Wherever you are in this world, you are likely to encounter foreigners. If you should travel, you yourself will be a foreigner. Feeling foreign is stressful. Being treated as a foreigner is an uncomfortable feeling. Particularly when that treatment is ongoing no matter how long you stay in a place. Perhaps it is simply suspicion that makes people treat foreigners as if they were a lesser breed. Perhaps it is more than that. Fear of difference (… yawn …) keeps guards up, and this prevents open exchange between strangers. You cannot have an open exchange with someone you mistrust. It is important to trust yourself, too, it enables you to trust others without fear. Foreigners are not usually dangerous. It is safe to say there are more people on this planet that can be trusted, than those that cannot. Just open your ears. You will hear the difference, no matter what language comes rolling off a tongue.
Foreigners are a valuable source of income for any country. They can also be an education if you can be bothered to give them the time of day. Prejudice against anything foreign, or new, is not productive for anybody. You cannot hope to grow when you are not interested to learn from another how they happened upon life, how it has moulded them. The way you are – and the way you feel about that, as well the way you feel about your place in the world around you speaks for you when you enter into open exchange with someone from another country. If they are interested to speak to you, they will read your ‘type’ in your eyes. Your upbringing will show itself, your conditioning. If you will not meet the eyes of a foreigner simply because they are foreign, you are rude. If you will not meet the eyes of a woman, for whatever reason, you are even ruder.
Being foreign in a place should be enjoyable and exciting. It is a learning. Everyone should be bothered about learning from each other. You cannot make the jump you need to make into your future without the insights of people who are not like you. You cannot get where you need to be without cooperation. We are like keys and locks – each one of us. Give benefit of the doubt where possible. It is good for you. It is also good for the other person. If you are taken advantage of, you will learn what not to do again.