I’m English and I live in Portugal. Since it’s very common for researchers to be working in countries other than there homeland, I would usually just define my status as “post doc”. Now, I was looking over things at Facebook (which I had more or less forgotten existed until they sent me an email yesterday) and I noticed they have a lot of expat groups. I have to confess that the word “expat” squicks me. It always brings up thoughts of Eldorado and of rich Brits in the Algarve who’ve lived there a decade and are proud that they have avoided learning any more Portuguese than “por favor” and “obrigado/a”. Since I have a Portuguese wife I don’t really relate to this. This isn’t actually very fair since I think a fair number of those (Brits, Germans, Americans…) who would self-identify as expats in Portugal don’t fit stereotypes of cultural arrogance or any other such nonsense but it’s what the word triggers in me.
My personal response to the word isn’t really the pint of this post though. (more…)