gastarbeiter

2-X-2011 22:16

Gastarbeiter, i.e. guest worker. That's the term Germans used for, well, guest workers, and so did all the Yugos who went to work, regardless of the country (and there were almost a million total of them in France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Australia and Sweden - and probably a few in other countries as well).

The "I'll live poor and send all my money home" is the usual attitude of the Gastarbeiter. It's a common phenomenon - these guys go where they can find work to feed their families.

It's a sign of success, specially for all the Gastarbeiter who worked in Germany, France etc, to buy something to impress their Joneses back home. Three year old Mercedes, the larger the better, was almost a must. A BMW came next, and in rare cases guys would even go for a Porsche (or at least rent one, have pictures taken with it to send home :).

If you drove home in anything smaller, you were deemed a failure.

In the years when we were driving to Dalmatian coast, there was a long stretch of E-5 highway (now it's mostly a highway, back then it was just a bit wider two-way road) where we saw such cars, way overloaded with kids and luggage, heading south - to Bosnia, South Serbia, Macedonia, Turkey and who knows where else. They were actually quite a danger, because they didn't get too much vacation, so they mostly tried to drive it all the way without much rest. A brick on the gas pedal was a regular phenomenon.

They also influenced language - see loan words.