So I just learned my mate, a South African, last night got engaged to his girlfriend, a lovely Congolese lady. It got me thinking about the number of inter-cultural/racial/tribal/religion unions taking place nowadays. Taboo in years gone by, relationships with people from other ethnicities are now commonplace, thankfully.
Naturally, there any numerous negative stereotypes floating about as society pigeonholes those different from us. But hey, there are also loads of positive stereotypes that would entice one to date past international barriers. Stereotypes like “Zimbabweans are well endowed up stairs” or “Nigerians are well endowed downstairs”. 🙂
So to get you started on your cross-border love adventure, here are a few things to expect when dating a foreigner.
1. Language barrier – It’s all well and good when you’re together speaking in, say, English but when he’s with his mates/family, expect to hear a lot of this: “jibajaba, jabajiba, jibijibi, jabajaba…you okay sweety?”.
2. Culture shock – This is probably the best thing about picking a partner from a foreign pool. You think you’re the love of his life? Well guess what, his culture allows him to have multiple “loves of his life”. And may I remind you, polygamy is nothing like the ménage à trois you see on TV.
3. Deportation – Every time you go your separate ways, kiss him like you’ll never see him again…coz that might just be the case. For many immigrants, one minute you’re out shopping, next you’re in an immigration detention centre having a deportation farewell party.
4. Nuptials – While your friends may be struggling to find guys willing to pop the question, you won’t have to worry about that. Your immigrant boyfriend will be happy to marry you TODAY! Gotta get them papers fam.
5. Driving – You better get your chauffeur game on coz your immigrant hunk may not be able to get a local Driver’s Licence courtesy of his alien status.
6. Bambinos! – Oh, snap, he didn’t tell you he had kids…and a wife…back home? Forgive him, must have slipped his mind. After all, they are in another country. Out of sight, out of wedlock right?
7. Background checks – So you Googled his name, Peter Jones, and nothing came up? Not to worry, try Odawali Mutloto…that’s his birth name; the one he used before you met him. Oh, he forgot to mention that too? Ooops.
8. The Fuzz – Anytime your man sees the police, expect to hear this: “Oh shit. Lord please don’t let them stop us”…that’s coz, your man has no papers.
9. Romantic getaways – Speaking of papers, don’t expect any romantic international getaways for Valentine’s day. Your man can’t risk leaving the country. He may never be able to sneak back in.
10. Xenophobia – Now, we all know xenophobic/racist comments are everywhere right? So expect to hear some xenophobic commentary aimed at your man & his countrymen. Stuff like “Damn, those Nigerians are fraudsters” O_o. Yeah girl, they talking ’bout your boo.
11. The Parents – Don’t worry if your parents hate your man…his folks are probably always asking him why he can’t find a nice, well-mannered girl who’s…well, who’s not you.
12. Home Sweet Home (Affairs) – Yep, you’re going to spend more time at Home Affairs than you even knew was possible; filling in more forms than an insurance salesman. [Oh, Home Affairs is the “Home Office” for our UK friends or the “Immigration and Naturalization Service” for our American contingent.]
Jokes aside, dating someone of a differing nationality, race, tribe, or religion has its challenges but it’s also quite exciting. For comedic value, most of my “tips” of an expat are of an illegal immigrant. That’s obviously not always the case. Many are legal and in dating or befriending them, you can learn so much and experience diverse cultures and their congenial idiosyncrasies. So go ahead, embrace the other side.
*just scribbling my expat thoughts*