Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

Some expats attempt to own or run businesses here.  Between government corruption, employee theft and lack of cultural awareness it’s a difficult proposition.  It’s one of the frequently asked questions from those contemplating settling here.  The answer is always the same – you’d better not try until you’ve been her a while and have some capital to wave good bye to.

The worst business is the one that looks the easiest:  money lending.  If one makes small loans to those who can put up the pink slip on their motorcycle (or other similar collateralized loan) it seems like a safe bet.  All to often the outcome is that the borrower can’t pay back the loan and he wants his bike back, so he murders the lender.  Every such crime I’ve read about happens at night in the foreigner’s home.  The dogs have been drugged, the wife and live in help sleep right through it.

The veteran expats also usually advise one to do nothing to call attention to one’s self, and to never put one’s self into a position of potential conflict with a local.

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