (though they can apply equally anywhere).
Cheers,
Bev
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
IMHO, the only thing you need to do to "lay low" is to keep your voice down (Americans talk loudly - much more so than most Europeans) and don't pontificate about the glories of the American republic, especially if you think someone is "criticizing" them. (Europeans love a good debate, and most can argue both sides of any issue. It's not personal - it's social and intellectual.)
Thanks for the tips :)

In addition to Europe, there's all of Central and South America to consider, as well as some of the "islands" in the Carribbean and off the coast of South America.

France is an interesting choice, and I'll be interested in your reaction to France after you've done your scouting run. Most of the "objections" or irritation factors I mentioned in my previous post come from my own or friends' grouses about France (though they can apply equally anywhere).
Cheers,
Bev
I am really leaning toward Europe now. I'm not sure why, maybe its the culture and history. I've read up a bit more and am leaning toward Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and maybe Lyons. Do you have any thoughts on which might be a better fit for my not so very corporate/material, more artsy laid back inclinations?

Also I don't see a forum for Denmark or the Netherlands. Am I missing something?
 

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Also I don't see a forum for Denmark or the Netherlands. Am I missing something?
Denmark and the Netherlands are considerably less popular targets for English speaking expats than many of the other countries that have their own sections here.

The Netherlands is a little touchy about immigrants at the moment, due to the problems they have had with Muslim immigrants who don' t seem to be assimilating well into the society. Though the Netherlands has a long-standing reputation for tolerating just about anything (especially dope), that attitude has been wearing thin in the last decade or so. It can be very difficult to get a long-stay visa for the Netherlands, and they are adamant that you must learn the language (not an easy language for most folks) in order to stay for the longer term.

The Danes have a similar problem with immigration, though until quite recently it has been more an issue of race (as far as I can tell). Face it, black and brown people kind of stick out in Denmark. Then there was that little incident with the cartoons...

In both cases, in order to pass laws to limit the entry of less desirable groups, the countries have passed laws limiting entry to all expats. This is where the lack of an EU nationality is a distinct disadvantage.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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interesting post

Hi,
Read the entire thread and would add that if you really are running away from the alpha male, you might want to check before settling into any country influenced by mediterranean culture.

I find it interesting that you are running away from all this. I am wondering what kind of state/place you currently live in?
I think there are a good amount of people like you in the US but probably more in coastal urban areas...

As far as running away from a winner takes all, competition and a materialist society, I can understand that is exactly what I have trouble to adapt to as an expat. I do believe Europe, might be a step towards the right direction (although not perfect) and france why not (although a visa might be difficult to obtain). You will be judge on a lot different standards in France than in the US.. Language is a big deal, the ability to debate is also something you might be judged on. Money will matter less (depending on who you meet).

One word of warning though, some issues you have with the US will probably show up anywhere. Males are males anywhere, and yes, they do tend to have the competitive, alpha male genes anywhere. Just in a different way.
My husband has trouble imagining finding any french male friend due to the "aggressive" way of communicating that seems (to him) to be ruling social interaction..
Notice the quotes, it is aggressive to him, and perfectly normal to me. it depends on how you were brought up and how you communicate. It is all about knowing what you can take and what you would trade off for something else..So see what exactly is the most important things for you, like top 3 and maybe start from there.

Finding people with common interest should also help, no?
check the internet community by country on gamers or whatever else you like doing, see what vibe you get..

Finally, the smaller the town, the less people are enclined to be openminded to differences, the less people there is too, so I would definitely start with a bigger city like lyon.Lyon is actually a very nice city, with a beautiful old town.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Denmark and the Netherlands are considerably less popular targets for English speaking expats than many of the other countries that have their own sections here.

The Netherlands is a little touchy about immigrants at the moment, due to the problems they have had with Muslim immigrants who don' t seem to be assimilating well into the society. Though the Netherlands has a long-standing reputation for tolerating just about anything (especially dope), that attitude has been wearing thin in the last decade or so. It can be very difficult to get a long-stay visa for the Netherlands, and they are adamant that you must learn the language (not an easy language for most folks) in order to stay for the longer term.
Thanks for the tip. I did some reading on this one and I see what you're saying. There have been a few incidents with Muslim immigrants, the stabbing of a politician and a school teacher shot. Of course this is daily stuff here in the US so I still haven't seen enough to show me that violence is actually worse than here. If anything it appears to be better on average, still not perfect. We have massive segregation here as well. Go to Rainer beach, its all black. Some areas are all Asian, and I'd guess I'm probably more likely to be shot in any of these areas after dark than on the streets of Amsterdam.

There is of course the other point- sure Amsterdam has been consistently rated as having a top notch standard of living, but, it has a real pothead/prostitution image, what with the whole red light thing. Not sure why when there are red light districts in many cities. People who have lived there say these factors are really only in the touristy area of town where locals rarely if ever go anyway, but still the image is kind of a bummer.

But I do like how the TGV will (if not completed already) be going to Amsterdam. I love how everyone rides bikes, something like 60% commute frequently by bike to work. The economy is relatively strong, social services as well. The retirement scheme isn't bankrupt for example, and like Denmark, many students are actually paid to go to school. Wonderful. They seem quite civilized overall.

And again, the language is not a problem. But thanks for the heads up. Anyway I would put quite a bit of effort into learning the language wherever I went. If not for meeting immigration/communication requirements, then at least for showing respect for the local culture, and better assimilating. I've read that learning a little Dutch or Danish will go a long ways to bridging the gap with locals, especially since they are so used to foreigners speaking English to them (kind of arrogantly without even asking if they speak English, just assuming). So I'd definitely do my homework on the language front just to be a refreshing change. It would actually be one of the more rewarding aspects of the experience IMO.


The Danes have a similar problem with immigration, though until quite recently it has been more an issue of race (as far as I can tell). Face it, black and brown people kind of stick out in Denmark. Then there was that little incident with the cartoons...

In both cases, in order to pass laws to limit the entry of less desirable groups, the countries have passed laws limiting entry to all expats. This is where the lack of an EU nationality is a distinct disadvantage.
Cheers,
Bev
Yeah I found the cartoons you're talking about. Not such a wonderful incident to make one's country headlined in the news. Still, the guy was a political cartoonist and had been 'attacking' different groups of people all his life, it doesn't actually appear to me as though there was any special targeting of Muslims going on really. Though he did play on some pretty brutal stereotypes that I'm sure don't help good Muslims to fit in.

On the same lines though, look at here in the USA, Rachel Ray's advertisement was pulled within 24 hours simply for wearing a Muslim scarf. Good Muslims are simply not Allowed on US TV or in the movies. Good associations with anything Muslim are not Allowed. Not even so much as a scarf. Kind of fascist in its own way. Then again, Christians are only shown on TV and movies as pedophiles and hypocrites so go figure. Can't remember the last time I saw and admirable Christian on a major distribution program. Media probably has specific problems\biases of their own in every country.

Still I see your point that Denmark doesn't appear to be very diversified (haha- understatement of the year). Maybe this has much to do with the choices of immigrants as well? Do many black/brown skin people really want to go to Northern Europe? They might see a bunch of 'whities' and be turned off. Who knows. Plus I imagine that the weather differential would be a little extreme for someone from Asia or Africa. To them it would probably seem just plain arctic up there.

So visas are pretty scarce these days eh? Not the greatest of news I must admit. Maybe if I learn a little Dutch/Danish before applying I'll have an edge ;-)

Hey, BTW, what do you think of Oslo? My roommate showed me some standard of living survey(UN I think) with Oslo as #1. They probably have a whole other set of issues haha. At some point I'll have to pick a lesser of evils, not expecting anything perfect. As long as nerdy intellectuals are not daily persecuted by armed-to-the-teeth ******* hicks in monster trucks I think I'll be OK.

Thanks for all the info! Definitely thoughts to chew on.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi,
Read the entire thread and would add that if you really are running away from the alpha male, you might want to check before settling into any country influenced by mediterranean culture.

I find it interesting that you are running away from all this. I am wondering what kind of state/place you currently live in?
I think there are a good amount of people like you in the US but probably more in coastal urban areas.

As far as running away from a winner takes all, competition and a materialist society, I can understand that is exactly what I have trouble to adapt to as an expat.
To clarify, its not just the Alpha male thing. Its how its vented. In America its in your face threat of violence. Assault is a daily event in this country, on the road, walking the street. I never feel safe anywhere. And I have traveled abroad (many years ago I must admit) but I never actually felt physically threatened. Here in the US I've had: 1. my car literally run off the road by ******* hicks in a full size American truck, 2. pulled out of my car window by my tie and beaten in the street right in front of a bedazzled crowd to whom I had begged several times to call the cops but who were more interested in watching the 'show'. Ooo violence lookie lookie! 3. Carjacked at gunpoint (yes that's right a gun in my face) and driven across town before being finally let go and seeing my car drive away into the distance. Thought I was a gonner that time for sure! Still not sure why he let me go and didn't just shoot me. I saw his face for half an hour after all. 4. Physical threat and forceful intimidation that happens too often to list. Just constantly being assaulted by *somebody*. Never mind that their truck/SUV is always waving the good ol stars and stripes. Americans have so much fight fight fight on the brain sometimes they don't know when to draw a line. They're all acting out their movie/TV heroes or something. I like the idea of France. Their heroes are poets and artists and generally make love not war. At least that's my impression.

I do believe Europe, might be a step towards the right direction (although not perfect) and france why not (although a visa might be difficult to obtain). You will be judge on a lot different standards in France than in the US.. Language is a big deal, the ability to debate is also something you might be judged on. Money will matter less (depending on who you meet).
Yeah this is one downside of France. The language. I actually have pretty good French speaking skills but can tell they are totally unacceptable to French natives. I speak a few broken words of Spanish and they're happy I even tried. I seriously wonder if a foreigner will ever speak French good enough to be accepted. My biggest concern with France really.

One word of warning though, some issues you have with the US will probably show up anywhere. Males are males anywhere, and yes, they do tend to have the competitive, alpha male genes anywhere. Just in a different way.
My husband has trouble imagining finding any french male friend due to the "aggressive" way of communicating that seems (to him) to be ruling social interaction..
Notice the quotes, it is aggressive to him, and perfectly normal to me. it depends on how you were brought up and how you communicate. It is all about knowing what you can take and what you would trade off for something else..So see what exactly is the most important things for you, like top 3 and maybe start from there.
Good point. My roommate suggested the list as well. I'll see what I can put together. BTW, I see what you mean about the Alpha complex being everywhere but in different ways. Maybe its just the armed, violence prone hick jocks that bother me the most. I don't mind a good debate. Its the constant *physical* posturing and threat that wears me out. I think I might find intellectual, thinking Alphas a refreshing change. Americans have no respect for thinkers. In my experience people either Think or they Believe. I'm a nerdy thinker. Americans believe. And once they believe something, no point in thinking is there? Its amazing the effort so many people put into not thinking about something that contradicts their beliefs. How hard they work to not allow themselves to be exposed to conflicting information. To see the other side of the story. I try to see both sides and find a balance. Americans generally are 100% on one side of something, and there they stay forever, believing.

So yeah, Open Mindedness, thoughtfulness, and a propensity for peace would all be somewhere near the top of my list. Of course affordable education (affordable being the operative word, not the American 6 figures of federal debt for life program that I'm so used to), public transportation (oh to dream of never having to drive again!), a well funded retirement scheme (the peace of mind would be a dream itself). Hmm I'll get a proper ranked list together. To be continued...

Finding people with common interest should also help, no?
check the internet community by country on gamers or whatever else you like doing, see what vibe you get..
Good point. I'd thought about stretching out socially *after* arriving. Why not look for common interest connections now? Good stuff. BTW, yep I'm a gamer. Computers, games, programming, photography, art, music, the usual nerd stuff really :)

Finally, the smaller the town, the less people are enclined to be openminded to differences, the less people there is too, so I would definitely start with a bigger city like lyon.Lyon is actually a very nice city, with a beautiful old town.
Thanks for your thoughts. I'll look into it.
Stay tuned :)
 

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I'm not trying to convince you that any country (in Europe or anywhere else) is "better" than the US, particularly as regards violence or tolerance or anything else. You bring alot of your own interpretations and attitudes to any new environment, and how you do in Amsterdam or Copenhagen or Oslo has more to do with you yourself than with the specifics of the city you settle in.

When I first came to France, I was besotted with a typical newcomer's interest in the place. That quickly turned to raging hatred for France after I ran into what seemed to be a stone wall I ran into regarding immigration, just at the same time I was running into other (largely personal) problems. I spent nearly 7 years more or less miserable here in France before finding myself and my niche here.

Now (and for the last 7 or 8 years) I've got my gripes about things here (like every other French national) but it's home, and I couldn't fathom going back to the US to live.

What I'm saying is that you won't know exactly how living in a different country or city will suit you until you've done it for a while, and in some cases, until you've decided that you're going to make the best of it, regardless of the inconveniences.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm not trying to convince you that any country (in Europe or anywhere else) is "better" than the US, particularly as regards violence or tolerance or anything else. You bring alot of your own interpretations and attitudes to any new environment, and how you do in Amsterdam or Copenhagen or Oslo has more to do with you yourself than with the specifics of the city you settle in.
Well put. I'm finding this to be a period of introspection as much as a period of research. Its hard enough to be completely honest with one's self, let alone with others. But I can say that I'm a nerd. That much is certain. Who knows maybe in Europe I would be an 'intellectual' and it would have a positive connotation. Wouldn't that be a refreshing change. To not have to change myself and fit in anyway. BTW, I finished my 'list'. Will post separately below. Now I'm more curious about your observations and experiences.

When I first came to France, I was besotted with a typical newcomer's interest in the place. That quickly turned to raging hatred for France after I ran into what seemed to be a stone wall I ran into regarding immigration, just at the same time I was running into other (largely personal) problems. I spent nearly 7 years more or less miserable here in France before finding myself and my niche here.
Wow, so what is your status now if you don't mind my asking? And how did you get there? Is there some kind of temporary visa that you extended until getting permanent residence? What was the biggest hurdle in immigration?

Now (and for the last 7 or 8 years) I've got my gripes about things here (like every other French national) but it's home, and I couldn't fathom going back to the US to live.
Haha, so I was right? They will never hear your non-native French no matter how good you get? Or is it just a nationalistic pride/arrogance thing? I found some people treated me that way until they found I was in their eyes really humble (for an American abroad) and they opened up. That was a long time ago, in a different place. Don't know if it will work with the French. Please tell more about your challenges in this regard.

What I'm saying is that you won't know exactly how living in a different country or city will suit you until you've done it for a while, and in some cases, until you've decided that you're going to make the best of it, regardless of the inconveniences.
Cheers,
Bev
I can tell you are being polite and making the best of it, but please tell more about the challenges you've had there. Vent a little, its OK, I won't think you're judgmental. Anything I can learn now, before I go, to brace me at least will help greatly.

Thanks again :)

BTW, what's the deal with not showering? Is it a cost of water thing or a love of cologne? Haha. Is it even true or just an old stereotype? True in other countries I'm looking at?
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The List

OK, finally put together 'The List' of what I'm looking for, in the context of what I'm fleeing from, what I'm actually hoping to be running To. In order of importance. So please help me find it! Does such a place exist?

Here goes:

1. Nerd/Intellectual Friendly (vs jock friendly). This is huge. I'm an incurable nerd, kind of quiet at first till people get to know me then I open up. I'm tired of the fake posturing gregarious American bullies. I'd be happier where heroes on TV/Movies are artists and thinkers not mercenaries and killers.

2. Prone to Peace (taxes spent on the people instead of the military industrial complex). If the US cut military spending only in half, with the money they saved they could build metros in every city, educate all of their people at university, bail out social security, provide completely paid health care, and drop the national defect, while lowering taxes. People say that's socialist. I say I'd rather see the government 'social' with its people than with banks and war monger corporations. Not holding my breath for the change here. Maybe I'll find it there?

3. Affordable Quality Education, available for someone on temporary or permanent residence visa. I'd love to get a Masters or PhD and not have to borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars (the American way) to do it. Affordable Education would be a huge 'quality of life' enhancement.

4. Public Transportation (trains, metros, subways, etc), not including vehicles that just get stuck in traffic (buses). Also huge. I hate driving.

5. Vacation Time. Work/life balance should favor the latter. Lots of vacation time, flexible work scheduling, no 60 hour a week workaholic culture. Laid back, leisure prone people, like me :) Also huge, time and freedom are worth more than money any day.

6. Quality Health Care and Retirement scheme. A big one if I stay to retirement.

7. Clean, Modern. Definitely a plus.

8. On the Water. Kind of an afterthought, but it actually is important. I totally prefer cities on the ocean, or if inland, at least on a river or lake. Lots of parks, mountains, rivers, access to the ocean, hiking, outdoors activities is a major bonus.

9. Relative ease of gaining access. Including visas, permanent residency, jobs, assimilation, for an American. This may not be easy anywhere so it's down at number 9.

10. Job Market, yes this is coming in at the bottom of the list, but it still has to be some consideration. Availability of jobs in technology (IT). If not, and #3 above exists, I can retrain for something else.

That's it. Where in the world is this place?
 
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