I’ve been surprised by the reactions of my friends and acquaintances. Some were surprised, some saw it coming. I expected that.
What I didn’t expect was how many of them converted and categorization what I said into their own world view. For example, I told a neighbor that my repeated lung infections from the air pollution was one of the top reasons. His response, in essence, was that the country’s health care system isn’t very good and didn’t I know that before I came here (yes and yes). I quickly gave up on trying to explain to him that I wouldn’t stay anywhere that gave me repeated lung infections even if it had the best health care on the planet because it was obvious to me that he just didn’t get it.
It seems the blind spot others have to my reasons is because they don’t have much choice about living here. Many of the foreigners are here because they can’t afford (or can’t get a resident visa) anywhere else where English is spoken without a huge reduction in their standard of living and a larger reduction in the number of local girls who are willing to date and marry foreigners.