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Living abroad and dealing with alcoholism
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onthetrain



Joined: 01 Sep 2014
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:42 am    Post subject: Living abroad and dealing with alcoholism Reply with quote

Hi,

I'm a new member and I haven't seen this topic, but apologies if it has been brought up before. I am an experienced esl teacher working in my home country. I haven't lived abroad for over 3 years. I would like to try working overseas again as there are obviously a lot more opportunities in non - English speaking countries. Problem is, I'm a recovering alcoholic. I'm doing well now, but I am nervous about how I will cope in a foreign country. At the same time, I know that it alcoholism isn't the end of the world and that there are plenty of us living perfectly normal lives. I don't want this 'condition' to put any restrictions on what I can do.

I was wondering if there are any others out there living abroad and doing fine? I understand that not everyone would be willing to share about this kind of thing, but if you are it would be great. Have you been able to locate meetings? Or do you manage without? Any advice would be great.


Last edited by onthetrain on Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:09 am; edited 2 times in total
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Capt Lugwash



Joined: 14 Aug 2014
Posts: 346

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please don't tell us you teach English?
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onthetrain



Joined: 01 Sep 2014
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eeek, how embarrassing. Apologies for the typos, I was kind of nervous when posting.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4333
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:06 am    Post subject: Re: Living abroad and dealing with alcoholism Reply with quote

onthetrain wrote:
I am an experienced esl teacher working in my home country. I haven't lived abroad for over 3 years. I would like to try working overseas again as there are obviously a lot more opportunities in non - English speaking countries. Problem is, I'm a recovering alcoholic.

For starters, what countries are you interested in working in? Your nationality? Degree/qualifications?
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onthetrain



Joined: 01 Sep 2014
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply. I have a BA and CELTA, 8 years experience. I'm from the UK. I don't have a preference regarding country. However, I think that a city with meetings available and a good expat community would suit better than a town or village in the middle of nowhere.
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JN



Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Posts: 173

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe you could just type into a search engine English AA meetings and then the country. That's what I did for Germany and found a Frankfurt area listing. There are probably others, too.
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 832
Location: Flying around the ME...

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

onthetrain wrote:
Thanks for your reply. I have a BA and CELTA, 8 years experience. I'm from the UK. I don't have a preference regarding country. However, I think that a city with meetings available and a good expat community would suit better than a town or village in the middle of nowhere.


The problem is that a lot of ex-pat communities are based around pub life. I guess that it may be better to try a country fairly close to home just in case you do have problems and need support. Good luck and I hope you find what you need.
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adaruby



Joined: 21 Apr 2014
Posts: 71
Location: Location Location

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MuscatGary wrote:
onthetrain wrote:
Thanks for your reply. I have a BA and CELTA, 8 years experience. I'm from the UK. I don't have a preference regarding country. However, I think that a city with meetings available and a good expat community would suit better than a town or village in the middle of nowhere.


The problem is that a lot of ex-pat communities are based around pub life. I guess that it may be better to try a country fairly close to home just in case you do have problems and need support. Good luck and I hope you find what you need.


This.

The ease at which alcohol is available in Asia, coupled with the easy-living expat way of life, would suggest he could strike that region off his possible list.

I would imagine Europe - where there is a support network in most countries - would be the best bet. Or go the whole hog and move to Saudi where the ale is illegal.
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GambateBingBangBOOM



Joined: 04 Nov 2003
Posts: 1906
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adaruby wrote:
MuscatGary wrote:
onthetrain wrote:
Thanks for your reply. I have a BA and CELTA, 8 years experience. I'm from the UK. I don't have a preference regarding country. However, I think that a city with meetings available and a good expat community would suit better than a town or village in the middle of nowhere.


The problem is that a lot of ex-pat communities are based around pub life. I guess that it may be better to try a country fairly close to home just in case you do have problems and need support. Good luck and I hope you find what you need.


This.

The ease at which alcohol is available in Asia, coupled with the easy-living expat way of life, would suggest he could strike that region off his possible list.

I would imagine Europe - where there is a support network in most countries - would be the best bet. Or go the whole hog and move to Saudi where the ale is illegal.


Don't you need a masters for the mid east?
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buravirgil



Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 170
Location: Jiangxi Province, China

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KSA and Oman accept a Bachelor of Arts/Science and TEFL certification, but alcohol (both fermented and distilled; weak and strong) is readily available in KSA. I worked with more than a few recovering alcoholics attracted to KSA for this reason. They do alright for a few months, but it typically turns out badly.
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water rat



Joined: 30 Aug 2014
Posts: 282
Location: Northwest Gansu

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

buravirgil wrote:
KSA and Oman accept a Bachelor of Arts/Science and TEFL certification, but alcohol (both fermented and distilled; weak and strong) is readily available in KSA. I worked with more than a few recovering alcoholics attracted to KSA for this reason. They do alright for a few months, but it typically turns out badly.


What!? Alcohol is readily available in Saudi Arabia? I don't think so!
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buravirgil



Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 170
Location: Jiangxi Province, China

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

water rat wrote:
What!? Alcohol is readily available in Saudi Arabia? I don't think so!
I was there for three years. Alcohol, and a whole lot more. And I wasn't in the larger expat cultures of Dammam, Jeddah, and Riyadh.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4333
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
KSA and Oman accept a Bachelor of Arts/Science and TEFL certification, but alcohol (both fermented and distilled; weak and strong) is readily available in KSA. I worked with more than a few recovering alcoholics attracted to KSA for this reason. They do alright for a few months, but it typically turns out badly.

Oman employers expect to see a TEFL-related BA, at minimum. Unless the OP is super hard up for money, Saudi Arabia isn't a good fit because his/her BA will only attract offers from sketchy contracting companies and not from the better employers. That's not cool for someone who's already a bit apprehensive about heading overseas. Frankly, I think Korea would be a better fit, especially the major cities where there are likely to be AA groups.

buravirgil wrote:
water rat wrote:
What!? Alcohol is readily available in Saudi Arabia? I don't think so!
I was there for three years. Alcohol, and a whole lot more. And I wasn't in the larger expat cultures of Dammam, Jeddah, and Riyadh.

Seriously, it's not difficult to avoid boozy compound parties and venues---just don't attend. Besides, there are plenty of folks who don't touch the stuff.
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buravirgil



Joined: 23 Jan 2014
Posts: 170
Location: Jiangxi Province, China

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Frankly, I think Korea would be a better fit, especially the major cities where there are likely to be AA groups.
Complete agreement.
I didn't intend to speak to what can be avoided, but a gloss that because alcohol is forbidden in KSA it isn't a temptation.
As I said, over three years, I worked with many recovering alcoholics that came to KSA because they had believed it wouldn't be available.
Didn't turn out well.
Maybe I should have said: If you're coming to the Kingdom because you believe alcohol isn't available, you're mistaken.
What MuscatGary expressed is true in my experience. I rarely consume alcohol. It's not a plus in the expat community.
Just in terms of conversation, Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Zealanders can seemingly talk for hours about simple percentages.
And that's not new to the culture; it's practically tradition.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12757
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might mention that in addition to compound/embassy parties, it's not at all difficult to make your own.

When you go to Tamimi Safeway and see some guy pushing a shopping cart with 25 bottles of grape juice, 10 kilos of sugar and packets of yeast, you don't have to be Sherlock to figure out his intentions.

Oh, sure - the stuff tastes horrible, but since when have we alkies been connoisseurs/

But regarding how Saudi affects alkies, well, it's impossible to say. I saw people become alkies there and I saw people quit (including myself).

Regards,
John
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