Expatriates, like everyone else, come in all shapes and sizes – the mean and the mannered, the classless and the classy, the awful and the joyful. The abbreviated epithet ‘expat’ simply doesn’t adequately express the myriad folk who have chosen to live here In Turkey. To add a little descriptive colour to my posts, I’ve devised some new words to depict the numerous variants of the species.
- Emigreys: retirees serving out their twilight years in the sun, most of whom seem to be just a little to the right of Genghis Khan and who bought a jerry built white box in Turkey because it was cheaper than Spain (well, it was at the time). Everyday emigrey life operates within a parallel universe of neo colonial separateness preoccupied with visa hops to the Isles of Greece, pork sausages, property prices and Blighty bashing.
- VOMITs (Victims of Men in Turkey): vintage desperate ex-housewives with a few lira to spare who shamelessly chase younger Turkish men. Predictably, such relationships rarely last once the money runs out. Thank you to Sara for this one.
- Semigreys: those too young to retire in the conventional sense, who are living the vida loca on the proceeds of property sales. Plunging interest rates present quite a fiscal test to those trying to maintain a hedonistic lifestyle on dwindling assets while waiting for the pensions to kick in, assuming there will be a pension to kick in given the parlous position of the public purse.
- Vetpats: veterans who have been living in Turkey for many years. Usually better informed than their peers with a less asinine view of the world, vetpats have taken the trouble to learn Turkish and are better integrated into the wider community. Some have even acquired Turkish citizenship and are fortunate to have found gainful employment on the right side of the Law.
- Sexpats: discrete grey men of means who are serviced by young Turkish men in return for a stipend.
- Hedonistas: Those who enjoy a carefree existence of total self indulgence liberated from the binding ties of responsibility or the worries of tomorrow.
- The Ignorati: A collective term for those who live in utter ignorance of the history and culture of their foster land, shout loudly in English and see the world at large through the pages of the Daily Mail (or The Daily Bigot as I like to call it).
These terms are not mutually exclusive. It’s perfectly possible for an emigrey to also be a vetpat VOMIT and a fully paid up member of the ignoble ignorati.
I have received several suggestions from readers to add to the ex-pat lexicon. Thank you to Greg for ‘emigays‘ to describe well to do old queens spending up their savings because you can’t take it with you. Thank you also to Tom for the deliciously naughty ‘cowpats‘ to describe those I really can’t abide and would flee to the next town to avoid.