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There’s one in every crowd

12 February 2014

Via Gringo Tree (Cuenca, Ecuador):

Jerry Gilliam, who lives and blogs in Mexico, calls himself a “student of expatriates.” An Ohio native and an expat for 20 years, Jerry is at work on a book about the expat life. One of his favorite pastimes is classifiying expats.

old-man-at-computerAlthough he admits his classification system is not particularly scientific, he says it is something he has developed over the years. Jerry has eight expat categories including the “Eternal Quester” (the expat who moves from country to country and city to city looking for paradise); the “Give Backer” (who is involved in charitable and fundraising activities), the “Clusterer” (who rarely ventures beyond the comfortable confines of gringo haunts) and “Looking for Love” (no explanation needed).

The most interesting expat type for Jerry, however, is what he classifies at the “Expert.” This is his description.

“The Expert is the guy –and it’s almost always a man– who is driven to lay claim to the role of authority figure in his particular expat community. He is the guy who knows all about the hot topics of the day, whether it’s visas, the best restaurants, real estate, rentals, new government policies affecting expats, gringo pricing, the weather, and which marriages are on the rocks.

“Years ago, he held court in cafes, bars and restaurants popular with expats; you didn’t need to look for him since he would make himself apparent in due time. Today, his venue is the Internet and he is a frequent contributor to blogs, community Facebook pages, website comment sections and email forums.

“Amazingly, the “expert” is usually not fluent in the native language of his adopted country, if it is anything other than English. He is also known to hold strong personal grudges, which he is eager to share. He is threatened by other would-be “experts”. And, he is an utter bore if you have to deal with him in person.

“Bottom line? Be suspicious of anything the “expert” says and run the other way if you encounter him in social situations.”

8 Comments leave one →
  1. ottorock permalink
    12 February 2014 2:49 pm

    does he have “the invisible”?

  2. 12 February 2014 3:03 pm

    The expert wouldn’t last long in any of the places I hang out … because “everything” is too much to be good at. Funny tho rather extreme characterization

  3. Martín permalink
    13 February 2014 8:12 am

    A link to the referenced blog would have been good.

    • 13 February 2014 12:58 pm

      It would… I’ve never heard of the guy, anyone know what his blog is?

  4. 14 February 2014 8:18 am

    That “expert” guy is everywhere! I’ve run into him a few times myself. 😉

  5. 9 March 2014 9:38 pm

    I couldn’t even find the original story on Gringo Tree Cuenca, but I may be doing it all wrong. I’m curious about his take on things, although I suspect someone thinking they’ve sussed it all out may be a mite too ambitious. Reality can always throw us a loop. 🙂

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