04 April 2008

The Expat's Life - Part 2

Being an expat (short for expatriate) here is full of surprises. Some are quite pleasant but others are not. You're lucky enough if you get the good tidings but for some who are here working too hard will not agree with me when I say we are rather lucky compared to our "kababayan" (fellowmen) back home. Yes, life here is relaxed in a way with less the worry of a day to day existence back home. Most expats in this country have nice homes, own a car or two, travel extensively, earns three times as much as compared to a VP of a major company in back home, and owns more than 1 property back in their country. Although not all expats enjoy these wonderful benefits because it also depends on the kind of job you have, the company you work for and your salary scale. Most Asian expats I know are somewhere in the mid-range (earning around 6,000 to 10,000 dirhams a month) but the rest are below that. It is good if you get 3,000 dhs (dirhams - monetary unit of the UAE) as a starting salary when you're new in the country but most who do hard-labor earn a measly amount. I can't say how much per se but it's really disheartening to know that it does happen to some expats here.
Thinking of the family and friends we leave behind, the sacrifices we have to make to earn a good living and having to uproot ourselves from the country we love; it's just fair to say that we deserve the perks of life's comforts. Not only that we have to sacrifice to give our families a better future, we also bring in the "dough" to our motherland through our remittances. Our country's government even dubs us (the expats) the modern day heroes.

So, the next time you meet an expat in your own country, be happy that not only does he work for the family he left behind but he is also working for the "world."

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