When does an expat become a local?

Someone stopped me at a store yesterday and asked me “Are you a local?” I am English and currently living in Australia, in a town where in general it is believed that you must live there at least ten years before they consider you to be a local. Having been in this town less than a year I wasn’t confident that ‘yes’ was the right answer.

Reminding myself that I was in a store that I visit regularly to restock my fridge, I hazarded a ‘yes’. “Oh that is great,” he said, “Can you tell me where I can find sugar?” Yes, I could, so to that extent at least, I am actually a local here.

However, I am also an...

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