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  • Nitaqat woes dampen Eid for some expats

    expatriate - Yahoo News Search Results
    24 Jul 2014 | 5:59 pm
    JOY OF EID: An expatriate child buys sweets at a shop in Jeddah. Some children may not be so lucky this year because their parents’ bank accounts have been frozen. This is for failing to comply with Nitaqat regulations.
  • Annual Migrant Arrivals Exceed 100,000

    British Expatriate Community
    25 Jul 2014 | 12:16 am
    In the June 2014 year, permanent and long-term (PLT) migrant arrivals numbered 100,800 (up 14 percent from 2013), the first time more than 100,000 arrivals have been recorded in a year. Migrant departures numbered 62,400 (down 22 percent). This resulted in a net gain of 38,300 migrants, the highest annual gain since the October 2003 year (39,300). New Zealand recorded its highest-ever net gain of 42,500 migrants in the May 2003 year. In the latest year, New Zealand had a net loss of 8,300 migrants to Australia, well down from 31,200 a year earlier. Net gains were recorded from most other…
  • Small Organization Funding – The Haves And The Have-Nots

    24 Jul 2014 | 9:57 am
    It’s all about the money. There’s no sum of emotion, no sum of moxie or everything else you can display a lender that will convince them to give you money unless you can initial prove your organization fundability. That’s the base line and right here’s how you do that. If you have a working day job, you have little business grants scotland, just not a whole lot. Putting aside $50 from every single paycheck could not appear like a lot, but at the conclude of the year, you will have enough for a web site, modest advertising, and pencils. Now commence pondering about what…
  • Summer Hols: Part 1

    Life with 2 Lads & a Lass
    21 Jul 2014 | 6:55 pm
    Leanne got here on Tuesday night and so we began our summer vacation part 1 (part 2 will start when my mum and Tom get here).Her plane journey was a tad nerve-wracking as the flight was late leaving Manchester and so she missed her connecting flight in Toronto but she got here about 10.30pm. Craig met her on his own at the airport. She looked so shell-shocked when she came into the house but then 20 hours of travel and a gang of over-enthusiastic family members you've never met before will do that to you.On Friday morning we went on a camping trip to Niagara Falls. We camped for 3 nights at a…
  • break-bone fever, bent-back fever and malaria, oh-my!

    10 Jul 2014 | 6:32 pm
    When I first came to the DR ten years ago, I was given a course in tropical diseases - it was a general "going-overseas" course, so a lot of the diseases we learned about didn't even really apply to my part of the world, and really, THANK YOU WORLD. Some of those things - worms that bore through the heels of your feet and end up in your blood stream, scorpions that sting, snakes that bite - are enough to give the most seasoned outdoorsmen nightmares.The Dominican Republic doesn't even have a malaria problem (though occasionally you'll hear of malaria in Haiti). As far as mosquito-borne…
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    expatriate - Yahoo News Search Results

  • Nitaqat woes dampen Eid for some expats

    24 Jul 2014 | 5:59 pm
    JOY OF EID: An expatriate child buys sweets at a shop in Jeddah. Some children may not be so lucky this year because their parents’ bank accounts have been frozen. This is for failing to comply with Nitaqat regulations.
  • Expatriate dies in traffic accident

    23 Jul 2014 | 3:17 am
    Four Pakistani nationals were killed in a traffic accident in Al-Asmaa area, east of the governorate on Monday. A Saudi citizen was also injured. The head of Tabah traffic police, Lt. Col. Abdullah Al-Bagmi, said preliminary investigations show that the victim's car crossed the main road without noticing another vehicle coming its way. He said that the other car was driven by a citizen, who ...
  • Expatriate New Zealanders run for Parliament in fight for social services

    15 Jul 2014 | 11:04 pm
    Kiwis living in Australia are making a bold pitch to win a place in New Zealand’s Parliament – and from there lobby for fairer access to social services and permanent residency rights in Australia.
  • Graebel Finalist For 4 EMMA AwardsForum for Expatriate Management Announces Prestigious Award Finalists for the Americas

    15 Jul 2014 | 8:57 am
    Graebel Companies, Inc. chief executive officer, William Graebel SGMS finalist for the Global Mobility Professional of the Year in the Americas by the Forum for Expatriate Management (FEM); Graebel Relocation Services Worldwide, Inc. and Graebel Movers International, Inc. were named finalists in the Relocation Management Company of the Year and International Moving Company of the year ...
  • Australian Expatriate Found Hanged

    15 Jul 2014 | 1:06 am
    KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 (Bernama) -- An Australian expatriate has been found hanged at his house in Jalan Mont Kiara 1 here, according to police.
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    British Expatriate Community

  • Annual Migrant Arrivals Exceed 100,000

    25 Jul 2014 | 12:16 am
    In the June 2014 year, permanent and long-term (PLT) migrant arrivals numbered 100,800 (up 14 percent from 2013), the first time more than 100,000 arrivals have been recorded in a year. Migrant departures numbered 62,400 (down 22 percent). This resulted in a net gain of 38,300 migrants, the highest annual gain since the October 2003 year (39,300). New Zealand recorded its highest-ever net gain of 42,500 migrants in the May 2003 year. In the latest year, New Zealand had a net loss of 8,300 migrants to Australia, well down from 31,200 a year earlier. Net gains were recorded from most other…
  • International schools end 2013-2014 school year with increased options for expat children

    23 Jul 2014 | 5:23 am
    The international schools market has expanded significantly this school year, providing English-speaking education around the world for more children than ever before. In just one year, the number of students aged between 3 and 18 attending international schools has increased from 3.3 million (in May 2013) to 3.7 million (May 2014).  The demand for places, particularly those in non-English-speaking countries, continues to be driven by two expanding sectors; local families and expatriates. Although the number of expat children attending international schools continues to increase, the largest…
  • The Paparazzi Expat

    23 Jul 2014 | 5:05 am
    A few days ago I received an email from what I had previously thought was a reputable media agency in New York, asking me if I knew of a good “paparazzi style” photographer on the island or, failing that, would I be prepared to “do the job”? Apparently, there was a Very Important Person on the island, and the magazine wanted to obtain a collection of photos for their publications, as well as providing material for others who were interested. Our islands regularly welcome a fair number of the famous, rich and powerful and well-heeled members of society. We are used to accommodating…
  • Skipton International launch range of expat buy-to-let mortgages

    19 Jul 2014 | 1:50 pm
    Skipton International has launched a new lending product range to enable British expats to take advantage of the opportunities available in the UK’s residential buy-to-let market. Obtaining a Buy-To-Let mortgage as a British expat isn’t always easy, but as an offshore bank based in the Channel Islands, Skipton International already serves deposit account customers in more than 100 countries around the world. Director of Lending, Nigel Pascoe, said the new products are a natural extension of Skipton  International’s existing mortgage range: ‘Last year we launched a portfolio of…
  • CPI Increases 0.3 Percent in June Quarter

    18 Jul 2014 | 1:46 pm
    The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in the June 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. This follows rises of 0.3 percent the March quarter and 0.1 percent in the December 2013 quarter. “Higher housing-related prices and vegetable prices were partly countered by cheaper package holidays, cars, and fruit,” prices manager Chris Pike said. Prices for housing and household utilities rose 1.2 percent reflecting higher prices for electricity (up 4.2 percent), rentals for housing (up 0.6 percent), and buying newly built houses excluding land (up 1.2 percent). Food prices…
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  • Small Organization Funding – The Haves And The Have-Nots

    24 Jul 2014 | 9:57 am
    It’s all about the money. There’s no sum of emotion, no sum of moxie or everything else you can display a lender that will convince them to give you money unless you can initial prove your organization fundability. That’s the base line and right here’s how you do that. If you have a working day job, you have little business grants scotland, just not a whole lot. Putting aside $50 from every single paycheck could not appear like a lot, but at the conclude of the year, you will have enough for a web site, modest advertising, and pencils. Now commence pondering about what…
  • Boca Raton Locksmith 24 Hour Support

    22 Jul 2014 | 10:08 am
    Everyone enjoys his or her correct to privacy. This statement is specifically important when is comes to making duplicate keys. Just envision the danger a company can be in if just anyone was in a position to have a duplicate important into the front door. That is why patented keys are so vital. But what do you do if you need to have a copy of that original important? It is even possible? First and foremost, examine out for the track record of the lock repairer. If you are searching for some small tasks, you can attempt out personal lock repairers. This kind of personal lock repairers are…
  • A Good Quality Boat That You Can Get With You On Your Subsequent Fishing Journey

    20 Jul 2014 | 11:04 am
    The inflatable boating planet has observed some startling advances in the previous several a long time. Incredible new designs, outstanding materials (equally tough and delicate), extraordinary new stages of toughness and warranties that (if you appear for them diligently enough) can go up a full five a long time! But cost-free boats? Could there be this kind of a factor? I mean, no one particular’s speaking about a kiddie pool right here…we’re talking about actual motor boats. Actual inflatable, condition of the artwork sleek new inflatable boats! Inflatable boats that are…
  • 14 Guidelines To Prepare A Wonderful Marriage Ceremony Hair Design

    20 Jul 2014 | 9:36 am
    If you’re searching for a hair salon in South Korea that has English-talking hair stylists and understands Western hair then Inexperienced Turtle Salon in Seoul (Itaewon) is the spot you need to go. Michiana also pays much less for hair coloration providers. On average Michiana pays $55 for a solitary method hair coloration. (based mostly on a study of seven salons all through the area). A solitary method coloration, is one coloration applyed to all of or a section of your hair. Indiana pays on average $65 for this services. The national average value for this services is $85. Before…
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    Life with 2 Lads & a Lass

  • Summer Hols: Part 1

    21 Jul 2014 | 6:55 pm
    Leanne got here on Tuesday night and so we began our summer vacation part 1 (part 2 will start when my mum and Tom get here).Her plane journey was a tad nerve-wracking as the flight was late leaving Manchester and so she missed her connecting flight in Toronto but she got here about 10.30pm. Craig met her on his own at the airport. She looked so shell-shocked when she came into the house but then 20 hours of travel and a gang of over-enthusiastic family members you've never met before will do that to you.On Friday morning we went on a camping trip to Niagara Falls. We camped for 3 nights at a…
  • Weekly Catch-up & T minus 2

    13 Jul 2014 | 8:20 pm
    Camp was a huge success for both boys. When I picked Jack up Friday from his he begged to stay for a few more minutes to play shuffle ball. On the way home he fought hard to keep back the tears but they flowed. He said he made so many friends and had such a great time that he was sad it was over. I felt so bad for him as I remember that feeling of something being "over" when you've had so much fun as a kid. He's so like me. Next summer they'll be in camp all summer long, but that's no consolation for an eight year old who lives in the moment.Our days were packed as usual: Physio for my hand,…
  • Summer Camp!

    8 Jul 2014 | 7:46 pm
    After Camp - Day 1I signed both boys up for a week of separate summer camps this week. I thought it would do them both good to meet new friends and be adventurous and be outside all day.I knew Jack would love it and he does. He's fishing, watching bugs, going to the zoo and playing in the gym. My only worry is that he'll wish he could go the whole summer and be upset that he's not.I'll be honest I was dreading taking Daniel to his camp even though he told me back in May he'd do it. I don't think I blogged about this but at his end of year pre-k picnic he refused to get out of the car, cried…
  • Stories from my childhood

    6 Jul 2014 | 10:19 pm
    I have started to tell my lads about stupid and funny things I did as a kid. I was always up to mischief - falling off my bike (over the handle bars on many an occasion), stealing apples, making dens,  camping, riding on 50cc motorbikes and just messing about.  One of the things we did (me and my mate Sue Rushton) was to sit on the two water pipes that crossed the brook on our lane, next to my house. This is the actual picture of it. The water line only sits about 8ft above the water but the embankment was full on nettles (stinging weeds) so we were usually cautious.One day as…
  • July 4th and Lamb Cook-out

    6 Jul 2014 | 10:17 am
    Here's lots of pictures from our July 4th holiday and lamb cook-out. What a fantastic weekend of friends, food, fireworks, and football!!
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  • break-bone fever, bent-back fever and malaria, oh-my!

    10 Jul 2014 | 6:32 pm
    When I first came to the DR ten years ago, I was given a course in tropical diseases - it was a general "going-overseas" course, so a lot of the diseases we learned about didn't even really apply to my part of the world, and really, THANK YOU WORLD. Some of those things - worms that bore through the heels of your feet and end up in your blood stream, scorpions that sting, snakes that bite - are enough to give the most seasoned outdoorsmen nightmares.The Dominican Republic doesn't even have a malaria problem (though occasionally you'll hear of malaria in Haiti). As far as mosquito-borne…
  • never a dull moment.

    8 Jul 2014 | 6:40 pm
    On Sunday, I took the kids to the beach with our friends, The Rousculps.The nearest beach is only about an hour from our house, and I'm very sad to tell you that we do not visit there often enough. It is a beautiful, Caribbean beach with waters as azul as the sky, and as warm as ocean water should be. The beach sand is white and soft. And.And we can go there in January. Or March. Or really whenever.But we don't.Because we apparently do not know how to take advantage of what we've got.Nevertheless, on Sunday, we went.The water was beautiful, the sun was out. And, of course...thank god…
  • on reading.

    4 Jul 2014 | 6:44 pm
    Volunteer Anne Pelsser read to studentsthree times a week for an entire semester.We miss you Anne (and Pierre!)I've said - quite frequently and to anyone who would listen - that most of the problems that we've dealt with in starting and running a school are not the problems that I foresaw. I expected irresponsibility with payments, lack of concern from parents and maybe some teacher truancy and attendance issues. There are some inherent problems due to the demographic that the school serves, but overall, I guess I expected some semblance of teacher preparation and training - after all, all…
  • Emergency (part 3)

    3 Jul 2014 | 2:16 pm
    Last March I had a health scare. It started with just a little shortness of breath, tightness in the chest and, overnight, escalated to not being able to breathe. I got  up in the morning and even got in the concho with Jewel to go to school. Half-way there, I knew I wasn't going to make it. Could we please just go to the emergency room of that terrible public hospital by school? Surely, being located next to a burning landfill they'll have the resources necessary to deal with a respiratory issue. We got out of the car, walked down to the hill to the ER entrance and asked our way…
  • school's out for summer!

    29 Jun 2014 | 7:17 pm
    This school year was filled with growing pains - we now have a 100% different staff than when we started imparting informal classes three school years ago, we have new resources and a completely new national curriculum to comply with. It's a lot of figuring things out and dealing with problems, and I'm really sad that I wasn't able to spend nearly as much time with the kids as I would have liked.But! Because of my limited interaction with all of the students, I was able to form and stregthen relationships with a few that I might not otherwise have had a ton of time for. In fact, I looked…
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    Musings from inside, outside, and underneath

  • Ending the way many others started

    24 Jul 2014 | 1:07 pm
    Ready for school   The first day of school, my daughter waved me off, barely giving me a peck goodbye.  She had found her place.  Finally.  She was three, surrounded by friends, books, toys, and learning.  There was activity and attention.  Cloud nine. All year, she has loved school.  Loved her wonderful teacher, Miss Jenny.  Loved her classmates, especially S.  Loved to learn.  She sings songs, tells me stories, points out characters and uses phrases like “that is quite small”.  All year, on days she has school (only twice a week), she wakes up extra early, too…
  • Maybe we need to have “the talk” earlier

    16 Jul 2014 | 12:02 pm
    Friends invited us over to a little dinner party on their back porch last weekend.  We like visiting them as they have a nearly three-year-old as well.  M and Little Elephant are fabulous friends and school classmates.  He is the sweetest boy who has relentlessly pursued her friendship, hugging, holding hands, and sharing his beloved cars for more than two years.  Note: the first toy Little Elephant. slept with was one of his cars! As she stood by my plate picking at food, M meandered over and announced he wanted to show her something.  He then boldly put his hand out, confident…
  • Photo Wednesday: Stone Carver

    27 Jun 2014 | 2:28 am
    Photo: Clare Says All Rights Reserved This man has been at his craft for many decades… and even passed it down to one of his nephews.  His work was amazing and loved his little shop in the “bazaar” in Gjirokaster.  Still wondering if I should get my Little Elephant his carving of Mama and baby elephants…
  • Happy 3rd Birthday

    15 Jun 2014 | 7:43 am
    All Rights Reserved Clare Says Dear Little Elephant, Today, you turned three years old!  I can’t believe how fast the time has gone, how big your have gotten, how much you make me laugh, and how proud I am to be your Mommy.  I can only hope to watch you reach 103! You love graham crackers.  This is unfortunate, as they are hard to find overseas.  Luckily, we know where to find the supply locally and when they get in a shipment, I buy multiple boxes.  Then, I take the boxes to my office and bring them home only one at a time (you still haven’t figured out this trick, but I am…
  • Eat your vegetables

    7 Jun 2014 | 12:22 am
    “Look Mommy! Harley is eating her salad!!!”
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    Expat Chronicles

  • Former Smuggler on the Peru Two

    23 Jul 2014 | 11:04 pm
    Expat Chronicles If you haven’t heard of the “Peru Two,” from UK drug smugglers jailed in Peru (link contains video): Two UK women caught trying to smuggle cocaine out of Peru have been jailed for six years and eight months each. Michaella McCollum, of Dungannon, County Tyrone, and Melissa Reid, of Lenzie, near Glasgow, both 20, admitted trying to smuggle cocaine worth £1.5m. They were jailed for eight years each, but the sentences were reduced because of their guilty pleas. The prison terms will run from their arrest on 6 August this year until 5 April 2020. … The…
  • Cycling in Bogota

    22 Jul 2014 | 11:51 pm
    Expat Chronicles I owe the city of Bogota for giving me a love of cycling. Bicycles are the best way to see any city, and the only way to live in Bogota. I couldn’t suffer a life in Bogota without a bicycle. You can not simply jump in a taxi or bus to go anywhere at any time. If it’s raining there are usually no taxis. And the buses are packed at peak hours. The traffic is so unreal that neither makes quick progress. I recognized this as soon as I arrived in 2009 and acquired a bicycle from Mike Caeser of Bogota Bike Tours. He gave me an old beach cruiser whose handlebars…
  • The Mick on Being a Paddy in 1980s London

    21 Jul 2014 | 11:56 pm
    Expat Chronicles The Mick had a welfare fraud scheme in London during the 1980s. Below is a paraphrased transcript of an audio recording of him talking about his time there. 39 hours of such recordings are the reward for donors of $100 or more to This Mick’s Life: Addiction and Underworld from Ireland to Colombia. Note for those on the west side of the pond: ‘paddy‘ in European slang is derogatory for Irishman, as ‘mick‘ is in the United States. A Paddy in London The Mick speaks: I went over there to fuckin’ start doing the dole … I was strung out…
  • Kendall Witnesses his 1st Prison Stabbing

    18 Jul 2014 | 10:43 pm
    Expat Chronicles This is an excerpt from Smuggler’s Diary: Cocaine Karma by Kendall X, the best book I’ve read on Colombia’s underworld. ‘Kendall’ was busted for cocaine in Cali in the 1970s and did time in various Colombian prisons, starting in Cali’s Villanueva Prison. This is one of a few Smuggler’s Diary excerpts I’m publishing to promote The Mick‘s memoir. See the Kickstarter campaign for This Mick’s Life: Addiction and Underworld from Ireland to Colombia. [Kendall's story] Calavera waved me over quickly to the pasillo door…
  • Canadian Expat Executed in Costa Rica

    17 Jul 2014 | 2:44 pm
    Expat Chronicles Sunglasses worth more than my car payment. I recently learned of the 2013 murder of Canadian expat, Brad Deering, in Costa Rica. According to the Costa Rican tabloid, Diario Extra: Three masked men gagged the security guard and his rottweiler to break into a party of friends during early Thursday morning, and killed the owner of a luxurious home in Pozos de Santa Ana with four bullets. The deceased was identified as Canadian national, Brad Deering (42). Apparently three men, two women, and Deering were partying in the living room, some naked and others in light…
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    Black Chick On Tour

  • Authentic. Honest. San Felipe.

    Terri Lundberg
    1 Jul 2014 | 3:53 pm
    Out of the blue I received an email from a friend titled, “Best Travel Deal Everrrrrrrr!” And, since she never emails I figured it must be good. This email goes on to explain how a group of friends is renting a house in San Felipe. They’re all meeting in San Diego and road tripping the [...] The post Authentic. Honest. San Felipe. appeared first on Black Chick On Tour.
  • [VIDEO] San Felipe Local Shares Things To Do

    Terri Lundberg
    27 Jun 2014 | 11:35 am
    While in San Felipe I had the pleasure of meeting Kat. She has lived in San Felipe more than 20 years, and she is just one of thousands of expats who now call San Felipe home. She share’s with us her love of this desert coastal town, and the top three things that you must [...] The post [VIDEO] San Felipe Local Shares Things To Do appeared first on Black Chick On Tour.
  • Inforgraphic: How To Get Cheap Airfare

    Terri Lundberg
    24 Jun 2014 | 12:52 pm
    The way to get cheap airfare is to know how they price so that you can avoid the tickets that will fall into the higher pricing tiers. This infographic will show you how to get cheap airfare. The post Inforgraphic: How To Get Cheap Airfare appeared first on Black Chick On Tour.
  • Travel Inspiration: Say Yes To Travel!!

    Terri Lundberg
    23 Jun 2014 | 7:37 pm
    I hope to inspire you to, “Say Yes To Travel!!” If I hadn’t said, “Yes,” to San Felipe, in Baja California, I would never have experienced the beautiful sunset captured in this photo. I said, “Yes,” despite the fact that I only knew one of the six other travelers. And, I said, “Yes,” to sharing a house [...] The post Travel Inspiration: Say Yes To Travel!! appeared first on Black Chick On Tour.
  • Living in Saudi Arabia: The Early Years

    Terri Lundberg
    29 May 2014 | 11:26 am
    Following is an excerpt from my upcoming ebook, Living in Saudi Arabia; The Early Years. The Portal Was Open Thursday, February 04, 2010 A few days back I was standing in line in the produce section of LuLu’s. There is an area in which you can have your fresh pineapples, peeled and sliced for you. [...] The post Living in Saudi Arabia: The Early Years appeared first on Black Chick On Tour.
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    Simply LeAnne

  • Letters from Egypt: Alcohol Licenses under New Government

    14 Jul 2014 | 4:57 am
    Between continuous raids confiscating alcohol from various popular expat hangouts and other restaurants discontinuing their libation services (TGI Fridays and Fish Market), places where you could grab a cold one after a long day of work seemed to dwindle once Mohamed Morsi was elected president. But now with Sisi in power, it appears to be easier to acquire licensing for alcohol sales. The first thing that you need to understand about Egypt is that everything is paid via bribes or the local term, backsheesh. This has not changed since Mubarak’s era, going into Morsi’s brief stint and now…
  • Letters from Egypt: Carjackings, Gas Prices & Ramadan

    6 Jul 2014 | 3:45 am
    Carjackings There has always been crime, but Egypt was a relatively safe place. In fact, I’d venture to say that it was “stupid safe” (e.g. so safe that you momentarily get stupid and forget to use basic precautions). That has all changed significantly. For any of you that want to compare the crime rates to countries like the US and UK, save it. The reason that this is so important to those of us living here is because it is a sudden hike in criminal activity compared to previous figures. Comparing crime rates to other countries is like comparing apples and oranges. And by doing so, you…
  • Letters from Egypt: SUPRRISE!

    3 Jun 2014 | 3:41 am
    The results from the presidential elections between former army chief Abdel Fattah Al Sisi and previous presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabahy held May 26-28 will be announced today. It was such a close race, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will win… Voter participation was so low that polling stations remained open an extra day. In addition, on May 26 at 11 pm, the government declared May 27 a holiday in hopes of encouraging a higher turnout. Figures out of the Electoral Commission said that 37% of the eligible voters had taken part in the elections although analysts refuted that claim. The…
  • Letters from Egypt: Heading to the Polls (Again)

    26 May 2014 | 3:39 am
    As I ventured downtown Thursday night, people were putting up more General Al Sisi signs. The sites consisted of 3-4 people (depending on the size of the sign) as music blared, unlike previous times that had crowds in the hundreds/thousands celebrating. A friend’s uncle spent LE 1,500 (over $200) for four regular signs and one large sign in support of Sisi (exactly who got that money, I wonder). Some of the Egyptian flags being sold on the street have Sisi's picture printed in the center, yet there are no signs or ads remotely featuring the general’s opponent, Hamdeen Sabahy. Although the…
  • Letters from Egypt: When Elephants Fight, the Grass Suffers

    22 May 2014 | 4:31 am
    Picture source: Wikipedia I went over to grab a friend last night to treat them to a farewell dinner at one of my favorite places in Cairo (The Lemon Tree on the Imperial Boat in Zamalak). I say farewell because the friend will travel to the US for work, but since he is a defense contractor working alongside the Egyptian Armed Forces (EAF) – the situation is more than a little uncertain. Paperwork was not filed within the allotted time by the EAF, and even though the EAF renewed some of the contracts, the money has not been provided to keep certain divisions. So it appears as though many…
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    Ruth's Place

  • Sewing

    24 Jul 2014 | 12:23 am
    Our car recently spent some time at the mechanics. It went in for a service and some other repairs. Having one car makes it very difficult to get  Gorgeous Girl to school and back when it is out of action. Fortunately, some friends of ours lent us their car so that we could get to and from school. So I made them some placemats to say thank you. One thing I love about sewing is the speed at which the projects come together (if I don’t screw up the cutting or sewing…) I picked up these placemat panels before we left South Africa, so they have been marinating in the stash for a…
  • A very quick finish

    22 Jul 2014 | 5:12 pm
    Last Sunday Gorgeous Girl was watching a documentary about wildlife in India (she loves watching nature programmes) and she asked me to come and watch with her. So I grabbed my needles and  some yarn and by the time the show was over I had this little guy sitting on my lap. I am incapable of watching TV without some sort of craft in my hands… Handspun yarn. I’m tempted to make a whole flock of these. If you would like to make one of your own you can find the free pattern here.
  • Here’s one I prepared earlier

    20 Jul 2014 | 10:27 pm
    As I was putting my last two scrapbooking pages away I realised that I’d made another layout which I had neglected to share on the blog. This is a nice simple layout which lets the lovely paper speak for itself. I can’t get over how much Gorgeous Girl has grown. These photos were taken on a trip to the Netherlands in 2010. Yeah, I’m slowly dealing with the scrapping backlog… I started out in paper craft as a card maker. These days I do much more scrapbooking than cardmaking, but I still make all my own birthday cards. This one is heading out the door soon. After…
  • More Scrapbooking

    19 Jul 2014 | 5:21 pm
    I’m entering this page in the Let’s Capture Our Memories challenge number 80. Here’s the sketch we were given to work with. This is my take on it. I wanted to add journalling to the page, so enlarged the photo mat to add room for the journalling. Thanks for looking.
  • A scrapbooking page

    19 Jul 2014 | 2:29 am
    It would appear that a few weeks away from my scrapping supplies works wonders for the scrapping mojo, as I’ve managed to crank out two layouts and a card since being back in Papua New Guinea. I started with the Berry71blue Pattern Palooza challenge. The challenge was to use three different patterns on the page. Here’s my take on it. This photo is of Gorgeous Girl who fell asleep on the floor of the Brisbane airport after catching the midnight flight from Perth last year. She was sound asleep for several hours.  
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    Expat Life in Belgium, Travel and Photography | CheeseWeb

  • Aux Berges de la Bel Bed & Breakfast and Restaurant, Aubel, Belgium

    24 Jul 2014 | 10:31 pm
    This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Eat Wallonia.Aux Berges de la Bel Restaurant and B&B, Aubel, province of Liege, Belgium The Aux Berges de la Bel bed and breakfast in Aubel, Belgium has a sunny terrace, quiet rooms and a fantastic restaurant. It’s the perfect weekend escape from Brussels. We love exploring different corners of Belgium. While just about everywhere in this tiny country is an easy day-trip, we often like to spend a night or two getting to know a new area. On our recent trip to Liege, to visit the Blegny Mine, we had the opportunity to spend a night at a charming…
  • Exploring Bavarian Tradition in Munich, Germany

    21 Jul 2014 | 9:43 pm
    This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series City Trip - Munich.Exploring Bavarian Tradition in Munich Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Munich, a German city I knew little about. The theme of my visit was ‘Tradition and Design,’ and while Munich’s abundance of modern design surprised me, so did the richness and diversity of its tradition. Munich is the capital of Bavaria and I was intrigued to see it differs from Berlin in just about every aspect. While both cities have a flare for art and design (something I love), Munich’s artistic roots seem to reach deeper than Berlin’s…
  • A Day at Technopolis, The Flemish Science Center, Mechelen, Belgium

    17 Jul 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Technopolis – Kid-friendly fun in Mechelen, Belgium Today, Adriana takes us inside Technopolis, the Flemish Science Centre near Mechelen, where kids can learn, experiment, and have plenty of fun. I am the first to admit, when it comes to interesting weekend activities, I usually consider adult venues and destinations, where kids are also welcome, rather than going to children’s activities. I generally have a big aversion of kids’ venues, as they are often grossly overpriced and you get very little in return in terms of fun. When I remember Disney Paris, all that comes to mind are…
  • Our Top 10 Foodie Destinations in Munich, Germany

    14 Jul 2014 | 10:09 pm
    This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series City Trip - Munich.Our Top Ten Foodie Spots in Munich, Germany Munich, Germany surprised me with its variety of foodie offerings, from shops and markets to restaurants. Today I share my 10 favourite foodie finds in the capital of Bavaria. At the end of May, I was invited to discover Munich, a city I had never visited and knew little about. In fact, when I thought of Munich, I’ll admit to visions of drunken tourists in Lederhosen, spilling beer on one another, during Oktoberfest. For someone who dislikes crowds and beer, it wasn’t a pleasant image…
  • Visiting Alden Biesen Castle and Gardens in Limburg, Belgium

    10 Jul 2014 | 10:13 pm
    Alden Biesen Castle and Gardens in Limburg, Belgium A gorgeous castle and garden await your visit in Flanders’ Limburg province. Alden Biesen Castle is one of Belgium’s finest and best of all admission is free. By now, you know Belgium has more castles per square kilometre than anywhere else. You also know we’re obsessed with visiting as many castles as we can. Many of the castles we’ve toured have been in Wallonia, but when we discovered one in Limburg province, while visiting Maasmechelen Village, we knew we had to check it out. And boy are we glad we did. Alden Biesen Castle’s…
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  • blogging break

    8 Jul 2014 | 11:44 pm
        It’s time to enjoy summer freedom! We’re going to a birthday party and traveling in Finland. I’ll take my camera with me, you’ll see a lot of summery Finnish images when I’m back (end of July)…          
  • red top

    6 Jul 2014 | 10:51 pm
          MACRO MONDAY 2     RUBY TUESDAY TOO          
  • green, green, green

    4 Jul 2014 | 12:18 am
        Where ever you walk you can see green, deep green leaves, plants…. It’s been cool, rainy and grey but finally this weekend it will get warmer and sunny!     I love trees, old trees,branches….     strawberry flowers (wild)     rain drops look like diamonds     Shadow Shot Sunday2     Sundays In My City     Have a relaxing weekend!  
  • I started to paint again…

    29 Jun 2014 | 10:50 pm
        MACRO MONDAY 2     RUBY TUESDAY TOO     I play with my old watercolors before I start to destroy my new ones…    
  • Nuuksio National Park part 2.

    26 Jun 2014 | 10:31 pm
      part 1 is here   We had a good day. The air was refreshing and clean. Luckily in Finland our air is cleaner than in many other countries…. Now we’re all waiting for warmer summer days!               Lingonberry’s flowers   Labrador Tea         This post is full of shadows and reflections     Shadow Shot Sunday2     Sundays In My City     Have a relaxing weekend!  
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    Bleeding Espresso

  • A Village in Mourning

    20 Jul 2014 | 11:59 am
    A sad fact of village life is that the closeness of the community is never felt more than when it experiences a profound loss. * I was woken up this morning by P, who had left early to go to the campagna. He didn’t make it there as he was stopped on his way to be given some terrible news, and then he came home to tell me. In this morning’s early hours, one of Badolato’s finest lost his life in an accident; his uncle was seriously injured. Sconvolto/a is the word in Italian that describes the feeling when you hear something like this: totally and utterly shocked to the core even…
  • Introducing Baby Espresso!

    27 May 2014 | 1:04 am
    As I had anticipated, updating Bleeding Espresso hasn’t been high on my priority list since the birth of my daughter. I still have lots of thoughts in my head I’d like to share, of course, but now they revolve around being a new mom in rural southern Italy. Since I know most of you didn’t sign up for a mommy blog when you started reading Bleeding Espresso, I’ve decided to create a space where I can share my meditations on mommyhood with a touch of humor and lightheartedness . . . and Baby Espresso was born! Please drop by, say hello, and share your experiences as a…
  • My One-Word Theme for 2014: SALUTE

    22 Dec 2013 | 9:36 pm
    Last year around this time, I chose the word GROW as my one-word theme for 2013. And oh what growth we’ve had here at Casa Fabio. While I’ve also made some mild professional and personal advances in the past year, nothing compares to the growth of our family. Not even two months after selecting GROW, I found out I was pregnant with Zee Bean. She hasn’t stopped growing since. And neither has my heart. There are truly no words to express how amazingly wonderful the experience of becoming a mother has been. I am so very much enjoying every moment with my little Marisa Caterina (born…
  • New Beginnings and Such

    13 Aug 2013 | 9:26 am
    I’ve been trying to get a post up here for months now. I’ve started a few, but it just hasn’t happened as I’ve struggled with how to express the whirlwind we’ve been experiencing here from my miscarriage last spring to where we are now. So let’s just get this out there once and for all and save the deeper post for another day: This was Baby Fabio a.k.a. Zee Bean at a wee 10 weeks back in March: It’s probably the cutest ultrasound photo we have of him/her — the machines here in my local hospital are leaving something to be desired so far as…
  • Finish What You Start — Or Don’t. That’s Cool Too.

    7 May 2013 | 3:06 am
    For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a serial starter. I’m pretty good at coming up with ideas and beginning a new project with great enthusiasm and excitement and pushing, pushing, pushing forward . . . until I get bored. Or distracted. Or simply lose that initial spark. Or . . . something. For a long time, I beat myself up over all those false-starts. I bought into the idea that if you start something, you should finish it. Always. And if you don’t finish something you start, that means (cue dramatic, doomsday music): FAILURE. And not only that! It also becomes a blot on your…
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    Everyone's Expat Blog Posts - Expatacular! - Global Expat Community

  • Super Part Time Position

    Nicole and Alphonse
    24 Jul 2014 | 5:40 am
    Hello again, I am still looking for a teacher to replace me, but now the hours have been dramatically cut down.  All I need is someone looking to score some extra cash by teaching 1 class on Saturday from 12:30-5:20pm and 1 class on Sunday from 8:30am-12:20pm. Because they are so desperate to find a teacher, I wouldn't be surprised if you were able to negotiate your pay with the lady in charge. Send me an email if you or anyone you know is interested, or you can call my boss directly and tell her you are interested in a part time or full time position.  My boss's phone number is 15840032489
  • Return to Shenyang

    Dwayne & Samantha
    25 Jun 2014 | 3:24 pm
    To all my friends, I Will officially land back in ShenYang Sep 03 . Give me a few days to recover then buzz me if you want to meet me and the wife. 
  • IRS Finally Gets It Right - This Is The Penalty-Free Path Forward American Late Filers Have Been Waiting For

    Greg Dewald
    25 Jun 2014 | 3:08 pm
    Big Data and an ever aggressive approach by the IRS toward ferreting out Americans living abroad who are not current with their US tax filing has, so far, not yielded the results that the US government hoped for. With a tax system that is based largely upon voluntary compliance, the United States wields a big stick, and yet they realize that in reality a carrot may yield a much better result. The big stick in this circumstance is FATCA, the Foreign Asset Tax Compliance Act, which so far has signed on 77 thousand banks worldwide and 70 countries to report to the US where Americans reside and…
  • Cell Phones in China and USA issues

    Dwayne & Samantha
    18 Jun 2014 | 4:04 pm
    Questions on phones. I am gonna buy the wife and i new phones. Have any of you that brought your phones from the USA had problems using them with Chinese Sim card and services?   And/Or with storing the longer numbers in the phone books? Since typical American numbers are 10 digits, and Chinese ones are longer do u have any issues storing the longer numbers etc? And on the other side, if you bought your Galaxy S4/S5 etc in China did u have any issues tossing in a Sim card for a temporary use while back in the USA either with function or number size differences going into the phones phone…
  • Off-road dirt bike

    Danielle ben meir
    3 Jun 2014 | 2:16 pm
    Does anyone know if I can ride with off road dirt bike in dongcheng ?
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    Australian Daisy

  • Picking the right faucets for an Australian home

    11 Jul 2014 | 2:46 am
    Faucets are a staple in any home and a crucial factor in jazzing up any kitchen or bathroom. A great faucet can elevate an ordinary kitchen or bathroom into a great one. Homegrown or international faucet manufacturer? In Australia, the two biggest faucet manufacturers are Strommen (products designed and produced in Australia), and Kohler (American-based company). Bigger companies have nation-wide presence so it’s easier to visit their showrooms to get a feel of the faucets. Also, they tend to offer a better range of services including post-purchase reparation. However, it may be safer to go…
  • The best time to barbecue in Australia

    11 Jul 2014 | 2:38 am
    Australia has a long and great tradition of barbecue. We put the shrimp on the barbie whenever possible, rain, snow or shine. We just can’t get enough of our meat, the great outdoors and the company of friends and family. Although Australians can and will make any type of weather barbecue weather, it is still helpful to know the ideal time for a barbecue in Australia. Unless you want to end up like this guys below: Summertime = Barbecue time? Many of us equate the scorching summertime to barbecue time. Summer offers less chance of rain, snow or anything falling from the sky for that matter.
  • Best fishing spots in Australia

    11 Jul 2014 | 2:29 am
    Australia is a fisherman’s heaven. Almost every coastline that encircles Australia teems with life and every location provides its own unique fishing experience. There are great fishing spots for the kayak fisherman, the boat fisherman and the land angler. There are some spots that offer nicer scenery and others that boast the greatest variety of fishes. That’s why it is so hard to narrow down the best fishing spots in Australia. But, I have done it anyway. While this list is not definitive and certainly not exhaustive, the spots chosen are some of the best in their respective regions.
  • Playing billiard in Australia

    11 Jul 2014 | 2:21 am
    Billiard is an established pastime and sport in Australia. It has a presence both at home and in bars as well. Families pass down the enjoyment of this game to the next generations. Friends bond over a game of pool and beer. It is a great game to pick up. Moreover, many Australians have also achieved great success in the sport domestically and internationally. Competitive play Billiard is a well-recognized sport in Australia. One of the most successful billiard players internationally, Walter Lindrum, is an Aussie himself. The Australian Billiards and Snooker Council (ABSC) oversees the…
  • How to get started with archery in Australia

    11 Jul 2014 | 2:12 am
    Archery as a sport in Australia and all over the world has been gaining greater traction these days. And no wonder because it is a great sport for training patience, consistency and resilience. It is also great for overall body conditioning. Research about the sport Before starting out, you should learn a bit more about the sport, including the types of archery available such as compound bow. Besides the archery you see at the Olympics (called target archery by the way), there are also other disciplines like 3D archery involving shooting at animal-size targets and field archery where you…
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  • No Inflation Friday: Dollarized Panama issues price controls for basic goods

    Simon Black
    25 Jul 2014 | 6:28 am
    July 25, 2014 Prague, Czech Republic Less than four weeks after starting his new job, Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela already has a serious challenge to deal with: empty grocery shelves. This is largely a self-inflicted wound that was bound to happen. Fresh on the heels of his victory in May, the then President-elect announced that one of his first orders would be to regulate prices for staple food products. He followed through on his promise, establishing price controls on certain brands of roughly two dozen items like chicken, rice, eggs, and bread. And within a matter of weeks,…
  • Obama’s dumbest move to date… seizing a foreign bank??

    Simon Black
    24 Jul 2014 | 5:57 am
    July 24, 2014 Barcelona, Spain Ten dark suited men entered the premises of FBME bank in Cyprus on Friday afternoon and took it hostage. It must have looked like a scene from the Matrix. And given the surrealism of how this conflict is escalating, maybe it was. The men were from the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC). And they commandeered FBME because an obscure agency within the US government recently issued a report accusing the bank of laundering money. It just so happens that FBME… and Cyprus in general… is where a lot of wealthy Russians hold their vast fortunes. Bear in mind, there has…
  • Congress brings socialism to America with this proposed law

    Simon Black
    23 Jul 2014 | 6:36 am
    July 23, 2014 Barcelona, Spain Sadly today I am reporting to you yet another development that seems as if we are all living within the pages of Ayn Rand’s seminal work Atlas Shrugged. You may recall from the book that John Galt, the enigmatic protagonist, started off as a young engineer at the Twentieth Century Motor Company. When the owner of the company died, the heirs decided to run the business according to the new enlightened principles of the time. Primarily, they let all the workers vote on how the factory was supposed to be run and how much everyone should be compensated. And it was…
  • The future is smaller– that’s the only way this works

    Simon Black
    22 Jul 2014 | 11:15 am
    July 22, 2014 Andorra Leopold Kohr was a rather obscure Austrian economist from the early 20th century who spent the better part of his career railing against the ‘cult of bigness’. Kohr’s fundamental premise was simple: Big doesn’t work. Big corporations. Big governments. Big countries. There are just too many problems from size. Think about ancient Rome. As the empire expanded, Rome’s imperial government had to create layers and layers of bureaucracies. Municipal levels, provincial levels, regional levels, etc. They had to maintain a massive standing army to…
  • AUDIO: MH17 will usher in a completely new kind of war– one the US cannot win

    Simon Black
    21 Jul 2014 | 6:39 am
    July 21, 2014 Andorra la Vella, Andorra Russians aren’t exactly known for having a great sense of humor. But the language is full of bizarre, often hilarious expressions like “perebrasyvanie kakashkami”. Literally translated this means “throwing shit”. And it applies right about now—when a bunch of people is standing around blaming one another for something that has gone heinously wrong. “Heinously wrong” is somewhat of an understatement. The MH17 disaster is so bad that it’s made people forget about the roving army of fanatics that has taken…
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    Czech Off the Beaten Path

  • Happy Fourth of July!

    4 Jul 2014 | 4:13 am
    Hi Everyone,After moving to the Czech Republic, people back home were shocked to learn that Czechs don't celebrate the Fourth of July. This holiday is an important one in the U.S., but not in the Czech Republic. The 4th of July is strictly an American holiday. Being an expat I still celebrate the 4th in my own way.How I Celebrate the 4th of July in Another CountryI enjoy wearing my t-shirt with fireworks, which says, "Happy Fourth!" It's also fun to watch fireworks displays online; this is much better for my lungs. Fireworks typically cause my asthma to worsen and that's not much fun on. You…
  • Spring in Praha March 2014

    27 Mar 2014 | 9:33 am
    Hi Everyone,We're having a beautiful spring here, in Prague. Today was so pretty--my walk this afternoon was soothing and relaxing. Really spectacular weather. The fruit trees have begun to blossom and the bumble bees are busy! I've taken a few pictures and put them together in a video.This video is the very first I've made, so please bear with the quality. I just wanted to try something new. It's better to watch it in HD--the pictures come out clearer. I'll have to learn how to manage all the settings for the best quality streaming.Give it a try--enjoy!It was fun putting this…
  • The Ukraine Crisis as Seen from Our Backyard

    13 Mar 2014 | 7:37 am
    Map provided by Google Maps(Click on the map to see details)Hi Everyone,There’s been a lot of political unrest in the Ukraine the past couple of years, which boiled over about a month ago into violence between Ukrainian police and civilians on the Maidan in Kiev. Here, in the Czech Republic, we’re looking at the crisis in our own backyard. Ukrainian Crisis Near, Yet Not So NearFirst off, when I say the Ukrainian crisis is in our backyard, it is. Prague is about 729 miles (1172.6 km) from Kiev and is 1252 miles (2014 km) from the Crimea. In the European perspective of distances Prague is a…
  • Home Rentals in Prague

    5 Mar 2014 | 4:37 am
    Flat available for rent in VinohradyPhoto:  Home Sweet HomeHi Everyone,Have you thought about coming to Prague for a month or more? If so, you might want to consider renting a flat during your stay. Or maybe you’re considering a move to Prague, but aren’t sure which part of the city is best for you. Rather than buying a flat right away, renting a flat in Praguemay be the way to go. You won’t feel tied to one place; if one area of Prague’s not comfortable, you can move to another section of the city.  Prague offers a variety of beautiful areas to live, for instance,…
  • Running Errands

    24 Feb 2014 | 11:44 am
    Hi Everyone,We're having some lovely weather in Praha these days, with the temperatures running into the upper 40s - lower 50s F. After church yesterday I had to run some errands and happened to have my camera along. It was the perfect day to take pictures, as the humidity was low and the sky was partly sunny.Here are some of the photos from around downtown; the first photos are from Prague's Jewish Quarter.I've been through the Jewish Quarter so many times, but each visit I notice something different. In the picture above, the top of the building (with the higher spire) caught my attention.
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    Monkeys and Mountains

  • Mountain Wild Flowers of the Jungfrau Region

    19 Jul 2014 | 10:16 am
    The original can be found here: Mountain Wild Flowers of the Jungfrau Region. Please read the original. A photojourney of mountain wildflowers seen while hiking to Lake Bachalpsee and the Faulhorn in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland. Monkeys and Mountains - Adventure seeker and explorer by day, luxury seeker by night
  • Hiking to Everest Base Camp: A Day By Day Account

    15 Jul 2014 | 12:24 pm
    The original can be found here: Hiking to Everest Base Camp: A Day By Day Account. Please read the original. A day by day account of what it's really like to trek to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, including how difficult each day really is. Monkeys and Mountains - Adventure seeker and explorer by day, luxury seeker by night
  • Gelmer Funicular: The Highest in Europe

    12 Jul 2014 | 6:20 am
    The original can be found here: Gelmer Funicular: The Highest in Europe. Please read the original. Calling all adrenalin junkies! The Gelmer Funicular located in the Haslital region of Switzerland is the steepest in the world! It starts off gradual but within minutes you find yourself seated not just perpendicular to the earth below you, but actually overhanging it at 106°!!!!   I’m not afraid of heights and even I screeched […] Monkeys and Mountains - Adventure seeker and explorer by day, luxury seeker by night
  • Cafe Katzentempel in Munich: My At Home Getaway

    4 Jul 2014 | 4:26 am
    The original can be found here: Cafe Katzentempel in Munich: My At Home Getaway. Please read the original. Cafe Katzentempel (Cat Temple) is one of my favorite places in Munich. I always leave in a better mood than when I entered. It's my go-to get-away place. Monkeys and Mountains - Adventure seeker and explorer by day, luxury seeker by night
  • 4 Years of Travel Blogging and Living in Germany

    2 Jul 2014 | 2:26 pm
    The original can be found here: 4 Years of Travel Blogging and Living in Germany. Please read the original. In celebration of my four year blog anniversary I share what life is really like living in Germany, how it is being married to a German and making a living as a travel blogger. Monkeys and Mountains - Adventure seeker and explorer by day, luxury seeker by night
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    The Expat Coach Association

  • Coaches of the Month – Debra Bryson and Charise Hoge

    30 Jun 2014 | 9:01 pm
    Debra (left) and Charise (right) Names:  Debra Bryson and Charise Hoge Title:  Certified Coaches, Authors of A Portable Identity, and Certified GoCulture Assessment Coaches Business Name:  Take Charge of Change Client Testimonials: “Bryson and Hoge have given us an excellent plan of action to deal with our own personal and cultural adjustments in the overseas settings.” – Thomas A. Rodgers, M.D., U.S. Department of State Niche/Specialties:  Expats in transition; particularly accompanying spouses. Expat Experience:  We met in Bangkok, Thailand over 25 years ago where we…
  • Coaches of the Month: Debra Bryson and Charise Hoge

    30 Jun 2014 | 9:01 pm
    Debra (left) and Charise (right) Names:  Debra Bryson and Charise Hoge Title:  Certified Coaches, Authors of A Portable Identity, and Certified GoCulture Assessment Coaches Business Name:  Take Charge of Change Client Testimonials: “Bryson and Hoge have given us an excellent plan of action to deal with our own personal and cultural adjustments in the overseas settings.” – Thomas A. Rodgers, M.D., U.S. Department of State Niche/Specialties:  Expats in transition; particularly accompanying spouses. Expat Experience:  We met in Bangkok, Thailand over 25 years ago where we…
  • Home Lost, Home Found, Home Lost Again – The Cycles of Life After Expatriating and Repatriating

    26 Jun 2014 | 6:00 am
    The World Cup has gotten me thinking about the impact of life as an Expat.  More importantly how strongly it impacts our identity and our being to adapt to a new culture, and then dare to return to the one you started in. You may have just thought, “Oh, you mean Repatriating!”  Actually, I mean something I don’t have a word for – I repatriated to New York years ago, from France.  However, even years and years later, I am profoundly affected and changed in ways that still amaze me now.  I am fortunate to visit France almost every year, for many years now.  I am…
  • Culture Shock

    11 Jun 2014 | 10:00 am
      By Cha Jones, Expat Coach Just when you were finally getting use to the weird things your neighbors did, you up and relocate to an entirely different country with its own culture. Now, you walk down the street and find yourself totally immersed in all things foreign. There is the constant chatter that the natives maintain as conversation although it is extraneous and after a while utterly annoying. Maybe it is not that you do not understand the language, but you are trying to deal with the traditions and customs that seem ridiculously bizarre or the lack of one’s personal space is…
  • Coach of the Month: Heike Stengel

    1 Jun 2014 | 5:00 am
    Name: Heike Stengel Title:  Cross-Cultural Analyst, Trainer and Coach Business Name:  Stengel Consulting Client Testimonials:  www.stengel-consulting.com Niche/Specialties:  Coaching and Training Internationally Mobile People. I support expatriates and also international business people in dealing with the cultural and business challenges they are facing while keeping an eye on their personal happiness. Expat Experience:  I am a native Bavarian who has lived in Singapore for more than a decade. All in all, I have been working internationally for around 25 years with assignments in 18…
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    You're Not From Around Here, Are You?

  • In pictures: Qa’lat Al-Rabad – Ajlun Castle, Jordan

    8 Jul 2014 | 2:20 am
    Ajlun Castle (from the carpark) On the way back from Umm Qais we stopped at Ajlun Castle. Known locally by its original name of  Qa’lat Al-Rabad, most guides and books just reference it by the nearest town of Ajlun. Approaching the castle from the car park it looks very European. Four walls, cornered by four towers and a deep moat. It was actually built by one of Saladin’s generals to protect against the European crusaders in 1184AD. Ajlun was of strategic value as it contained numerous iron mines, so the castle to defend the three main routes leading to the Jordan Valley and the…
  • Standing at the border of Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Israel – Umm Qais, Jordan

    12 Jun 2014 | 6:55 am
    Our first day trip in Jordan was barely in Jordan. Driving to the extreme north west of Jordan from our base in Amman the road signs often listed as many countries as cities. As we passed through Irbid, the last major town before the border, the signs read turn left for Israel, turn right for Syria or straight ahead to Lebanon. Arriving at Umm Qais, or Umm Quays as it’s often spelt, was a bit of an anti-climax. Dating back to the 3rd century BC, the initial view is piles upon piles of boulders. Beyond that are more boulders lining a short road up a hill. Cresting the hill reveals the rest…
  • AutoBeijing Motor Show

    12 May 2014 | 5:17 am
    Bugatti Veyron Getting to the International Exhibition Centre A motor journalist friend got us access to the media day at the AutoBeijing motor show. I agreed, thinking it was at the China International Exhibition Centre in the middle of town, a twenty minute cab ride away. Looking at the tickets whe they arrived it was at the New China International Exhibition Center, about an hour outside of town. No matter – we drove out about 80% of the way then parked near one of the above ground metro stops. The quoted price for a day of parking was 2rmb, but the guy with the tickets was collecting…
  • A wet week in the Weald – Seven Sisters Country Park, UK

    29 Apr 2014 | 6:52 pm
    Brighton Pavilion After three months in the US, Mexico and Cuba we took the opportunity to take a ten day layover in the UK on the way home to China. Rather than just stay in London we went down to Brighton in Sussex for the weekend, and from there went to show H round the area where I grew up. Devil’s Dyke As is stereotypical for the UK, but not that common, the weather was wet and foggy. From Brighton we drove up to one of the highest hills in the area, called Devil’s Dyke. Usually there’s a spectacular view across from the South Downs (the hills we were standing on) across the…
  • Observations on the US after a few years in China

    10 Apr 2014 | 9:03 am
    Bryce National Park This is a vague followup to Observations on London after a year in China Watching US Television Compared to the UK, watching TV main channels live in the US is awful. Programmes segue into adverts seamlessly. 10-20% of the screen is taken up with text adverts for other programmes. There’s no swearing or nudity, but violence is fine. Proper adverts have numerous disclaimers, ranging from deadly side effects to drugs, to reminders that cars don’t drive as well underwater, so don’t try this at home. Coming back to the UK it’s amazing how much more swearing…
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    The Displaced Nation

  • For this RVer who roams far and wide, iPhone in pocket, a picture says…

    The Displaced Nation Team
    24 Jul 2014 | 10:59 am
    Welcome to our monthly series “A picture says…”, created to celebrate expats and other global residents for whom photography is a creative outlet. The series host is English expat, blogger, writer, world traveler and photography enthusiast James King, who thinks of a camera as a mirror with memory. If you like what you see here, […]
  • LIBBY’S LIFE #91/#92 – The Stepfordization of Maggie

    Kate Allison
    22 Jul 2014 | 12:57 pm
    Maggie’s house used to feel like my second home. Every part of it was an extension of her, my “other” mother: the black wood-stove, the teapot-cats she didn’t have the heart to throw away, the colourful patchwork quilts draped over rocking chairs and love-seats. I loved the stove’s smoky smell that wound through the house, […]
  • HERE BE DRAGONS: All those cities you’ve visited on your travels? They’re the lego bricks for cityscapes in fantasy writing

    The Displaced Nation Team
    18 Jul 2014 | 12:35 pm
    HERE BE DRAGONS is back, a column produced by fantasy writer Andrew Couch, an American expat in Germany. We at the Displaced Nation have long been aware of the strong connection between fantasy (think Alice in Wonderland) and a life of international travel and residency. And now Andrew has got us pondering the idea of […]
  • BOOKLUST, WANDERLUST: Peter Hessler’s “Country Driving” is a pleasure cruise for Western expats in China

    The Displaced Nation Team
    16 Jul 2014 | 3:19 pm
    All hail, displaced bookworms! Our book review columnist, Beth Green, is back. An American who lives in Prague, Beth is an intrepid traveler and voracious reader, who mixes booklust with wanderlust in equal measures. In other words, she has the perfect background for reviewing recent book releases on behalf of international creatives. Hmmm…but will we […]
  • 10 summer hacks picked up from an expat (& repat) life spanning Japan, the UK and the US

    ML Awanohara
    11 Jul 2014 | 10:01 am
    New York City, where I now live after years of being an expat on two small islands, the UK and Japan, had a particularly brutal winter in 2014. You would think I’d now be in the mood for summer. But no. It hasn’t worked that way. The moment the temperature and humidity levels skyrocketed here […]
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    Expat Ukraine Forum

  • Re: Industrial Scale Corruption - Victor Yanukovich

    25 Jul 2014 | 6:10 am
    should have proof read it better, I meant "awfully".
  • Re: Tex Mex in LVIV??? Oh yeah babe!

    25 Jul 2014 | 6:02 am
    We used to go to one in KR that was in the same space as the Celentanos.  They had the right idea, but as usual the execution was a fail.Really hoping they can get this off the ground.  When you come for your holiday you can petition Mike to make BT t...
  • Re: Tex Mex in LVIV??? Oh yeah babe!

    25 Jul 2014 | 5:41 am
    Would be cool, as I have a Potato House 200meters from my house. I can't imagine it wouldn't be cheap to overhaul 64 stores complete with decorations etc in one fell swoop. To be fair at least this Potato House is always busy, but they mostly deal in p...
  • Front page, Russian liberal paper Novaya Gazeta

    25 Jul 2014 | 5:37 am
    Brave publication - Dutch headline says, "Forgive us, Netherlands"
  • Re: Tex Mex in LVIV??? Oh yeah babe!

    25 Jul 2014 | 4:01 am
    Yep, not Chef Michael's fist rodeo.  He's already had the guy checked out.  From what he's told me, he knows what he's doing and the risks are minimal for him.  Its the logistics of, first getting all 64 stores on the same page, and then keeping them...
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    [MM] Muscat Mutterings

  • Special Eid deals for Oman based people far afield

    22 Jul 2014 | 11:00 pm
    A friend of mine has recently started working at a new chain of resorts, and has priced up the following two special offers for Oman residents should you want to go somewhere further afield this Eid. The prices indicated are "once you're there" - so you need to add your flights costs to them, but the resorts are truly stunning (I've seen the pictures on my friends facebook feed... pretty jealous). Perhaps one of you might be interested, I dunno.Here we are:Basically, RO 235 for 2 on a bed and breakfast basis in Seychelles, or RO 250 per villa in Koh Samui, or RO 146 per person for a stay at…
  • Eid deals at hotels

    22 Jul 2014 | 8:30 pm
    First of all, today is the 44th Renaissance day for Oman, and everyone is looking forward to the bumper 10-day holiday that starts tonight!Now, since the news of the long holiday broke earlier this week, people have been trying to book vacations, and I'm sure quite a few of you (me included) have been shocked at just how much it's costing to get on a plane out of Oman at the moment. Even hotels in Dubai have cranked up their fees for next week. Supply and demand I guess!With this is mind, and an entire week off, why not consider one of the local hotels for a short break? Here's a list of some…
  • Eid holidays announced

    20 Jul 2014 | 2:25 am
    Well the speculation is now over.... Thursday this week, and all of next week (Sunday 27th July - Thursday 31st July) has been announced by the Ministry of Manpower, over their twitter account!Enjoy the time off :)le fin
  • Air Conditioner servicing in Muscat

    16 Jul 2014 | 11:00 pm
    I'm a firm believer in supporting those who do good work, and seeing as it's summer, I wanted to post again about our AC servicing technician, Alex Joseph. We've been using his services for quite a few years now, and he continues to be a breath of fresh air in a city filled with not-so-good AC technicians.Alex works anywhere between Ruwi and Mawelah and is prompt and courteous. We had a few issues with some of our AC's, so I contacted him via WhatsApps yesterday afternoon and arranged for him to arrive at 9am this morning - and as usual, right at 9am the doorbell rang - no phone call (or…
  • Survey results are in

    14 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    A very big thank you to all that took the time to fill in the quick survey posted late last week, I've closed the survey now. 236 replies were given and I've seen some interesting results. Now, the audience of Muscat Mutterings is only really indicative of a few specific groups of people living in Oman - mostly expatriates from Europe, but also a significant group of people from India. The point being, the results shown here are only indicative of some of the people living in Oman, and not all.Right then, on with the graphs!AllI'd say that's fairly indicative of the audience insights I see on…
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    In Search of a Life Less Ordinary

  • A Life On The Water: Home Or Away

    Russell Ward
    22 Jul 2014 | 11:44 am
    Unless you've been under a rock, you'll know that I'm on a sojourn to the UK.I've been getting reacquainted with my old home, travelling around the land, revisiting places from a former life. On other trips, it didn't seem so important but on this visit, it feels like I need to do so.With this craving to wander, I visited the west of Wales and Ceredigion county, where coastal paths were hiked, inland waterways photographed and the region's estuaries viewed from afar. At North Devon and Cornwall, I returned to the holiday destinations of my youth: to Bude, Croyde, Woolacombe and Saunton…
  • Minimalise Your Life

    Russell Ward
    7 Jul 2014 | 8:27 am
    Minimalism is often seen as a dirty word.Getting rid of everything you've worked hard for. Giving up prized possessions for little or no return. Ditching the radio, phone or Internet. Losing a cherished car or abandoning the beloved TV.The truth is that it's none of this.Minimalism is about reducing "stuff". Minimalism is eliminating unnecessary acquisitions. Minimalism is decluttering, eradicating, freeing, cutting back, letting go.I've become increasingly minimalist over time. To declutter is to cleanse. Removing unnecessary items brings me a sense of peace, of calm. I can think. I can…
  • Dear England, We've Arrived

    Russell Ward
    23 Jun 2014 | 8:24 am
    It starts with the announcement on the tanoy.The polite greeting at the passport desk. Then the careful apology at the carpark ticket machine.Bushy trees and overgrown hedgerows flash past on the drive south.Passing through villages and hamlets, the smell of cut grass as we wind down the windows, stirring memories of summers past.The thumping of a Chinook as it flies low overhead, the reverberations interrupting the countryside quiet.Then gentle, persistent calls from tiny birds flitting between seed trays. The sleepy coo-coo of a pigeon on top of a neighbouring roof.Photo credit: English…
  • The Double Life of an Expat for Me

    Russell Ward
    26 May 2014 | 8:41 pm
    Did you hear the one about the two women in my life? One is the girlfriend and the other is the mother.Bear with me a moment while I explain.Living abroad is like having two lives. You slip into your international life, which is exciting and energising. And it's not unlike having a new girlfriend, where every moment together is original, each experience to be savoured.But fragments of your former home remain.Its comforting presence lingers, trying to lure you back to a place of familiarity and favourite things, to the safety and security of the family home. It's not unlike a mother, nurturing…
  • The Storm Before The Calm

    Russell Ward
    20 May 2014 | 7:49 pm
    This always happens.Organise a major international trip and the weeks leading up to it can resemble the effects of a violent storm.Have you heard the saying about London buses? Because it's been a bit like that lately. After a period of relative quiet, thirty bright red buses arrived at our house in a matter of minutes and dropped off a cargo of crazy at the front door.In the build-up to our 'grand tour' of the UK and Europe, life has become a tad frenetic.The calm is coming.  Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons (Jonathan Brazil)For one thing, we're only a few weeks away from moving…
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  • Greg, Freelance writer and Author of “Blog it japan” Pt 3

    11 Jul 2014 | 5:05 pm
    Greg is a personable and witty freelance writer from St. Louis, Missouri who has been living as an expat for more than 10 years. If you are interested in traveling to Japan or just looking for an adventure, you’ll love blogitjapan.com; a blog dedicated to people who are interested in what it’s like being a foreigner living in Japan, or people who are considering traveling to the country. Check out this interview as we focus on the positivity of Japan and Greg’s constructive insights on Japan’s: education system, culture and customs, stereotypes and business etiquette; as well as some…
  • Greg, Freelance writer and Author of “Blog it japan” Pt 2

    20 Jun 2014 | 4:15 pm
    Greg is a personable and witty freelance writer from St. Louis, Missouri who has been living as an expat for more than 10 years. If you are interested in traveling to Japan or just looking for an adventure, you’ll love blogitjapan.com; a blog dedicated to people who are interested in what it’s like being a foreigner living in Japan, or people who are considering traveling to the country. Check out this interview as we focus on the positivity of Japan and Greg’s constructive insights on Japan’s: education system, culture and customs, stereotypes and business etiquette; as well as some…
  • In My Brown Eyes

    Patrick Lu
    10 Jun 2014 | 11:44 am
    My cousin Louis and I moved to La Habra Heights late last year. It is the city my cousin used to live in when he first came to Los Angeles from Michigan about eight years ago. He has moved to many places ever since. Now, we are back. Speaking of the area, it is actually pretty beneficial for Chinese people to live in nearby Rowland Heights, a place where majority of the population are Asian, Chinese mostly. Those authentic, top notch Chinese restaurants are just a few blocks away. We used to drive across the hill to have dinner there, while enjoying the better surroundings living in La Habra…
  • Greg, Freelance writer and Author of “Blog it japan”

    5 Jun 2014 | 11:06 am
    Greg is a personable and witty freelance writer from St. Louis, Missouri who has been living as an expat for more than 10 years. If you are interested in traveling to Japan or just looking for an adventure, you’ll love blogitjapan.com; a blog dedicated to people who are interested in what it’s like being a foreigner living in Japan, or people who are considering traveling to the country. Check out this interview as we focus on the positivity of Japan and Greg’s constructive insights on Japan’s: education system, culture and customs, stereotypes and business etiquette; as well as some…
  • Nick and Dariece, Authors of “Goats on the Road” Part 2

    28 Jan 2014 | 11:29 am
    Nick and Dariece are a delightful couple originating from Canada and backpacking the world. Although we focus on China in this interview, their nomadic lifestyle has led them all around this globe of ours (anyone heard of Tajikistan?). If you are interested in leaving your 9-5 and traveling the world with your loved one, goatsontheroad is the blog to read. Packed with information ranging from ESL educational hints to food and leisure must dos, these traveling goats are sure to have something for you! Read further to find out more about Nick, Dariece, and the quirks of Chinese culture..
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    Le Franco Phoney

  • Ten reasons to visit Prapic

    22 Jul 2014 | 4:02 am
    Hidden near Gap is the tiny, aging village of Prapic. Once a thriving town on a main Roman route before Christ, the village has survived centuries despite rockslides and avalanches from the peaks all around. So massive are those peaks that the village sees no sunlight from mid-December to mid-January. Alas, the population is aging, which is no surprise given it’s stuck at the very end of a valley with no other way out. Lucien Patry wrote a book about Prapic, and reading about its shrinking population was disheartening. Thankfully, there’s nothing sad about visiting the village,…
  • Discovering the gems of France

    5 Jul 2014 | 4:17 am
    Despite living in France for years, I’m amazed at how much there is left to discover right on my doorstep. The perfect example is the Musiques En Stock festival in Cluses. I only found out about the festival when a friend mentioned he was looking forward to seeing Australian band John Butler Trio. Cluses is a town about forty minutes from La Clusaz. It’s not a tiny place, but it’s far smaller than Annecy. That makes a freebie, ecologically-minded festival even more surprising — especially one that draws acts such as Midlake, The Veils and Nada Surf. With the view of the…
  • Surely this is like selling fridges to Eskimos

    30 Jun 2014 | 11:18 am
    French cheese is loved throughout the world for its high quality and taste. It seems the stinkier the better, and the farms around here in La Clusaz are testament to just how stinky cheese caves can be. When my friends and family ask me to bring cheese to them, Roquefort blue cheese is up there with the most requested varieties. On top of that, no French cheese platter would be complete without a wedge of Roquefort. You can imagine my surprise when, last week, I spotted these British blue cheeses in a French supermarket. Sacré cœur! There’s been an influx of cheddar varieties, but I…
  • No, France, you cannot claim Tim Tams!

    13 Jun 2014 | 9:51 am
    Walking through the supermarket the other day, I was surprised to see the tasty Australian Tim Tam biscuit placed right next to a “Regional Products” banner. The Tim Tam biscuit has been hanging around in French supermarkets for a while now, and their shift from the “world products” aisle to the biscuit aisle was already quite a jump. Their new location has now had the local banner of approval added, so locals will take notice. This is great advertising for the biscuity goodness, and it will save me from my duty as an Australian to explain to anyone standing next to…
  • How to survive Morocco

    8 Jun 2014 | 11:51 pm
    I’m back from a two-week trip to Morocco, with stays in Casablanca, Fez, the desert, the mountains, movie sets and more. Morocco is now independent of France, but the French influence is obvious throughout. Even with this influence, the Moroccon culture is like no other I’ve experienced. The people are mostly friendly, happy and willing to help tourists find their destination if they look lost. The kids returning from school on main roads with no footpaths wave at the passing cars, waiting for a wave back. Haggling can take some getting used to, and as I mentioned last year after…
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  • Adult diagnosis – how does it help?

    Aisha Ashraf
    24 Jul 2014 | 8:17 am
    Getting my diagnosis was like being handed a key to my prison, not a life sentence. The post Adult diagnosis – how does it help? appeared first on EXPATLOG.
  • The Question

    Aisha Ashraf
    16 Jul 2014 | 1:12 pm
    My mother sat me down at the table, “I think you’re old enough now to understand... your father’s not well” The post The Question appeared first on EXPATLOG.
  • Point & Shoot: Weekend ribs, rides & revelry

    Aisha Ashraf
    14 Jul 2014 | 12:05 pm
    Visitors to Toronto are often surprised to discover the Toronto Islands, a pint-sized archipelago just offshore of the bustling lakeside metropolis. The post Point & Shoot: Weekend ribs, rides & revelry appeared first on EXPATLOG.
  • Under Surveillance: West Nile Virus In Canada

    Aisha Ashraf
    11 Jul 2014 | 5:21 pm
    A guy on a motor scooter whizzed down the street, stopping only to spray something into the storm drains. The label on his scooter read, rather ominously, ‘West Nile Virus’... The post Under Surveillance: West Nile Virus In Canada appeared first on EXPATLOG.
  • Point & Shoot: Creativity

    Aisha Ashraf
    9 Jun 2014 | 2:35 pm
    We had the luxury of a three-day weekend thanks to last Friday's PA day, and right from the start it was an outpouring of creative energy... The post Point & Shoot: Creativity appeared first on EXPATLOG.
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  • Online Shopping Tricks To Make You Buy Revealed

    Lisa Smith
    23 Jul 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Expats shopping online may be shocked to know that some price comparison web sites tempt them to buy with some shady tactics. Most online shoppers believe price comparison sites help them find the best priced deal to suit their personal circumstances, but this is not always the case. Popular financial products expats buy online include offshore savings accounts, life insurance and private medical cover. Here, we reveal five tricks played on shoppers by some unscrupulous price comparison web sites to encourage them to buy. Online shopping tricks Not all price comparison web sites deliver a…
  • UAE Residents Continue to Plunge Capital into Global Property

    Jim Atkins
    23 Jul 2014 | 10:00 pm
    The UAE does of course give many expatiates the opportunity to make –and therefore save – a great deal more capital than they would in their home country. Those with the foresight to do so, often choose to invest in savings plans or perhaps even the global stock market (depending on personal appetite for exposure to risk). Property too is a traditional (and historically safe) asset class of appeal for those looking to make their extra earnings work for them, with one eye on the future. However, the UAE property market is not seen as representing any kind of value to seasoned investors.
  • Where Expats Are Moving To – And Why

    Jim Atkins
    22 Jul 2014 | 10:15 pm
    More than 5 million British expats have left to live in other countries, according to detailed figures from the United Nations. At least one in four now live in Australia, but the big mystery is why the savage regime in North Korea list 294 British expat residents. Becoming an expat is a lifestyle choice and many can see the benefits of moving to Warmer climes where the economy is upwardly mobile, like Australia. But why anyone would want to be subject to a sometimes brutal and often austere life under the dictatorship of Kim Jong-un in North Korea is baffling. According to the United Nations…
  • Offshore rate rises cheer expat savers

    Jim Atkins
    22 Jul 2014 | 9:42 pm
    Offshore fixed term savings rates for expats have stepped up a gear with several banks jockeying for the best interest rates. Santander, Conister Bank on the Isle of Man and the Nationwide has all nudged savings rates up to give expats a better deal. However, the best rates for long and short term money remain meagre or untouched. The winners are expats willing to tie their cash into a provider for two or three years. Santander’s three year bond is slightly up – 0.05% to 2.05% from 2.00%. Conister’s two year offering rises 0.5% to 1.5%. Nationwide’s one year bond is also up 0.5% to…
  • Retirement Savers Wary Of Casino Pensions

    Jim Atkins
    21 Jul 2014 | 9:51 pm
    Retirement savers have a lack of faith in financial firms and relate investing to gambling with their cash rather than gaining a certain outcome. Many savers regard the pensions industry with distain and consider companies greedy, corrupt and incompetent, according to a new study by the National Employment Savings Trust (Nest). The shocking opinion consumers have of financial providers was revealed in research by Nest looking at how savers view investing with the British auto-enrolment workplace pension scheme. Savers told Nest that they were looking for somewhere safe to for their money but…
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  • Should expat savers and investors use local or international FAs

    Steph MacDonald
    24 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am
    With the casino culture which caused the 2008 crash still functioning at all financial levels and in most expat jurisdictions, expats could be forgiven for wondering how to choose a reliable advisor. Many savers and investors, especially those choosing to retire overseas, have little experience of managing investments, and would prefer to... Expats Blog -
  • UAE survey shows a third of expat women face sexism in the workplace

    Louise Baldwin
    24 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am
    A new study has revealed that around 29 per cent of expat women working in the UAE are experiencing sexism in the workplace on a regular basis. The survey, carried out by Expatwoman.com and involving 1,100 expat women working in the emirates, shows that gender discrimination within the UAE workplace runs at almost double that in Western... Expats Blog -
  • UK government sneaks in controversial state pension changes

    Steph MacDonald
    23 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am
    Controversial changes to the UK state pension due to affect millions have been slipped in just before Parliament’s summer break. The changes apply to pensioners who decide to delay claiming their UK state pensions and will come into force for those hitting pension age on or after 6 April 2016. At present, a bonus of 10.4 per cent per... Expats Blog -
  • Unofficial expats in the Land of Smiles rush to get legitimate stays

    Louise Baldwin
    23 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am
    Expat life on the sun, sea and sand Thai island of Phuket just got complicated for expats without long-stay or tourist visas. For a decade or more, immigration authorities have turned a blind eye to visa runs across Thailand’s border by expats unable to get annual visas. Many foreign travellers arrive in Phuket on visa-exempt entries and... Expats Blog -
  • New study reveals expats see pension industry as greedy and incompetent

    Steph MacDonald
    22 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am
    The shocking results of a new study have revealed that retirement savers view the entire pensions industry as incompetent, greedy and corrupt. The research, undertaken by the UK’s National Employment Savings Trust, was intended to survey savers in the auto-enrolment workplace pensions scheme, but has also clearly tapped into the... Expats Blog -
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    impressions of an expat

  • until everything finds its place

    21 Jul 2014 | 4:53 am
    We were not here when the trains derailed last week. Insulated from the dull, nerve-crunching dread of riding the metro after a catastrophe I was half-excused from that familiar heart-skipping moment, when I acknowledge that we ride that same line, that this was just a few stops from our home, that by some bizarre reason I might have been on that train with E. No, this must all be forced out, fears whisked off of my arms like a wet dog shaking itself. These thoughts are inevitable and lead to nothing. I have learned to embrace them quickly as a first step to dismissing them.We were not here…
  • the witness

    14 Jul 2014 | 1:16 am
    Irakli turns onto a gravel road, the tires crunching past an old tractor, some yellow dogs barking against their chains, and then stops at a field overgrown with wildflowers. There are daisies and clusters of Queen Anne's Lace, little purple ones and even smaller yellow ones. He walks along the edge of the field. This is his land and someday the view that looks out at mountains and rolls down the hill will be from a back porch. His children will run through this grass, smelling the sweet air, feeling the rain on their faces. There are trees he has planted that already give fruit, handfuls of…
  • Someplace in Mexico (Buddha on the water)

    7 Jul 2014 | 6:16 am
    It takes some time for the irony to sink in, that she wants to crawl into a six foot plastic bubble and roll around, buoyed in this water tank on the outskirts of the city. The giant balls are tethered to the launch area. The man who runs the place does not get paid with carnival tickets, just money in his hand. $6 for something like five minutes and I can pay extra to keep her inside when the time is up, depending on how many people are waiting. She sits in there, her pants suddenly too tiny, rocking back and forth pretending she is a tiny Buddha on the water. The other children are…
  • lost in the supermarket (the lazy anarchist)

    30 Jun 2014 | 5:36 am
    Auchan. For years I had no idea it was a French company, impossible to imagine this mashup of Costco and Walmart that dots the outskirts of Moscow is a foreign project. Some Auchan stores are so big the workers wear rollerskates to get price checks.  Saturday afternoon is the only window of opportunity for us and we are two of the ants swarming around the handfuls of shopping carts as they ferry in, dripping wet from the parking lot. I wait my turn, watching some new chain get unlocked as each person pulls one from the fresh line that has arrived. I am next. The chain will not swing…
  • home improvements

    23 Jun 2014 | 5:48 am
    The bathroom ceiling starting peeling off in long giant curls some months ago. I tried not to look up, to see it deteriorate out of the corner of my eye then press the images out of my mind, concentrating on the face in the mirror, the mouth foaming with toothpaste, N behind me reaching for a q-tip, E asking if we can go downstairs and ride her scooter today.At one point, we understood the old landlady would try to fix it herself, half-blind with cheap paint an a rickety ladder, trying to put a giant wet band-aid on it hoping it will go away. I said no, that will not happen. We need to scrape…
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    Cartus Blog

  • Cartus Wins USAA Supplier Excellence Award

    Steve Slabaugh
    23 Jul 2014 | 12:00 pm
    We are very proud to announce that USAA has recognized Cartus as a recipient of their Supplier Excellence Award for delivering exceptional member experiences to its more than 10 million members primarily from the military community. At the USAA Awards ceremony, USAA’s C.B. Starks (far left) and Greg Jaeger (far right) flank Gerry Pearce, Cindy King, and Steve Slabaugh of Cartus. USAA’s Supplier Recognition Awards are given annually to select USAA business resources that have played a key role in leading or advancing the organization’s initiatives. USAA provides insurance, banking,…
  • UK Immigration: 2014 Relocation Update

    Des McKell
    22 Jul 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Immigration rules often carry unique challenges for international assignees. Our latestCartus Mobility Insights includes immigration information about a number of changes to the UK’s Tier 2 visa category and Tier 1. Many of the changes, announced by the UK government, have been implemented this year. However, there are additional amendments scheduled for April 2015 and April 2018, which organisations relocating employees into the UK should be mindful of. Changes to the Tier 2 System The Tier 2 system has two categories: Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) (ICT). The…
  • Education Support for International Assignments: Best Practices for Managers

    Donna Barber
    17 Jul 2014 | 12:00 pm
    When employees and families are considering whether to accept an assignment, the quality and availability of education in the destination location, as well as the level of support provided by the company, often plays a deciding role in whether or not the employee accepts the assignment, or if the family will accompany the assignee on assignment. Companies cannot underestimate how important the well-being of an assignee’s family is in a relocation. We saw evidence of this in the results of our2014 Global Mobility Policy & Practicessurvey, in which 76% of respondents cited family or…
  • Guide to Buying International Assignment Compensation Services

    L. Sean Raney
    16 Jul 2014 | 12:00 pm
    There’s a lot of confusion in the marketplace about International Assignment Compensation, and that’s probably not surprising. I’ve been in the industry for 30 years, and as accounting firms have reduced or limited the services they offer audit clients as a result of The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and new providers have moved in, the disparity among what’s needed, what’s asked for, and what’s provided can have less than positive results for organizations sourcing this service. Tips on Buying International Assignment Compensation Services First, know what you want, and ask for it. Decide…
  • Relocating to Singapore: Immigration Update

    Ronnie Ng
    15 Jul 2014 | 11:00 am
    Singapore has recently been in the news for taking measures to tighten its immigration rules for foreign employees. Several initiatives have been put into place over recent years, and in our latest Cartus Mobility Insights on Singapore Immigration we review what those changes are and provide recommendations for companies placing international assignees into Singapore. The most recent change will be implemented on 1 August 2014 following the announcement of a new Fair Consideration Frameworklast SeptemberThis framework reminds employers to consider the suitability of Singaporean workers for…
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    Expatriate Connection

  • The 4 Laws For Taking Care of Yourself While Taking Care Of Your Parents

    17 Jul 2014 | 4:26 am
    When you move abroad as an accompanying spouse, you face two issues at the same time: 1. You feel like a child because you have to rely on your working partner to get a visa, open a bank account, rent a house, access a healthcare plan. In a few hours flight you’ve lost in the […] The post The 4 Laws For Taking Care of Yourself While Taking Care Of Your Parents appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • Why Your Expat Relationship Is Out of Balance (and How to Save It Before It’s Too Late)

    29 Jun 2014 | 6:55 pm
    Move abroad and you’ll get out of your comfort zone. Guaranteed. Throw in the mix a partner and (eventually) a few children. The whole system is shaken.   This might sound scary but it doesn’t need to. “A problem well stated is half-solved” said Charles Kettering.   Today, we’re taking a good look at the […] The post Why Your Expat Relationship Is Out of Balance (and How to Save It Before It’s Too Late) appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • Busted: 3 Myths About Self-Care That Make Expats Gamble With Their Life

    8 Jun 2014 | 6:19 am
    “Those who have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness” said Edward Stanley, a British statesman. But it’s not just exercise. It’s more. It’s what’s called self-care. Now, let’s pause for a moment. Who wants to get sick in the first place? And even worse: who wants […] The post Busted: 3 Myths About Self-Care That Make Expats Gamble With Their Life appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • 9 Excuses We Tell Ourselves To Avoid Self-Care

    22 May 2014 | 9:19 pm
    Self-care is the first thing people give up when they move. This is what Maripat Abbott, relocation specialist said to me when we had the chance to talk together. “It’s such a pity because it may be at the root of many other problems experienced by expats.” This struck a chord with me. So now, […] The post 9 Excuses We Tell Ourselves To Avoid Self-Care appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • 10 More Signs That You May Be A Third Culture Parent

    9 May 2014 | 1:04 am
    People living in another country are not simply called expatriates. Depending on their age, familial status, or occupational situation, they’re called expat assignee, trailing spouse, TCK -Third Culture Kid, ATCK – Adult Third Culture Kid. The list is not exhaustive. What about those of us who are  parents raising children in a foreign land? We also […] The post 10 More Signs That You May Be A Third Culture Parent appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
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  • Cadogan Tate Supports Team True Spirit in Iron Man Triumph

    25 Jul 2014 | 1:00 am
    Team True Spirit, a Help for Heroes backed team of severely injured servicemen took part in one of the most gruelling challenges in endurance racing over the weekend, which consisted of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle and a full 26.2 mile marathon, all in the space of 17 hours, in a bid to become an 'Ironman'. The inspirational group was formed in 2011 by Mark Airey, then an Exercise Rehabilitation Instructor at Headley Court, the MOD’s rehab facility for severely injured service personnel. Team True Spirit has taken part in the Ironman UK Triathlon in Bolton every year since their debut…
  • Knight Frank research shows a slowing in property price rises

    17 Jul 2014 | 1:00 am
    Despite rising for eight consecutive quarters the Global House Price Index, compiled on a quarterly basis by Knight Frank, shows that the rate of growth slowed in the first three months of 2014. The Knight Frank Global House Price Index rose by 0.6% in the first quarter of 2014, a marginally slower rate than the 1.2% rise recorded in the fourth quarter of 2013. It is often the case that the fourth quarter of the year sees a peak in property sales as buyers make an extra effort to close deals before the Christmas and New Year period. This invariably leads to a quieter first quarter of the…
  • Double Taxation - A Guide for Expats Moving to Europe

    16 Jul 2014 | 1:00 am
    For expats moving to Europe, there are many things to take into consideration and to prepare before the big day. Amongst the priority actions, is telling HM Revenue and Customs that you are leaving the UK. This is important to make sure that you pay the right amount of tax. The UK already has treaties in place with around 120 countries, to ensure that any expats moving to Europe, or further afield, will not pay tax twice. This is known as the 'double taxation agreement'. When the double taxation agreement is applicable, it can work in one of three ways: The earner pays tax in the country of…
  • Retired Expats Living in Europe See State Pension Income Increase

    14 Jul 2014 | 1:00 am
    British expats that live in Europe and receive a state pension will notice an increase in their weekly income, by as much as 10 per cent, according to Prudential. The value of UK state pensions that are paid in Euros is now at an all-time high. The increase is largely due to the heightened value of the pound against the Euro. Prudential's analysis shows a rise in the basic state pension of €661.24 since this time last year. The pound was worth €1.25 at the end of June compared to €1.17 at the end of June 2013 and substantially higher than the low of €1.14 in March 2013. Paul Fidell,…
  • Austin, Texas is the fastest growing city in the USA

    13 Jul 2014 | 1:00 am
    Recently named as the fastest growing city in the USA by the United States Census Bureau, Austin is becoming one of the most popular cities for expats moving to the USA. In this guide we take a look at why so many people are drawn to the capital of the Lone Star State of Texas. According to the report by the U.S. Census Bureau, Austin currently has a population of 1.9 million and a growth rate of 2.6%. Many of the world's largest technology companies have a strong presence in Austin, including IBM, Apple, Dell and Samsung, with a reported 120,000 people being employed in the technology…
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    The Expat C.A.F.E.

  • Learning To Travel

    11 Jul 2014 | 10:17 pm
    Someone recently sent me a question about how could they learn to travel.  They told me that they could manage one weekend off a month and therefore could spend 5 days every month exploring a new place.  Of course that won’t allow them to travel incredibly far from home but it should be enough to get their travel juices started. I suggested that they start small.  The first city someone should explore is their own.  This sort of surprised them and I asked them what attractions, museums, restaurants, parks are on every travel agencies list of the must sees in their own city?  Did they…
  • Lost and Found

    4 Jul 2014 | 3:47 pm
    We recently had someone ask us if we ever got lost while traveling.  My husband carries maps in his head.  He is one of those people who can look at a map, review it once, gets his bearings and then has it firmly in his mind which way the streets run, which roads to take and even which direction to go in. I need mapquest.  I haven’t mastered a GPS device but I know that if I didn’t have Mike, having a GPS would have been in my life much sooner. Even after 30 years of travel the only city I was ever lost in was Venice, Italy. I was traveling with family at the time and we went shopping…
  • Doing Our Own Travel Arrangements

    30 Jun 2014 | 3:41 pm
    I recently had someone ask me for a recommendation for a Tour Operator for a client who was going on a honeymoon to Spain.  This person happily related to me that they had just started a travel agency and needed help in creating a list of TO’s they could use going forward for Spain. I realized then that I had never answered this question here so now I will tell you why I do my own travel arranging. In the recent past I was a travel agent (Lince’s Leisure Vacations) and a Tour Operator (Global Explorer Club), both companies which I have since closed.  I have been personally traveling for…
  • The VAT Refund Game

    27 Jun 2014 | 3:34 pm
    In all the years I have been traveling I have never tried to get a VAT tax refund.  I was spending so little anyway it wouldn’t have been worth the time commitment to make it pay, as far as I was concerned. A VAT (value added tax) is used throughout Europe as a form of sales tax added to some merchandise and goods sold in the European Union.  It is a requirement that businesses collect this money and send it along to their governments. If you are not a member of the EU you may be entitled to a refund of the monies collected.  There are procedures to follow; paperwork that needs to be…
  • Stereotypes

    23 Jun 2014 | 3:25 pm
    The more we have traveled the more questions we get from those that follow our blogs or from those whom we meet.  Sometimes however what we get are stereotype questions or comments about us because we are American.  Mike and I spend quite a bit of time telling people we aren’t from Canada because they can’t believe we are American because American’s don’t travel and because those that do travel are not nice. Some of the other misconceptions we combat, or even those we have seen first hand are; I am Italian American and I don’t know anyone in the Mafia.  Not all Italians or those…
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  • What’s been going on…

    15 Jul 2014 | 1:25 pm
    Another apology for not writing more often. It’s been a mental few weeks and I just have not got round to writing a blog post. Since last time I have: Met my Nana – she came to Stockholm with a friend and we spent the day together showing her around Stockholm Got a new Job – after almost 2 years I am leaving Bad Boy and heading to a exciting startup called Sinch. Expect more geeky posts on my other blog Now hate Skatteverket – after 3/4 visits to prove my own means to live in Sweden that was not enough. So got my contract from my new job, was told that would take a…
  • Studentflak

    7 Jun 2014 | 5:21 am
    June is the time when the college students graduate in Sweden (Studenten) and they do so in style! Of course they have the standard dinner party but Swedish students graduate and party on a Flak. The Studentflak! This is literally a lorry that students rent, put huge speakers in it, 500 beers and drive around town for a party. You drive from your college through town for about 2 hours just jumping around, dancing, drinking beers and having a great time. I was lucky enough to go on one of these last year with my girlfriends brother when he graduated. It’s a strange experience for me…
  • Some pictures from around Stockholm

    5 Jun 2014 | 4:00 am
    I see a lot of fun stuff around Stockholm and here is a collection of some greats over the past week or two. This is some street art of a man coming out of a man hole. Made me chuckle! A pub in Södermalm with automatic doors! Totally typical British Pub inside but automatic doors! Is this not the most pointless gate?! And finally, Fish Balls in a tin! Yep!! The post Some pictures from around Stockholm appeared first on STHLM.
  • A Day in Hellasgården

    4 Jun 2014 | 4:43 am
    There is a fantastic nature park near Stockholm called Hellasgården that my girlfriend and I love to go and explore. Last weekend the temperature went up to 28 degrees over here so we thought about going swimming in the lake (17 degrees). I totally chickened out and only went up to my knees but my girlfriend managed to swim for a good 10 minutes! Here are some pictures from our little dinner date a few days ago. The view at Hellasgården Dinner at Hellasgården The post A Day in Hellasgården appeared first on STHLM.
  • STHLM So Far

    3 Jun 2014 | 12:08 am
    Wow, 56 days in Stockholm and what an experience so far. Moving my whole life here was one hell of an experience and well worth it. Apart from 86% sunshine, life here is working out really well with so much to do in the city, me driving more, exercising more and just soaking up the Swedish lifestyle. Working from home is a bid weird as you miss out on all of the laughter and banter from the office but the lifestyle here is much better. I still miss all of my friends, family and bits of Newcastle (the beer for one!) but there is something about Stockholm that I really love. The only problem is…
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    Los Gringos Locos

  • Our First Mexican Wedding...

    25 Jul 2014 | 7:13 am
    I was so excited! We were invited to our first wedding in Mexico! We hired a babysitter and decided to make it a date night. There would be dancing and I love to dance! The evening started off well. The location was beautiful. The food was great. I was waiting, in eager expectation, for the cake. I have to say that working as a wedding photographer for ten years, the food and cake at the reception was always one of my favorite parts! I love food! Haha :-)As soon as dinner was served, we got the phone call. I forgot my phone in the truck so the call came through the maid-of-honor, a close…
  • Wordless Wednesday #4 with Linky

    22 Jul 2014 | 3:17 pm
    Enjoying a beautiful Mexican waterfall near the Maya site of Palenque.Keep reading to add your photography post to the blog link-up :-) An InLinkz Link-up
  • Horses of Morelia - Beautiful Mexico

    19 Jul 2014 | 3:14 pm
    Sawyer must have smelled good because this horse couldn't get enough of him! This is Tennessee. He is one of my favorites because he is such a sweetheart and loves people. I love horses. They are such gorgeous, majestic creatures! We have a beautiful horse club only a few minutes from our house. Most of the horses at this club are friendly and curious. Club Hipico de Morelia is owned by a lady named Ruth, who also happens to be a friend of ours. Taylor had a two week horse class in December and Alexis will have a two week horse class at the end of July. The girls are loving it and I…
  • Writing for The Homemaker's Journal

    17 Jul 2014 | 7:07 am
    Well, I started on a new project this week! We will see where it takes me :-) I am the newest team member for The Homemaker's Journal. I will be a contributing writer and I plan on submitting a new article each week. I will always post links on Los Gringos Locos so my readers won't miss my posts on The Homemaker's Journal. I am excited about this opportunity and send thanks to Heather, owner of THJ! Keep reading for a teaser from Playing in The Mexican Rain or head over to the post on THJ and read the entire article ;-) Signing off, TinaI put on my bathing suit and played outside in the…
  • Wordless Wednesday #3 with Linky

    16 Jul 2014 | 7:57 am
    I love books! I love reading! I love learning! And I love imagination! - Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico LibraryI love photography! I moonlighted as a professional photographer for ten years in Kentucky, USA. I miss my work, but living abroad in Mexico with four kids gives me plenty of photography opportunities! Each Wednesday I plan to post a new, (or mostly new), image with a short description. Keep reading to add your photography post to the blog link-up :-)An InLinkz Link-up
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