• Most Topular Stories

  • Consider these 5 steps in creating your own ‘Plan B’

    Simon Black
    22 Apr 2015 | 8:55 am
    April 22, 2015 Cancun, Mexico In May 1788, Thomas Jefferson wrote one of the most prescient statements of his career: “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.” Jefferson was living in Paris at the time serving as the Minister to France at a time when the United States was still in its infancy. It was during this period that France descended into violent revolution. And Jefferson had a front row seat to witness it. France’s reversal of fortune was legendary; only a few years before they were the largest superpower in the world and had helped…
  • 5 Best Sunsets in the World

    22 Apr 2015 | 11:13 pm
      As the saying goes, “no two sunsets are ever alike.” There will always be the difference in the scenery, the shape of the clouds, the hues, and the vantage point from where the viewer stands. These factors and many other are among the reasons that makes some places in the world the best places(...)
  • The World’s Richest People in Real Estate

    13 Apr 2015 | 11:03 pm
      Real estate has always been popular and in recent years its worth has been constantly rising. Nowadays we can even say that real estate is a key factor for creating wealth and thus it makes  the world's tycoons even more wealthy. It is estimated that real estate is 12.7% higher in value today than(...)
  • Is China-Pakistan ‘Silk Road’ a Game Changer?

    International Herald Tribune
    Saskia De Rothschild
    22 Apr 2015 | 8:52 am
    From BBC News- China has announced a $46bn investment plan which will largely centre on an economic corridor from Gwadar in Pakistan to Kashgar in the Chinese region of Xinjiang. The BBC’s M Ilyas Khan looks at the significance of the plans. Why has this got people talking? The money China is planning to pour into Pakistan is more than twice the amount of all foreign direct investment (FDI) Pakistan has received since 2008, and considerably more than the entire assistance from the United States, Pakistan’s largest donor until now, since 2002. Pakistani officials say most projects will…
  • 10 Best Real Estate Countries for Expats

    27 Apr 2015 | 11:24 pm
      If you are moving overseas and plan to live there for a considerable period of time, it is important that you include the kind of home you plan to get in your priorities. For expats thinking of relocating to another country, there are many things to consider and real estate should be one of the(...)
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    International Herald Tribune

  • Is China-Pakistan ‘Silk Road’ a Game Changer?

    Saskia De Rothschild
    22 Apr 2015 | 8:52 am
    From BBC News- China has announced a $46bn investment plan which will largely centre on an economic corridor from Gwadar in Pakistan to Kashgar in the Chinese region of Xinjiang. The BBC’s M Ilyas Khan looks at the significance of the plans. Why has this got people talking? The money China is planning to pour into Pakistan is more than twice the amount of all foreign direct investment (FDI) Pakistan has received since 2008, and considerably more than the entire assistance from the United States, Pakistan’s largest donor until now, since 2002. Pakistani officials say most projects will…
  • China Seeks Dominance in Athens Harbor

    Saskia De Rothschild
    14 Apr 2015 | 7:29 am
    From Der Spiegel Magazine- When Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang visited the port in June, Piraeus was described as China’s gateway to Europe: China’s exports could reach Germany, Hungary and Austria “between seven and 11 days” faster, he said. Huawei, the electronics conglomerate, has already opened a logistics center right at the port. 15 Oct 2013, Athens, Attica, Greece — Ships in Port of Piraeus, Athens, Greece, Europe — Image by © Richard Cummins/Corbis Piraeus has become the story of two worlds — that of the turbo capitalism of the successors…
  • Why Beef Ban in Indian State Undermines Secularism

    Saskia De Rothschild
    8 Apr 2015 | 3:15 am
    From BBC News- It is a bizarre image: cops demanding mug-shots of cows rather than crooks. But that’s what officers in the city of Malegaon in Maharashtra, one of India’s most populous states, are doing in an attempt to enforce its new beef ban. “We are keeping the photographs for verification purposes only,” one policeman told an Indian newspaper. “If someone alleges that some illegal activity has taken place and if the owner has a photo, it will be easy to establish the truth.” I’m not sure that’s right. How do you match a steak with a photo of a cow? But, to be fair, this…
  • Life’s Work: Garry Kasparov

    Saskia De Rothschild
    1 Apr 2015 | 8:52 am
    From Harvard Business Review- Garry Kasparov was the world’s top chess player for 20 years. Trained in the Soviet system, he’s become a mentor to younger players, an ardent promoter of the sport and a vocal critic of corruption in both the World Chess Federation and the Russian government. Q: What can people in business learn from the best chess players? A: In chess, soccer, baseball, business, politics – God forbid, war – we make decisions. Some are good, some not so good. The way to improve is to look back and analyze them. Many people think that if something worked…
  • Private Cities, Open to All

    Saskia De Rothschild
    18 Mar 2015 | 5:49 am
    From The New York Times- The world is building more cities, faster than ever before. China used more cement in the last three years than the United States used in the entire 20th century. By 2050, India will need new urban infrastructure to house an additional 404 million people – a task comparable to building every city in the United States in 35 years. The global urban population is expected to rise to well over six billion by 2050 from 3.9 billion today. The world needs more cities. The task, however, is not simply to build them but to design them for today and the future. A city is…
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  • 10 Best Real Estate Countries for Expats

    27 Apr 2015 | 11:24 pm
      If you are moving overseas and plan to live there for a considerable period of time, it is important that you include the kind of home you plan to get in your priorities. For expats thinking of relocating to another country, there are many things to consider and real estate should be one of the(...)
  • 5 Best Sunsets in the World

    22 Apr 2015 | 11:13 pm
      As the saying goes, “no two sunsets are ever alike.” There will always be the difference in the scenery, the shape of the clouds, the hues, and the vantage point from where the viewer stands. These factors and many other are among the reasons that makes some places in the world the best places(...)
  • 5 Safest Humanitarian Outreach Countries

    20 Apr 2015 | 11:21 pm
      Humanitarian outreach programs happen all over the world where there is a dire need for food, shelter, clothing and medicine. mostly due to the grave devastation of wars, natural disasters or famine. Some of the aids rendered are short-term, while others are long-term assistance programs that are usually carried out by governments and other well-funded non-government organizations or NGOs. Everyone knows that while(...)
  • The Best Hotels In The World Today

    15 Apr 2015 | 11:25 pm
      Almost every man on Earth has a wish to travel all around the world, thus visiting the most interesting places, historical monuments and fascinating natural beauties. And indeed, amazing things can be seen in various countries worldwide. But travelling also means that one should have lodging and a place to stay. We all mostly(...)
  • The World’s Richest People in Real Estate

    13 Apr 2015 | 11:03 pm
      Real estate has always been popular and in recent years its worth has been constantly rising. Nowadays we can even say that real estate is a key factor for creating wealth and thus it makes  the world's tycoons even more wealthy. It is estimated that real estate is 12.7% higher in value today than(...)
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    British Expatriate Community

  • How Will Pension Reforms Affect You?

    2 Apr 2015 | 12:24 pm
    The new rules on pensions kick in at the start of April, promising to give savers more freedom over what they do with their money. But what does it mean to you, what will change, and what do you need to do? The way it is now During the first few years of your retirement, you’d probably use the money that you’d saved during your working life to buy an annuity from an insurance company. While you’re currently able to take 25% of your pension in a tax-free lump sum, the rest of the money goes into that annuity whether you like it or not. What’s changing? For those aged 55 or older who…
  • Letters from the Atlantic: Drilling for Black Gold

    9 Mar 2015 | 4:37 pm
    There have been quite a few celebrations in the Canary Islands recently, following the decision of the Spanish oil company, Repsol, not to continue with its exploration for oil off the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. The islands are an important tourist destination, and the threat of oil production taking place off the waters of these beautiful islands has shocked and angered residents for many years. The sea around these coasts is rich with marine life and the threat of serious, permanent ecological damage seemed to be only a matter of time. Despite all the reassurances from assorted…
  • Planning a Wedding Abroad?

    23 Feb 2015 | 1:13 pm
    Last year, around 1.5m people travelling overseas for a wedding (either getting married or watching). This weekend, 6,000 brides (and the odd groom) will look for inspiration for their wedding at the London leg of the UK’s biggest wedding show at London’s Olympia. Some of the exhibitors will specialise in overseas weddings, with Thailand, the Caribbean, Greece and Cyprus amongst the favourite overseas wedding destinations. So – where would you go? What are the things you NEED to know? And how can the exchange rates save YOU money? Read on… CHECKLIST – what to pay for >> The…
  • Letters from the Atlantic: 112 – Emergency, Emergency!

    20 Feb 2015 | 3:09 pm
    Do you know how to contact emergency services, such as asking for medical assistance, ambulance, police or fire services? If you are in the UK, most people will know that when you dial 999 you will receive prompt and efficient attention to whatever crisis that you find yourself in. What about when you are overseas on holiday, or maybe living in another country as an expat? I was surprised to learn that there are many holidaymakers and expats living in Spain, the Canary Islands and other parts of Europe who do not know how to contact the relevant emergency services. Services equivalent to the…
  • Why Novak and Serena Are Australian Open Winners, But Also Losers…

    4 Feb 2015 | 11:08 am
    The weekend’s climax to the Australian Open saw victories for two players that had looked down and out during periods of their finals. Despite visibly battling a virus, Serena Williams powered through impressively to beat Maria Sharapova in straight sets; Williams’ sixth Australian Open triumph. Novak Djokovic overcame aches, pains and strains to beat Andy Murray in what was the Serb’s fifth win in Melbourne, where he boasts an overall record of played 56, won 50. An 89% win record. Unbelievable. Williams and Djokovic’s reward was a cheque for AUD $3.1m. At today’s exchange rates,…
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    Life with 2 Lads & a Lass

  • A Fun Weekend

    26 Apr 2015 | 6:50 pm
    What a fun weekend we just had. There was a field day event at the kids school, a fire in the garden, a  quick jolly jaunt to the local pub with my mate Erika and haircuts for me and the boys.And I lost weight again at my Weight Watchers weigh-in - 23 lbs total now (Craig has lost 41!)What a brilliant picture Craig tookHe won an opportunity to cream pie his teacher! And what a good sport she is!Jack & his best mate get taken to jail (pic by Heather)He won a rainbow cake in a jarCoconut Shy Shenanigans (pic by Heather)Saturday night fire in the garden. Looks how skinny Craig…
  • My Car, My Eyeballs, My Students

    23 Apr 2015 | 8:11 pm
    I finally got my car back last night, and then it went back to get fixed again today, and then I got it back again. I hope this is the end of it. The damn thing has cost us nearly 4k in the last 3 months and that's far too much money for something so tedious!  It was comforting to know from our mechanic that it was nothing I did that caused it all at least. Stupid car. Scratch that, I ♥ my car, I just hope it gives me a few good years now.Today I also went to get my eyes checked, which is always a drawn-out affair where they dilate my pupils and put dye in my eyes and tell me off for…
  • A Marathon Saturday

    19 Apr 2015 | 8:44 am
    Yesterday will go down in history as one of the favorite days of my life. How fortunate am I to have days like that, where I laughed from 7am to 2am?Walked the 5K with these ladies. Did it in 48 minutes!Daniel scored in his soccer game, so I took him for Jeni's ice creamCraig got rails on the porch. It's now officially our favorite room in the house.At 8pm we got on a party bus, laid on by our neighbors to celebrate his 40th birthday. We drank, we gambled at Hollywood Casino, we partied at Seventh Son Brewery and we carried on back at home. I'm feeling rather tender today, but oh lord it was…
  • Weight Loss: Week 10

    17 Apr 2015 | 12:58 pm
    I weighed in this morning, since I'll be walking my 5K tomorrow. I haven't officially weighed in for two weeks because Kay visited one weekend and I, errrr, partied too much the second weekend. Weight loss since last weight-in:  3 lbsTotal weight lost:  21.8 lbsAnd wouldn't you know it, my jeans still fit the same.
  • Kitchen Make-Overs

    12 Apr 2015 | 5:39 pm
    Here's some pictures of our kitchen, taken since we bought the house.The kitchen we inherited when we bought the house in 2005From 2007 to 20152007 - 2015April 2015April 2015
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  • Dust Storm Over Oman

    8 Apr 2015 | 8:42 pm
    Over the last couple of weeks Oman, and the rest of the Arabian Peninsula, has been blanketed by massive dust storms. Visibility has been reduced to meters and Flights cancelled. Seeing the dust from the Ground is one thing, from … Continue reading →
  • Celebrations for the return to Oman of Sultan Qaboos

    4 Apr 2015 | 1:10 pm
    at Oman's Royal Opera House Continue reading →
  • Oman’s Flora and Fauna

    27 Mar 2015 | 11:20 am
    on a Group Tour in Oman Continue reading →
  • Sultan Qaboos returns to Oman

    23 Mar 2015 | 9:51 am
    Oman TV has broadcast the arrival of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos into Oman, after a period of medical treatment in Germany. Naturally there will be tremendous celebrations in Oman, possibly stretching into the weekend.Filed under: OMAN
  • Luban Restaurant Muttrah

    15 Feb 2015 | 10:03 am
    for a nice meal Continue reading →
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    Ruth's Place

  • Another grey hippo

    20 Apr 2015 | 4:44 am
    I’m making another grey hippo. It’s nearly finished. Then it will sit in a cloth bag for a few months until I go to Australia and post it to The Calico Cat. I hope she likes him. I’m kind of charmed by the colour combo.
  • Why I love my stash

    19 Apr 2015 | 2:04 am
    On Wednesday last week Gorgeous Girl received an invitation to a birthday party today. There’s not much in the way of kid’s toys to buy in Papua New Guinea, the market is filled with cheap plastic toys from China like imitation Barbie dolls and the like. So Gorgeous Girl and I raided the stash. She found some pink fabric that I was sure that I would never use. I’d received it as part of a friend’s destash when I was living in South Africa. Next we went through the 2.5 inch pre-cut squares and chose the ones she thought her little friend would enjoy the most. Using this…
  • More spinning

    29 Mar 2015 | 6:41 pm
    This is some malabrigo nube fibre that I picked up in Poland in last year. It’s the one on the left. I turned it into this: Colours were hard to capture. They are brighter and there’s more purple. Spinning is on hold for a while. Gorgeous Girl has commandeered my favourite wheel and is spinning. She’s doing about 5 minutes a day and is doing really well. This time around she’s starting to draft and we are planning to ply the yarn when she’s done. Her previous skeins have all been chunky singles. She knows how to knit now, but only picks up the needles once in a…
  • Time Travelling

    28 Mar 2015 | 2:57 am
    When Gorgeous Man saw this layout he commented that I was time travelling, these photos are from late 1994/early 1995. I’ve been trying to work up some of the older photos that have been sitting in a box for years. Now that I have internet again, I decided to play along with a scrapping challenge as I always find them very inspiring. This layout was based on My Scraps and More Sketches, sketch #102 This is the sketch. I chose to do a double layout. I used some washi tapi to make a frame for the bird stamp. Bird stamp was an image I received from my SMIL who graciously gives me her…
  • A thank you gift

    26 Mar 2015 | 8:43 pm
    I tried very hard to get this little fellow finished before I left Australia, but it didn’t happen. She’s a thank you present for the relatives who let me stay with them during my long visa wait. I’m glad she had to come home to be finished because it means that she could meet her siblings. Blue is 8ply cotton done with a 4 mm hook, Pink is the same cotton made with a 2.5 mm hook, White is a 4 ply cotton/acrylic blend made with a 1.75 mm hook. Would you believe I’ve started making the flowers for a 5th one of these? After that I’m going to just knit for a while.
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    Clark Nielsen for the Win

  • Tips for Using HTML5 in Mobile iOS & Android Apps

    26 Apr 2015 | 9:59 am
    Besides resetting my travel blog, I also completely wiped out my game dev blog. The following post was about the only one that was at all useful to other developers, so I wanted to recapture it here. In any case, if you’re using HTML5 to build your mobile app, here are a few tips to take into consideration to get your project running smoother: 1. Use native code for audio I know the whole point of using HTML5 is so you don’t have to muck about with Java or Objective-C, but I’ve found HTML5’s audio tag to be wonky and unreliable. You get better results using native code…
  • Useful Chinese Phrases & Characters for Travelers

    22 Apr 2015 | 9:44 pm
    Here’s another article I salvaged from the old China blog. I hesitated keeping it, because there are already thousands of websites to help you learn survival Chinese. But I know Mandarin is a big undertaking, and you may not have the time (or patience) to study the college-level load that everyone else recommends. So how about just five phrases and five characters? You can do five each, no sweat. First, the five most important phrases when traveling in China: 1. Duo shao qian? (How much does it cost?) <audio> If you’re not very good at remembering phrases, then focus on this…
  • The Top 10 Best Tourist Attractions in China

    18 Apr 2015 | 3:06 pm
    This is a carryover from one of my blog posts of yesteryear, though that particular list was limited to just five entries. It can be pretty hard to take a country as huge and diverse as China, though, and whittle it down to only five or ten things to see. But if you’re planning a trip to China and don’t have two years to see it all, definitely take some of these highlights into consideration: 10. Tongli There are plenty of “water towns” in China, and I’ll admit I haven’t seen them all. I did have the most fun at Tongli, though, because I went during the…
  • The Best Electro Swing Artists

    4 Apr 2015 | 10:43 am
    For the past year, I’ve been absolutely enamored with electro swing music and have spent a lot of time trying to find additional artists I may have missed on the first few passes. If you’re in the same boat, then hopefully this list saves you the trouble and introduces you to just what you were looking for: To start with, Caravan Palace is by far my favorite electro swing group. Their second album in particular is outstanding. And Swingrowers, with their second album, is quickly becoming just as good. If you’re new to electro swing, you have to give these two a try. That…
  • The Walking Dead vs Z Nation

    31 Mar 2015 | 8:22 pm
    This is going to double as my Season 5 TWD review and Season 1 Z Nation review, so… spoilers, y’all. And I know upfront that comparing these two isn’t exactly fair. Each show is very different and accomplishes different things. But when I came across Z Nation on Netflix, I found myself enjoying it more than The Walking Dead. To be clear, I’m not a TWD hate watcher. I think most people who get labeled as hate watchers actually want the show to be good. Because it occasionally is pretty good. But it makes so many frustrating mistakes and frequently fumbles promising…
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    Slow Travel in Europe and Beyond | CheeseWeb

  • A Local’s Tips: 10 Things to Do in Leuven, Belgium

    27 Apr 2015 | 10:01 pm
    Our expert local contributor, Sofie, shares her top tips for visiting the pretty city of Leuven in Flanders. I’m a born and raised Belgian and although I have friends all over the country, the city that has played the biggest role in my life so far has to be Leuven. As a kid, my grandparents would take me to the carnival or the fair there. As a teenager, Leuven was where I went to the movies and on countless shopping sprees. Later, it became the city I studied in, but also where I met my boyfriend. At the moment, I’ve been living here for five years and I don’t think I’ll leave soon.
  • 40 Finds for Newcomers to Brussels, Belgium

    23 Apr 2015 | 9:38 pm
    Today, guest contributor Bridget shares 40 top resources for newcomers in Belgium, including everything from doctors to dealing with trash. (We’re sure there’s something here for even long-time expats!) Moving to Belgium can be overwhelming.  You’re beginning a new job, making endless trips to the commune and have no friends or family around to offer support.  Then Sunday comes, and it’s raining and everything is closed! These moments inspired this article.  After five years of living in Brussels, here are 40 finds I’d recommend to newcomers.  While some…
  • On Conquering Fear

    20 Apr 2015 | 10:19 pm
    I just watched a video that revealed the one thing standing between people and their dream is fear. It resonated with me, because lately, fear is a big topic of discussion in our house. Fear can be paralyzing; fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of being misunderstood, fear of not measuring up to some ideal. I lost my job last September. For some, this would be a devastating event. Too many people, including us, live pay-cheque to pay-cheque. Despite a good income, we over-spent for years, living on more than we earned. It comes down to my lack of patience and my desire to have things…
  • Our Top 15 Weekend Getaways in Belgium

    16 Apr 2015 | 9:55 pm
    Our 15 top weekend getaways in Belgium Today we want to inspire you to get our and explore Belgium. Here are our top 15 weekend getaways in Flanders, Wallonia, and Brussels. In our last two weekend getaway posts, we shared our favourite road-trips and vacations by plane and train, from Belgium. But if you’ve spent any time at all on CheeseWeb, you’ll know how much we love exploring right here at home in Belgium. Belgium’s tiny size and diverse landscape and cultures, mean you can feel like you’re in a completely new country, without traveling far from home. While it’s tempting to…
  • 7 Things to do in Tongeren, Belgium

    13 Apr 2015 | 9:48 pm
    Tongeren, in Limburg, Flanders, is nicknamed ‘the oldest town of Belgium.’ Its rich history and small size, makes it the perfect destination for a weekend escape. Last autumn we spent the weekend at the beautiful Boutique Hotel T’Huys Van Steyns, to discover what this charm-filled Flemish town has to offer. Today we share our top 7 things to do in Tongeren, Belgium. 1. Do as the Romans do at the Gallo-Roman Museum The Gallo-Roman Museum is a top attraction in Tongeren If you can only do one thing in Tongeren, be sure to visit the Gallo-Roman Museum. This modern, interactive museum was…
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  • weekend #17 – forests and swans

    24 Apr 2015 | 4:31 am
        Hi everybody! I can feel it – spring is in Helsinki! Even if it’s not very warm yet you can see some flowers, green baby leaves and evenings are longer, today sunset is at 9 pm. By the way, I like practical  time and date site!     Here’s my forest collage for   Paint Party Friday   Note! If you want my comment check you have name/URL option on, thank you!     All these paintings are here.       Themute swan(Cygnus olor) /kyhmyjoutsen   shot in Seurasaari, Helsinki. If you want to see my old posts from…
  • forests – metsiä #7 – #9

    22 Apr 2015 | 9:56 am
      Theme Art challenge April: 9 forests     Teemataiteen huhtikuun haaste: 9 metsää   All 9 works / kaikki 9 työtä here/täällä.     final three works and collage   viimeiset kolme työtä ja kuvakooste     #7       #8       #9           KIITOS! Tämä oli kaikin puolin mukava haaste!    
  • weekend # 16 – Sydney city center

    17 Apr 2015 | 12:45 am
        but first my entry to   Paint Party Friday   no name, made with pastels         and now memories from our Aussie vacation – Sydney city center shots. Previous Sydney posts are here and here.                     Here in Helsinki I’ve seen some spring signs       Have a relaxing weekend!     ps.   I can not comment on your blog if you don’t have name/URL option to leave a comment….    
  • forests – metsiä #4 – #6

    13 Apr 2015 | 5:43 am
        Theme Art challenge April: 9 forests   Teemataiteen huhtikuun haaste: 9 metsää     #4 – #6     #4       #5         #6         All forests are here.     Kaikki metsät löytyy täältä.    
  • weekend #15 – more aboriginal art

    9 Apr 2015 | 10:55 pm
        But first my ‘art’   for   Paint Party Friday   ‘forest’     Edited version (#3) of this is here.     My previous post from MCA Sydney is here.       Do you see a snake?       Is this a frog or not?       Are these ants?   Have a relaxing weekend!        ps.   Dear Blogspot blogger, you must have name/URL comment option on otherwise I can not comment on your blog.    
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    Bleeding Espresso

  • The Inspiring Legacy of Nicholas Green

    21 Apr 2015 | 10:30 pm
    This month’s topic for the Italy Roundtable is GREEN. My first thought and most obvious direction was “going green,” but years ago, I did a series of posts on that topic (read from my archives here) and besides, I wanted to focus on a unique connection between Calabria and GREEN. And then one day while washing dishes, while not even thinking about what to write about for the Roundtable, the story of little Nicholas Green popped into my head. And I knew I had my topic. Seven-year-old Nicholas Green was visiting Calabria with his family in September 1994. They were on the…
  • Guest Post: Resilience and the Well-Lived Life

    19 Apr 2015 | 4:16 am
    The following is a guest post by my dear friend, Diana Strinati Baur, who has learned the ins and outs of resilience and change the hard way so you don’t have to — she’ll teach you in her new course, Resilience: Mastering the Art of Moving On. For the last twenty-one years of my life, I’ve been an ex-patriate living outside of my native America. The other evening I realized that if I had had a child the year I arrived in Europe, he or she would be able to drink alcohol legally in the States now — a realization that floored me as it means an entire generational life…
  • Living Authentically: How Italy Forced the Issue

    17 Mar 2015 | 11:30 pm
    You’ve probably heard the phrase “living an authentic life” kicked around, especially in the past several years. Generally, it means bringing our actions in line with our thoughts and beliefs . . . quite simply, being ourselves, living “your truth.” Living an authentic life means identifying what makes you feel alive and vibrant and then having the courage to live and operate in that space while battling down any fears that would inhibit you from doing so. It sounds simple, in theory, but it’s actually rather difficult for many of us to achieve and…
  • Lost in Translation: Adventures in Sola-tude

    19 Feb 2015 | 10:30 pm
    Solo/sola in Italian means both alone and lonely. Let that sink in for a second. In Italian, alone and lonely are, essentially, one in the same. Yes, there is a slight difference in that one “feels” lonely but is “alone,” but this oddity of the language (to my American ears) has always intrigued me, particularly as the interplay of the two concepts has come up repeatedly during my time in rural southern Italy. You see, I’ve never needed to take any online or magazine quiz to determine whether I’m an extrovert or an introvert. I am, indeed, a classic…
  • One-Word Theme for 2015: FORZA!

    21 Jan 2015 | 4:08 am
    My daughter’s first full year outside the womb went by so fast, and luckily for all of us, my one-word theme for 2014 held up well. The word was “salute,” which put a focus firmly on health this past year. Throughout the year, I took daily walks with my little one and got scolded several times for having her out in such weather — too hot, too cold, too windy, you name it and I was wrongwrongwrong. You can read more about everything I don’t know about being a mother (according to locals) at Baby Espresso. The walks gave both of us some fresh air and me some time to just be quiet…
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    Everyone's Blog Posts - Expatacular! - Global Expat Community

  • The Apartment Service has published 5th edition Global Serviced Apartments Industry Report

    Bard Vos
    20 Apr 2015 | 2:34 am
    The Apartment Service has launched the 5th edition of the Global Serviced Apartments Industry Report in February during the Business Travel Show in London, These reports document the development and rise of the serviced apartment sector worldwide and provides an overview of the latest trends and developments as well as global serviced apartment listings.  To obtain a copy of the 5th edition of the Global Serviced Apartments Industry Report, please provide us with: + Name + Company Name + Job Title + E-mail address + Website + City + Are you a buyer of serviced apartments provider of…
  • Zhengzhou

    James Grigsby
    20 Mar 2015 | 9:02 am
    Anyone here in Zhengzhou? Would like to meet
  • Easter Hot Cross Buns

    Anne Taylor
    14 Mar 2015 | 6:45 pm
    Hot Cross Buns Ingredients 2 tbs. plus 2 tsp. milk 1/8 tsp. salt (optional) ½ tsp. quick rising dry yeast 1½ tsp. unsalted butter, softened 1½ tsp. brown sugar, firmly packed 1 egg, room temperature plus 1 lightly beaten 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. currants or raisins 1/8 tsp. nutmeg ¼ tsp. water dash of ground allspice 2 Tbs. confectioner's sugar (icing sugar) 1/8 tsp. ground cloves ¾ tsp. heavy cream 1 cup all-purpose (plain) flour, plus additional if necessary Spread with butter or jam as required. Method Place milk in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. When milk…
  • Cyclone

    Anne Taylor
    22 Feb 2015 | 7:35 pm
    Cyclone This time of the year in the Northern Territory (monsoon area to the north of the continent), West Coast of Australia (Western Australia) and Queensland (on the east coast) are subject to Cyclones usually in January but they can form anytime up to April.  Last week we had two “lows”, one hanging around the Northern Territory (Lam) and the other off the Coast of Queensland (Marcia). Marcia was a category 1 cyclone until last night when it ramped up to become a category 5.  Category 5 cyclones have wind gusts of up to 295 kilometres per hour.  Lam was not so strong and only…
  • The Winter Solstice冬至

    17 Dec 2014 | 9:40 pm
    The Winter Solstice The winter solstice is an important solar term in the lunar calendar in China,which is also a traditional festival. As early as 2,500 years ago, about the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), China had determined the point of Winter Solstice by observing movements of the sun with a sundial. It is the earliest of the 24 solar terms. The time will be on each December 21 or 22 according to the Gregorian calendar. 2500122122 土圭(tǔ guī) The Northern hemisphere on this day experiences the shortest daytime and longest nighttime. After the Winter Solstice, days will…
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    Australian Daisy

  • Tips for studying in Australia

    3 Apr 2015 | 6:36 pm
    Nowadays, students prefer going abroad for higher studies. They explore the several options they have: United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. With a beautiful scenery and peaceful culture, Australia is a standard place hence it is high on the list for international students. The government spends more than $200,000,000 annually in international scholarships. Here are few tips for studying in Australia: Do research online Submit application to University Open a bank account Consider doing part-time job Do research online Firstly, websites will help you a lot like…
  • How to find a great property in Australia

    3 Mar 2015 | 5:28 pm
    Do bear in mind the climate factor when choosing the place as some areas are very hot during May, June and July. Some places rain a lot. Australia had to go through from a ‘correction’ around four years ago, but improved to post annual house price rises at a modest rate for the past three years. Property price rises are decreasing but there is less buyer interest in the market, so for those who are thinking of buying, are in luck. Statistics suggest that the rate of economic tightening in Australia is less than in many other industrialized countries, so the recession may be less dangerous…
  • Cost of motorcycle accessories in Australia

    20 Sep 2014 | 4:37 am
    In Australia, you can do just about any upgrade to your motorcycle. You choose which parts to upgrade and in what order you will do it. What you need is to purchase the parts that you need the most and fix them to your motorcycle. The types of accessories you need to purchase are greatly influenced by their prices. Here are the prices of different accessories in Australia. The common motorcycle accessories Helmets Men and women leather coats Motorcycle boots Motorcycle bag Motorcycle gloves Helmets Helmets come in different sizes, colour, price, and shapes. A helmet is a vital accessory for…
  • Playing billiard in Australia

    18 Aug 2014 | 8:21 pm
    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…
  • Best fishing spots in Australia

    7 Aug 2014 | 3:29 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.
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  • Wow… That was amazing.

    Simon Black
    27 Apr 2015 | 9:56 am
    April 27, 2015 Cancun, Mexico What an incredible experience. We just spent the last three days with 375 of the most interesting people I’ve ever met down here in Cancun. Our Global Offshore and Investment Summit was absolutely jam-packed. And a ton of fun. We were joined by brilliant financial luminaries like Dr. Marc Faber, Jim Rickards, Peter Schiff, and none other than Robert and Kim Kiyosaki. The Kiyosakis have been huge mentors to me, and it was a real honor to stand with them on stage discussing the challenges and solutions in today’s world. Our primary theme was how, with so much…
  • Somebody show this chart to Jim Cramer

    Sovereign Man
    23 Apr 2015 | 8:04 am
    Cancun, Mexico April 23, 2015 The next time some financial pundit tells you to buy stocks, show them this chart. It’s an incredibly interesting take on not only how expensive stocks are right now, but also how the monetary system has left the average guy behind. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, when priced in the average blue-collar hourly wage (based on the US Labor Department’s historical data) is now, you guessed it, at an all-time high. This means that it takes the typical worker more hours of sweat and labor to buy the Dow than ever before in at least the last five decades.
  • Consider these 5 steps in creating your own ‘Plan B’

    Simon Black
    22 Apr 2015 | 8:55 am
    April 22, 2015 Cancun, Mexico In May 1788, Thomas Jefferson wrote one of the most prescient statements of his career: “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.” Jefferson was living in Paris at the time serving as the Minister to France at a time when the United States was still in its infancy. It was during this period that France descended into violent revolution. And Jefferson had a front row seat to witness it. France’s reversal of fortune was legendary; only a few years before they were the largest superpower in the world and had helped…
  • Take a look at what they buried in this obscure report

    Simon Black
    21 Apr 2015 | 11:29 am
    April 21, 2015 Cancun, Mexico Imagine having a net worth of $57 billion. That sounds like a lot. And for the few folks out there like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Vladimir Putin who have racked up such a prodigious amount, it is a lot. But not if you’re the US Federal Reserve. Just like how individual people can calculate their ‘net worth’ by adding up all of their assets (cash, property, and investments) and subtracting liabilities (loans, credit card debt, etc.), the Fed has a net worth as well. But for the Fed, its $57 billion net worth only constitutes about 1.28% of its massive…
  • When Jamie Dimon highlights risks in the market, it’s time to get out.

    Tim Price
    20 Apr 2015 | 7:56 am
    April 20, 2015 London, England [Editor’s note: This letter was penned by Tim Price, Director of Investment at PFP Wealth Management in the UK and editor of Price Value International.] In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, the Queen would sometimes believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast. She is probably working in the bond markets now. The average yield on all German government debt is now less than zero, for example. This doesn’t really make any sense, but then not much does any more in the interest rate markets. We saw last month that the Danish sex therapist…
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    Czech Off the Beaten Path

  • Veselé Velikonoce 2015

    3 Apr 2015 | 4:24 am
    Hi Everyone, We’re gearing up for Easter weekend, with Winter still trying to keep hold. The past week’s been one blustery, cold, and sometimes snowy week, in spite of it now being Spring. Czech Easter Traditions Today’s post is a … Continue reading →
  • The Trouble with Language

    6 Feb 2015 | 4:06 am
    The language in a cross-cultural marriage can be frustrating, but also funny. When a couple marries, they become one; in a cross-cultural marriage, this oneness generally brings together two different languages and the culture of language. By the culture of … Continue reading →
  • Terezín and the Defiance to Live

    27 Jan 2015 | 12:52 am
    Hi Everyone, Today marks the 70th anniversary of the Soviet army’s liberation of Auschwitz, with memorial services planned in Oswiecim (Auschwitz), Poland. The Czech Republic will be represented at these services by Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and three of his … Continue reading →
  • Welcome & Happy New Year!

    29 Dec 2014 | 3:05 pm
    Hi Everyone, Welcome to Czech Off the Beaten Path’s new home! I announced the moved back in August, but didn’t have time to begin working on the move until today. It feels good to have this blog on it’s own … Continue reading →
  • Getting Ready to Move to My Own Site!

    14 Aug 2014 | 12:45 am
    Hi Everyone, For a long time I’ve been wanting to move Czech Off the Beaten Path to its own website. I finally took the plunge and bought the domain a couple of days ago. You can find the new site … Continue reading →
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    Monkeys and Mountains | Adventure Travel Blog

  • Bucharest Sightseeing By Night

    20 Apr 2015 | 7:02 am
    The original can be found here: Bucharest Sightseeing By Night. Please read the original. When you think of beautiful cities, Bucharest is likely not the first one to come to mind! And that's why I love this city so much - it's full of surprises! Monkeys and Mountains | Adventure Travel Blog - Adventures in Europe | Germany Travel Tips | Life-Changing Trips | Outdoor Adventures
  • PowerPere BPA Free Collapsible Water Bottle Review

    18 Apr 2015 | 4:55 am
    The original can be found here: PowerPere BPA Free Collapsible Water Bottle Review. Please read the original. In addition to being environmental friendly, the PowerPere collapsible water bottle is also lightweight and easy to stash away once it's empty. Monkeys and Mountains | Adventure Travel Blog - Adventures in Europe | Germany Travel Tips | Life-Changing Trips | Outdoor Adventures
  • My Favourite Adventures in the Canadian Rocky Mountains

    10 Apr 2015 | 1:42 am
    The original can be found here: My Favourite Adventures in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Please read the original. I have a secret I haven’t even told most of my friends yet….I’m returning back to Canada for a month this summer, most of which I’ll spend in the Canadian Rocky Mountains! To say I am excited would be an understatement! Besides my family and friends, the thing I’ve missed most are the Rockies!  And […] Monkeys and Mountains | Adventure Travel Blog - Adventures in Europe | Germany Travel Tips | Life-Changing Trips | Outdoor Adventures
  • Spring Fever: Why Germans Don’t Feel Frisky!

    8 Apr 2015 | 6:40 am
    The original can be found here: Spring Fever: Why Germans Don’t Feel Frisky!. Please read the original. While Canadians get spring fever, Germans don't. They get Frühjahrsmüdigkeit, or spring tiredness. Turns out they're not the only ones! Find out why: Monkeys and Mountains | Adventure Travel Blog - Adventures in Europe | Germany Travel Tips | Life-Changing Trips | Outdoor Adventures
  • A Beautiful Day Hike in Kleinwalsertal, Austria

    26 Mar 2015 | 4:14 pm
    The original can be found here: A Beautiful Day Hike in Kleinwalsertal, Austria. Please read the original. The Kleinwalsertal, can't be reached from the rest of Austria, unless you hike out! Here's one great day hike in this spectacular mountainous region: Monkeys and Mountains | Adventure Travel Blog - Adventures in Europe | Germany Travel Tips | Life-Changing Trips | Outdoor Adventures
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    The Expat Coach Association

  • Four Commitments of My Expatriate Adventure

    Scott Masciarelli
    23 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    Seated in the hotel restaurant, on the first day of my expatriate assignment in Kuwait, I was having breakfast with my new regional director. He gazed out the window at the Arabian Gulf and then turned to me. “Do you like sunshine?” Not knowing him well, I thought that was a strange question, but said yes. He replied, “Good. You’re going to have a lot of it.” As a new expatriate general manager my role was to lead a multinational team of a global airline. I soon found out that in addition to loads of sunshine I also had extreme challenges, lots of frustration,…
  • Coach of the Month – Norman Viss

    31 Mar 2015 | 9:01 pm
    Name:  Norman Viss Title:  Coach and Founder Business Name:  Expat Everyday Support Center Client Testimonials:  http://expateverydaysupportcenter.com/testimonials-2 Niche/Specialties:  We provide coaching support for expats of all kinds – individual expats or those sent by companies or non-profit organizations. Expat Experience:  I have been an expat for 32 years: 10 years in Nigeria and 22 years in the Netherlands. My coaching partner has been an expat for 20+ years in Bonaire; Columbo, Sri Lanka; and Johannesburg, South Africa. Languages Spoken:  English and Dutch Life…
  • Getting Involved in the Big Expat World

    Scott Masciarelli
    26 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    “It is so big on the outside but the reality is that it feels very small on the inside.” Said Raj who was describing how he feels after the first nine months of his expatriate assignment in the United States. Raj is from Delhi, India. His relocation came quickly and, like many expatriates, without sufficient preparation. His company provided him with a start date, a one-way ticket to Washington D.C. and a hotel for the first 30 days. From the moment he arrived he has been learning things as he goes. This prompted the realization that what he was truly experiencing was a very small…
  • Coach of the Month – Ebru Goksu Yildirim

    28 Feb 2015 | 8:01 pm
    Name:  Ebru Goksu Yildirim Title:  Life, Relationship and Personal Branding Coach (BEc, CPCC, ACC, ORSC) Business Name:  Unlocked Potentials Client Testimonials:  www.unlockedpotentials.com Niche/Specialties:  I work with expats on their life, business, relationship and relocation related matters. Expat Experience:  I’ve been an expat myself over 10 years, and studied, lived and worked in various countries, which in return broaden my vision and strengthen my skills as a coach. Prior to coaching, I held some senior regional roles in the corporate world, which involved market research…
  • The First Three Months Abroad

    Scott Masciarelli
    26 Feb 2015 | 3:30 am
    It has been three months since you have landed in your new host country. Time has likely passed very fast. This is the initial “honeymoon” period of your overseas move where everything is both new and exciting and you are making one discovery after another. It is all an adventure: the food, your new coworkers, learning about local customs and etiquette and the most fun of all is that you get to play tourist. Wouldn’t it be great if this stays like this for the entire assignment? There is that possibility with a little awareness and foresight. For the moment, however, the…
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    You're Not From Around Here, Are You?

  • Wandering through Wadi Rum – Jordan

    15 Apr 2015 | 3:45 am
    The day didn’t start well, with our drive from Petra back to Amman shrouded in some of the thickest mist I’ve ever seen. Visibility in the mountains was down to about 20 metres, and we really weren’t comfortable driving, but our driver was used to it and carried on at very slow speed. Driving through the mist above Wadi Rum Dropping out of the mountains to Wadi Rum was like flying through the clouds into the bright sunlight above. In just a minute or two the mist stopped and the skies were once again clear. The Seven Pillars of Wisdom Wadi Rum has what looks like a newly built…
  • Not-so-epic hike up to the Monastery – Petra, Jordan

    17 Mar 2015 | 1:32 am
    The beginning of the hike, near the Crowne Plaza restaurant I’d heard about the grandeur of the Monastery before arriving. Reading blogs beforehand told tales of epic hikes, taking two hours along narrow ledges and avoiding rampaging donkeys. Standing at the end of the valley it’s not possible to see the peak, but there are a lot of staircases visible on the way. I set off and immediately attracted a young boy selling donkey rides, who said I had two hours to go. I doubted this, so said no thanks to the ride. He angrily spurred the donkey, then hit it on the side of the head. The surprise…
  • Notes from Petra – Jordan

    5 Mar 2015 | 8:44 pm
    The largest basin area has an array of spectacular structures, that you’re allowed to enter. The walk into Petra is downhill all the way, which is easy, but it’s worth remembering that the way out of Petra is going to be entirely uphill, so leave yourself enough time and energy to get back to the entrance. Some of the older and simpler residential homes. The smaller of the two basins If you can’t be bothered to walk around there are endless offers of a donkey, horse, camel or carriage. We declined all of these in favour of walking, as the animals look to be very badly treated,…
  • As-Siq and the Treasury – Petra, Jordan

    4 Mar 2015 | 12:20 am
    The entrance to the As-Siq canyon. There used to be an archway across. After founding Al-Beida, the Nabateans went on to create their greatest city at Petra. The entrance on the outskirts of modern Petra is reasonably unassuming, with a small ticket office and an unaggressive array of souvenir shops. Walking beyond this the landscape stretches out, but the view is blocked by a ridge. The sandy path leads round to a deep and narrow gorge called the Siq, hemmed in by cliffs up to 80 metres high. To the right of the gorge is a large dam, designed to avoid the flash floods common in the winter…
  • In Photos: Little Petra – Al Beida, Jordan

    25 Feb 2015 | 6:25 pm
    The very narrow entrance About 10km away from Petra there’s a short canyon that’s home to Al-Beida. Beida means white in Arabic, and the area takes its name from the white rock that makes up the canyon walls. Known as Little Petra this was the home of the Nabateans in the 1st century AD for about 500 years, before they constructed their far larger city at Petra. There’s evidence here of that it was a busy trading post , with relics found that had been traded from round the entire region such as turquoise from Sinai and shells from the Mediterranean. The first view of Little Petra…
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    The Displaced Nation

  • DIARY OF AN EXPAT WRITER: My writing process, now being applied to a shiny new book series

    The Displaced Nation Team
    24 Apr 2015 | 10:31 am
    An American expat newlywed in Hong Kong, Shannon Young took the momentous decision last summer to quit her day job and launch out as a full-time writer. She’d given herself until Chinese New Year to see if she could make a living but has now postponed the decision—something we’re actually rather glad about as her […]
  • For this Salzburg-based New Englander and fine-art photographer, a picture says…

    ML Awanohara
    22 Apr 2015 | 10:11 am
    Hello, Displaced Nationers! I am standing in for A Picture Says… columnist James King, who unfortunately can’t be with us this month. James left the choice up to me, so I’ve extended an invitation to Dave Long, a U.S.-born photographer living in Salzburg, Austria. I discovered Dave through his involvement with under a grey sky…, […]
  • GLOBAL FOOD GOSSIP: Is humankind getting too fussy to share food, one of our most basic bonding rituals?

    The Displaced Nation Team
    16 Apr 2015 | 10:11 am
    Joanna Masters-Maggs was displaced from her native England 17 years ago, and has since attempted to re-place herself in the USA, Holland, Brazil, Malaysia, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and now France. She describes herself as a “global food gossip”, saying: “I’ve always enjoyed cooking and trying out new recipes. Overseas, I am curious as to what […]
  • EMERALD CITY TO “KANSAS”: Lynne Door on seeing the Wizard of Expat Life and returning home too early

    ML Awanohara
    15 Apr 2015 | 10:01 am
    Welcome to “Emerald City to ‘Kansas,'” a series in which we focus on expatriate-into-repatriate stories. Today’s subject is Lynne Door, a graphic designer and self-proclaimed “typophile” who runs her own business specializing in branding, web design and print. Originally from New England, Lynne is now based in California, but she also managed to squeeze in […]
  • CULTURE SHOCK TOOLBOX: How to be a diva in another culture–by not being one!

    The Displaced Nation Team
    10 Apr 2015 | 10:01 am
    Columnist H.E. Rybol never saw a culture clash she didn’t want to fix. She calls herself a “transitions enthusiast” and credits her Third Culture Kid upbringing for giving her a head start in that department. That said, H.E. is always looking for new tools to add to her kit, and toward that end has been […]
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    Expat Ukraine Forum

  • Re: KBP All Immigration queues except 1-2 Are EU/UA

    28 Apr 2015 | 7:21 am
    You are not allowed to view links. Register or LoginYou are not allowed to view links. Register or LoginYou are not allowed to view links. Register or Login[quote author=cc3 link=t...
  • Re: Skovoridtka Cafe - Kiev

    27 Apr 2015 | 11:48 pm
    Ok We'll give it a try next time.   We've sure had fun meeting our online friends there on Kreschatic at the Cossak Joy though. The semi official RMP meeting place in Kyiv.  IIRC "Lucifer" even liked it!
  • Re: Skovoridtka Cafe - Kiev

    27 Apr 2015 | 11:23 pm
    Ah so THAT's their real name.   Been waiting for the correction on that.  Yeah they're tasty, but Skovoridka stands head & shoulders above them and about half the price too.  You will not be disappointed.
  • Re: Skovoridtka Cafe - Kiev

    27 Apr 2015 | 9:37 pm
         It doesn't take much to twist my arm to eat anything good!  But the "Cossak's Joy"  (КОЗАЦЬКА ВТІХА, COZATZKA VTIHA ) is awfully good!
  • Re: Is Ukraine Conflict a Victory or Defeat for Russia?

    27 Apr 2015 | 8:48 pm
        Russian military doctrine includes nuclear weapons use in at least tactical situations where the Army is losing a battle on the ground.    Of course Veto power at the Security council could only be stripped by a Unanimous vote of the Security Coun...
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    [MM] Muscat Mutterings

  • Fight on Oman Air flight 102 from London to Muscat

    28 Apr 2015 | 4:30 am
    No room to swing a cat, only punches.I read with amusement this afternoon this story filed by the Daily Mail about a fight that broke out between two passengers. Apparently the flight wasn't full and so one person decided to move seats. Another person decided they didn't like that and so started raining punches on the person that moved seats, and then even took their shoe off to start hitting the other person with it.Ha ha! Its almost a shame a handbag wasn't involved.Having done the "long flight back" to Muscat more than a few times, I'm aware that some people might not be elated about…
  • Feeny's fundraising for Nepal

    28 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    Unless you've been living under a rock, you will know by now the horrendous situation being faced by those in Nepal. This past Saturday an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the scales. A big quake. The UN says over 8 million people are affected, and estimates that over 1.2 million people require food aid right now. The death toll rises with the last estimate I read saying it was over 3,000.Feeny's have a donation box that they've got in their bar that you can donate to, and there's a pub quiz tonight, so perhaps you could donate to a worthy cause and have a laugh AND even exercise your brain (no…
  • Owning a motorbike in Oman as an expat

    28 Apr 2015 | 1:00 am
    A few days ago, this story from the ToO was published which has some pretty big repercussions for people wanting to ride motorbikes here in the Sultanate. Now there's really two groups of people that this effects: Expats that want to ride bikes for leisure, and expats who want to ride bikes for work (eg delivery drivers).Now, the reason for the rule change is because people have been taking the piss and getting a learner license and just never taking the test to get a full license. Think about it - how many delivery drivers have you seen on L plates? Lots I'm guessing.The ToO article quotes a…
  • Muscat Duty Free are having a clearance sale

    27 Apr 2015 | 5:09 am
    Coming up in a few days the Muscat Duty Free guys and girls are having a liquidation clearance sale. Rather annoyingly its during working hours, so it's a WAG's mission I guess. Between this Tuesday 28th and Thursday 20th April between 9am and 6pm at the Seven Seas Complex (ground floor - room 7) which is opposite the airport near the Shell station.The area around that building is fairly terrible for parking, so I imagine it'd be a bit of a mad crush, or maybe it wont.I assume that they'll be flogging old stock to make room for new stock.... so I'm thinking watches, jewellery, that sort of…
  • Free cooler bag from Heineken anyone?

    26 Apr 2015 | 9:00 pm
    I was in OUA at MQ over the weekend to pick up some adult beverages and I was quite pleased to see that there was a promotion giving away a Heineken cooler bag with the purchase of a box of the green cans. I was at the Dubai 7s last year and saw that there was a new (3rd design in 8 years now) Heineken cooler bag doing the rounds. Fortunately for me, I was there as a guest of someone else and didn't have to buy anything, but this did mean that I didn't get one of the handier mementos of the rugby tournament - a new updated cooler bag!I've been using my old Heineken bags for years, and they're…
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    In Search of a Life Less Ordinary

  • Does Living Abroad Make You A Better Person?

    Russell Ward
    14 Apr 2015 | 7:35 pm
    I consider myself a good person. I'm considerate to those around me. I help others when I can. I try to be the best person I can be, although I admit I don't always succeed.I argue with people. I get frustrated. I sometimes hold a grudge for longer than I should.I've been busy with work lately, struggling to find balance and having difficulty fitting people in. When I get busy, I internalise more and retreat into myself. I neglect those I should make time for and I don't get back to people as quickly as I could.But I realise this and I work to change this. I acknowledge that, like most…
  • 12 Life Lessons From 12 Years of Living a Life Less Ordinary

    Russell Ward
    29 Mar 2015 | 4:42 pm
    Twelve years ago, I moved abroad. Left everything I knew. Said goodbye to people I cherished. Packed up the contents of a beloved house, took off with my wife and two dogs, and shipped out to the other side of the Atlantic.We had no idea what awaited us at the other end.Looking back, I can vividly recollect key points on our journey. The times when being away felt like a burden too heavy to bear. The intense homesickness and abject loneliness in those early days. The miscommunications and cultural differences at work and play. The lack of belonging and the fear of making further changes that…
  • In Search of That Thing Called Happiness

    Russell Ward
    15 Mar 2015 | 5:12 pm
    On balance, I have a good life. Everything I want and need is around me. I spend quality time with family, work the way I choose and pursue my passions with little or no distraction. Life is sweet and I'm fulfilled, but I still haven't found true happiness.I'm not even certain it exists.Although I refocused my life for the better, I wouldn't say I'm in a constant state of happiness. I share ideas on living a life less ordinary but it's not one in which I'm eternally happy.I love where I live but the heat gets me down and the traffic makes me crazy. I work the way I want to but the projects…
  • 3 Things Dating Foreign Women (And Marrying One) Taught Me

    Russell Ward
    18 Feb 2015 | 8:45 pm
    In my younger years, I tried dating girls from my home town but the relationships never got off the ground.Once I was set up with a friend of a friend. We met at a local pub and I hoped for enthusiastic conversation and a bright ending. We talked about the things we both liked but the chat was forced, the mood sombre and we had less in common than we thought.Some time later, I took another local girl on a date. I'd returned from university and while the craving to head abroad had started to grow, I was determined to give hometown life and a night out with this pretty, intelligent girl a fair…
  • How Writing Saved Me

    Russell Ward
    29 Jan 2015 | 8:42 pm
    I was always envious of people who knew exactly what they wanted to do in life. The kind of person that wants to be a doctor from an early age. Or the colleague with a career plan that takes them to the top.Whether it's a respect for this determined spirit or a deep-seated envy of their focus and drive, I often found myself wishing I was more like them. Less prone to dreaming and equipped with a rock-solid future plan.I never seemed able to work out what my plan was. The words "late starter" were often used around me as I emerged from my teens. Slow to get going but he'll figure it out.But I…
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    Expat Explorer

  • New country. New job. New you?

    28 Apr 2015 | 6:40 am
    It is next to impossible to describe the average expat. They can be laid back or highly driven, family-orientated or footloose singletons, old or young – the list goes on. That’s because becoming an expat says more about who you want to be than it does about who you already are.Relocating your life, even for a short period, is a bold statement and one of the most popular reasons people become an expat is to challenge themselves. It doesn’t matter whether you’re young or a parent, a serial expat or a first timer – according to our 2014 survey around a third of expats globally say…
  • What kind of expat are you?

    22 Apr 2015 | 4:49 am
    The word ‘expat’ conjures up many images for different people; from career focused individuals, adventurers, to families looking for a new life abroad.  As the results of the 2014 Expat Explorer survey revealed, the incentives to move abroad vary for every expat as do their experiences and behaviours once in a new country.  Here’s a lowdown on the types of expats you can expect to meet on your journey – and a few ideas for getting the most out of things along the way!The nearly-nativeYou try to distance yourself from the word ‘expat’ as much as you can, with the term…
  • Five things to do with our new Expat Explorer interactive Hub

    16 Apr 2015 | 3:03 am
    At Expat Explorer we've been swapping tips, reviewing far flung expat destinations and sharing our perspective, as well as yours, for more than seven years and we feel it’s time for us to take the next step in our evolution.Our beautiful new hub, click to through to exploreToday we launch our brand new Expat Explorer hub. The hub is your one stop shop for all our interactive expat tools, from old favourites like our Expat Explorer survey interactive map, to brand new additions like our 34 dedicated Expat Country Guides, there is plenty to get your teeth into. But where to get…
  • An Expat Guide to Uncovering London

    14 Apr 2015 | 9:19 am
    Moving abroad can be a daunting prospect, especially when that move is to one of the most populated and busiest cities in the world: London.  Expats arriving in London for the first time may feel equally overwhelmed as excited.  When balancing a new job with adjusting to a new city and home, there’s a lot to think about – so here’s our pick of the best ways you can uncover your new city, one day at a time. Through historyTo discover the heart of London, it is important to look back and understand its history. London has such rich history going back more than 2,000…
  • The top adventures every expat should have as part of exploring their new home

    9 Apr 2015 | 4:29 am
    To fully experience your new home, you need to immerse yourself by diving into the experience and becoming inspired by your new culture. Moving abroad is one of the biggest adventures of a lifetime, but don’t feel shy, you may be surprised by what you find just on your new doorstep.Here is our guide to hitting the ground running and making the most out of the new experiences each day will bring. Make your stay an adventurous one!Get lost: Leave the house and go for a walk, take different turnings and see where you end up.  You could get on a bus or train and ride it to the end. You…
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    Le Franco Phoney

  • No, this really is a new French product

    20 Apr 2015 | 12:32 am
    Does anyone sound more attractive than a French person talking about something they love? Take food, for example. Dine with a group of French people and you can be entertained for an entire evening just by listening to those smooth accents discussing whether that tarte tartin was properly caramelised or whether the pastry was overcooked. The conversation really can last all night. In more private settings away from the dinner table, pillow talk in French is the stuff movies are made of. We love the French! We adore their language, we love their food, and we want to hear them whisper sweet…
  • La Tarte Tropézienne

    9 Apr 2015 | 11:18 pm
    La Tarte Tropézienne is a cream bun with a celebrity history. Apparently, Bridget Bardot loved these tasty treats when they were in their infancy, and encouraged their chef, Alexandre Micka, to come up with a name for them. Their popularity grew from there. This tasty treat is a brioche bun filled with a ‘velvety mix’ of two creams, tasting of custard, cream and orange blossom water.  As you can see, the filling is generous. The bun is topped with chunky lumps of sugar. The recipe has remained a well-kept secret. Other bakeries copy it, and some have added their own touches,…
  • Shoot targets underwater in La Clusaz!

    20 Mar 2015 | 4:08 am
    This week, this photo appeared on my Facebook feed: Err, what? Is this an actual thing? Underwater shooting in a swimming pool apparently is a thing in La Clusaz and Europe in general. A bit of research reveals that this sport was borne in the eighties in France, where it’s known as tir sur cible subaquatique. Competitors must be eighteen, so it looks like La Clusaz are hoping to introduce this…erm….’sport’…to future champions. They’re allowed to use a diving mask, fins, snorkel, speargun, diving weights and a wetsuit. As someone who struggles to…
  • The acceptable fart sound

    12 Mar 2015 | 12:33 am
    In France, it’s unheard of to start a meal with without saying “Bon appetit“. Cheese is served before dessert. Kids are shooshed if they talk loudly in a public place (making the parents far louder than the kids), and it’s just plain wrong to offer chrysanthemums to a living person. It’s a country that sells croque monsieurs in busy pubs during gigs, because even the toughest punk fan enjoys the tenderness of the melted cheese in a ham and cheese toasty. Etiquette differs between regions as to how many kisses are given when greeting someone, but kisses are always…
  • What France thinks of vegetarians

    19 Feb 2015 | 11:44 pm
    Ahh, look at this rustic hippy scene from the seventies. Hang on, that’s an image from a brand new advertisement on French TV. The ad represents vegetarians as hippies living in houses with home-made decorations like shells on strings. Add some cotton shirts, bouffant hair and beaded jewelry and we’ve got the perfect hippy family. Cured meat makers, Aoste, are responsible for the ad, in full, below (with a shortened translation under it). Dad: “But how come you don’t want to be a vegetarian anymore?” Son: “I’m sick of always eating the same things —…
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  • Doing Autism Differently

    Aisha Ashraf
    2 Apr 2015 | 11:41 am
    With a lump in my throat I described my beautiful, clever, mischievous daughter and discussed all the ways we could help make her future the antithesis of my past. The post Doing Autism Differently appeared first on EXPATLOG.
  • An Apologist’s Apology

    Aisha Ashraf
    12 Mar 2015 | 8:54 am
    Instead of building intercultural bridges as I imagined, I was adding my bricks to the prisons so many are walled up in by their own communities... The post An Apologist’s Apology appeared first on EXPATLOG.
  • The Coldest February Since Eighteen-Something

    Aisha Ashraf
    25 Feb 2015 | 4:57 am
    They said on the radio today this was the coldest February since eighteen-something. After a certain point cold is cold is cold. The post The Coldest February Since Eighteen-Something appeared first on EXPATLOG.
  • Accepting Disability – A Work In Progress

    Aisha Ashraf
    28 Jan 2015 | 9:11 am
    I don’t need to take on the responsibility for changing other people’s misconceptions. Learning to be honest and authentic - standing in my own truth – is more important right now. The post Accepting Disability – A Work In Progress appeared first on EXPATLOG.
  • Hypomania: riding the bipolar high

    Aisha Ashraf
    8 Dec 2014 | 6:19 am
    These days when I relax in shavasana at the end of yoga the tears flowing into my ears are from an ecstasy of joy not sorrow... The post Hypomania: riding the bipolar high appeared first on EXPATLOG.
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  • Brakes On Falling House Prices In Spain

    Lisa Smith
    27 Apr 2015 | 10:46 pm
    House prices in Spain are still falling more than seven years after values started to drop following the financial crisis. Property valuation web site Tinsa reckons the average home price was 2.8% lower in March 2015 than 12 months earlier, although the drop is slowing. In February, the year-on-year fall was 3.6%. Since the start of the downward spiral of home prices, the average residential property in Spain has lost around 41% of value. Thousands of properties repossessed from developers and homeowners by banks remain unsold and available at bargain prices. Some real estate agents are…
  • Home Repossession Threat Lifted For Cyprus Expats

    Jim Atkins
    27 Apr 2015 | 10:46 pm
    Expat homeowners in Cyprus saw MPs vote for a ban on repossessing their properties won by the narrowest of margins in Parliament. The new law stops banks repossessing homes from owners without title deeds because developers had already raised loans against the properties. In many cases, owners had paid off their mortgages and then found banks still moved for repossession because a loan they did not know about was secured against the home by the developer. The legislation had already gone before Parliament, but was rejected by President Nicos Anastasiades because of inconsistencies in the…
  • New HMRC Tax Penalty Warning To QROPS Savers

    Lisa Smith
    24 Apr 2015 | 11:00 pm
    Consumer warnings on the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) QROPS List have changed this month. The latest list published on April 15, 2015, points out that HMRC only lists pensions that scheme administrators have declared meet registered overseas pension scheme (ROPS) rules and that the tax authority cannot guarantee that they are QROPS. The warning also makes clear that transfers to schemes that are not QROPS may attract a tax charge. “It is your responsibility to find out if you have to pay tax on any transfer of pension savings,” says the warning. Learn more about QROPS Find out more…
  • Don’t Bank On Picking Up Your Pension Cash At 55

    Lisa Smith
    22 Apr 2015 | 10:10 pm
    Retirement savers are looking forward to retire with a personal pension at 55 years old, but many will find this is a dream rather than reality. The private pension age and state pension age are different figures. The private pension age is 55 years old, but the state pension age is 65 years old until 2019, rising to 66 in 2020 and 67 in by 2028. The private pension age was last adjusted in 2010 from 50 to 55. But the small print of Budget 2015 hides a shocking truth for many retirement savers. The rules now say the private pension age should track the state pension by -5 years. For the…
  • Most Cybercrime Is Ignored By Banks And Police

    Jim Atkins
    22 Apr 2015 | 5:44 am
    A shocking admission by one of Britain’s top fraud investigators revealed that 80% of cybercrime goes unreported – and even if the police are told, most cases are ignored. Despite online police campaigns against scams urging victims to fight back by reporting the incident, City of London Police commissioner Adrian Leppard confessed that only one in five complaints are responded to by detectives. He claimed banks and financial institutions were not willing to report online security breaches, that police did not have enough resources to investigate complaints and fraud committed on an…
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  • Expats in Spain told to hand ID into banks

    Louise Baldwin
    28 Apr 2015 | 7:00 am
    Thousands of expatriates living in Spain could see their bank accounts temporarily closed if they fail to present their bank with digital ID. Spaniards in the Iberian country have been told to take a copy of their DNI national identity card into their bank, while foreigners must provide either their passport or residency card prior to 30... Expats Blog -
  • British expats to be hit by NHS clampdown

    Charles Smith
    28 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    British expats living in European countries such as Spain are likely to feel the full force of a proposed clampdown by the NHS. Many UK citizens living overseas often fly back to their homeland for doctors’ appointments or procedures such as operations because of the hassle involved when dealing with local health authorities abroad,... Expats Blog -
  • Drunk expat punches motorist in Dubai

    Steph MacDonald
    27 Apr 2015 | 10:00 am
    A drunken Russian expat in Dubai punched a motorist in the face twice after saying the victim had parked in the wrong place, a court has been told. The 24-year-old man was set to go on trial faced with consuming alcohol and assault charges but did not show up at the Dubai court on Sunday. Prosecutors told that the assault on the... Expats Blog -
  • New Zealand issues increasing number of visas

    Charles Smith
    27 Apr 2015 | 8:00 am
    New Zealand is becoming more and more popular with expats from all over the world, with the most recent data showing a rise in the number of work, visitor and student visas issued. Visitor arrivals to the country hit a record high for March, a rise of 15 per cent on the same month last year and eight per cent greater than in 2013,... Expats Blog -
  • Benidorm wants Unesco status

    Louise Baldwin
    25 Apr 2015 | 1:00 am
    Spain’s most popular holiday destination Benidorm is vying to be granted Unesco world heritage status. After you’ve checked the date and realised it’s not 1 April and it is actually Benidorm, yes Benidorm, frequented by hordes of drunken Brits year-round, you can read on and see just why the sunny haven, well, fun-in-the-sun-type... Expats Blog -
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    impressions of an expat

  • brother, brother

    27 Apr 2015 | 5:13 am
    The mashrutka is full, just one spot left in the very back. E drags her feet down the narrow aisle. I ask the man in the last double seat to move a little so she can sit down. She slides past him into the empty window seat, and I rest her mammoth school bag on the floor. The man flicks his head back and forth, inspecting us. I nod once to E, a reassuring look as I stand in the aisle and get ready to balance myself for the bumpy ride. She does not like to sit next to strangers. I shrug my shoulders. She forces a little smile, as if we are saying "what to do?". Nothing, just go home.The man…
  • sometimes I feel like a motherless child

    20 Apr 2015 | 6:42 am
    Sometimes she throws her arms wide, like Atlas. She carries nothing in her hands but the air between us, her eyes growing brighter each day as they change. In these moments, her face a locked stare, hands stretched all the way to those minuscule fingertips, I think of everything that weighs on me, everything that turns me in my sleep. I remember the lesson (not sure where it was learned) to be bigger then the events of the day, to wrap my arms around the pain, the sadness and disappointment, to be bigger than everything that washes across my little family. E has been especially kind to…
  • howl

    13 Apr 2015 | 6:59 am
    Late on a Sunday night a wind whips through the city. Limbs thwack against the windows of the balcony. They say more than thirty trees were uprooted in the last week. I imagine green buds on branches dropping to the dry earth below. The baby sleeps. N is turned half on her side, her glasses still on, her eyes closed. I pull the bedroom door closed very slowly, turning the handle so it does not squeak. There are voices from next door, traveling through the walls, passing around the windows maybe the wind helping them reach us. Between the howls and the curtains flipping around I hear a…
  • only time

    6 Apr 2015 | 4:38 am
    E's hand went to her throat and her face turned in on itself. I ferried bowls of soup to her bedroom, kept her at one end of the apartment, a kleenex in her hand when she needed to touch a doorknob to go to the bathroom. She rested. She chattered with her friends from school over the phone, getting each day's homework assignment and working away at her desk. No fever, no throwing up, just bouts of sneezing and a little mountain of used tissues from blowing her nose. A few days later she was rested, a little bored. Then, my throat grew tight. A headache seized me in the middle of the…
  • the comb of the wind (part 1)

    30 Mar 2015 | 6:32 am
    The wind is coming down hard on Kutuzovsky. Dirt whips into my eyes as the empty bag on my arm snaps around like a scarecrow. Sometimes I think there is just a finite amount of grit that circulates throughout the city, transformed to mud, to grime, to dust, never leaving just taking laps around the third ring on an eternal race with no finish line. This is the same dirt that flew into Genghis Khan's eyes, that plastered Napoleon's boots. This dirt has no name.The city looms empty. I pass the same stores, the same windows that hold no interest. Here are the same children's mannequins, the…
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    Tim Potter Philippines Via Sugar Land TX

  • Reality of living in the Philippines

    Tim Potter
    27 Apr 2015 | 11:23 am
    The Truth about Living in the PhilippinesJust my opinions follow - from a guy who has lived here for over 6 years and visited for over 10 years before moving here, Bottom line is that I really love it here. But would I advise every one else to move here - then my answer is no way.It's not about the Philippines. It's really about you. You can do all the research on the cost of living, starting a business, medical care, blah, blah, blah. My personal take on it now is that those are only things of secondary importance. What's of the first importance? I'd say it's you and your ability to really…
  • Philippine Online Dating Scams

    Tim Potter
    31 Mar 2015 | 10:37 am
    Online Dating Scams This was another great article written by the a member over at Living Cebu Forums.There was a time when online dating carried a negative stigma. Over the years, however, using the Internet to find your future mate has become commonplace. One in ten Americans have used an online dating site or mobile dating app, according to a 2013 PEW Research study, and the largest group searching online for a potential mate are singles 50 and older. But unlike tech-savvy 20- and 30-something online daters, the plus-50s are less aware of the perils that lurk on the web.One member of that…
  • FREE Calls From Philippines FREE

    Tim Potter
    25 Mar 2015 | 11:46 am
    Calls to the US for FreeThis and much more great information located over at XDA forums. This article replace one I wrote previously and is outdated.Just a few a few things for thought if you are unable to get the free calling or correct packages you may need to follow the instruction for registering it in the USA.  Available at the start of the older free calling page.  CLICK HERE.  That was an article I (Timothy Potter Texas) wrote about two years ago.Google HangoutsAndroid: If you thought Google Voice integration would be the biggest Hangouts-related news today, you were…
  • Expats with Run-ins with the Law

    Tim Potter
    24 Mar 2015 | 6:38 pm
    Philippine Expats Run-Ins with the Law"Tim Potter Sugar Land Texas, USMC-Retired" proposed a question to the Living Cebu Forums.As you read through many of the more recent topics you see a constant theme of people being anti establishment. This is more then just being upset over an excessive search but a feeling they wereDo the Crime, Do the Timewronged previously generating their anger. You see this as they discount everything that has now afford them the opportunity to live in the Philippines. Before someone says oh I worked hard for it. So did that Filipino so compare equally the Social…
  • Want to marry a Filipina and live in the US

    Tim Potter
    20 Mar 2015 | 5:20 pm
    Two Ways to Visa ApprovalThis is an Excellent Article written by MilesHigh at Living Cebu Forums.  I Blog this noting the realities faced in marriage and the time frames and advice given.Two ways to get ApprovedThere are basically 2 choices; marriage in the US (K1 visa – other visas possible but not contemplated herein) or in the Philippines (IR1/CR1/K3, IR1 or CR1 is a preferred category as her LPR is an automatic process; DCF for IR1/CR1 is explained in other thread in this forum).The advantages I see for the K1 visa route are, inter alia:1) Divorcing in the US would be as easy as…
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    Lost In The Leaf City

  • Do You Want To Live In Canada . . . Seriously? (Part 2)

    2 Apr 2015 | 9:50 pm
    Lost In The Leaf City Lost In The Leaf City - Blog for Newcomers in Canada This is the second part of “Do You Want To Live in Canada . . . Seriously?”. Master of Fate So be honest with...
  • Do You Want To Live In Canada . . . Seriously? (Part 1)

    2 Apr 2015 | 9:47 pm
    Lost In The Leaf City Lost In The Leaf City - Blog for Newcomers in Canada It was like any other chore. I was packing my seemingly new clothes and other things I valued that wouldn’t take much...
  • Discover The New Central Library In Calgary

    9 Feb 2015 | 8:12 am
    Lost In The Leaf City Lost In The Leaf City - Blog for Newcomers in Canada Have you ever been in the right place at the right time? Well you are if you find yourself in the Stampede City also known...
  • Are You Traveling With Expired Philippine Passport?

    9 Dec 2014 | 1:49 pm
    Lost In The Leaf City Lost In The Leaf City - Blog for Newcomers in Canada How busy can you become living a life overseas? It’s Monday again and you haven’t done the laundry. Time for...
  • Find All The US Embassy And Consulate In Canada

    27 Oct 2014 | 10:36 am
    Lost In The Leaf City Lost In The Leaf City - Blog for Newcomers in Canada Where was the last time you’ve been to a place for a vacation in the US? Without hassle. Every luck is on your side. I was...
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    Cartus Blog

  • Cartus Industry Profile Reports: Technology

    Cindy Madden
    23 Apr 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Cartus Industry Profiles present snapshots of the different ways in which individual industries approach key issues related to the handling of their relocation programs, based on data compiled for the Cartus 2014 Global Mobility Policy & Practices survey. Our profile on the tech industry provides a summary of responses from individuals in that industry and compares them to overall survey responses. You can also view our video that summarizes the findings of the tech industry report. How the Tech Industry is Different The industry’s primary driver for mobility activity was…
  • Earth Day 2015: “It’s Our Turn To Lead”

    Meredith Obreiter
    21 Apr 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Celebrated on April 22, Earth Day encourages support for environmental programs, rekindles public commitment, and builds community activism around the world through a broad range of events and activities. This year’s Earth Day theme is “It’s Our Turn to Lead,” which encourages citizens to stand together to show world leaders a new direction for energy solutions and sustainability. Did You Know? •  Earth Day and Cartus are both celebrating important anniversaries—45 years for Earth Day and 60 years of relocation industry leadership for Cartus •  Earth Day is the largest civic…
  • Relocation to Berlin

    Florian Geier
    20 Apr 2015 | 12:00 pm
    As a cosmopolitan city, Berlin is a key European relocation destination. The German capital offers a high quality of living for international assignees and their families. Cartus’ latest Germany MarketWatch looks at current trends in the rental market and the types of properties available. Our special city focus in this latest issue presents popular expatriate neighborhoods and rental information in Berlin. Rental MarketWatch Berlin Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg and Schöneberg are popular amongst single assignees as well as those relocating with a partner, as the areas include many…
  • Relocating to Indonesia: What You Need to Know

    Jason Chow
    16 Apr 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Indonesia is one of Southeast Asia’s largest economies and has enjoyed rapid development in recent decades. The most frequent relocation destination for expatriates is the capital city of Jakarta. Our latest Emerging Market Watch on Indonesia discusses the key challenges that international assignees may face when living and working there. Spread across a chain of thousands of islands, Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population. For those relocating there, the country offers the world’s largest Buddhist site at Borobudur, the temples of Prambanan, and the beautiful beaches of…
  • Four Steps to U.S. Relocation Policy Design

    Robyn Russell
    15 Apr 2015 | 12:00 pm
    U.S. companies that relocate their employees face a constantly changing environment. On the one hand, talent management strategies require competitive relocation benefits; on the other hand, cost containment must also be considered. Add in a fluctuating real estate market requiring both home-sale and home-finding benefits that meet employees’ needs, and the result is a fluid situation that requires organizations to keep their relocation policies updated nearly minute by minute. So, how do you get started? Our white paper, “Unlocking Effective Policy Design: Tips for U.S. Domestic…
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    Mingalapar - All About Myanmar ( Burma )

  • Traditional food of Thingyan

    12 Apr 2015 | 11:02 pm
    Thingyan water festival in Myanmar: snacks that will make you want to come back!   Mont lone ye paw   No one dares to refuse that Thingyan festival is the most joyful out of the many festivals in Myanmar. Thingyan festival normally falls on the 13th of April and lasts 4 to 5 days, which are followed by the advent of New Year. Out of so many interesting things during Thingyan festival, the one that many Myanmar loves the most is to eat its traditional treats. Thingyan would not be perfect without the enjoyment of eating festive snacks.   Mont lone ye paw…
  • Deep-fried gourd crisps, memories of a student life in Mandalay

    19 Jan 2015 | 11:16 pm
    Picture: www.wutyeefoodhouse.com   If someone were to ask me if I wanted anything to eat right now (no one has, so far), I would answer him immediately ‘Bu-Thee-Kyaw’(fried gourd fritter). During my high school life in Mandalay, there was a shop near my school in which I used to take a rest. Don’t imagine nice shops from big Western cities like the ones you could see in London. If you walk along any road in Mandalay, you’ll see on the wayside a little thatched hut where a woman sits by a fireplace on which is placed a large ‘Dai-Oh’ (frying pan) half filled with…
  • Seasonal Flower of Nat Taw, Thazin (သဇင္)

    17 Dec 2014 | 11:47 pm
    Thazin flower ; picture: http://orchids.la.coocan.jp/   From the time you set a foot at the airport in Myanmar, you’ll see so many flowers everywhere: Children who try sell flowers to you when you walk by, flower-sellers coming to your taxi, packed flowers for sales at the supermarket, welcome flowers at your hotel. Sure, the three seasons of Myanmar make flowers blooming all year long.   It is not a strange thing that every month of the Myanmar lunar calendar has its own flower. For instance, December is the month of Nat Taw in Myanmar calendar. Dry and sunny days with a cool…
  • Have you ever tried Burmese fish sauce ; ngapi yay (ငါးပိရည္)?

    9 Dec 2014 | 4:10 pm
    Picture: htetfamily.com   Almost every Myanmar people takes two rice meals a day, which does not count the breakfast of course, because we usually eat our breakfast with some peas and oil only. So, when we have our lunch or dinner, we have many specific delicious items and curries, like in other countries. But among them, I would like to introduce a very famous Burmese dish, ngapi yay (ငါးပိရည္) or fish sauce.   Ngapi yay is made up of ngapi – a general term for pungent pastes made from varieties of fishes. Fishes chosen to make sauce are salted and then packed…
  • The art of traditional Myanmar marionettes

    1 Dec 2014 | 3:10 am
    Picture: myanmars.net   Once upon a time, marionette shows were very popular among Burmese people, and highly esteemed by the royal court. No pagoda festival in Myanmar was complete without a marionette show. But, nowadays, the old Myanmar marionette tradition has already started to fade away.   Actually, wooden puppets manipulated with strings by puppeteers perform traditional Myanmar marionette shows. The handling of strings which makes the marionette dancing is quite difficult and needs long term practice and skills. When the puppeteers master their act, the marionettes could…
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    Expatriate Connection

  • Jet Lag – 7 Ways For Your Traveling Partner To Avoid Becoming A Moody Sloth

    19 Apr 2015 | 6:48 am
    Sally is pulling her hair. The kitchen tap is leaking, Max is sick and Sarah has a performance at school this morning. Murphy’s law. As usual, Harry is travelling for work. Since they came to this new country, he’s been away half of the time. He wasn’t even around when she moved in with the […] The post Jet Lag – 7 Ways For Your Traveling Partner To Avoid Becoming A Moody Sloth appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • Trailing Spouse: 12 Reasons You Weep And Laugh At The Same Time (And Why It Matters)

    26 Mar 2015 | 4:49 pm
    Moving abroad — leaving everything behind — feels like jumping into the void.  It’s both exhilarating and scary. You feel at the same time excited by the adventure and guilty for this opportunity some will never have. You find yourself filled with joy at the prospect of broadening your horizons and loaded with sadness when […] The post Trailing Spouse: 12 Reasons You Weep And Laugh At The Same Time (And Why It Matters) appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • How To Live With Uncertainty – Two Coping Strategies That Could Change Your Life

    3 Mar 2015 | 4:18 am
    Living in uncertainty is not an expat privilege. Anyone may get a cold, be fired or lose a loved one tomorrow without notice. Life is unpredictable. But the expat existence, linked to high mobility and often tied to the dictate of global companies and fast changing economic conditions, entails a heightened number of unknowns to […] The post How To Live With Uncertainty – Two Coping Strategies That Could Change Your Life appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • Three Good Reasons You Struggle With Living in Uncertainty

    11 Feb 2015 | 6:18 am
    “We’ve now been living in this country for two years. My husband’s contract is officially finished in 6 months.” Lisa is telling her story for the umpteenth time to Beth, a new mum whose son just joined the International School. “His contract may be renewed but there’s also a strong probability that it won’t. We […] The post Three Good Reasons You Struggle With Living in Uncertainty appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • This Widespread Disease Can Kill Your Expat Couple (Here’s What You Can Do About It)

    23 Jan 2015 | 4:46 am
    You longed for this moment all day. And when you heard the car’s engine at the front door, your heart bounced. “Finally! He’s home!” Today was like so many other days. You hadn’t seen a soul. After six months in this new country, you’re still struggling to hold a simple conversation, let alone read the […] The post This Widespread Disease Can Kill Your Expat Couple (Here’s What You Can Do About It) appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
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  • Dubai property market update

    22 Apr 2015 | 2:30 am
    These days, it seems like everybody knows someone who has decided to move to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We seem to be constantly hearing about the excellent quality of life afforded to expats in Dubai, the sunny climate and the array of lucrative business opportunities on offer. It certainly appears that Dubai is doing something right when you consider the fact that around 92 per cent of the population are expats – this city state has attracted a thriving community where it is easy to make friends and meet people. So, it comes as no surprise that, according to a recent report by The…
  • What skills do international employers look for?

    16 Apr 2015 | 9:30 am
    The prospect of moving abroad to continue or start your career is a very exciting one. The allure of a new career abroad is becoming greater; according to Lloyds TSB International, almost a third of Brits living abroad have been lured by new work opportunities, with around 70% finding they could earn more than they could in the UK. Working in a foreign country allows you to experience a different culture, learn a foreign language and increases your resourcefulness and resilience – all of which makes you more marketable to future employers. But how can you strengthen your job applications to…
  • How to get a Green Card when moving to America

    10 Apr 2015 | 9:30 am
    Applying for a visa to work in a foreign country can seem very daunting. However, many countries are taking active steps to welcome expats and make it as easy as possible for people to apply for visas. The USA is one country that offers a number of different ways for an expat to gain residency. The most popular route, famed in film and firmly established in popular consciousness, is the Green Card. If you are moving to the USA and have been offered permanent employment, your new employer will need to 'sponsor' you in order for your visa application to be processed. This is a multi-staged…
  • Healthcare For Expats Around The World

    2 Apr 2015 | 9:00 am
    It's no great surprise that access to high quality healthcare is rated by expats as one of the most important considerations when it comes to evaluating the quality of life in a new country. It's easy to take your health for granted when things are going well, but it's essential to take into account that things can - and do - go wrong. In the unfortunate event that you experience any health issues, it will offer some peace of mind should you be in a position to not only expect excellent care but know that you won't be paying impossibly high prices for it. The front runners in expat healthcare…
  • City Guide: Toronto

    25 Mar 2015 | 8:30 am
    There are a few good reasons that Canada frequently appears high up in the polls as a favourite destination for expats around the world. The world's second largest country offers not only a selection of vibrant, cosmopolitan cities, but acres of breathtaking natural scenery, from epic forests thick with birdsong, to glittering lakes reflecting all of nature's glory throughout the colourful seasons. And with the ease of integration that comes from its dual national language of English and French, it's clear that this is a country that British expats find very easy to settle into. Introducing…
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    Over Here.

  • On starting again. Catalan Style.

    one foot in Europe
    26 Apr 2015 | 2:51 pm
    So my new story starts here, in sunny Tarragona, the sun  and the chill of the spring time sea wind on my face. From Istanbul to Catalonia I am on the road (over 6 months on) to finding and truly knowing myself in a new country and for the first time living abroad alone (last year I was con relationship). My shaky flight into Reus airport felt like an ominous warning of things to come. A never ending blanket of black cloud engulfed the airport, making the descent a rattling, tumultuous one complete with screaming children throwing up on themselves and what felt like a death defying…
  • Rasnov Fortress Romania in Photos

    one foot in Europe
    2 Mar 2015 | 2:37 pm
    To be able to say that I never got bored after visiting this monument four times in four weeks says a lot. Not only is it an impressive piece of history preserved, it is also situated at the top of a hill with incredible views of the always breathtaking Transylvanian fauna. Situated in the county of Brasov, Rasnov is definitely worth passing through if you are in the area.      
  • Brasov in a Day

    one foot in Europe
    24 Feb 2015 | 2:53 pm
    Any of my friends will tell you about how I rave about Romania. All too often the reaction I get when I tell people I taught at a summer camp there is, ‘urgh wasn’t it horrible’. If Mr Farage and the Daily Mail are the only things that have alerted you to the countries existence and your opinion has been informed by this well, then we probably shouldn’t even be talking anyway. But seriously, I am always going on about Romania as if it were a hidden gem nestled in the Eastern reaches of Europe. Too many people have never even given it a thought as somewhere they ought…
  • The Strays of Istanbul

    one foot in Europe
    28 Jan 2015 | 1:59 pm
    When you live somewhere so artificially ugly it is easy to appreciate the beauty in things that would otherwise have gone unappreciated and so, in a strange twist, the world instantly becomes more beautiful. The smallest things, once previously taken for granted take on a shine that I call seeing the world through grey tinted glasses. How intense the pink of the spring bloom looks against the dank, grey wall it is fighting with for space. The startling purple of this plant above (excuse my lack of plant knowledge) against the back drop of the unkempt bit of greenery the locality has not…
  • Bran and Bran Castle

    one foot in Europe
    12 Jan 2015 | 2:04 pm
    Some of my fondest memories of Romania were on the bus to the various excursions we made with the children,  across the weeks. Even though we had to repeat each excursion four times for each new group that came in, the scenery spied on those retro bus rides never ceased to amaze. As the bus rolled out of Moiceu de Jos, I held my breath as not not have it taken away by the dramatic backdrop of forested hills foregrounded by the characteristic pointy spires that seem very much a part of Romanian architecture. This was the sign that we were pulling into Bran.   A few minutes on and we…
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  • Life Lessons with Mexico Mom – Biting and Bras

    24 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    LOS GRINGOS LOCOS LOS GRINGOS LOCOS - LIVING ABROAD IN LATIN AMERICA WITH FOUR KIDS I am backkkk! After a much-needed hiatus I am back with Life Lessons! Sorry to be so out of sorts the past few months but we have been through a lot of changes and I needed a break ;-) So … Continued Life Lessons with Mexico Mom – Biting and Bras LOS GRINGOS LOCOS.
  • Highbrow – Educational Videos for Children

    23 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    LOS GRINGOS LOCOS LOS GRINGOS LOCOS - LIVING ABROAD IN LATIN AMERICA WITH FOUR KIDS DISCLOSURE: I received this product for free and was compensated for my time. My opinions are honest and I am not required to post a positive review. Where Can I Find Child Friendly Videos? I know I am not the only … Continued Highbrow – Educational Videos for Children LOS GRINGOS LOCOS.
  • Laugh and Learn – Homeschool and Parenting Linkup 29

    21 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    LOS GRINGOS LOCOS LOS GRINGOS LOCOS - LIVING ABROAD IN LATIN AMERICA WITH FOUR KIDS Welcome to our 29th week of Laugh and Learn – Homeschool and Parenting Linkup. We have a new addition this week! Haley will be joining our linkup and picking her favorite post too. Be sure to visit her and say hello … Continued Laugh and Learn – Homeschool and Parenting Linkup 29 LOS GRINGOS LOCOS.
  • Monday In Mexico – Meeting a Spider Monkey

    20 Apr 2015 | 7:28 am
    LOS GRINGOS LOCOS LOS GRINGOS LOCOS - LIVING ABROAD IN LATIN AMERICA WITH FOUR KIDS Welcome to my new series, Monday’s In Mexico. If you would like to keep up with the series please sign up for the Mexico newsletter in my sidebar. There won’t be much reading for Monday In Mexico. This is going … Continued Monday In Mexico – Meeting a Spider Monkey LOS GRINGOS LOCOS.
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    Ogles & Observations

  • Hong Kong Big Buddha on a very cloudy day. #nofilter #ipromisehesthere

    18 Apr 2015 | 11:28 pm
    The post Hong Kong Big Buddha on a very cloudy day. #nofilter #ipromisehesthere appeared first on Ogles & Observations. Related posts: Hong Kong’s Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery Hiking in Hong Kong at Breamar Hill A Day at Hong Kong Disneyland
  • Awesome view, comfy beds, good times with friends. #lasthongkongtrip

    18 Apr 2015 | 5:32 pm
    The post Awesome view, comfy beds, good times with friends. #lasthongkongtrip appeared first on Ogles & Observations. Related posts: Our next post: Guangzhou, China Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall in Guangzhou A trip to Ikea in Guangzhou
  • Yangtze River, Yunnan Province. #nofilter

    9 Apr 2015 | 2:00 am
    The post Yangtze River, Yunnan Province. #nofilter appeared first on Ogles & Observations. Related posts: Our next post: Guangzhou, China Walking the Tightrope Across Guangzhou’s Pearl River Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall in Guangzhou
  • Thailand snorkeling at Koh Ha

    19 Mar 2015 | 12:46 pm
    A highlight of our Thailand vacation was snorkeling off the coast of Koh Lanta at Kho Ha. The area is part of Koh Lanta Marine Park, and is accessible only by dive boat. We had the expertise of Anti Gravity Divers to take us to one of the most beautiful places in the world.  It really seemed like we were living in our own postcard! The boat ride began at Klong Nin Beach and was about an hour long. They included breakfast, lunch, and seasickness capsules!  Most of the 40 customers on board were scuba divers, with about a dozen snorkelers – like us!   It was an international crowd,…
  • Bangkok Bike Tour: Slums, Mangrove Forest, Market, City

    9 Mar 2015 | 1:33 am
    We had a lot to look forward to on our first day in Bangkok!  Our Atlanta friends had flown all the way across the world to hang out with us in this amazing country! And, so after a 1:00a.m arrival followed by an eye-opening ride through the seediest parts of the city to the hotel (the grumpy taxi driver apparently didn’t seem to know about the Expressway!), we rose for an early morning departure. It was awesome to meet our friends and take off for our Bangkok bike tour. We used Follow Me Bike Tours as our guide, and went on the Siam Sawan Tour. The tour promised a departure from…
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    My Heart in Two Places

  • Diving back into my local life

    15 Apr 2015 | 11:00 pm
    Thursday, April 16, 2015 When I arrived in Florence, I dropped my bag off in my apartment and rushed outside to embrace my beloved city. I walked briskly along the Arno with no destination in mind. I headed toward the Ponte Vecchio and let my inspiration guide me to where to go next. People were strolling along the narrow lungarno in both directions. It was impossible to stay on the sidewalk so I stepped onto the street when I heard that there weren't any cars coming. I turned down via de' Tornabuoni so that I was really in the thick of it. The streets were so crowded that it felt as if…
  • Savoring the moment

    26 Feb 2015 | 10:00 pm
    Friday, February 27, 2015 One thing I love about living in both Florence and Paris is that I have the luxury of time. Whether I plan an excursion around town or if I happen to be out to meet a friend or to run an errand, I get to take a moment or two to enjoy my cities. I often take a detour just so I can admire one of my favorite churches, admire the view of the Arno from different angles, or stroll along backstreets. I do my best to breathe in my cities and enjoy them whenever I get a chance. I was disappointed when I saw that the weather reports last weekend announced rain in Paris. I woke…
  • Simultaneously fitting in and sticking out

    21 Feb 2015 | 10:00 pm
    Sunday, February 22, 2015 My upbringing has probably made my being an expat a little less challenging than for others. My parents were of two different (and opposing) races: my mother was Chinese and my father was Italian. As a result, I have never felt as if I really fit in anywhere and have always felt like the odd-one-out. I was brought up in my Chinese family so I was used to being "different" and never felt as if I fully belonged even though I did. When I was in high school I met kids who were like me, half Asian and half Caucasian. I thought that I had finally found "my people," but in…
  • Indulging in Paris before taking off for Florence

    4 Feb 2015 | 10:00 pm
    Thursday, February 5, 2015 I am a city girl. I have known that ever since I lived in Lyon, France for my junior year abroad. When I returned to California, I dreamt of going to live in another city and was fortunate enough to land in Paris. I am extremely fortunate to call two cities my home. In Florence, I live in the heart of the city, but in France my beau and I live just outside of Paris. It's incredibly close and it only takes me 20 minutes on the métro to get to the center of town. But for me there is something about going to sleep in the city and waking up to it that I truly miss. To…
  • Making room for change

    20 Jan 2015 | 10:00 pm
    Wednesday, January 21, 2015 As I settle into 2015, I have finally made room for some changes to occur in my life. After being an expat for so many years, I have realized that I can't force change to happen, but I can make room for it to occur. I can't keep pushing against the current; I have to just let go and allow the current to take me. For my first experience as an expat, I had to separate from my family and friends, my daily routine, my lifestyle, and my way of being in the world. It was challenging at first because I didn't know who I was without all that had defined me up to that…
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    Young Rubbish

  • Poland Photos ● by Jess

    J.K.B. Young
    27 Apr 2015 | 7:59 am
    This week has been crazy town.My brother-in-law Matt is getting married next week in the States and Jon managed to find a mega cheap (comparatively speaking) ticket for me, so I could be with the family. Hot tip: Flying in and out of Dublin makes tickets can sometimes make ticket prices 100s of pounds cheaper. Then you just get a £20 flight to London with Ryanair!After we got that sorted (it caused me a great deal of stress because, at first, I didn't think it was the right choice), a whole new financial timebomb went off as some things unexpectedly came due for school this autumn. We got it…
  • Krakow Poland ● by Jess

    Young Rubbish
    23 Apr 2015 | 11:34 am
    A first look at our trip to Poland! I'll be posting photos tomorrow... As for now, here's an exciting vlog in Krakow, Poland and our adventures finding REAL dragon bones, a castle and exploring a cathedral carved from salt!
  • Graham Norton + Sarastro ● by Jess

    J.K.B. Young
    20 Apr 2015 | 8:16 am
    This week we got priority tickets for the Graham Norton Show! We tried to get on the last episode (which featured David Beckham, Will Smith, and Hugh Jackman- gah!), but got turned away last minute because they'd overbooked. Sooo, we got priority seats this week to see Carrie Mulligan (Great Gatsby), Amanda Holden (Britian's Got Talent), Noomi Rapace (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), and Jessie Ware, who's music Jon is currently obsessed with. It was so fun to see the behind the scenes of how they film a show like this. It was actually a bit different than I expected. It was far more…
  • How I Almost Got Arrested Last Week ● by Jess

    Young Rubbish
    16 Apr 2015 | 6:26 am
    I have to start off by stating: I don't know karate. In fact, I don't know any form of marital arts that would actually protect me if I should ever find myself in a life-threatening situation with a British thug. This fact frustrates my husband immensely. So-- for fear of my life-- he bought me a can of mace for my birthday. I now faithfully keep it in my purse. Always. This past week, Jon and I went to Poland and the Czech Republic for our anniversary. While we were last-minute packing, I dumped the contents of my purse into my suitcase. Surely everything I needed besides clothes and makeup…
  • How to Travel When You Have Social Anxiety ● by Jess

    J.K.B. Young
    14 Apr 2015 | 9:17 am
    Dear World, My name is Jessica and it's time to acknowledge something I like to pretend doesn't exist. It's a little thing called social anxiety, and it is something I've struggled with for a long time.The Grade School YearsThough I'd always been quite shy, the first time I remember being conscious of my anxiety was when I was in second grade. My teacher had asked me to call the play dough help hotline to ask about baking instructions.I just about had a full blown panic-attack. Why? The prospect of engaging with the disembodied voice on that telephone terrified me. By the time I walked to the…
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    Greeker than the Greeks

  • The Greeks had a word for it: Sophrosyne

    Susan Athanasakou
    7 Apr 2015 | 12:10 pm
    Of excellent character"Field of dreams" by MajalinThe Greek language has many mysterious words, words that we can try to express in another tongue, but rarely succeed in doing so.Words better understood by experiencing them rather than speaking them.SophrosyneSophrosyne is one such a word, an ancient Greek word, used by the Greek philosopher Plato in his dialogue Charmides, where Socrates, debates the meaning of the word.PlatoSophrosyne derives from the word sophron, being sound of mind, prudent.Sophrosyne is a state, a concept, a virtue, a number of qualities, all coming together to form the…
  • Hubble Bubble, Hugs and trouble.

    Susan Athanasakou
    2 Apr 2015 | 10:43 am
    BubblesMelina is back, well, she never really left!Melina is my three year old granddaughter, the star of our family, our first and only grandchild, (So far!).Read about Melina and me HEREWe’re lucky that she lives close by, and so, we see her most days.MelinaCome summer though, whilst her Mother is working, I have her to myself, sometimes for twelve hour stints!This is the fourth summer for Mel and me, how quickly small children grow up, last year, she was still a baby and this year she’s a little girl.Mel & her dadHere she is, above, with her dad, my son, Yiannis, and,…
  • Kitchen stories. Gadgets I Can't live without .

    Susan Athanasakou
    30 Mar 2015 | 8:48 am
    Kitchen utensilsWhile cooking up a storm in my kitchen this morning, I got to thinking about various gadgets and utensils that I use everyday.Some, I just couldn't live without, first and foremost, my Izzy Multi, (Izzy in England is the Moulinex company) a sort of small version of a blender and mixer combined.Izzy MultiIt chops onions, herbs, nuts and can even grind coffee, although, I haven’t tried grinding coffee in it.Through the years, I have owned a number of state – of – the art, expensive mixers, albeit they look cool, sat on your kitchen worktops, where they act as dust…
  • Lost in translation. Word of the day: Meraki

    Susan Athanasakou
    27 Mar 2015 | 9:54 am
    There are so many words in the Greek vocabulary, which are untranslatable.Yes, we can get the general meaning, the concept of the word, but the feeling, the soul of it, is lost in translation.The novelist, Salman Rushdie, wrote in his book “Shame”:“To unlock a society, look at its untranslatable words”Look at untranslatable Greek words then, and maybe, just maybe, you will get to the heart, to the very essence of the Greek people."MERAKI", is one such word, a favourite of mine, well second favourite maybe, "PHILOTIMO" tops my list I think, learn all about philotimo from one of my…
  • Dreaming of Paris in the springtime

    Susan Athanasakou
    26 Mar 2015 | 6:27 am
    Paris in springAm I really in Greece in the spring?Days and days of seemingly endless filthy weather, makes me think otherwise.A lucky friend of mine, today, leaves for Paris.Paris in springtime!I can only dream, and reminisce.MGG (My Greek God) and I, have been through Paris, countless times, and got lost countless times in the process, I might add, on car trips from Greece to England and vice versa, but, we had never actually spent any time there.Well MGG had, in his youth, this he thought, made him an expert, we still got lost though!MGG at a very tender age in ParisWe kept thinking of…
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    Dan Jones VI

  • The Diffidence of “Buy American”

    21 Apr 2015 | 2:56 am
    Japanese-made cars are all I’ve ever known. From the time I first started driving at the age of 15  until now, all the cars I’ve had were made by either Honda, Toyota, or Acura (the luxury vehicle division of Honda). Until my 20s, all of them were made in the 1980s. Born in 1986, those were rather old cars for someone to be driving. Surrounded by friends whose parents would often buy them newer, shinier American cars, I remember feeling jealous initially. A 1988 Arizona sun-baked four-cylinder Honda Accord isn’t quite what one might consider a “chick magnet.” I wasn’t doing the…
  • California, the Drought, and the Damage Done

    14 Apr 2015 | 6:52 am
    Droughts in the land occupying the space between the 1850-drawn borders that today we call California are nothing new. Anyone who says otherwise is either uninformed or under the influence of an agenda. Armed with a measly 163-year old rainfall record, some are quick to reason that California’s most recent and widely published drought is the result of our own post-industrial revolution vices. They are dangerously wrong. California is an enormous swath of land. Were America’s original organizers alive to see her today, they’d probably consider it an unwieldy and ungovernable mass. And…
  • Local News Blues

    7 Apr 2015 | 6:05 am
    Recently, I learned that my favorite lead female anchor for the local news station where I grew up decided to retire. She’d been anchoring since 1984, which means I have never known a time when she did not deliver the local news. As is standard American habit these days, I spent the better of my youth on the couch with my parents watching the news every weekday night at 10:00pm on the dot. Growing up in Arizona, watching the local news meant developing a schizophrenic attitude towards the weather. As I got older, I watched with increasing confusion as my local news anchors would oscillate…
  • Traveling Overseas: The Non-Essential Essentials

    31 Mar 2015 | 5:04 am
    Have you ever been sitting, cramped and hungry, on a 12+ hour flight heading overseas somewhere only to realize you’ve forgotten to pack something? I haven’t, but that’s mostly because I tend to bring an entire medium-sized suitcase more than what I actually need. But I can imagine what it might feel like, and it’s not good. The core necessities are pretty obvious. It doesn’t take a lot of research to know that you might want your laptop with you, clothes to suit the climate of your destination, and a visa to make sure you aren’t sent right back where you came from. With a few…
  • Monetize the Change You Wish to See in the World

    24 Mar 2015 | 4:45 am
    “Is it true that you’ve sold your soul?” I say, “Hey man, I don’t know. Lend me a quarter, won’t you? I’ll call my accountant.”  Cracker, Kerosene Hat (1993) It turns out, 90s alternative rock can teach us a lot about the way the world works. Politicians, bureaucrats, and bleeding hearts get all the credit. Somewhere along the line it became fashionable to assign the blame for everything wrong on the planet squarely at the feet of businesses. The former? They can do no wrong simply because they eschew profit. Alternatively, entrepreneurs find ways to change the world…
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