• Most Topular Stories

  • So I gave up a successful creer in the entertainment industry to brave the adventure that is China.

    Everyone's Expat Blog Posts - Expatacular! - Global Expat Community
    Victor Poon
    12 Feb 2014 | 7:53 pm
    And trust me, it's been an adventure and a challenge. From the moment I landed in Dongguan last year, it was a blur, I ended up getting so sick from food poisoning that I had to be driven over to Hong Kong for treatment because the doctor's here were like 'we need to give you an IV drip and it'll cost $XXXXX, cash payable in advance.' Suffice to say, I can tell you just about where every 'rest stop' is along the way from DG to HK... Then of course there was the whole apartment renting experience (while I was sick) and dealing with landlords that gave me the whole 'Take it or leave it…
  • Chain Dental Practice Vs. Private Workplace

    16 Apr 2014 | 11:04 am
    Cavities, tooth decline, inflamed gums, gingivitis and certain other dental problems may be indicators of cardiac difficulties, diabetic issues, nutritional deficiencies and cancer. These difficulties could also be a end result of lousy hygiene. Even so, there are some important downsides for this procedure. If a specified tooth is hemisected, it may well turn out to be a lot more tricky to have it cleaned. Also, it may develop into a lot more fragile since there is only a person good root as its foundation. It could weaken and will become additional prone to fractures or cracks. If this…
  • Do expats remember what drove them mad in their home countries

    Louise Baldwin
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:00 am
    Following an amusing take in the expat media about frustrating experiences in the host country, do expats still remember what drove them crazy in their countries of birth? It’s easy, once the trauma of moving across half the world has subsided, to forget what prompted such a drastic solution to the stress and strain of everyday life... Expats Blog -
  • Chef Ron’s Gumbo Stop and Pub – New Orleans

    You're Not From Around Here, Are You?
    25 Mar 2014 | 5:49 pm
    Halfway through the crawfish I came to New Orleans for the food and left very satisfied. We’d got a great deal for a hotel on Priceline, but unusually for them it was a pretty dire place. The front looked quite smart, but behind the ornate façade was an ancient open-corridor motel room. Our room was between the highway and the kids pool, so very noisy. To get some peace we went for a walk and found the highlight of our trip to New Orleans. Chef Ron’s Gumbo Stop is only a few meters from the hotel in Metairie, but a world away in terms of quality and friendliness. Chef Ron was visible…
  • Three months worth of fast food from our US road trip

    You're Not From Around Here, Are You?
    1 Apr 2014 | 7:21 am
    Bacon and Egg bagel from Pike Place Market in Seattle Thinking about the food we ate in New Orleans reminded me of some of the less fancy meals we’d enjoyed on our three months driving round the US. Whilst driving away from the highways we tried to use UrbanSpoon to find some local hotspots, and did visit a great selection of diners and family restaurants. Other times we had a simple pit stop at whatever was on offer at the next Interstate junction. US Salads tend to be far higher in protein (and taste) than their foreign counterparts. Fast Food A few fast food places we tried in the last…
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    International Herald Tribune

  • The Lost Children of Cebu

    Saskia De Rothschild
    20 Apr 2014 | 8:32 am
    From Der Spiegel- Cybersex is a big business in a city on the Filipino island of Cebu. To escape poverty, parents force their children to strip in front of webcams. City officials are fighting back in an attempt to prevent sexual exploitation from destroying a generation. Carsten Stormer/ Zeitenspiegel/ DER SPIEGELA young girl holding a tablet computer near Cordova, Philippines, demonstrates to the reporter how she chats online with a “friend.” A study by a French non-profit organization estimates that tens of thousands of children in the country between the ages of 7 and 17 are…
  • Gabriel García Márquez, Literary Pioneer, Dies at 87

    Saskia De Rothschild
    18 Apr 2014 | 7:39 am
    From the New York Times- Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian novelist whose “One Hundred Years of Solitude” established him as a giant of 20th-century literature, died Thursday at his home in Mexico City. He was 87. His death was confirmed by Cristóbal Pera, his former editor at Random House. García Márquez, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, wrote fiction rooted in a mythical Latin American landscape of his own creation, but his appeal was universal. His books were translated into dozens of languages. He was among a select roster of canonical writers –…
  • We Will Live Again

    Saskia De Rothschild
    15 Apr 2014 | 11:45 am
    WE WILL LIVE AGAIN looks inside the unusual and extraordinary operations of the Cryonics Institute. The film follows Ben Best and Andy Zawacki, the caretakers of 99 deceased human bodies stored at below freezing temperatures in cryopreservation. The Institute and Cryonics Movement were founded by Robert Ettinger who, in his nineties and long retired from running the facility, still self-publishes books on cryonics, awaiting the end of his life and eagerly anticipating the next.
  • Allowing Another Rwanda

    Saskia De Rothschild
    15 Apr 2014 | 7:06 am
    From the International New York Times- Shortly after a mob looted his Bangui neighborhood and killed a Muslim man in broad daylight in December, Khaled Dea Oumar joined other young Muslims in the street. Exasperated at what he saw as a lack of protection from French and African Union forces supposed to be keeping the peace in the Central African Republic capital, he ran up to a group of African Union soldiers who had arrived on the scene too late. “We tell you to come, and you don’t come,” he shouted. “What are you doing?” James Nachtwey Rwanda, 1994- Survivor of Hutu death camp As…
  • Using Ukraine to Cook the Planet

    Saskia De Rothschild
    15 Apr 2014 | 6:47 am
    From The Guardian- The way to beat Vladimir Putin is to flood the European market with fracked-in-the-USA natural gas, or so the industry would have us believe. As part of escalating anti-Russian hysteria, two bills have been introduced into the U.S. Congress that attempt to fast-track liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, all in the name of helping Europe to wean itself from Putin’s fossil fuels and enhancing U.S. national security. According to Cory Gardner, the Republican Congressman from Colorado who introduced the bill in the House of Representatives, “Opposing this legislation is…
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    British Expatriate Community

  • Net Gain of Migrants Continues To Increase

    22 Apr 2014 | 4:53 pm
    New Zealand had a seasonally adjusted net gain (more arrivals than departures) of 3,800 migrants in March 2014 – the second-highest gain on record. The highest was in February 2003 (4,700), when a large number of overseas students arrived to study at New Zealand universities. Net migration has been positive and mostly increasing since September 2012. The increase since then was mainly due to fewer New Zealand citizens leaving for Australia, as well as more non-New Zealand citizens arriving. In the March 2014 year, migrant arrivals numbered 98,000 (up 14 percent), and migrant departures…
  • An Interview with … Penelope

    18 Apr 2014 | 1:31 am
    Tell us a little about yourself and family. I moved to Spain in 2010, when I’d just finished University. I’d travelled quite a bit before then, and had spent extended periods of time in France and West Africa. What were your reasons for moving to Spain? Honestly, I don’t know if I thought about it that much – I just did it, really. I was 22 at the time. In which area of Spain do you live? Barcelona In your opinion, other than language, what are the biggest differences between Spain and the UK? (Maybe some cultural/societal differences that you weren’t expecting, etc.) People in…
  • NZ – CPI iIncreases 0.3 Percent in March Auarter

    16 Apr 2014 | 2:42 am
    The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in the March 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Higher tobacco and housing prices were partly countered by seasonally cheaper international air fares, vegetables, and package holidays. Cigarette and tobacco prices rose 10.2 percent, following an 11.3 percent rise in excise duty in January. “The CPI without cigarettes and tobacco showed no change in the March quarter,” prices manager Chris Pike said. Prices for housing and household utilities rose 0.7 percent, reflecting higher prices for buying newly built houses (up 1.2…
  • The Last Gin and Tonic

    16 Apr 2014 | 1:43 am
    So what do you want done with your body when you have finally drunk your last gin and tonic? Yes, I know that this is not the cheeriest subject to read, but it has to be said and the issue has to be faced. This is an area that few expats consider, and recent personal experiences have alerted me to some of the dangers of ignoring the issue. I have to admit that this is not an area that I have given too much thought too either. Burial and cremation sound rather old hat, burial at sea rather more romantic, but I am not a good sailor. For expats, the obvious choice is, of course, cremation. It is…
  • The Abandoned Expat

    14 Apr 2014 | 7:27 am
    When planning a new life abroad, many expats forget to seriously consider the implications of disability, advancing age, serious illness and death of a partner later in their lives. These are all issues that readers often tell me about and many realise too late that their new life in the sun has turned into a living nightmare. One of the issues is due to cultural differences; for example, in most Mediterranean countries, it is the cultural norm for the old and sick to be cared for by their own family members, unlike in the UK and Scandinavia, where many of the elderly spend the latter stages…
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  • Why You Need To Have A Tree Services

    23 Apr 2014 | 6:18 am
    The cherry tree’s blooming season is shorter, however. For Japanese cultures, the cherry tree and its blossoming styles symbolizes the way of human lifetime the place rising, blossoming and slipping are a aspect of the entire. In Japan it is identified as mono no mindful and usually means an awareness mujo or the transience of points and a bittersweet sadness at their passing. For this explanation, cherry blossoms are used very typically in Japanese art, film and for ambient impact. Fertilizer apps are made use of throughout the developing time to boost the well being and overall look…
  • How To Fax On-Line – Send And Obtain Faxes Online

    20 Apr 2014 | 9:53 am
    Did you know that you can send and receive faxes from your computer? In fact you can even fax from your cellphone! Internet faxing is a very simple and easy to use. Thanks to advances in technology you no longer need a fax machine and internet faxing actually helps you save money! Since many people are familiar with the Yahoo! search engine, they find that the reverse search directory at Yahoo! is a natural solution to this problem. Make sure to read the directions when you’re using the site to get the most out of your searches. This way, you will be certain to enter the ten digit area…
  • Chain Dental Practice Vs. Private Workplace

    16 Apr 2014 | 11:04 am
    Cavities, tooth decline, inflamed gums, gingivitis and certain other dental problems may be indicators of cardiac difficulties, diabetic issues, nutritional deficiencies and cancer. These difficulties could also be a end result of lousy hygiene. Even so, there are some important downsides for this procedure. If a specified tooth is hemisected, it may well turn out to be a lot more tricky to have it cleaned. Also, it may develop into a lot more fragile since there is only a person good root as its foundation. It could weaken and will become additional prone to fractures or cracks. If this…
  • Using The Right Lawn Mower Care For Your Machine

    15 Apr 2014 | 11:25 am
    Are you looking for a way to work-from-home or make extra money? If so, your first thought may be to find a work-at-home job. This is a good idea, but the competition is tough. You can spend two years or more applying for jobs and undergoing interviews. Those who truly want to be their own boss should consider taking a hobby and turning it into a profit. You can do so with Craigslist.org. Once you have identified the lawn services you want taken care of by a particular company, it is time to list all the companies that are available in your area. A list of at least five companies should help…
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    Life with our Lads

  • Easter Weekend

    20 Apr 2014 | 5:47 pm
    What a fabulous Easter weekend we had! Time was spent with friends having a cook-out, putting on egg hunts for the kids, and enjoying the most gorgeous weather we've seen all year. It has been warm and sunny all weekend and I have the farmers tan to prove it.Decorating eggsEgg hunt for BenCooling off a bouncing boy
  • Spring Break: Happy Boys

    18 Apr 2014 | 8:15 pm
    If you asked Jack about today he'd tell you it was the best day of his life. We took him and Daniel and a friend to a play place for several hours then his friend had a sleep over. I stood in my bedroom with the windows open and stood listening to Jack and his friend on the trampoline, laughing hysterically. It certainly warms the ginnels. The only thing today that was a bit sad was that Danny was a bit excluded. But anyway here's a few pictures of the day. ..Putt putt: kids beat adults 11-7Jack's 1st solo Go Kart experiencePlaying Opossum
  • Freedom for Bart

    13 Apr 2014 | 5:16 pm
    We let our cat Bart outside yesterday. We let him out because he's 7 and it's obvious that he was an indoor/outdoor cat with whoever had him before us. He was MISERABLE inside. He'd sit by the back door and howl and howl. He'd also taken to scratching at the screen door. So we had a talk about it and decided that his quality of life was probably more important that our fear of something bad happening to him. When we let him out my heart was in my mouth but both yesterday and today he's kept close to the house, hanging out in the garden and laying on the patio. He's been climbing trees and…
  • My Grandad Lloyd

    13 Apr 2014 | 5:06 pm
    My maternal grandad Richard Lloyd was born in 1898 in Luke St. in Southport. His mum died when he was a baby and his dad gave him to his parents to raise in Hall St. (that house is now for sale and my mum is itching to buy it. I wish we could!). When his dad re-married he went to live with them but at 16 he ran away to join the Great War. He was too young to sign up so his new step-mum followed him to Preston and got him to come home, but the next year, 1915, he ran away again, determined to fight. He joined the Royal Horse Artillery on the front lines, working with the horses that pulled the…
  • Chocka Saturday & 21-Day BS

    6 Apr 2014 | 7:50 am
    Yesterday was a chocked full day! We got up at 7am to join in a local race to raise money for our local primary schools.I did the 5K and Jack did the 1-mile kids run. He did great, coming 2nd in his age range and 16th out of 84 kids. I was very proud of him. I walked the 5K with friends. Next year I'm going to run it!Jack sets offHe tried hard, blessAfter the race we took Jack for his first soccer game of the season. They lost 3-2 but he scored a goal and played really well. It was so COLD though. We just can't seem to get rid of the miserable cold weather.After  soccer we headed home to…
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  • has it been this long?

    4 Apr 2014 | 6:19 pm
    in january, i made a conscious decision not to blog. i was running out of things to write about - and i find that writing about the day-to-day is kind of boring. life is not boring - but it's hard to find new content sometimes.so, i took a little break. i didn't expect it to last three months. but, here we are.life was busy and hectic and jam-packed with stuff for the past three months, and now - within the next two weeks - it will slow down and we'll start to get ready for summer. my semester is just about done, school is just about over for the kids and it is starting to get…
  • we still need the village.

    13 Feb 2014 | 1:19 pm
    i haven't cried over a student in a long time.we still have the same problems and the same situations and the same stress as always, i think i've just learned how to manage my tears a little better. for the past three weeks, i've had a little friend in my office almost every single day. he's fighting. and spitting. and talking back. and climbing fences trying to escape from school. this is a feisty little one, who we had to work hard with last year to break him of some of his habits. before this month, i hadn't heard much from him - or about him. today, we both lost it.he threw a…
  • how you'll know my kids aren't being raised in the USA

    9 Feb 2014 | 7:13 am
    my kids are pretty normal. they play outside and like to watch movies. they go to school and do homework. mostly, they speak both languages - spanish and english - interchangeably.kids are adaptable, it's true. and mine love going to philadelphia to visit our family and jump right into all of the different experiences with glee.  lately, though, i've been noticing a lot of little things that really speak to where they've grown up.the other day, we drove a friend to get her kitchen-gas tank refilled. it's routine for us - when the tank empties (usually in the middle of cooking), we load…
  • merry christmas

    24 Dec 2013 | 12:31 pm
    it is chilly and damp in santiago today. we braved the supermarket crush this morning - picked up a turkey for tomorrow and amalio waited 45 minutes in a line to get roasted pork, a dominican christmas tradition, for lunch today. we've cleaned the house and taken long naps.tonight we'll eat more roast pork with friends, dance merengue and celebrate the birth of a savior.tomorrow, the kids will open presents from friends and family and we'll open our home to those brave enough to eat my cooking. it's been a good season, shared with friends and family.merry christmas. may you all…
  • santiago at christmas (part 2)

    22 Dec 2013 | 1:22 pm
    one of my biggest complaints, besides the warm weather, about getting ready for christmas in the dr was that it seemed contrived. and over the top. the christmas trees that i was seeing were fake pines, decorated in a style i can only describe as "boston." like, victorian masterpiece trees. except, that kind of decoration lends well to hot cocoa, scarves and mittens and light dustings of snow.not shorts, tee-shirts and palm trees.when we moved from one side of the city to the other, i discovered a more authentic, caribbean christmas. i was stopped on my way through the neighborhood by…
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    Musings from inside, outside, and underneath

  • Saying Goodbye

    23 Apr 2014 | 1:19 pm
    Cousin Jackie’s Pottery Someone asked the other day what was wrong, sensing I was off, away, distracted, lost.   The truth is, I was irritable and contemplating buying a plane ticket to fly back to New York for the weekend.  Instead of answering his question, I told a story: Cousin Jackie’s Pottery My Aunt Rita didn’t have kids of her own; although she had stepchildren.  One of her stepchildren was Jackie, the potter.  Growing up, one of his teapots was my parents’ traditional gift for weddings.  Sometimes, depending on how close the bride and groom were to our…
  • Photo Wednesday: Generations

    23 Apr 2014 | 6:10 am
    All Rights Reserved Felt a little nostalgic this Wednesday and thought I would share a photo from 2008.  This is my Mom and her Mom.  It is amazing how much of them I can already see in my daughter.
  • Photo Wednesday: Impending Spring

    16 Apr 2014 | 1:47 pm
    Every time I talk to my parents back in Wisconsin, the weather comes up.  I hear it was snowing in Pristina, Kosovo today— and I had hoped to visit soon.  So, here is my photo wednesday hope that Spring is coming soon to all.
  • 34 monthiversary!

    15 Apr 2014 | 12:05 pm
    All Rights Reserved Clare Says Dear Little Elephant, Today you are two years and 10 months old. I know that every Mama says their child is the smartest and the brightest and the most beautiful and the most wonderful; but in my case, I am right. You are brilliant (and very verbally precocious) and kind and outgoing and wonderful in a million different ways. Your creativity is growing by leaps and bounds. While lying in bed this morning, you looked at the curtains and showed me how it formed an elephant with a long long trunk. I might not have been able to see it; but to you it was clear as…
  • A place I once called home

    13 Apr 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Photo: Leonardo Maldonado on Flicker   My heart just bleeds seeing the photos come through my facebook account.  I am so thankful that my family is safe although the idea of them throwing water on the roof to avoid ashes setting fire to the place is still terrifying.  Honestly, until it had slowed, I couldn’t even look at the photos.   I still can’t wrap my head around the devastation.
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    Expat Chronicles

  • Pictures from Lima Travel Guide

    1 Apr 2014 | 11:54 pm
    Expat Chronicles David Lee and I are on the verge of publishing Lima Travel Guide: Insider Advice from Expats in Peru. The book will be an excellent resource for anyone visiting Lima for a couple days or a couple months. But pictures tell a story words can’t. You can’t look at these pics and not yearn for La Ciudad de los Reyes. Click the thumbnails to open the full-size image, or for slideshow viewing see the Lima Travel Guide Pictures album on the Expat Chronicles Facebook page. Archbishops Palace and Cathedral Chabuca Granda statue Alameda Chabuca Granda amphitheaters Puente…
  • Dogs in Latin America vs. the U.S.

    19 Mar 2014 | 1:45 am
    Expat Chronicles I have converted to Latin custom in some of the differences between LatAm and Gringolandia. Most of these ways, such as shamelessly showing up late to meetings or giving warm embraces to any old friend, are too trivial to warrant a blog post. But a recent conversation with a gringo pal illustrated that our differing perspectives on dogs present an interesting quirk. Dog ownership in Latin America vs. the United States is mostly similar. Dog owners across the Americas adore their dogs, and in both regions dogs are sometimes neglected or mistreated. Nowhere in the Americas…
  • The Penis Controversies

    2 Mar 2014 | 4:47 pm
    Expat Chronicles These are the penis controversies: Circumcision Binky AKA pacifier, dummy, soother Circumcision When the boy was born, the doc asked if I wanted him circumcised. Of course I did. Being circumcised myself, it’s not just wanting an American boy. It’s also because I am aware beyond the shadow of a doubt that women prefer circumcised penises. Why wouldn’t I want that for my boy? It’s also not so much an indicator of first-world-ness, but from the Heartland it’s just the norm. And if you’re not circumcised, it’s a sign of third-world-ness.
  • I Want an American Boy

    24 Jan 2014 | 9:14 pm
    Expat Chronicles Any man wants his son to be cut in his own image, a “chip off the old block” as we say in English. But when raising your boy in another country, how? How could C-Bass be a little Colin if he grows up in Peru? I’ve met plenty of children raised by Latino-gringa and gringo-Latina couples. In my experience and as you would guess, the kids adopt the culture of the country where they grew up. And that’s where I panic, because we plan to raise the boy in Lima. I picture my boy as one of these little pseudo-gringos and think, “Man, if he speaks English…
  • Litter in Latin America vs. the U.S.

    7 Dec 2013 | 7:43 am
    Expat Chronicles In most Latin American neighborhoods I’ve lived in, it’s custom to throw trash in the street, which is known in English as littering. The most extreme case was Chapinero, Bogota, where even if you didn’t want to dirty the streets, your garbage bags would become litter by nightfall. The indigentes and crackheads descend upon the streets, like zombies, tearing open trash bags looking for food and recyclables. The streets become a disaster of strewn trash. The Aseo garbage men never get off their trucks without their industrial brooms in hand, because cleaning…
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    Northern Natterings

  • An Idiot’s Guide to Having a Kid in Norway

    10 Apr 2014 | 8:00 am
    Giving birth in a country where you are unfamiliar with common procedure can be frustrating.  I felt like an idiot on a regular basis.  If you are like me, a normal person with little to no medical experience, this post can hopefully give you an idea of what it’s like to have a kid in Norway.  First, a ground rule.  To stop myself from writing “for an uncomplicated pregnancy” in every paragraph, assume the below routines describe a smooth experience.  Being pregnant in Norway is not a big deal...This is a radical concept for someone from the Over-treated…
  • Encouragement

    31 Oct 2013 | 5:57 am
    My father sent me a word document the other day. Seventy pages of a novel I started as a teenager; an epic fantasy that eventually formed the base of a role playing quest. This document must be at least fifteen years old, and that it has been preserved and survived the transition of several home computers warms my heart. I have been a fantasy fan since an online friend introduced me to David Eddings' The Belgariad. It wasn't long after my first Eddings novel that my bookshelves began to fill with the likes of Lackey, Jordan, Anthony, McCafferey, Martin, and Carey. While I was in the military…
  • Welcome, Our New, Blue Overlords

    17 Oct 2013 | 3:15 am
      Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of NorwayThe faces in parliament are realigning. In September Norwegians voted in their first conservative government since 1990. Jens Stoltenberg and the liberal red-green coalition are out, replaced by Erna Solberg and her Conservative party, in coalition with the two centrist aligned parties, Liberal and Christian Democrats, and the far-right Progress Party. This new coalition is in favor of neoliberal economics, and their first goal is expanding privatized health care. The simple argument given to the base for privatized health care centered on…
  • Morning LOL

    17 Oct 2013 | 1:02 am
     I nearly choked on my coffee. 
  • 15 Oct 2013 | 10:05 am

    15 Oct 2013 | 10:05 am
    I posted this picture to Facebook the other day. It is the Pipsqueak in her pram on the shores of Songsvann, approximately two minutes before a hungry baby meltdown. One of Oslo's best attributes is its proximity to both forest and sea. The city caps the top of the Oslo fjord, and is ringed by trees and farmland. The trails throughout marka, Oslo's forest, are maintained by the city and open year-round for walkers, runners, riders, bikers, and of course, skiiers. On winter afternoons the buses serving the outskirts of the city are always packed with people finished with work, skiis over their…
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    Happy Hamburgers

  • PPPs

    16 Apr 2014 | 7:04 pm
    I can't even think of anything to write about this; nothing I can come up with really does the event justice.  Sierra is nuts!!  Her friend is crazy too!  This water was melted ice and when I say "melted ice" I seriously mean melted ice!  Ice chunks were floating in the water and that white stuff they are standing on is the lake ...the FROZEN lake ...which is ICE ...FROZEN WATER! It was seriously that cold, don't let the blue sunny sky fool you.  I touched the water with my hand and decided that if I jumped in I would have instantly died, like frozen to death…
  • Tricky Day

    14 Apr 2014 | 5:58 am
    I start off at a very young age fooling my children on April Fool's Day.  It's the day when I spend most of my time smiling and even laughing out loud to myself about the sometimes mean jokes I play on my family and friends.  I have to justify this to my youngest children by calling the day "Tricky Day"... because mommy does "tricky" things to trick you.  It's all in good fun.  Right?...and if you've read my blog before you will know that April Fools Day isn't complete until one of my children cries.  Sad, but true.  I first discovered this unfortunate tradition…
  • Green Day ...about a month late.

    14 Apr 2014 | 5:24 am
    Every year for the past five years I have posted pictures of our Green Food.  I can't believe I didn't do it this year.  OR tell anyone about the super mean things I did to my children on April Fools Day!  (Yes, I made at least one cry.)It is a rule that you aren't even allowed to come to the table if you aren't wearing green.  Happy wasn't here; he was at work.  That's another story.  :)Even Blue has a green collar on.  :)  PS.  Blue is huge.  He's a good dog, for the most part... He does have his moments where he just can't help but chase a…
  • Thursday Night (freezing cold) FUN

    7 Feb 2014 | 7:27 pm
    Scotty looks like a rock star with his ski guitar.  :)I would like some Wonder Mom points for taking four children skiing every Thursday night in below freezing temperatures.  (I would also like to know where to cash in my Wonder Mom points.  :)  I'd like to have a nap and maybe a vacation somewhere warm and sandy.)This whole ski club thing sounded like a great idea before the POLAR VORTEX from CANADA showed up ...now I'm freezing my tushie off every Thursday night because it turns out "ski club"doesn't mean that your kids are in a club that takes them skiing.  It…
  • Blue ...our DOG!!!

    2 Feb 2014 | 4:02 pm
    We got a.....  DOG!The entire family has been bothering me for YEARS to get a dog and now that we live in a big house with lots of land I started running out of excuses.  I found myself falling back on the "because I said so" reason ...which by the way is still a perfectly good reason. Of course I did still have the reason that it would be ME taking care of the dog and that I PERSONALLY was not ready for the extra responsibilities ...then I started thinking **secretly**...  that it might be fun to have a dog and that I did have more free time lately.  I couldn't admit my…
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  • Tent Pegging World Cup

    31 Mar 2014 | 11:53 am
    in Oman Continue reading →
  • Festivities in Muscat

    30 Mar 2014 | 5:22 am
    celebrating Oman's Marine Heritage and getting Married Continue reading →
  • Grand Fish Restaurant

    25 Mar 2014 | 12:23 pm
    We had a meal at the Grand Fish Restaurant near Muscat City Centre. It’s clearly a popular place, as mid-week all indoor tables were full and doubtless if it wasnt for the rain the outside ones would have been used … Continue reading →
  • Egyptian Vulture Survey

    22 Mar 2014 | 6:23 am
    in Oman Continue reading →
  • Red Bull Extreme Sailing

    22 Mar 2014 | 5:47 am
    It was nice to drop into The Wave this afternoon and catch Red Bull’s Extreme sailing. Held just off the golf course and spread over a few days the event was a good chance for spectators to see some racing … Continue reading →
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    Ruth's Place

  • Another one

    20 Apr 2014 | 5:52 pm
    At Gorgeous Girl’s request I made her a bracelet. She selected the yarn and the beads. I found the perfect purple button in the button stash. I’m so thankful for the stashes that allow me to craft even though there are no craft stores easily available to me. (I will admit that, with the exception of the button stash, they are a bit larger than I would like and living here has been a good exercise in stash downing and I’m enjoying seeing a reduction in their overall size). She likes it. But has only worn it for 5 minutes as it’s too hot to wear in this heat. Oh well,…
  • Obsessed

    19 Apr 2014 | 4:29 pm
    Usually, I see a pattern that I like on Ravelry and I add it to my insanely ambitious far too long queue and it marinates there for years a while until I get around to casting it on. However, when I saw this Wrap around crochet bracelet I had to cast on immediately. It took me a while to get the hang of it, and I’m still not entirely convinced that I’ve done it exactly right, but I love how it turned out. The seeds are a Japanese seed bead mix that I’ve had for a while now. I bought them when we were living in South Africa (so they are at least 3 years old) and didn’t…
  • Scrapbooking

    19 Apr 2014 | 3:19 am
    This week I’m playing along with the challenge from Let’s Capture Our Memories. Here’s the sketch we had to work from. I really wanted to tell the story of this photo, so I swapped out one of the photos in the sketch for a journalling space. One of the traditions I try to keep is to get a yearly photo with Santa (there have been a few years where we have missed it because Gorgeous Girl has not been willing and I wasn’t going to traumatise her by forcing her to sit on a stranger’s lap when she was afraid of that person), but for the most part I like my yearly…
  • Come walk with me

    15 Apr 2014 | 5:18 pm
    Gorgeous Girl is currently on school holidays. This morning she asked if she could go for a walk around the block. I decided to grab my camera and go with her. Here are some of the things we saw. Gorgeous Girl took this picture. It’s called a candle tree because it’s shaped like a candle. She says it’s her favourite tree. These trees are my favourite. I love the shape of them. Around the corner we spotted some corn one of our neighbours has planted at the edge of their yard. The hibiscus flowers all year. Gorgeous Girl took this picture of the frangipanis. There are also…
  • Sewing

    13 Apr 2014 | 4:28 am
    I finished the dress for Gorgeous Girl’s doll. I’m pleased with how it turned out. This doll belonged to me as a child but she lives with Gorgeous Girl now. The pattern is a free one from from Oliver + S. I am a sewing pattern novice and this was easy to follow. I’d pay money for some of their other patterns it was so well written. I think Gorgeous Girl is happy with the dress. Dress, sewn by me, fabrics chosen by Gorgeous Girl. (As an aside, you can see the neighbour’s house in the background of the photo. Ours is identical.  We park our car underneath). While…
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    Comments on: About Dinesh Wagle

  • By: Dinesh Wagle

    Dinesh Wagle
    6 Apr 2014 | 12:01 am
    Thank you, Hanna. Your story is interesting. LikeLike this
  • By: nepalilovestory

    4 Apr 2014 | 12:49 am
    Hi Dinesh dai, thank you so much for the follow. I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Your blog is so impressive and I will definitely be sharing your posts. Your writing and hard work in Nepal is very inspirational. God bless LikeLiked by 1 person
  • By: saroj sharma wagle

    saroj sharma wagle
    26 Dec 2013 | 8:27 am
    Dinesh ji namaskar tapain ko purana lekh haru koje koji padna ko lagi kata link garu.. janakri pauna paye aabhari hune thiea …….n ( wagle bandhu hajur haruko kulayen puja kat garnu huncha ? ) sorry for personal… LikeLike this
  • By: NEPAL VOTES: YES, I ALSO VOTED!!! | United We Blog! for a Democratic Nepal

    NEPAL VOTES: YES, I ALSO VOTED!!! | United We Blog! for a Democratic Nepal
    18 Nov 2013 | 8:08 am
    […] By Dinesh Wagle Wagle Street Journal […] LikeLike this
  • By: Nepal’s yesteryear singers « Rumination & Rhapsody

    Nepal’s yesteryear singers « Rumination & Rhapsody
    5 Jul 2012 | 4:29 am
    [...] was doing a story on fading Nepali pop stars. Sipping tea in nearby eatery, Dinesh and I mulled over these yesteryear artists. “Ah, Sanjay is the lad who carried a guitar and [...] LikeLike this
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    Expat Life in Belgium, Travel and Photography | CheeseWeb

  • Visiting Champagne with the Expat Club, Brussels, Belgium

    21 Apr 2014 | 9:21 pm
    Exploring Champagne with Expat Club Brussels If you’re an expat in Belgium who wants to travel and meet new people, without the hassle of planning and organising, sit back and relax, because Expat Club is here. When you’ve just landed in a new country, it’s exciting and overwhelming. You want to meet people, but it can be difficult. You want to travel, but planning and transportation can be complicated, especially when you’re busy finding your way in a new job and a new culture. That’s where Expat Club comes to the rescue. Dutch expat, Edgar Hütte, had the idea for Expat Club when…
  • Bastogne WW2 Museum, Bastogne, Belgium

    17 Apr 2014 | 10:20 pm
    This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Memorial Tourism.Our review of the Bastonge War Museum, in Bastogne, Belgium Wallonia was the setting for one of the worst battles on the Western Front, the Battle of the Bulge. Now it hosts one of the best museums dedicated to WWII and this battle – the Bastogne War Museum. Seventy years ago, Bastogne and the Ardennes were torn apart by a bloody battle fought between the Americans and Germans. Today the fields are green, the trees have re-grown, and buildings are restored, but deep memories remain. To uncover and understand these memories, you…
  • Learn French Online with Frantastique – Review and Contest

    14 Apr 2014 | 10:30 pm
    Learn French online with Frantastique Our regular contributor, Adriana, reviews Frantastique’s online French classes, which are humourous, quick, and highly personalized.  “Est-ce que vous comprenez l’anglais?” I am a Romanian-American, stay-at-home mom of two children, who has been living in Belgium for almost three years. I shamefully admit, in all this time, I asked this question, trying to get by the easy way, without learning French. Looking for the best French language course is quite a hassle. Sifting the Internet, I found many courses are too expensive, while others…
  • Chèvrerie du Bois des Mûres Goat Cheese Farm in Havrenne, Belgium

    10 Apr 2014 | 10:27 pm
    This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Sustainable Belgium.Christophe holds one of his baby goats. Today we taste delicious organic goat cheese from Belgian farm, Chèvrerie du Bois des Mûres, in Havrenne, near Rochefort, in the province of Namur. If you’ve been hanging around CheeseWeb for any length of time, you’ll know I’m crazy about two things: cheese and goats. So, when I get to combine these two passions in one outing, it’s a fun and tasty day indeed. Last autumn when I was exploring sustainable tourism in Wallonia, listening to mating deer, among other fun activities, I also…
  • 3 Reasons You Don’t Have Many Belgian Friends

    7 Apr 2014 | 9:57 pm
    Do you have Belgian friends? We share 3 reasons why you may not. Our guest contributor tackles a common expat issue – making friends with Belgians. If you’ve ever felt you don’t click with the locals, Paola offers 3 reasons why you may not have many Belgian friends. A couple of months ago, a co-worker decided to return to his home country after living in Belgium for several years. He originally moved to this land due to a very attractive job offer, but after awhile, he would complain about all the small cultural differences between his country and this one. Eventually, homesickness got…
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  • spring is here!

    17 Apr 2014 | 1:00 pm
         Yes, it’s true – spring is here! A few weeks earlier than ‘normally’ but what is normal today!       Shadow Shot Sunday2     Sundays In My City          
  • I saw…

    10 Apr 2014 | 11:18 pm
      …a reindeer. Having a spring break in Helsinki?!       …a driftwood with shadow       …open sea – no ice, no snow!!! yeeee!       …a retro car         Shadow Shot Sunday2     Sundays In My City       Have a relaxing weekend!    
  • women by Paco Sanguino

    4 Apr 2014 | 12:55 am
      Hola a todos! I’m back at home again. Hubby came to Málaga for a short vacation and we came back home together.   Here in Helsinki evenings are brighter again – today sunset is at 8:11 pm. And no snow!!!   We visited El Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga (CAC). Here are a few paintings of Paco Sanguino’s collection.   I like these a lot – how about you? Do you like this type of art?     Shadows, painted shadows!                       Shadow Shot Sunday2     Sundays…
  • I can feel the spring…

    14 Mar 2014 | 2:37 am
        THANK YOU for your supporting messages last weekend!   I feel good today! I’ve even lost some weight - thanks to my strict but healthy diet. Can’t remember when I’ve eaten so much fruits and vegetables!       Shiny sea….     The Weekend in Black&White     and here you can see how far I shot that b&w shot…         shadows at the beach       Signs of spring!     But how about these…     SLURP! yummyyummyyummy!!!     Shadow Shot…
  • i was on a drip

    7 Mar 2014 | 9:04 am
        4 days in a hospital, I got out today. I had diverticulitis, not really dangerous but enough to keep me in a hospital. Today I feel fine!     The Weekend in Black&White     Shadow Shot Sunday2     Sundays In My City       I’ll have more photos next week. Now I have too much other things to do   Have a relaxing weekend!    
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    Everyone's Expat Blog Posts - Expatacular! - Global Expat Community

  • Expat friendly Hospital in Changsha

    Christian Zender
    5 Apr 2014 | 6:30 pm
    Hunan Want Want Hospital ( Address: 318 Renmin Donglu, Changsha 长沙市人民东路318号) [ + ] english speaking doctors and nurses [ + ] guidance of foreigners (ask for foreigner support at welcome-desk/registration) [ + ] signs in chinese & english  [ + ] good hygenic standard, hospital looks clean [ + ] emergency number for foreigner (multi-language) available [ + ] VIP-Service available [ + ] additional privacy available (ask for it!) [ - ] typical chinese mass processing of patient if not VIP  [ - ] no permanent guidance of foreigner, sometimes you have to wait for english…
  • Hello Changsha's!

    Christian Zender
    14 Mar 2014 | 10:46 pm
    Hi everybody! Is somebody actually in Changsha? Our names are Alin (29) and Christian (31) and we are looking for a deep dive into Changsha. Is anybody out there?
  • Le Miracle Bleu / Das Blaue Wunder / Dresden

    Julie Montagnon
    27 Feb 2014 | 1:35 am
    Découvrez mon article sur le Blaues Wunder de Dresde
  • thx for caring

    Mary Wang
    15 Feb 2014 | 3:19 am
    I recieved a massage from expat. Long time no C. I am fine . Wish everyone a wonderful life.God bless.
  • So I gave up a successful creer in the entertainment industry to brave the adventure that is China.

    Victor Poon
    12 Feb 2014 | 7:53 pm
    And trust me, it's been an adventure and a challenge. From the moment I landed in Dongguan last year, it was a blur, I ended up getting so sick from food poisoning that I had to be driven over to Hong Kong for treatment because the doctor's here were like 'we need to give you an IV drip and it'll cost $XXXXX, cash payable in advance.' Suffice to say, I can tell you just about where every 'rest stop' is along the way from DG to HK... Then of course there was the whole apartment renting experience (while I was sick) and dealing with landlords that gave me the whole 'Take it or leave it…
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  • Black Children and Role Models: Remember, Somebody’s Watching Me (Us)

    Tracey Michae'l Lewis-Giggetts
    23 Apr 2014 | 9:01 pm
    Sometimes it's the subtle things that children notice and internalize that make a difference in their life's journey. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Not Everyone Can Breastfeed: A Tale Of Pregnancy, Depression & Formula Feeding

    MyBrownBaby Staff
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:01 pm
    We are always told that formula is fine but “breast is best.” But this mom's story is just one example of why it doesn’t work for every family. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • The New Mutants: Black Excellence In the New Class of Black Global Super-Achievers

    MyBrownBaby Staff
    21 Apr 2014 | 9:01 pm
      By PATRICK A. HOWELL “There is a new class of black super-achievers graduating for the first time.” Mark Penn, “Micro-Trends: The Small Forces Behind... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • This’ll Make Tiger Mom’s Head Explode: A Radical Way To Parent Black Children

    MyBrownBaby Staff
    20 Apr 2014 | 9:01 pm
    Our jobs as parents is to help our children practice excellence within their own unique life design. Here's a radical way one mom puts this to the test as she unschools her daughters. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • When the Rainbow Isn’t Enough: For Karyn Washington

    MyBrownBaby Staff
    17 Apr 2014 | 9:01 pm
    African Americans need to tout that it’s okay to seek professional intervention if you are so broken, so emotionally in pain, that your everyday song is filled with thoughts about not living. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    Czech Off the Beaten Path

  • Spring in Praha March 2014

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

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

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

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

    28 Jan 2014 | 3:13 am
    Hi Everyone,For the longest time I’ve intended to put together a gluten free guide for Prague. I’m very familiar with the gluten free life, as I’m allergic to gluten/wheat. I’ve been living gluten free for just over 14 years.Czech CuisineCzech cuisine is not conducive to a gluten free diet. The traditional Czech diet is saturated with wonderful breads, dumplings, desserts and so much more. Many of their traditional dishes have dumplings on the side. What torture it is for those of us who are gluten free! Soups and sauces are also part of traditional Czech cuisine. Many…
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    Expat Arrivals

  • Welcome to Team Relocation Destination Guides

    7 Apr 2014 | 7:21 am
    Our destination guides feature comprehensive information for expatriates on every major destination location. The information provided within these guides has been researched and written with the help of hundreds of local expert contributors. Each month new content and additional locations are added, so please check back regularly for the latest updates. read more
  • Just signed up! Welcome to Expat Arrivals!

    3 Mar 2014 | 3:15 am
      Now you're signed up, you can select your destination on our City and Country Guide page. You will find loads of information on your destination, and if you look on the right there will be an option to ask questions to other members living in your new destination and you can also respond to other forum posts. read more
  • Cape Town Schools Guide

    5 Feb 2014 | 11:39 pm
    This unique guide includes useful information on international schools in Cape Town, to help parents make an informed decision on their children’s future. A readable and informative overview of Cape Town's school system, this essential guide is a must read for expatriate parents. read more
  • Dubai Schools Guide

    21 Nov 2013 | 3:06 am
    This unique guide includes useful information on local, private and international schools in Dubai to help parents make an informed decision on their children’s future. A readable and informative overview of Dubai's school system, this essential guide is a must read for expatriate parents. read more
  • Singapore Schools Guide

    8 Nov 2013 | 1:18 am
    This unique guide includes useful information on local, private and international schools in Singapore to help parents make an informed decision on their children’s future. A readable and informative overview of Singapore's school system, this essential guide is a must read for expatriate parents. read more
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    Monkeys and Mountains

  • Everest Base Camp: Here I Come

    14 Apr 2014 | 7:41 am
    The original can be found here: Everest Base Camp: Here I Come. Please read the original. Everest Base Camp for me isn't just something I would like to do, but something I feel the NEED to do. But first I have to figure out a way to overcome these challenges: Monkeys and Mountains - Adventure seeker and explorer by day, luxury seeker by night
  • Brauneck: The Mountain Where Hikers and Skiers Meet

    10 Apr 2014 | 1:00 pm
    The original can be found here: Brauneck: The Mountain Where Hikers and Skiers Meet. Please read the original. Brauneck Mountain, where hikers and skiers meet! If you're a hiker seeing solace, not skiers, as I am, the Brauneck, located near Lenggies, should not be your first choice for a hike. But the views from the top do help compensate for the trail. Monkeys and Mountains - Adventure seeker and explorer by day, luxury seeker by night
  • 5 Tips for Mobile Travel Photography

    Guest Post
    5 Apr 2014 | 9:07 am
    The original can be found here: 5 Tips for Mobile Travel Photography. Please read the original. Mobile photography has come a long way in recent years, to the point that people can now capture and edit very high quality images on their phones. Monkeys and Mountains - Adventure seeker and explorer by day, luxury seeker by night
  • Monkeys in the Jungles of Costa Rica

    Guest Post
    28 Mar 2014 | 1:13 pm
    The original can be found here: Monkeys in the Jungles of Costa Rica. Please read the original. As a child, my favourite book was Curious George. I must have read it at least a hundred times. So when I set out on an adventure trip through Costa Rica’s tropical rain forests, monkey-watching was high on my list. Monkeys and Mountains - Adventure seeker and explorer by day, luxury seeker by night
  • Soussusvlei, Namibia: Photojourney to the Highest Sand Dunes on Earth

    18 Mar 2014 | 10:34 am
    The original can be found here: Soussusvlei, Namibia: Photojourney to the Highest Sand Dunes on Earth. Please read the original. Sossusvlei, located in Naukluft National Park in Namibia, is home to some of the highest sand dunes on the planet, including the famous "Big Daddy". Trust me, this is worth waking up before sunrise! Monkeys and Mountains - Adventure seeker and explorer by day, luxury seeker by night
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    The Expat Coach Association

  • Coach of the Month: Megan Fitzgerald

    2 Apr 2014 | 3:58 am
    NAME:  Megan Fitzgerald TITLE:  Expat and International Career Coach BUSINESS NAME:  Career By Choice CLIENT TESTIMONIALS:  My professional and executive clients work for Fortune 500 firms like Cisco and Microsoft, embassies & the United Nations on 6 continents. To read about their coaching experience: http://www.careerbychoice.com/WhatClientsAreSayingAboutInternationalExpatCareerPersonalBrandingCoach.html NICHE:  I catalyze the careers of forward-thinking expat professionals, executives and entrepreneurs by helping them become highly visible, sought-after experts and leaders and…
  • Coach of the Month – Megan Fitzgerald

    1 Apr 2014 | 12:01 am
    NAME:  Megan Fitzgerald TITLE:  Expat and International Career Coach BUSINESS NAME:  Career By Choice CLIENT TESTIMONIALS:  My professional and executive clients work for Fortune 500 firms like Cisco and Microsoft, embassies & the United Nations on 6 continents. To read about their coaching experience: http://www.careerbychoice.com/WhatClientsAreSayingAboutInternationalExpatCareerPersonalBrandingCoach.html NICHE:  I catalyze the careers of forward-thinking expat professionals, executives and entrepreneurs by helping them become highly visible, sought-after experts and leaders and…
  • Coach of the Month – Kim Knight

    28 Feb 2014 | 11:01 pm
    Name:  Ms. Kim Knight Business Name:  Kim Knight Coaching Client Testimonials:   www.kimknightcoaching.com/life-coach.php/99/56 Niche/Specialties:  Weight Loss, Self Matters, Entrepreneurship, Time Management, Relocation, Expatriation & Repatriation, Spiritual Awareness Expat Experience:  20 years:  Have lived in UK, USA, KOREA, SAUDI ARABIA, ISRAEL. Traveled to 40+ countries. Languages Spoken:  English Life Experience:  Kim’s compassion, understanding and ability to listen deeply are due to her own personal struggles in her life and also her successes achieved working with…
  • Coach of the Month – Nicky Peet

    31 Jan 2014 | 11:01 pm
    Name:  Nicky Peet Title:  Spiritual Expat Coach Business Name:  Rays of Positivity Website:  http://www.raysofpositivity.com Niche/Specialties:  French/English expat coaching, Law of Attraction, Inner happiness, positivity, stress. Expat Experience:  In 2001 I moved to Nantes, France from the UK; it was a huge accomplishment for me having been obsessed with France since the age of 12. I live a very “Frangish” lifestyle and consider myself neither French nor English. Languages Spoken:  English, French Life Experience:  I trained in the UK as a Medical laboratory officer, later…
  • Coach of the Month – Ioana Cirstea

    31 Dec 2013 | 11:01 pm
    Name:  Ioana Cirstea Title:  Psychologist & Coach Business Name:  Ioana Cirstea – Psychologist & Coach Website:  http://www.coach-psychologist.eu/ Niche/Specialties: Career and Personal Life Transitions Adjustment to a New Environment Repatriation Expatriate Spouses Life Quality Coaching for Women Expat Experience:  I have more than ten years of international experience. After my graduation in Psychology in Bucharest, Romania, I continued my studies with a Master of Science in Social Psychology in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Afterwards I moved to Brussels, Belgium, where I…
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    You're Not From Around Here, Are You?

  • Observations on the US after a few years in China

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

    1 Apr 2014 | 7:21 am
    Bacon and Egg bagel from Pike Place Market in Seattle Thinking about the food we ate in New Orleans reminded me of some of the less fancy meals we’d enjoyed on our three months driving round the US. Whilst driving away from the highways we tried to use UrbanSpoon to find some local hotspots, and did visit a great selection of diners and family restaurants. Other times we had a simple pit stop at whatever was on offer at the next Interstate junction. US Salads tend to be far higher in protein (and taste) than their foreign counterparts. Fast Food A few fast food places we tried in the last…
  • Chef Ron’s Gumbo Stop and Pub – New Orleans

    25 Mar 2014 | 5:49 pm
    Halfway through the crawfish I came to New Orleans for the food and left very satisfied. We’d got a great deal for a hotel on Priceline, but unusually for them it was a pretty dire place. The front looked quite smart, but behind the ornate façade was an ancient open-corridor motel room. Our room was between the highway and the kids pool, so very noisy. To get some peace we went for a walk and found the highlight of our trip to New Orleans. Chef Ron’s Gumbo Stop is only a few meters from the hotel in Metairie, but a world away in terms of quality and friendliness. Chef Ron was visible…
  • Swimming with Manatees – Homosassa, Florida

    25 Feb 2014 | 6:24 am
    Manatee checking out the camera Our plan was to head up the east coast of Florida, from Cape Canaveral towards to the border with Georgia, but changed them after visiting Manatee Park near Tampa. From Cape Canaveral we detoured back towards the west coast and Crystal Rivers. Crystal Rivers is the main spot for swimming with manatees, but I’d read positive comments about a place further south called Homosassa. The waters might not be so clear and blue, but the group sizes were much smaller giving more time with the manatees. I’m sure Crystal Rivers is great, but I can’t imagine anything…
  • Kennedy Space Center – Cape Canaveral, Florida

    18 Feb 2014 | 7:04 am
    The entrance to Kennedy Space Center Growing up in the UK, Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Centre were mythical places full of exciting rockets and spaceships. Cape Canaveral has been the launch site for manned space missions since 1968, so I’d imagined them to be secretive bases in the middle of nowhere, guarded by stern men with dogs and guns. I was pleasantly surprised to find that an hour outside of Orlando you can book tickets and get reasonably wide ranging access to the spaceport. Our motel had arranged tickets, so we breezed past the reasonably long queues straight to the empty…
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    The Displaced Nation

  • EMERALD CITY TO “KANSAS”: Amy Rogerson on seeing the Wizard of Expat Life and returning home (for just six months)

    ML Awanohara
    23 Apr 2014 | 2:01 pm
    Welcome to “Emerald City to ‘Kansas,’” a series in which we focus on expatriate-into-repatriate stories. This month our subject is Amy Rogerson, an Englishwoman who blogs at The Tide That Left about trailing her husband (aka “Mr Tide”), at breathless pace, all around the globe. The couple now live in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, […]
  • JESS IN JAPAN: After all the hype, cherry blossom season underwhelms

    The Displaced Nation Team
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:01 am
    Jessica Awanohara moved from New York to Tokyo with her Japanese husband, Hiro, at the end of last year. What is it like to step “through the looking glass” and treat Japan as a home rather than a quirky place to visit? Jess keeps us abreast of her progress via this occasional column-cum-photos. After a […]
  • HERE BE DRAGONS: The expat life as fuel for fantasy writing

    The Displaced Nation Team
    17 Apr 2014 | 8:59 pm
    Welcome to the Displaced Nation’s very own Game of Thrones. To be eligible, you simply have to be, or have been, an expat or world traveler of some kind, and open to seeing the connection between the international life and fantasy fiction. Andrew Couch, an American expat in Germany, will be our coach (no pun […]
  • For this intrepid Irish “ruin hunter,” a picture says…

    The Displaced Nation Team
    16 Apr 2014 | 4:31 pm
    Welcome to our monthly series “A picture says…”, created to celebrate expats and other global residents for whom photography is a creative outlet. The series host is English expat, blogger, writer, world traveler and photography enthusiast James King, who thinks of a camera as a mirror with memory. If you like what you see here, […]
  • LOCATION, LOCUTION: Andrea Cheng, award-winning children’s author

    The Displaced Nation Team
    15 Apr 2014 | 10:00 am
    In this month’s “Location, Locution”, expat crime writer JJ Marsh interviews Andrea Cheng, award-winning author of  books for children and young adults.   Cheng’s first novel, Marika, was selected by the city of Cincinnati for “On the Same page,” a citywide reading program.  Honeysuckle House, Anna the Bookbinder, and Shanghai Messenger received Parent’s Choice Awards.  Grandfather […]
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    Expat Ukraine Forum

  • Re: Russian Navy Holds Snap Exercise in Caspian Sea

    23 Apr 2014 | 4:00 pm
    You are not allowed to view links. Register or LoginAlso the home waters of the Caspian Sea Monster ( aka The Ekranoplan ) while undergoingsea trials during Soviet times.From wiki[img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi...
  • Re: Russian Navy Holds Snap Exercise in Caspian Sea

    23 Apr 2014 | 1:25 pm
    You are not allowed to view links. Register or LoginThey simply wanted to hold these exercises somewhere that they wouldn't get buzzed by F-22 Raptors . I'm sure that the US wants to return the favor.Also the home waters ...
  • Re: So what's next?

    23 Apr 2014 | 12:43 pm
    And it hits a new low ...... Simon Ostrovsky of Vice News is held in Sloviansk by mayor. Simon has put a lot of daily reports up on YouTube. He must have hit a nerve or a pawn is feeling more powerful than they should.I sold my Shares in Russian comp...
  • Re: Immigration agency in Crimea

    23 Apr 2014 | 12:06 pm
    You are not allowed to view links. Register or LoginDear All,Kindly request information about Immigration agency or offices in CrimeaIf someone knows please advice website or emailThanks ? alotTamerWhat specific qu...
  • here they are again !!!

    23 Apr 2014 | 11:55 am
    The conflict in the 7th kilometer: to "Ukrainian" checkpoint detained Donetsk bus with "Russians" (photo)You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
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    [MM] Muscat Mutterings

  • 20 Apr 2014 | 10:30 pm

    20 Apr 2014 | 10:30 pm
    I like to help out friends when they ask, and so for those of you who like clothes shopping, this one might be of some interest to you... the USF Store in Zakher Mall is having a special "shopping event" tonight from 6pm (until 8pm). It's basically buy 2 get 1 free, with cupcakes and tea. And other stuff too.Heres the blurb:The skyrocketing summer temperatures indicate only one thing for the fashion savvy - it's time to treat your wardrobe to a few new summer pieces!In dedication to all things summer, USF Store is hosting a spectacular shopping event themed Summer Temptations.The event will…
  • Happy Easter, and Canada gets a new Consul in Oman

    19 Apr 2014 | 10:30 pm
    To those of you that observe it, Happy Easter today. It's a regular working day here but I'm sure there will be a few Turkey's or Hams enjoyed later today! Easter egg hunts aplenty too. There are a number of Easter lunch offers being held around town - basically every 4 and 5 * hotel is offering one.For Canadians, the news today will be pretty good, Canada has appointed a new Honorary Consul for Oman - Mr Ali Daud.Mr Daud is indeed a prominent business leader in the country - he owns the local franchise of McDonald's, and for just a small smile, the story was written by Canadian journalist…
  • Sketch Muscat - Charity fundraiser for Syrian kids

    17 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    Sue Pownall is having her 4th annual charity event this weekend, and this time it is to help raise funds for the children in Syria Unicef appeal which is currently going on. Basically turn up with your own paper and pencil, or crayons or whatever you like to draw with, and then draw a sketch of something you like anytime between 10am and 5pm this coming Saturday at the MuscArt studio which is on the 3rd floor of the Ghubra Plaza on 18th November St in Ghubra, close to the Porche dearlership.If all of that sounds a bit daunting for you, but you like the idea of donating towards Unicef's…
  • A tale of woe about Al Ahlia Insurance

    13 Apr 2014 | 8:30 pm
    This is a tale of woe about Al Ahlia Insurance Company SAOCI have been a customer of theirs (I'm assuming they were RSA before) since 2009 for until quite recently 2 vehicles, but still 1 vehicle. In all of this time, I've never been at fault in an accident - but have had to fill out paperwork 2 times (people like to drive into my back bumper it seems).I feel that after being a customer for so long, I'd like to share some observations about their business and perhaps offer a few suggestions to them to make their customers feel a little less like annoying little ants, which is what I perceive…
  • Winners of Aly & Fila, and also winners of the Grand Hyatt compeition

    13 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    Hi everyone, hope you all had a nice weekend. It's a double prize day today as both the Aly & Fila competition announced a few weeks ago has the winner announced and the recent Grand Hyatt social media competition that many local bloggers were a part of is announced too.First - Trance music DJ's Aly & Fila (you may have heard their Future Sounds trance show on Hi FM in years past on the weekend) are playing a gig here next month on Thursday 24th April at the InterCon gardens. Amusingly the event is being advertised by Merge on the radio today ;)The party starts at 7pm and there is a…
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    In Search of a Life Less Ordinary

  • What Travel Means to Me

    Russell Ward
    22 Apr 2014 | 12:49 am
    Travel is my drug.When I haven't travelled for a few months, I find myself needing a travel fix. It calls to me.But when I travel too often, I need a break - a quick time-out and a chance to retune and refocus.Travel can come in all shapes and sizes.It can be that short trip across the country, a two-week vacation overseas, or a longer and more extensive period away. The thing is that it doesn't matter because travel is travel and a regular fix is all that I need... whatever size or shape it comes in.Travel is important.It lets me know there's a wider world out there. If I've become too…
  • How a Trek in Nepal Changed My Outlook on Life

    Russell Ward
    14 Apr 2014 | 10:09 pm
    "I'll lead the way. Watch where I place my feet and copy me," he said. "And, above all else, don't look down."We waited at the start of a terrifyingly narrow ledge carved into the side of a ridiculously steep mountain.Lakpa, my surefooted Himalayan Sherpa, wearing nothing but flip flops, an unwashed long-sleeved t-shirt, a pair of well-worn cargo pants and a bright orange rucksack on his back. Sarah and I kitted out in our new hiking boots and shiny North Face jackets from Cotswold Outdoor.We looked the part but it's safe to say I was petrified.I've never been good with heights. In fact,…
  • Why I Can't Accept Australian Attitudes to Women in the Workplace

    Russell Ward
    18 Mar 2014 | 4:34 pm
    She's called in to the office to meet with her manager.She has no idea what she's done or why he wants to see her but she waits patiently while he makes his point. He adopts a caring tone, asking how she is feeling and whether her workload is too much but his tone seems condescending rather than compassionate.He says he has a couple of concerns related to her performance. Even though she works out of a home office, he wonders why she doesn't come in to the office every day and, when she does, why she doesn't arrive earlier in the morning and why she doesn't stay until the team…
  • Learning to Settle For More

    Russell Ward
    2 Mar 2014 | 3:12 pm
    Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Laura Fortey, a Canadian journalist who has travelled extensively while reporting for Metro News. Laura is currently based in Burlington, Ontario, although she also calls the UK and Australia home.The words hung in the air heavy and meaningful like the smell of rain on a spring day. What did they mean? What could I do or was I doing in my life to make it less ordinary? And most importantly, what insights did Russell share that I could learn from?I began feverishly reading and I was hooked.I first stumbled upon “In Search of a Life Less…
  • Counting My Cultural Obsessions

    Russell Ward
    18 Feb 2014 | 5:48 pm
    It's 4am and I'm obsessively watching the live broadcast of the Sochi Winter Olympics, but it's not unusual for me to be following the luge or Super-G at this ungodly hour.I rarely get to bed before midnight in my determined quest to catch Olympic sports on TV. A week ago, I tried - and failed - to get up for the opening ceremony and was relegated to watching the highlights later that day.It just wasn't the same.Living in Australia, we're blessed with so many things but live television programming scheduled at a reasonable time of day isn't one of them. So this is an annoying yet necessary…
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    Expat Explorer

  • Top 5 Countries for Expat Childcare in Europe

    22 Apr 2014 | 3:29 am
    Moving abroad and uprooting your little angels is always a big decision and choosing the perfect country to spend your life in as an expat can be a tough task. One of the most important factors to consider before making the ‘big move’ as a family is the quality of life your kids will have there. Things to look into include general children’s healthcare, education and the cost of hiring a nanny. Hopefully this mini guide to Expat Childcare in Europe will help make the decision easier for you. The top five European destinations for childcare according to our 2013 Expat Explorer survey…
  • A literary picture of…Edinburgh

    17 Apr 2014 | 5:13 am
    Edinburgh is one of the world’s most affluent cities with lots of sights to see, shops to visit, and new food to try. It is also brimming with literary heritage – making the Scottish capital the perfect place for an expat with a love of culture to explore! We’ve already looked at Barcelonaand Dublinthrough a literary lens – but here’s what Edinburgh has to offer: Edinburgh Fringe FestivalThe world famous Fringe Festival is the largest arts festival in the world, a great place to encounter original drama and comedy, and discover fresh new writing and performance talent. In August the…
  • Easter around the world

    14 Apr 2014 | 4:40 am
     Picture source: Flickr / willowgardenersEaster, like most holidays, is associated with different traditions depending on your country. While it is principally a Christian religious holiday, it is also a festival to welcome the arrival of Spring, and so is celebrated all around the world. While you will might well have your own routines that you have been loyal to since childhood (eating your own body weight in chocolate springs to mind), if you’re an expat living in another country, why not embrace the local culture and celebrate like they do, or at least combine the traditions of…
  • Are you an expat mum or dad? We want to hear from you!

    10 Apr 2014 | 3:17 am
    Starting a new life abroad is a big decision and the stakes are even higher when making the move involves bringing a family with you. Expat parents have their children’s happiness, education and well-being to consider when planning their new lives.Image Source: creative.commons/keyfoster“Who will my child’s friends be? Will he or she struggle to fit in or understand the local language? How do I go about arranging schooling or understanding healthcare here?” are just some of the questions running through a parent’s mind when considering the prospect of moving abroad.Expat life can…
  • What is the best way to keep track of your expat experience?

    9 Apr 2014 | 1:36 am
    During your time living and working abroad so many exciting things happen: whether that’s celebrating your first Thanksgiving away from home, buying your Christmas tree during the summer, or eating spicy curries or sauerkraut und schnitzel for the first time. Maybe you are craving air conditioning, instead of putting on the heating on, or getting used to the fast pace of big city life. In other words, a lot of new things happen when you become an expat. But how do you keep up with all these changes and retain your memories, especially if your time as an expat will be short-lived? Here are…
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    Parenting While Abroad

  • Géraldine Lepère: How to scare the hell out of a French person

    15 Apr 2014 | 5:50 am
    Géraldine Lepère has a great site to help expats in France adapt. A former expat herself, she gives very practical advice with sincerity and humor, as the video shows. You can visit her site to see more sage advice about everything from French table manners to finding the French accents on a keyboard. She gave […]
  • Help overcoming bullying

    11 Apr 2014 | 7:06 am
    KISS band member Paul Stanley spent his formative years being pursued by bullies. He was born with a facial deformity that prevented his right ear from forming properly and left him deaf in one ear. Kids terrorized him, calling him “Stanley the one-eared monster” and he spent a lot of time in fear of being […]
  • Helping with adolescent anxiety

    2 Apr 2014 | 4:13 am
    Our children are faced with more stress and societal pressure than ever before. Girls are bombarded with images of half dressed woman with air brushed bodies in magazines and on billboards. In some countries girls are expected to behave in a certain way. In France for example, girls are expected to forgo the sport of […]
  • Book Review: Slurping Soup

    29 Mar 2014 | 1:55 pm
    Moving is traumatic for children, moving abroad can be devastating. Slurping Soup and Other Confusions is designed to help children look on the positive side of a move and process feelings through hands on activities. The resource was created by expat mothers Maryam Afnan Ahmad, Cherie Emigh,Ulrike Gemmer, Bárbara Menezes, Kathryn Tonges and Lucinda Willshire, […]
  • Parenting norms around the world

    23 Mar 2014 | 5:33 am
    When I first arrived in France I was struck by how little attention parents paid to their children hanging upside down from monkey bars and tree branches. I was alarmed to see these 4 year old kids shrieking with delight high above the ground, as their mothers smoked and gossiped on nearby benches. I am […]
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    American Expatriate Costa Rica

  • U.S. Citizens, do not fall into an IRS Trap

    Randall J. Lindner E.A.
    4 Apr 2014 | 7:40 am
    Everybody knows that April 15th is the tax filing deadline in the United States. Many people ask, do I need to file a tax return by April 15th even if I live outside of the United States? If you live outside of the United States, your tax filing deadline is June 15th, not April 15th. […]
  • Attorneys and investors will continue process, despite death of Quintavalle

    Staff News Writer
    1 Apr 2014 | 9:54 am
    Lawyers for the 84 U.S. investors who accused Matthew Quintavalle of fraud, will continue with a case in civil court despite the death of Quintavalle, according to the lawyer Alfredo Fournier. Fournier criticized the slowness of the judicial process and three years of investigation by the Ministerio Público with little results. The Public Ministry reported […]
  • U.S. Fugitive Josh Edwards Arrested in Costa Rica

    Staff News Writer
    1 Apr 2014 | 9:20 am
    U.S citizen Joshua Louis Edwards, age 24 was arrested in Costa Rica and has been extradited on Thursday in a joint operation between law enforcement in the United States and immigration authorities in Costa Rica. Edwards, who was convicted of running a prostitution ring in San Antonio and sentenced to 10 years in prison fled […]
  • Costa Rica removes visa for citizens of Russia

    Staff News Writer
    1 Apr 2014 | 9:06 am
    Costa Rica will eliminate the visa requirement for citizens of Russia, in a move intended to boost tourism from that country. The decision was announced yesterday by the Ministry of the Presidency, the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) and the Directorate General of Immigration. The tourism industry is also calling on officials to remove all visa […]
  • 230 Clinics online with digital records

    Staff News Writer
    1 Apr 2014 | 8:48 am
    At present, 1.4 million individuals, covered by state medical care (CCSS) are online with a digital record system, called Expediente Digital Único en Salud (Edus). The system, maintained under contract with the state telecom (ICE) is not yet fully digital. Much of medical records are still maintained on paper, but the system tracks the paper records, […]
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    The American Resident

  • Personal branding for novelists: Image

    Michelle Garrett
    2 Apr 2014 | 4:12 am
    The American Resident Like a magpie, I’m a collector of things that interest me. I’m learning about personal branding for writers. Novelists, specifically. I’m going to explore the ideas and advice I find over a series of posts, and it would be interesting to see what you think, readers. Got any tips? There are a lot of online articles about developing your personal brand. Some focus on people looking for jobs and some on people in specific niches like artists, carpenters, gardeners and so on. I’m gathering all the shiny bits of info that catch my eye and applying them…
  • Bath products you can make at home

    Michelle Garrett
    31 Mar 2014 | 9:01 am
    The American Resident Go DIY for your bathroom experience! This is an article provided for The American Resident by Maria Wright. Making homemade bathing products may seem like a daunting task. However, with some store bought alternatives containing chemical ingredients that could potentially irritate the skin, it’s hard not to understand why you would be better off creating your own beauty balms and bubble bath at home. Furthermore, if you’ve gone to all the trouble of constructing your dream relaxation environment, it seems a shame to disrupt all that good natural energy with a…
  • A break from writing but not from work

    Michelle Garrett
    21 Mar 2014 | 2:11 am
    The American Resident I’ve been on holiday for the past two weeks–no, I mean I’ve set aside my Writing work for the last week and a half. Remember how I said I planned to start treating my Novel Writing like a small business? I’ve been working hard on my novel for many months and so when I sent my outline along with a completed questionnaire to an American thriller writer who also teaches creative writing and works as a book doctor I decided that as soon as I clicked ‘send’ I would take a break from the Writing for a couple of weeks. Most writers know that…
  • My Writing Business

    Michelle Garrett
    19 Feb 2014 | 1:58 am
    The American Resident This year I’m Writing. Every year I’ve been writing since waaaay back (even when I was in 7th grade and my friend Tracy and I used to write Chapters, a sort of soap opera about two Mary Sue’s and their Adventures with their Favourite Band, the name of which I shall not tell you). But this year I’m doing it with a big W. Why? What’s the big deal about the big W? I’m prioritising my writing like never before and thus, the big W makes it official. I explained in my Writers Circle last night that I am treating my Writing like a business. I…
  • One of those ‘About Me’ tag games

    Michelle Garrett
    18 Feb 2014 | 2:47 am
    The American Resident The very funny Emma over at Mommy Has a Headache has tagged me in one of those round robin games bloggers do every now and then, where one is required to answer a series of pre-set questions and then tag more people. Most of my list of close-ish blogger friends have been tagged by now so I’m skipping that step and just answering the questions. Feel free to leave a comment with your own answers to any/all of these!! 1. If you could go back in history who would you most like to meet? Like Iota who was also tagged in this game I would like to meet some of my…
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    Culture Every Day

  • My Accidental Jihad: An Interview with Krista Bremer

    Justine Ickes
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:01 pm
    Prize-winning essayist Krista Bremer shares her thoughts on interfaith marriage, Muslim-American cultural identity, and her new memoir My Accidental Jihad. photo by Briana Brough You’re an avid sportswoman and the theme of running recurs frequently in your memoir. How does that relate to your relationship? Before I met my husband, running was like religion for me: a disciplined daily practice, a way to shake off mundane concerns, my path to a sense of wholeness and wellbeing. My husband is also a runner, and we used to nod hello as we passed one another on jogging trails in the woods.
  • Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and Other Important Questions You Need to Ask

    Justine Ickes
    13 Apr 2014 | 9:11 pm
    Years ago, long before I met my Turkish husband, I was talking to a friend about relationships and the ideal partner. An avid guitarist, he remarked: “I just can’t imagine marrying a woman from another country. I want to be able to hum a song by “KC and the Sunshine Band” and know that my wife knows what I’m talking about.” At the time my friend’s comment went right over my head. I mean, what could knowing the lyrics to “Boogie Shoes” have to do with having a satisfying marriage? Fast-forward 15 years and I’ve come to realize that my friend was on to something. Because,…
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    Pass the Ham

  • Those Who Carry Virgins

    10 Apr 2014 | 12:13 pm
    Pass the HamIn honor of semana santa and the fact that I have absolutely no time lately, I’m going to do a repost from last year, which, now that I think about it, might have been a repost from 2012. Anyway, I … Continue reading →Pass the Ham
  • Madrid Metro Adventures, Act 1, Scene 1

    21 Mar 2014 | 1:53 am
    Pass the HamSCENE: Metro Madrid Subway, Nuevos Ministerios Station TIME: Post Real Madrid Game, Saturday, approximately 11:30 p.m. OBSERVING CHARACTERS: Hamatha, Husband, Visiting Brother and Sister-in-law ACTIVE CHARACTERS: Crazy, Wide-Eyed Foreign Man Mysterious Ditzy Girl in Red with ornery hair bow Dramatic … Continue reading →Pass the Ham
  • Springtime Blooms in Madrid’s el Parque de los Quintos

    7 Mar 2014 | 2:57 am
    Pass the HamCan you feel it? Yep, that’s springtime in Madrid. Let’s all take a moment and wave our hands in the air and grin like silly gooses, okay?  Then, let’s all do a collective internet cloud-based, fist pump or two. Ready? … Continue reading →Pass the Ham
  • Five Glorious Sites in Kyoto

    11 Feb 2014 | 10:58 am
    Pass the HamMy trip to Japan was a good six months ago, but every once in a while, I still find myself drifting back to my rather large photo file of the trip. As I sit and click through each photo, I … Continue reading →Pass the Ham
  • Eight Spaniards I’d Like to Have a Beer With

    23 Jan 2014 | 9:26 am
    Pass the HamAlthough most people tend to spend January recapping their best or worst moments of the last year and contemplating what the new one might have in store, I’m generally thinking about one of two things around the this time of … Continue reading →Pass the Ham
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    Le Franco Phoney

  • Becoming French bit by bit

    13 Apr 2014 | 4:37 am
    Driving in France can be a challenge for new settlers. From remembering to drive on the other side of the road, or having to obtain a French licence, to trying to understand the bizarre give way to the side road on the right rule, there’s always something new and surprising. “It’s not like that in Australia,” I’d think, shaking my head at the bizarre French ways. Let’s take indicators. I’m not sure what happens after someone gets a French licence; I suspect the document somehow causes the electricals in their car to fail because indicators never seem…
  • Times that home seems a long way away

    6 Apr 2014 | 7:36 am
    Living on the other side of the world from family and friends is something that doesn’t work for everyone. Sometimes, a person’s dream of living in another country can’t persist beyond that initial homesickness. It’s never easy, and like everyone else, I’ve experienced the highs and the lows of living far away from home. Over the years, I’ve returned to my hometown of Melbourne for birthdays, weddings and funerals. Last week, an unexpected phone call from a family member gave me a new reason to return to Australia — heart surgery. Two days later, I was…
  • Great weather for drying washing

    24 Mar 2014 | 1:26 am
    A new layer of snow has enveloped the Alps, but only after three solid weeks of sunshine, raising temperatures up to 22°C here in Saint Jean de Sixt and melting a lot of snow. These are perfect examples of how quickly the landscape in the mountains can change. Less than two weeks ago, I watched kids sledging down a snowy field which is now sprouting spring grass. The rope tow and skiing area in St Jean de Sixt further up the hill, which had been packed with holiday makers and ski instructors, is now deserted (pictured, with Le Grand Bornand in the background), with a “no entry”…
  • A snapshot of Annecy

    18 Mar 2014 | 10:36 am
    Last weekend, Annecy bathed in glorious sunshine during the annual Venetian carnival. I took lots of photos of the gorgeous outfits, but my favourite is this one, which I snapped from a moving car on the way home. This photo says so much about Annecy. The little girl is dressed for the carnival festivities, and families with babies and kids are strolling along at a relaxed pace. Annecy is the epitome of relaxed! The people on the seat are watching the calm lake (still too cold for many wake boarders or water skiers to be creating waves), and on the very left of the photo, you can see a rocky…
  • Meanwhile, in La Clusaz…

    15 Mar 2014 | 8:56 am
    After last weekend’s tractor shenanigans in Saint Jean de Sixt during the freestyle competition, La Clusaz put on a different type of competition (if you’re receiving this via email, you might need to click through to view): http://www.lefrancophoney.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/sfrcomp.mp4 The SFR Tour slopestyle competition has been coming to La Clusaz for years, and this year, they expanded the snow park to make the course longer. The tricks were spectacular and the competitors came from all around the world. Here’s a photo I snapped from the chairlift on the way to the…
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  • The British Abroad, or, Who Am I?

    Aisha Ashraf
    11 Apr 2014 | 8:25 am
    I’d never realized before but that thing Canadians hate so much? That lumping together of everyone who lives in North America? They do the exact same thing to people who live in Europe. The post The British Abroad, or, Who Am I? appeared first on Expatlog.
  • Point & Shoot: Walking with fish

    Aisha Ashraf
    7 Apr 2014 | 9:12 am
    We woke on Saturday to iron-clad skies and a blustery wind, but at least the rain had stopped. We had plans... The post Point & Shoot: Walking with fish appeared first on Expatlog.
  • “D’ya like dags?”

    Aisha Ashraf
    2 Apr 2014 | 10:00 pm
    The dogs in my past are bound forever to the struggles or deceptions I faced at the time, giving their loss an added potency, shocking you even when you think you’re safe. Like today. The post “D’ya like dags?” appeared first on Expatlog.
  • Expat Lasts – A Life Of Goodbyes

    Aisha Ashraf
    20 Mar 2014 | 6:13 pm
    Much is written about the ‘firsts’ in life, those milestones that mark our progression along this mortal coil, but very little about the lasts... The post Expat Lasts – A Life Of Goodbyes appeared first on Expatlog.
  • Point & Shoot: #foodporn

    Aisha Ashraf
    17 Mar 2014 | 11:13 am
    Weekends in our house are all about the food (this is, after all, home of the #epicbreakfast) so be prepared for shameless foodporn photography... The post Point & Shoot: #foodporn appeared first on Expatlog.
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  • Statutory Residence Test explained

    Jim Atkins
    22 Apr 2014 | 11:08 pm
    Figuring out if you live in the UK or has a big impact on where an expat pays tax – and how much they pay. The statutory residence test started from April 2013 with the aim of simplifying the decision making, but the questions and conditions still take a lot of working through to arrive at the right answer. To try to help, here are some of the key questions and termed explained: Non-residents have their tax status decided by two main conditions – time spent living in the UK and their personal ties to the country. Residence and non-residence questions Generally, a non-resident is someone…
  • Older Workers Can Still Give A Lot In The Workplace

    Lisa Smith
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:19 pm
    An ageing workforce should be seen as an opportunity rather than a challenge for business, according to a new report. Employers forget or overlook that older workers can bring experience and contribute to growth if a business has the right support and policies to include workers approaching or past retirement age, says the Organisation of Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). The report has looked at the status of older workers in several countries to consider their impact on the workplace and economies. The premise was the number of older workers is growing and the OECD wanted to…
  • Pension Liberation Firms Target Young Savers

    Lisa Smith
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:18 pm
    Pension liberation firms are tricking retirement savers to cash in their funds by claiming new rules in Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget 2014 allow them early access to their cash. The move is a change of tack by pension liberation advisors who are targeting savers under the age of 55 years old. Although the new rules allow retirement savers over 55 with defined contribution schemes to draw down their pension cash, they do not let younger investors take their money early. If they do, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will demand penalty payments of at least 55% of the unlocked pension…
  • Budget 2014 Pensions Reforms Offer New Found Freedom

    Lisa Smith
    22 Apr 2014 | 2:32 am
    George Osborne’s announcement relating to the proposed UK pension reforms has created shockwaves through the industry, particularly for insurers who were formerly able to benefit from the tax regulations which meant that savers were systematically encouraged to invest their available funds into annuities rather than withdrawing lump sums. This will no longer be the case if the proposals go through in April 2015, meaning that the saver now has the freedom to choose whether they wish to withdraw lump sums for a reason of their choosing such as a holiday, debt repayment or even the purchase of…
  • QROPS & the Budget of 2014

    Jim Atkins
    21 Apr 2014 | 10:11 pm
    Much has been written about the impact that the Chancellor’s budget announcement has, and will have on the QROPS industry, however when the bullet points are researched in slightly more depth, the impact felt by most of the QROPS market will be negligible as things currently stand. The Changes As of 6th April 2015, the following initiatives on UK pension schemes will come into place, although these are all subject to consultation and are all in the proposal stage right now: •           Those reaching the age of 55 will be able to take their entire pension in one go. 25% will…
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  • Should expats be wary of cashing in their pensions under the new rules

    Steph MacDonald
    23 Apr 2014 | 10:00 am
    Experts are warning that UK retirees living overseas may face tax implications if they choose to cash in their defined contribution pension pots. The new rules outlined in the chancellor’s 14 March Budget speech appeared to offer enhanced flexibility, but the finer details have yet to be worked out. Although the present rules as regards... Expats Blog -
  • Brit expats flee Spain due to troubled economy

    Louise Baldwin
    23 Apr 2014 | 10:00 am
    A recent data release has revealed that the number of British expats officially registered as living in Spain decreased in 2013 by 20 per cent. The official number of Britons living in the crisis-hit country as recorded by town hall registers totalled 385,179 at the beginning of last year. However, the British Embassy believes there are at... Expats Blog -
  • UK Consumer Panel fears risks for savers after budget annuity shock

    Steph MacDonald
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:00 am
    When the Consumer Panel published its damning report on annuity sales at the end of last year, no-one expected reform to arrive as early as the March 2014 budget. However, now that the dust is beginning to settle, the Panel is concerned over risks for consumers at home and abroad once the market is flooded with new, flexible financial... Expats Blog -
  • Do expats remember what drove them mad in their home countries

    Louise Baldwin
    22 Apr 2014 | 10:00 am
    Following an amusing take in the expat media about frustrating experiences in the host country, do expats still remember what drove them crazy in their countries of birth? It’s easy, once the trauma of moving across half the world has subsided, to forget what prompted such a drastic solution to the stress and strain of everyday life... Expats Blog -
  • Public sector pension QROPS transfers under fire

    Steph MacDonald
    21 Apr 2014 | 10:00 am
    Public sector workers and civil servants are being warned by pension experts that they may be barred from transferring their pension pots to a QROPS. UK chancellor George Osborne has already stated that different pension rules may be introduced for pension savers working in the public service sector and the civil service. The plan may... Expats Blog -
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    impressions of an expat

  • the sky is falling (frogs, rabbits and pigs)

    21 Apr 2014 | 4:03 am
    I am about to turn the corner where that jewelry store is, with the plaque of Eduard Tisse on the wall outside. I wonder if anyone knows he was the cameraman on Battleship Potemkin without reading it. There is a sudden smack against the sidewalk a few feet in front of me. I hunch over, hands over the back of my head. There is a pickle jar shattered on the asphalt, surrounding by dirty water and cigarette butts. I look up quickly, seeing no one. A man is passing me. I tell him to be careful, pointing at the glass and then the collection of balconies above us. He shrugs his shoulders, shoving…
  • rainy days and mondays (run and find the one who loves me)

    14 Apr 2014 | 4:14 am
    The streets are wet. E's red raincoat is short at the wrists. There are stray dogs slogging through the puddles, their fur a grey mess the same color as the sky. She looks up at me, that defeated Monday morning look on her face and I shake my head, telling her to let it go. I know she loves the rain.The lights are out in her school. The guards are sitting in the dark lobby hunched over computer screens. I kiss the top of her head once. The room smells of wet paint and fumes.On the way home I see a tiny house made of paper hanging from some colored yarn. It is sagging, falling apart from…
  • mannequins (you can't go back)

    7 Apr 2014 | 4:31 am
    E stands next to me at my desk, watching me working. She coughs once, a leftover of the light cold she is getting over. She rests a hand on my arm."Pop." She says, breaking the silence of the room.I turn to her."I think I am ready to learn to draw right." She says. "Like you and grandpa do."I have explained things to her many times, how she will never draw her characters the same once I teach her how to draw what she sees, not the ideas of hands and eyes, the ideas of striped stockings and impossibly pointed shoes."Are you sure?" I ask.She nods once.I find a white box, and place it in the…
  • ink

    31 Mar 2014 | 3:59 am
    The pen is dry. I unscrew it, placing the nib on an empty sheet of paper. The container is not far from me, next to a photograph leaning against the wall. I pull the piston out, twirling it down as it blows bubbles inside the little bottle then suck the bright blue ink inside as I twirl it back up. Back in the nib, ink stains my fingertips. I screw the body on last, making sure not to get any on it. N bought me this pen in Florence, on the last night we were there. I tried to explain to the little old man in the store that I would write a new book with it. In truth, I am still finishing the…
  • balance (ring, ring)

    24 Mar 2014 | 5:00 am
    We are baking tollhouse cookies for her class, late on a Thursday night. I am tired. I even forgot to buy the chocolate to snap into messy squares and then chop down to bits. N brings them, after I call her on her way home. The butter turns into the salt and egg, sugar and flour, a splash of vanilla I remember this time. I spread it thin across the bottom of a pan. This year they will be cut into squares.E writes the names of her classmates on a fresh piece of paper, counting out loud on her fingers, her mouth twisting around as she makes sure."We need twenty four, plus more for Larissa and…
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    Lost In The Leaf City

  • How To Renew Philippine Passport In Canada

    17 Apr 2014 | 5:24 pm
    By far writing a blog post on how to renew Philippine passport in Canada has taken so much of my time researching. But then I know it is all worthwhile for all the Filipinos who need information to...
  • How To Renew Philippine Passport In Vancouver (Part 2)

    18 Mar 2014 | 10:55 am
    I’m guessing you are determined (and even excited) to embark on a journey and already reading the Part 2 of “How to Renew Philippine Passport in Vancouver” to pick up some guides on...
  • How To Renew Philippine Passport In Vancouver (Part 1)

    14 Mar 2014 | 7:27 pm
    Every Filipino newcomer or immigrant has an important question to ask at some point: how to renew Philippine Passport in Canada? Because personal appearance is required, you can renew your passport...
  • Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2014: Protection Components Failure

    16 Feb 2014 | 9:18 pm
    I always wait for Boxing Day every year. While waiting for Christmas Eve dinner, I’m on my laptop watching the online countdown for one reason: to get the best deal of Kaspersky Anti-Virus. I was...
  • The Long (And Tricky) Search Of Canadian Bank Rates

    25 Jan 2014 | 11:31 am
    It takes me a lot of time to write a blog post. Researching, writing, and browsing about absolutely unrelated topics consume my time. But it has a bright side: another blog post. (With luck, I could...
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    Cartus Blog

  • Considerations for Relocation Managers in the U.S. Housing Market

    Pat DeDonato
    23 Apr 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Housing markets are susceptible to a wide range of factors, and  harsh winter weather, mortgage rate increases, and declining affordability  have certainly all affected the U.S. market recently, although to what degree is up for debate. As if those weren’t enough, the impacts of recent regulatory activities, both proposed and approved, should be considered by managers of relocation programs who are tasked with adjusting their companies’ programs and policies. Items for consideration include the potential for increasing mortgage rates, the new regulation implemented by the Consumer…
  • Relocation Agent Network Celebrates 20th Anniversary

    Richard Tucker
    22 Apr 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Relocation Agent Network celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The national network of independent estate agents across England, Scotland, and Wales works together to help relocate Cartus assignees and their families in the UK. We can proudly say they really do go that extra mile when it comes to helping employees who are relocating by providing information about local neighbourhoods, nearby amenities, and even data on school catchment areas. In addition, members provide a relocation referral service to their customers. Known as the ‘Referral Network,’ this is a unique offering that…
  • Cartus Global Spotlight: She Said, France (Part Deux)

    Anne Speirs
    17 Apr 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Yesterday’s Cartus Global Spotlight blog was written by my husband, James, on his home country of South Africa. Today, I’d like to share experiences of my native France and also about living in a household with lots of different cultures… . A Tale of Two Halves I was 18 when I left my hometown of Arcachon, near Bordeaux in the southwest of France. I came to Swindon to work as an au pair before attending the University of Western England in Bristol, to study for a Languages & Law degree. In 2003, I joined Cartus, where I met James two years later. When James and I discussed this…
  • Cartus Global Spotlight: He Said, South Africa (Part One)

    James Speirs
    16 Apr 2014 | 1:09 pm
    The Cartus Global Spotlight series has so far focused on the relocation experiences of individuals, but this post is the first of two that provides a couple’s perspective on to cross-border living and working. My wife, Anne, and I are from two very different countries—France and South Africa—and we live in a third, the UK. In this post, I will focus on my homeland of South Africa, and tomorrow, Anne will share her experiences of life in her home country, France. A Tale of Two Halves I was born in Durban, a busy port on the east coast of South Africa. After travelling to the UK, Turkey,…
  • Cartus Broker Network International Conference: Today, Tomorrow, Together!

    Denise Porter
    15 Apr 2014 | 12:00 pm
    The 2014 Cartus Broker Network International Conference was a rousing success. Nearly 700 Cartus Broker Network members, clients, industry experts and exhibitors from the United States and the United Kingdom came together for an intensive event that included an awards celebration as well as interactive workshops, roundtable discussions, and executive presentations. This year’s event was held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, from February 25-27. We were honored to have on stage Realogy’s Chairman, CEO, and President, Richard A. Smith, keynote speaker Kevin Kelleher, and featured speaker Henry…
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    Mingalapar - All About Myanmar ( Burma )

  • Special features of Myanmar Thingyan water festival

    14 Apr 2014 | 5:49 am
    Source Recipes.Wikia http://recipes.wikia.com/   Music coming from the traditional drums wakes up Burmese people and reminds that Thingyan, the water festival that welcomes the New Year is getting near.   Temporary tents or small pandals at every corner of streets and roads, built with coconut fronds, are seen with people from all ages being together and making special festival food. Such special food can’t be separated from the water festival; it is sweet rice balls that we call mote-lone-yay-paw in Burmese. Every Burmese enjoys that sticky rice balls with small pieces of…
  • Astrology: Fortune teller tradition in Myanmar

    6 Apr 2014 | 9:19 pm
        Source Irrawaddy www.irrawaddy.org   Within Myanmar’s cultural mix, fortune telling is one of the amazing and growing practice of tradition. Myanmar people go for it when they are in trouble or when they have no idea what to do next. It’s not that they believe in it heartedly at all times. People like to try it more or less. If lots of people recommend you a particular fortuneteller, you’ll get interested and you will like to try at least once. When things really worked out, you believe in that fortuneteller even if you are the one who never believe in…
  • Myanmar Wedding Reception

    2 Apr 2014 | 1:18 am
          Today I am in mood of writing about marriage reception as I just attended western style wedding at beach and there are many things pop up in my mind, difference between western culture and Myanmar culture. I attended many wedding receptions, which are held according to different culture and custom. I would love to share some of the lovely custom of Myanmar traditional wedding, how Myanmar people regard the marriage and celebrate the wedding.   We say in Myanmar that when a man and woman fall in love with each other and turns into the right age, the parents have…
  • Traditional costume in Myanmar by nationality

    25 Mar 2014 | 1:10 am
      Mon traditional costume, photo source www.myanmar.cm   Myanmar, a country comprised with eight nationalities, is blessed with resources and different cultural heritages. As a name called Union of Myanmar, eight main nationalities share the country with each ones having their own culture and customs. From the warm and generous people, you will see heart-warming traditions and costume of different nationalities is one of them.   Names of nationalities are addressed according to alphabetical order and they are Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhine and Shan.  …
  • Top original festival in Myanmar

    20 Mar 2014 | 1:48 am
      Welcome to the land of festivals! What is special about Myanmar? Well, Myanmar will ease your pain and reduce your stress with social festivals and religious festivals all year round. I bet you will love them. It’s getting hot day by day, by the way. The calls of cuckoo, a bird which Burmese composers never miss to write about, on a tree log bring the smell of hot summer. Hearing its songs excites us and reminds of water festival, which is coming soon in next month, Tagu La, the very first month of Myanmar Calendar.   Thingyan, water festival in Tagu Tagu sounds very…
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    Expatriate Connection

  • Long Distance Relationship With Grandchildren – 12 Tips For Staying Close

    15 Apr 2014 | 7:36 am
    Your parents expected this moment with impatience: the first grandchild. Then came the second and the third. Your parents were so proud. They’re in their sixties, fit, curious, dynamic and usually computer savvy. They’ve got all their heart desires except one thing: their grandchildren at their side because you moved abroad. While this situation has […] The post Long Distance Relationship With Grandchildren – 12 Tips For Staying Close appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • Giving And Receiving Gifts – The Secret Rules For Expats

    27 Mar 2014 | 7:00 pm
    Ever wondered what to bring when invited for the first time to a local family in your new host country? Do you remember this awkward feeling – a mix of joy and constraint – when receiving a beautiful present that you didn’t expect from a foreigner? Not to mention the headache you got when you […] The post Giving And Receiving Gifts – The Secret Rules For Expats appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • 10 Signs That You May Be A Third Culture Parent

    15 Mar 2014 | 1:36 am
    Our children have a name: they’re called Third Culture Kids or Global Nomads. Their parents – we (!) – don’t! At least, not that I know of. Why bother? You’ll ask.   Barbara Schaetti, who studied Third Culture Kids, found that those who best navigated through the challenges of a childhood spent abroad were the […] The post 10 Signs That You May Be A Third Culture Parent appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • 6 Things Your Third Culture Kid Does Not Want To Hear

    3 Mar 2014 | 4:42 am
    Maybe it’s when you announced it: “Sweetheart, we have great news, we’re going to move to another country” or when you arrived in this new place, or even later on – weeks, months, years (yes!) after. But one day, for sure, you’ll get to hear from your third culture kid: “Why did we have to […] The post 6 Things Your Third Culture Kid Does Not Want To Hear appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
  • Expat Accompanying Partner: Job Hunting Tips From An Expert

    18 Feb 2014 | 4:54 am
    Finding a job abroad, when you don’t know the culture, the language and you can’t rely on any support network is a daunting task. No wonder that one of the major reasons employees refuse an assignment abroad is because of their spouse’s lack of professional opportunities. A 2012 Permits Foundation study of 177 companies managing 130,000 expatriates […] The post Expat Accompanying Partner: Job Hunting Tips From An Expert appeared first on Expatriate Connection.
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  • Art Fairs in New York - May 2014

    16 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    New York has a very strong artistic and creative heritage. Throughout the year, there are numerous opportunities to marvel at a wealth of fine and contemporary art. In May 2014, New York residents and visitors will be treated to a vast selection of fairs to suit all artistic tastes. These recommendations are just the tip of the iceberg of what’s on offer: Collective Design Fair May 8-11 The Collective Design Fair is a curated selection of contemporary and 20th century design, showcasing a range of emerging and established galleries from all over the world. This year's highlight includes a…
  • Graham Enser's Top Eggs

    16 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Cadogan Tate is very proud to be the official logistics partner for the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt in New York throughout April. Our previous blog posts examine the construction of the Cadogan Tate egg and also converse with the egg's artist, Stephen McHugh about his highlights. Today’s post features an exclusive chat with Cadogan Tate Fine Art's Managing Director, Graham Enser about his favourite eggs currently on display in New York. My top three: Jeff Koons Zaha Hadid Marc Quinn I have been travelling to New York for over 30 years, so Benjamin Shine’s piece composed of New York Street names…
  • The Expat Explorer Survey is now open

    10 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    The yearly Expat Explorer survey, commissioned by HSBC, is now open for expats to share their views on their country of residence. Now in its seventh year, the survey is the largest global survey of expats with over 7,000 expats taking part in the online research last year. The data helps to form a league table of 37 countries, that is presented in interactive online graphs that allow current and potential expats to compare countries side-by-side and even to break the data down into granular detail and sort by subject (eg, finances, experience and raising children abroad). Last year's…
  • Construction of Cadogan Tate's egg for the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt

    9 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    There’s no denying the power of artistic collaboration, particularly when it’s between mother and son. Cadogan Tate’s resident egg artist, Stephen McHugh teamed up with his mother, Sarah - a prominent New York artist (see mchughstudio.com), for the first time in years to produce the Cadogan Tate egg for the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt. Renowned for its shipping and fine art handling expertise, it seemed only natural for Stephen to design the egg to replicate a wooden shipping crate, similar to those used when shipping fine art. Given just four days to create something spectacular, Stephen…
  • Installing an Egg Hunt

    8 Apr 2014 | 3:00 am
    Cadogan Tate is very proud to be the official logistics partner for the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt in New York, and has been responsible for the storage, transportation and installation of hundreds of specially designed eggs, all in aid of Studio in a School and Elephant Family. In the first part of our two-part conversation with Cadogan Tate's NY VP of Business Development and resident egg artist, Stephen McHugh we find out about his personal highlights of installing the collection of nearly 270 eggs. Are there any eggs in particular that stand out as favourites for you and the team? My favourite…
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    One Foot in Europe

  • Things To Do in Istanbul’s Deep West: Buyukcekmece

    one foot in Europe
    17 Apr 2014 | 12:23 pm
    I have made it my mission to find good stuff west of centre. It takes ages to get anywhere from here. I want the good stuff and I don’t want to wait in the over filled B.O and bacteria box otherwise known as the metrobus. No thank you. So living this deep into the European side as an ex-pat can be hard. Think apartment blocks, apartment blocks and more apartment blocks, with a sprinkling of glittering malls. There isn’t much character back here and going into the centre where all the lovely nightlife/historical/cultural stuff is takes the same time as it would for me to get from…
  • Biking in Buyukada

    one foot in Europe
    8 Apr 2014 | 12:53 pm
    Our foray to the Princes Islands had us over the hills and far away from the congested, car ridden pollutant that is Istanbul. It seems that most of our weekend explorations happen as a result of a failed attempt at an excursion elsewhere. This occasion was no exception. How naive was I to concieve of the notion that a Bosphorus cruise leaving from Eminonu at 10.35am on a Saturday morning was at all possible after a night of drinking red wine. An hour and a half commute from door to dock. I don’t think so. On perusing other possibilities departing imminently, the Princes Islands were of…
  • Uskudar; Istanbul’s Green Haven?

    one foot in Europe
    30 Mar 2014 | 3:27 am
    After a little hiatus I finally have time to write about stuff I want to. Yay. A few weeks back on a botched attempt at visiting the Princes Islands we found ourselves at Kabatas (ferry port) with nowhere to go. Our dreams of a bike ride in the car free sanctuary that is Buyukada fading fast, we needed an ample alternative. Having read about a fabled park in Uskudar and happening to be right in front of the ferry going to said place it was a no brainer. Good choice. We felt the difference as soon as we departed the ferry. Were those flower beds I spied? Trees? Such things are merely hinted…
  • Top Five Reasons EVERYBODY should visit Antalya

    one foot in Europe
    11 Mar 2014 | 2:23 pm
    There are many reasons to visit Antalya, I have whittled them down to five in the final of my Turkish winter holiday installments. Our sun chasing ways finally paid off, after three hours of breathtaking scenery on the bus ride from Fethiye to Antalya we were there. The sun caressing our wind hardened faces, letting us know that we’d made it. We almost bypassed Antalya due to our ghost town presumption of a ‘resort in winter season’. Luckily the draw of sun and the considerably cheaper flight back to Istanbul had us there, misgivings aside. And weren’t we pleasantly…
  • Fethiye Frolics (Turkish Winter Holidays Pt 3)

    one foot in Europe
    2 Mar 2014 | 8:34 am
    Next stop on my Turkish holiday, Fethiye. Attracted by the promise of tombs carved into the mountains and the prospect of warmer weather (heading South for the winter) Fethiye was a no-brainer. Disappointed we weren’t. Well at least not by Fethiye. The weather, another story. Two days in the gloomy cloud filled out of season town was enough to drive us to Antalya, warmer weather guaranteed. Dammit we just wanted a bit of sun to warm our winter cockles. Regardless of our pussy weather behaviour (we should have been counting our lucky stars we weren’t braving the storms back home in…
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    The Expat C.A.F.E.

  • Can You Ever Have too Much of a Good Thing?

    21 Apr 2014 | 3:27 pm
    There is something to be said for eating foods not filled with additives and chemicals.  So many of the foods pre-packaged and sold in the US are filled with chemicals to make the food stay fresher longer.  Chemical names most of us can’t even begin to pronounce, which has to beg the question, “If we can’t pronounce them why are we eating them?”  What is most frightening is that the soap and dog food isles in US grocery stores are the only places where you can find products made without high fructose corn syrup. Since leaving the US I have found a couple of things to be true about…
  • Don’t Forget To Turn Off The Lights

    18 Apr 2014 | 3:21 pm
    Utilities in other countries are an interesting thing.  In Panama we had an electric meter but electricity was part of our rent so we don’t know how much the bill was.  We do know that the government subsidizes the cost since many people live below the poverty line and could not afford to pay the electricity bill anyway.  Electricity in Panama is also not reliable and there were many days that we would lose power for an hour or so.  It was just something we learned to live with. In Croatia we had our own meter and were charged for each kilowatt used.  We were also told that the charges…
  • Leave the Trinkets At Home

    14 Apr 2014 | 3:53 pm
    I have been remiss in not writing about the fact that I left all of my good jewelry back in the US. In fact since we knew we were going to be traveling for an extended period of time I actually gave the jewelry to the person who was going to inherit all the pieces anyway instead of spending money on a safe deposit box. I reasoned that it made more sense for this person to enjoy the jewelry I was giving them now instead of having it sit in a box someplace. As most women do I had been collecting nice pieces of jewelry for many years and I had not only gold necklaces but gold charms and unique…
  • Staying Fit

    11 Apr 2014 | 3:14 pm
    Like many Americans Mike and I have had struggles with our weight. Mike started getting fit in 2001; he lost well over 50 pounds and began to run in marathons. I had a Rou-en-Y gastric bypass in 2002. After surgery I began to walk seven days a week and I had a personal trainer whom I worked out with three days a week and I shed almost 200 pounds. While living in the US Mike and I had our own exercise routines. I walked four miles every morning around the neighborhood and Mike liked to jog, ride his bike and exercise in a gym.   Some countries have exercise equipment right on the…
  • Adjusting to Living Out of a Suitcase

    7 Apr 2014 | 3:18 pm
    This lifestyle is not the same as taking a two week vacation a couple of times a year. This lifestyle is all about how well I can learn to adjust to living with only those things that fit inside one suitcase. I was never a backpacker. Mike was. He was raised in the hills and mountains of the Pacific Northwest and he loves to camp and hike with a loaded pack on his back. I’m more of the fill the car with a suitcase type, so the adjustment was really mine. Even today Mike has way fewer clothes than I do; and I’ve done a great job in downsizing to only four pairs of pants, four long sleeved…
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    Swahili Help

  • Swahili Words and Phrases for Food and Dining

    8 Apr 2014 | 9:07 pm
      English Swahili Transliteration food chakula chaKOOla breakfast staftahi stafTAAhee lunch chakula cha mchana chaKOOla chaa mCHAna dinner chakula cha jioni chaKOOla chaa jeeOnee   menu menyu MEYnyoo service huduma hooDOOma bill bili BEElee cold baridi baREEdee hot moto MOto   cup kikombe keeKOmbe fork uma OOma knife kisu KEEsoo plate sahani saHAnee   cheese jibini jeeBEEnee butter siagi seeagee fruit tunda TOOnda fruit juice maji ya tunda MAjee yaa TOOnda bananas ndizi NDEEzee orange chungwa CHOOngwa salt chumvi CHOOmvee sugar sukari sooKAree pepper pilipili PEEleePEElee…
  • English – Swahili Translation (Plus Phrasebook for Travellers)

    11 Mar 2014 | 12:58 am
    Looking for a Swahili translation of a word or some common useful phrase? Check out the posts that follow. They cover a wide range of scenarios and contexts. Common and useful words phrases. Phrases and words to use when you go out shopping. On the road? Check out transportation vocabulary and phrases. English Swahili translation for common holiday wishes. You can also browse the vocabulary section for Swahili words for occupations, colours, prepositions, days of the week, months of the year, greetings and salutations, question words, relationships, seasons and weather, time, shapes and…
  • Swahili Music: 13 Swahili Songs You Must Listen To

    9 Mar 2014 | 3:32 am
    I have always wanted to put together a list of Swahili songs for you guys. I finally got around to doing it today. These Swahili songs are listed in no particular order. Listen to all  of them and then tell me which is your favorite in the comment section. Featured Artists Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania), Juliana Kanyamozi (Uganda), Alicios (Uganda), Jaguar (Kenya), Z Anto (Tanzania), Willy Paul (Kenya), Ali Kiba (Tanzania), TID (Tanzania), Bahati (Kenya), Lady Jaydee (Tanzania) and Kidum (Burundi). 1. ‘Number One’ – Diamond Platnumz 2. ‘Kesho’ – Diamond…
  • Question Words in Swahili

    16 Feb 2014 | 10:23 pm
    Nani?(naanee?) – Who? Nini?(neenee?) – What? Lini?(leenee?) – When? Kwa nini?(kwaa neenee?) – Why? -ipi?(veepee?) – ? which? Using Swahili Question Words in Sentences Nani amekula chakula changu? – Who has eaten my food? Nini imetokea? – What has happened? Jane anakuja lini? – When is Jane coming? Kwa nini umefanya hivyo? – Why have you done that? Kiti kipi kimevunjika? – Which chair is broken?   The post Question Words in Swahili appeared first on Swahili Help.
  • Swahili Holiday Phrases

    16 Feb 2014 | 9:56 pm
    Christmas – Krismasi Year – Mwaka Easter – Pasaka Birthday – Siku ya kuzaliwa Merry Christmas – Krismasi njema Happy new year – Heri ya mwaka mpya Happy Easter – Heri ya siku ya pasaka Happy birthday – Furaha ya siku ya kuzaliwa The post Swahili Holiday Phrases appeared first on Swahili Help.
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