Thursday, November 10, 2005

Take Me to Your Country!

Take Me to Your Country!

There have been movies and books featuring the often hackneyed story of a handsome American ( or British, German, etc.)soldier or businessman who falls in love with a gorgeous Third World girl and saves her from the life of drudgery and hopelessness by bringing her to the States ( or other such country). Such a girl is forever delirious about her new place of residence, and grateful to her deliverer for rescuing her from what would otherwise have been a lifetime of poverty. They have a lovely family and cute, mixed kids, and they live happily ever after.

The less known story is that also, a very large number of American( and other Western) men does quite the opposite- they meet a beautiful Third World girl and stay in her country instead. Such accounts are not often brought up in the media or the movies since the public may not like to see such "traitors". They would also damage the stereotype that most of the 1st World public likes to hold on to- i.e. that it is so much better to be in the US, Canada or Germany than in some God-forsaken Third World sh-ithole. Why would anyone even consider such a thing? Everybody is trying to come 'here', so why on earth would you want to end up in a place everybody is trying to get away from?

I will tell you why. First of all, not everybody is trying to get out of the "sh-tholes". The rich in those countries and the upper middle class people do not. The very very poor would like to get out to make some money but they are not "everybody". There are also some opportunities there that ,while not apparent as such at the time, can prove to be quite lucrative in the end.

We may remember movies or books about Japanese war brides whom those handsome servicemen brought back home to Mom. However, not too many movies have been made about those Americans who had decided to stay with their sweethearts in Japan- a ‘third-world’ country by that time’s measures. There were many of those, by the way. Some bought property in Central Tokyo when a plot of land in Shinjuku could be had for a thousand dollars. Now, such plots are worth billions of dollars and the elderly American owners are still there living happily thereafter.

But back about the “real” Third World countries- these, too, have many benefits, at least to the 1st Worlders that want to live there. The first one is this: They are three-tier societies with the tiny rich class, the small middle class and the vast class of the poor. 1st World countries are basically two tier countries- they have a larger class of the very rich, a huge, apathetical middle class and no real poor class. And the 1st World’s rather small "poor classes" are not the same as the down-to- earth, friendly peasants of the Third World. In the US for one, poor people can be quite unfriendly. They will also not wish to provide the various services at cut-rate prices that Third Word peasants gladly will.

By moving to the Third World, by the sheer virtue of relativity, an average American or other Western man will find himself jettisoned to the upper middle class category. He, among many things, will now be able to avail himself of the services that were very costly at home. He will have servants, cleaners, errand boys and even his own private drivers and guards. His money will multiply three to five- fold easily that is, if he uses American money there. Him and his Third World wife will be able to afford things that neither she nor he has been able to afford until now. She had been poor before she met him and he had also been "poor" because he had been living in a very expensive and cut-throat environment back home.

Another reason in favor of moving to "her country" is the fact that getting your wife through the US, Canadian or EU immigration can be a very costly, time- consuming and humiliating process. There will be interviews with immigration officials, oaths that will need to be administered, medical tests as well as the agonizing, nerve-racking time period of being away from your loved one for up to a year, while she deals with the grueling government procedures for new immigrants. Then, you will often have to sign Affidavits of Support and other such documents in which you promise to give the wife financial maintenance for years to come even if you two end up getting divorced in the end.

The politicians talk about "freedom" in the West, yet they run such young couples through the excruciating gauntlet of ruthless bureaucracy and humiliation which would make Gestapo proud. The whole message seems to be- "she is not very welcome here and we are doing you a big favor by even allowing her in".

Now, if you are the one going to 'her' country, you normally just walk through their immigration and proceed on to your destination with no delay or difficulty. With the right lawyers you can obtain permanent visas quite easily and live there for as long as you want for in many such countries an American tourist or resident is quite welcome. You can extend tourist visas quite easily, too. Eventually with the right amount of money ( which is not much) your legal status can be stabilized over time.

I would estimate that the number of American men living in their wives' countries should be about a million by now if you include those who shuttle back and forth between the two countries. That’s a big number.

It must be noted, however, that expatriating to the girl's country is not for everyone. If you are an average 9-5 Joe, it may not be your cup of tea, at least for now. Or, if you are a true patriot of your country and you are not really interested in relocating overseas or experiencing another culture and all you need is a nice lady, that's all. Some guys like to have the stability of a normal job with two weeks' vacation every year. However, if you can make money by freelancing in the Web or, if you have a 6-week on, 6-week off job in the Middle East, or have a military pension, Social Security or a monthly rent payment coming in from somewhere, it may be a worthwhile proposition. If you are not in the position to do so now but really want to, you will have to do some serious planning and research. Eventually, you should be able to accomplish that.

I was not able to do that for a long time but now I am at a point where every few months I fly out and stay with my girlfriend for a few weeks. I can now spend three months out of a year with her. It had not been possible several years ago. But I racked my brains over how to live this kind of lifestyle for years and it came true. My friend who makes over 100K a year is also saving money now to be able to retire overseas soon. So, if there is a will, there is a way.

Again, it's one of those "whatever jerks your chain" situations. And it is quite all right if you decide not to pursue it. But, even merely knowing that there is such an interesting option can be quite exhilarating, since it adds a very new, adventurous dimension to the sometimes boring procedure of planning one's future.

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