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poetinahat
08-06-2010, 05:30 AM
Who's moved around the world? Where'd you come from, where have you been, where are you now? What's it mean to you? What do you miss, what are you glad about?

I'm an American, but I've been in Australia now for seventeen years - it was supposed to be a short-term stay, but I'll stay here.

I was happy in the US and would be again, but I fell completely in love with Australia when I arrived. I blog (http://poetinahat.blogspot.com/) - very slowly and very lazily - we're talking years here - about all the reasons I love Australia.

Bettedra
08-06-2010, 05:51 AM
I'm American too, currently living in South Korea as-you guessed it-an ESL teacher. I've only been here for a few months but I am enjoying myself. I don't think I'll be staying for 17 years though.

Before Korea I was in Portland, Oregon for several years. Before that, Hawaii. That's where I grew up, and where I hope to end up again someday soon.

backslashbaby
08-06-2010, 06:26 AM
I'm pretty set now, as an American in the US, but I hope to continue to get weeks away immersed in other cultures. I love it very much.

I lived in Hungary some years ago. My dad was called to help start up a manufacturing startup with textile clients already in place. After he'd been there about a year or two, I got to come over and work at the plant :D

I can't even say what that meant to me -- it's too much. But I did miss salads after a while. Or a light sandwich, my goodness. I never knew I'd eat so many ox tails and sausages. Or soup with a chicken face and feet in it. Or 'radioactive' carp stew ;) A lot of local home cooking from my friends, btw. They serve steak in the tourist places like everywhere else on earth.

OTOH, now I crave quail egg soup and can never get it, so I'd have to think about which is worse :D

OneWriter
08-06-2010, 06:34 AM
You shouldn't have asked.... I was born in the UK, grew up in Italy, moved to the US for three years, then moved to Austria one year, then moved to Spain for two years, then moved to California for three years, then..... Is your head spinning yet??????
Mine's a little....

Kateness
08-06-2010, 06:37 AM
I was born in the UK, moved to America when I was almost 7. Still hold a British passport, but also a green card, which means I can do anything an American citizen can except a)vote, b)serve on a jury, and c)work for the federal government.

Scriptissima
08-07-2010, 03:10 AM
Born and raised in Germany, traveled back and forth between Germany and the U.S. for work, interrupted by a short stint in France, back to going back and forth between Germany and the U.S. for work and love, and finally moved to the U.S. about four years ago.

You shouldn't have asked.... I was born in the UK, grew up in Italy, moved to the US for three years, then moved to Austria one year, then moved to Spain for two years, then moved to California for three years, then..... Is your head spinning yet??????
Mine's a little....
That is pretty impressive. :) You certainly must be multilingual, and I assume that you must have an extremely laid-back personality - based on all that cultural adjusting that you've had to do. :)
So which country or region feels like home to you? Italy?


I was born in the UK, moved to America when I was almost 7. Still hold a British passport, but also a green card, which means I can do anything an American citizen can except a)vote, b)serve on a jury, and c)work for the federal government.
There are actually more disadvantages to "only" holding the green card, some of which really bug be, so I will aim for dual citizenship next year. :) But as far as everyday life for most people is concerned, you are absolutely correct.

CheekyWench
08-07-2010, 03:17 AM
This topic always fascinates me! I'd love to live in another country - but wouldn't even know where to start. It amazes me how many people seem to do it though! lucky :D

2Wheels
08-07-2010, 03:33 AM
Born and raised in the UK, moved to Canada late teens, still here umpteen years later. Also had a 5 year stint in the US.

People here say I still sound very British, but when I visit England they say I sound Canajun. Jolly good, eh?

dolores haze
08-07-2010, 03:34 AM
Born in the Channel Islands, grew up in Scotland, moved to the U.S., where I've lived in the South, the Pacific North West, the South West, and now the North East. Went to Greece to study and ended up living there for a while before living in England for a bit, before returning to the U.S.

I miss my family in the U.K. and all the friends I've made along the way, as well as weird stuff, like Scottish bread, the amazing tides of the Channel Islands, Powell's book store, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the view of the Acropolis from my apartment, I could go on and on and on and on.

What does it mean to me? Well, I'm glad that I had the guts to make that first move. My life has been so much richer for it.

backslashbaby
08-07-2010, 03:42 AM
I'll make a special weekend to the OBX just for you, Dolores ;) Seriously, one of my favorite spots on earth. NC beaches are a bit of a secret... shhhh!

OneWriter
08-07-2010, 04:25 AM
That is pretty impressive. :) You certainly must be multilingual, and I assume that you must have an extremely laid-back personality - based on all that cultural adjusting that you've had to do. :)
So which country or region feels like home to you? Italy?

Well, you sound pretty restless too! We're finally settling down in the US, bought a house and all... An believe it or not the first months I was a nervous wreck!!! I mean, all this stability and all... So weird!!!! But definitely the US feel much more home than anything else right now. My family is all in Italy and truly when I go back I feel a foreigner. How about you?




There are actually more disadvantages to "only" holding the green card, some of which really bug be, so I will aim for dual citizenship next year. :)

Me too!! I wanna vote!!! :D

Maxinquaye
08-07-2010, 04:36 AM
I was born in Norway, moved to Gothenburg in Sweden when I was 14, and then to the UK when I was 37. I'm back in Sweden now, temporarily, but heading back to the UK in September/October.

I miss my friends in the UK, as well as the beer. Skyping and msn is no way to keep in touch, and when I do get back I think I'm going to stay. Though, I've learned you should never plan so firmly. Sweden is just too quiet, too safe, too boring, and too empty. :)

The only thing that annoys me is that I'll have to start from the beginning when I move back. I won't be able to count my previous 3 years for my permanent residency there. :(

madderblue
08-07-2010, 07:44 AM
Who's moved around the world? Where'd you come from, where have you been, where are you now? What's it mean to you? What do you miss, what are you glad about?

Poet, thanks so much for starting this thread.

I'm an American as well. Lived all over the States. Came to Japan as an exchange student for two years and like Poet ended up falling in love and staying.

I miss conversations in English. So. Terribly. Much. Also, good cheeses, deodorant, and wide green spaces.

Scriptissima
08-07-2010, 08:27 AM
Well, you sound pretty restless too! We're finally settling down in the US, bought a house and all... An believe it or not the first months I was a nervous wreck!!! I mean, all this stability and all... So weird!!!!
LOL! I do so hear you. I used to move about once a year. Then we bought a house in the 'burbs about a year ago, and this is the first time ever that I am not renting and that I'm not downtown - and I haven't adjusted. I somewhat hate it, to be honest, and we're thinking about renting out the house and going back to renting ourselves and move our butts back downtown. I truly can't deal very well with the idea of staying put in one place - especially in the suburbs. This is way too quiet for me. (Boring, really). It's like having your wings clipped.

But definitely the US feel much more home than anything else right now. My family is all in Italy and truly when I go back I feel a foreigner. How about you?
Well, since most of my writing is still done in German and most of my clients are still located in Central Europe, I'm keeping very close touch and I am still "coming home" every time I go back. Funny enough, though, returning to the U.S. also feels like "coming home" every time, so I guess I am suffering from a severe case of homeland schizophrenia... ;)

Me too!! I wanna vote!!! :D
Forget vote. I wanna run! :D :D

Sweden is just too quiet, too safe, too boring, and too empty.
But it's soooooo beautiful! :)

SaraP
08-07-2010, 02:44 PM
I miss conversations in English. So. Terribly. Much. Also, good cheeses, deodorant, and wide green spaces.

I just have to ask ... the japanese don't sell deodorant? :eek:

madderblue
08-07-2010, 04:05 PM
I just have to ask ... the japanese don't sell deodorant? :eek:

I live in a small town and they finally have something which is more like an antiperspirant, but small expensive bottles and not much variety. I still import (read: ask mom to send) my deodorant from the states. Just last month I had a friend from Canada come over and practically beg one off me because she was using the type sold here and "offending" her students. Unfortunately, all I had was watermelon scented (thanks, mom!). Still, she was very grateful.

I thought of something else, pillows. Big fluffy feather pillows. I miss them too.


Also, I've always wanted to say I think Dolores Haze has the best name ever. My favorite book!

thethinker42
08-07-2010, 04:29 PM
Born in the States, moved to Japan when I was 28. Husband is stationed in Okinawa until the end of 2011. Where do we go after that? It's up in the air right now. Mainland Japan is a possibility, staying in Okinawa is another, and a few European countries are on the menu (fingers crossed for Spain or Sicily right now).

What do I miss about the States? No language barrier.

What do I love about Okinawa? Damn near everything. There's less traffic. The people are extremely polite. White sand beaches. Palm trees. Everything's cheap as shit. The food's incredible. Kobe beef is dirt cheap. I don't have to work outside the home, which means I can write full-time. Fascinating culture. Snorkeling.

In short, unless we get some CHOICE orders for his next assignment, they're going to have to drag me kicking and screaming off this island. I love it here. And it's funny...before we came, everyone told us this place was a shithole and had been completely westernized. Uh, not so much on either count.

veinglory
08-07-2010, 06:08 PM
I am a New Zealander living in the US. I am trying to repatriate myself but haven't found a job back home yet.... I have been ex-pat since 1999 in Scotland, Canada and three places in the US.

OneWriter
08-07-2010, 06:09 PM
I just have to ask ... the japanese don't sell deodorant? :eek:

I don't know about Japan, but I still have my mom ship me deodorant from Italy. So I understand, some things (like body scents) you can never adjust to. So she regularly ships me deodorant and then of course Parmesan (Grana Padano, actually). Yeah, the food is the one thing I do miss. I tend to forget how good REAL Italian food is, and then I go back and I realize all over again what I miss... But then there's drama, chaos, unemployment, crappy politics and all that stuff that I do NOT miss...

Scriptissima
08-07-2010, 10:41 PM
I don't know about Japan, but I still have my mom ship me deodorant from Italy. So I understand, some things (like body scents) you can never adjust to. So she regularly ships me deodorant and then of course Parmesan (Grana Padano, actually). Yeah, the food is the one thing I do miss.
Ooooh yes, the food is something I really, really miss over here. It seems that American food culture is all about quantity and not so much about quality. I do miss German supermarkets and butchers and (most of all) bakeries and cafés; and I miss the European restaurant and café culture.
I also miss being able to take my pooch everywhere with me. Back home, dogs are allowed in coffeehouses, cafés and coffeehouses, and that's just lovely.

Which brings me to another thing, that I truly miss: The awareness of dogs' needs, well-behaved dogs everywhere and dog owners, that really care. It breaks my heart seeing all these backyard dogs or - the other extreme - in-house dogs that almost never see the sky and never get so socialize with other dogs. Over here, almost everyone seems to want to have a dog, but hardly anyone seems to want to put in the time and effort a pooch needs to be (mentally) healthy and happy.

As for missed goods: I keep importing (read: asking mom and aunts and friends to send...) German winegums, peanut puffs (!!), vanilla sugar, vanilla pudding powder, baking powder, hazelnuts, certain spices and herbs, baking paper (non-sticky cookie sheet liner), non-sticky hairspray, tampons (no, seriously), anti-flea collars for the pooches, moisturizing lotion, lip balm, leashes for the pooches, and CDs. Quite a shopping list. :)
Thanks to Aldi, I no longer have to import chocolate, though. :D

OneWriter
08-07-2010, 11:28 PM
As for missed goods: I keep importing (read: asking mom and aunts and friends to send...) German winegums, peanut puffs (!!), vanilla sugar, vanilla pudding powder, baking powder, hazelnuts, certain spices and herbs, baking paper (non-sticky cookie sheet liner), non-sticky hairspray, tampons (no, seriously), anti-flea collars for the pooches, moisturizing lotion, lip balm, leashes for the pooches, and CDs. Quite a shopping list. :)
Thanks to Aldi, I no longer have to import chocolate, though. :D

:roll:

Well, you didn't say Bavarian sausage, so we can still be friends!!! ;)
No, jokes aside, I'd love to import a whole German/Austrian bakery across the ocean! And an Italian caseificio.... But then I come back here and I slide into obliviousness, so... That's why going back is often more painful than not. It refreshes all those memories!!!! And for a while I had an Austrian friend send me those vanilla pudding powder too!!! Then she moved to Australia, darn it!!! Oh, what about kinder eggs and kinder chocolate bars??? Don't you miss those? Do you know why the US will NOT import kinder eggs? Because (this is true!!) there cannot be non-food items in food unless it serves a purpose (like the stick in a lollipop). CRAZY!!!!

madderblue
08-08-2010, 01:46 AM
What do I love about Okinawa? Damn near everything. There's less traffic. The people are extremely polite. White sand beaches. Palm trees. Everything's cheap as shit. The food's incredible. Kobe beef is dirt cheap. I don't have to work outside the home, which means I can write full-time. Fascinating culture. Snorkeling.



Damn, I'm moving house to Okinawa! Our beach is volcanic rock. And don't get me started on traffic and the cost of living. However, that said, I adore the culture so much and the food is out of this world. When I go back to the States I get a little food snobby. (Mom! No! Don't put sugar in your tea!)


I don't know about Japan, but I still have my mom ship me deodorant from Italy. So I understand, some things (like body scents) you can never adjust to. So she regularly ships me deodorant and then of course Parmesan (Grana Padano, actually). Yeah, the food is the one thing I do miss. I tend to forget how good REAL Italian food is, and then I go back and I realize all over again what I miss... But then there's drama, chaos, unemployment, crappy politics and all that stuff that I do NOT miss...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one. Also, Italy is a paradise in my mind, the food, the architecture... Of course, there are the politics and unemployment. But once that gets fixed up half the world is going to want to move there. I know I will!


Ooooh yes, the food is something I really, really miss over here. It seems that American food culture is all about quantity and not so much about quality. I do miss German supermarkets and butchers and (most of all) bakeries and cafés; and I miss the European restaurant and café culture.
I also miss being able to take my pooch everywhere with me. Back home, dogs are allowed in coffeehouses, cafés and coffeehouses, and that's just lovely.

Which brings me to another thing, that I truly miss: The awareness of dogs' needs, well-behaved dogs everywhere and dog owners, that really care. It breaks my heart seeing all these backyard dogs or - the other extreme - in-house dogs that almost never see the sky and never get so socialize with other dogs. Over here, almost everyone seems to want to have a dog, but hardly anyone seems to want to put in the time and effort a pooch needs to be (mentally) healthy and happy.
:D

I bolded that statement up there for truth.

And dogs. Don't get me started. I have several in my neighborhood that I visit (while I'm walking mine). I bring treats and we play with them for a bit. It is heart breaking-- outside, chained to a short leash. Sometimes I go and feed them. I admire that dog-friendly culture so much.

OneWriter
08-08-2010, 02:02 AM
I'm so glad I'm not the only one. Also, Italy is a paradise in my mind, the food, the architecture... Of course, there are the politics and unemployment. But once that gets fixed up half the world is going to want to move there. I know I will!



Interesting. :idea: Mhm. That might explain why the Italian government is doing absolutely nothing to fix up the country. ;)

Oh, and pillows!!! Man, you're right about that! Every country has its own pillows!!!! In Spain, they have a two-head pillow (I don't know how you would call it), and they are hard and thick and man they hurt your neck. Not to mention that you want a divorce just so you can have your own pillow. I hope you managed to find a comfortable pillow there in Japan...

Raindrop
08-08-2010, 02:24 AM
Delurking for a bit :)

I'm French, currently living in France after a two-year stint in England a few years ago. I'm getting ready to move back. Got a bit more to cart around this time, and it's scary to start over.

The main problem I have with hoping from one country to the other is the language. By which I mean, even though my english is still somewhat limited, I'm not too sure what my "natural" language is anymore. I tend to write in english, most of the time, because it comes easier to me -- but I'm nowhere near as proficient with it as with french. It's a tad annoying. :D

OneWriter
08-08-2010, 02:29 AM
:welcome:

Good luck! It is always scary to start over... But if you keep doing it often enough you get scarily addicted to it!!! :D

SaraP
08-08-2010, 02:39 AM
As for missed goods: I keep importing (read: asking mom and aunts and friends to send...) German winegums, peanut puffs (!!), vanilla sugar, vanilla pudding powder, baking powder, hazelnuts, certain spices and herbs, baking paper (non-sticky cookie sheet liner), non-sticky hairspray, tampons (no, seriously), anti-flea collars for the pooches, moisturizing lotion, lip balm, leashes for the pooches, and CDs. Quite a shopping list. :)

Men - I am sorry but I have to ask this: why the tampons?


Oh, what about kinder eggs and kinder chocolate bars??? Don't you miss those?

We have Kinder eggs and chocolate here. :D

Bookewyrme
08-08-2010, 02:40 AM
What an interesting thread.

I'm an American currently living in the UK, though moving back to the US in a month and a half. I've been getting my MA over here, and I really have fallen in love with England, the north-east specifically. I love the food (most of it) the weather is pretty much perfect in my opinion (no seriously! I could do with slightly less actual rain, but it's not that bad!) and having everything be so close and easy to get to is really nice. Plus, I adore the people. I've made some amazing friends over here who I am going to miss like crazy when I leave.

Things I miss about the US: having a car to drive, fast-food (I have been CRAVING some good Tex-mex for MONTHS) and my friends and family. I also miss being able to get Hulu on my computer (grrrrr) but that's about it. Honestly, I'd love to emigrate here if I could just convince all my US friends/family to come along too!

Scriptissima
08-08-2010, 04:36 AM
Men - I am sorry but I have to ask this: why the tampons?
Because those that I can get in the U.S. just don't do it for me. 90 % of tampons over here come with an applicator, which I would never use, and those that don't come with an applicator are poor quality.
Oddly enough, most of the German gals I know over here import their tampons, too - seems to be a strictly German oddity. :D

Ms Hollands
08-08-2010, 01:03 PM
Same with my Aussie mates in the UK. I just got a mooncup instead. Much easier (and a hundred times better than anything else).

aruna
08-08-2010, 04:03 PM
I was born in Guyana (South America) and lived in India for about 18 months before moving to Germany in 1975. Lived in Germany till 2001 when I moved to the UK. I've also lived in the USA (Cambridge Mass), Ecuador and France.
I have German citizenship and have been intending to get British citizenship for years now, but the very year I was eligible they raised the price to £700 and I couldn't afford it. So I have to wait some more, till I can.
Now that I'm nearing retirement age I have to figure out where I'm going to spend the rest of my life. India is the home of my heart, but my husabnd would have a problem like that, being quinitessentially German and disabled as well. But in India we could not only live very cheaply, we could also afford day and night care for him.

Foodwise, the thing I miss most about Germany is good bread. I can't believe the stuff that passes for bread in the UK: it's like fluffy cardboard! Going into a German bakery is like stepping into heaven.

When I moved to the UK I was fed up with Germany, but I soonlearned to appreciate some aspects of it. The UK seems so backward in so many ways. All of the houses I moved in to (three so far) had carpets in the bathroom, and separate hot and cold taps. And the Brits were so environmentally infantile... we didn't have any kind of recycing when I first moved; now they do, fortunately. I was so well trained in Germany, it was actually painful throwing stuff like paper and glass into the bin. Things have improved over the years. I just can't stand waste. Living in India is good for that; NOTHING is wasted. Even if you throw away a used pastic water bottle on to the side of the road, in five seconds somebody has picked it up to use it or sell it.
Yes, I love India best of all; in spite of some rather alarming developments over th elast 30 years.

SaraP
08-08-2010, 06:53 PM
I think everyone takes certain things for granted when we live in a country and then move and go without them. I remember when we moved to the USA I used to really miss our pastry. Now, there are lots of things I miss about the States and many are small everyday things, like light switches.

aruna
08-08-2010, 07:24 PM
You don't have light switches there?

OneWriter
08-08-2010, 07:30 PM
You don't have light switches there?

:roll:

They are different! Every country has its own light switches!
Oh, and BTW: every country has its own TOILETS!!! Let's talk about that, shall we??

aruna
08-08-2010, 07:34 PM
What are your light switches like? In the countries I've lived in they are all pretty similar - except in UK bathrooms, where you have a string to pull!

As for toilets -- well, the most -- interesting -- are Indian squat toilets; especially in--um--rural areas where people are not sure where they are supposed to squat etc...
WHat I love in some Asian toilets are the water squirts in lieu of toilet paper.

Griesmeel
08-08-2010, 07:35 PM
Hey all!

Enjoyed reading all of the above a lot.

I've moved from the Netherlands to Portugal last October to live with my girlfriend upgrading a three year, long distance relationship. Maybe it's a bit of a head in the clouds thing but after quitting an IT job going nowhere and the wet weather I ended up trying to become a writer (reads: unemployed :) ) and in far more likable climate. The food is brilliant, the people more relaxed and there is room to spare on the beach. They even sell my deodorant, including my favourite which they practically discontinued up north. :) I do miss my favourite brand of peanut butter though, but we’ll drive over next month so there will be a ton of that here soon.

Of course there will be the drawbacks but for now the only worry I have on the horizon is the economy compared to where I come from. But even in that regard I have a Portuguese teacher that has offered to give me a call if there is a need for an English tutor. Something tells me that problem is not insurmountable if I just put in the work.
Of course the dream is to get published and make a decent living being a writer but I’m sure you all know that one.

I have never had any issues with homesickness and started out studying to become a mariner. Maybe better to have one sweetheart in one port though. :)

Oh, by the way, considering myself amongst the broader minded: Once upon and long ago the Dutch were seen as a very open-minded and tolerant lot. I am dead set on keeping that tradition alive, so, if you happen to come across a bleach blond Dutch politician doing a speech on ground zero on the 11th next month, please ignore him.

Griesmeel
08-08-2010, 07:39 PM
Toilets!

I love the matter of fact bidets are in Portugal! :)

I have installed some lightswitches here already too, no biggy Sara. ;)

aruna
08-08-2010, 07:52 PM
I'm still waiting for the big Revelation about Portuguese lightswitches!

Griesmeel
08-08-2010, 07:56 PM
Well....
They seem to work on electricity.
Shocking! (If installed badly)

:)

SaraP
08-08-2010, 08:07 PM
This is an american light switch:

http://lokura.blogia.com/upload/20060802110641-interruptores.jpghttp://lh3.googleusercontent.com/hQnVlBTglkCdYr0EuldqwqiMqj3h6voIP55V4U_q2Rz3VveMkf JTWLLqpolLHfA2OSW7WmExfK4uDfwEoPSxeBwTaq0ebF_-R1mam_sRH0AOcnPhMIirbVOaZr0fsjaAVyiBFIAgFyZSiWXZyS 3dZHEj61Vsop07luJ3eqHTcCd7MQemXl8MqiPrjSeQpchhgpt2 BH8YskazElGMx3rfCnfY

This is closer to what portuguese light switches look like:

http://www.masterdigitalmediadesign.com/marc/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/interruptores.jpg

aruna
08-08-2010, 08:07 PM
They seem to work on electricity.
Shocking! (If installed badly)
Really? I thought they would work form goat's urine, or something.

aruna
08-08-2010, 08:10 PM
This is an american light switch:

http://lokura.blogia.com/upload/20060802110641-interruptores.jpg

This is closer to what portuguese light switches look like:



Oh... I'm disappointed. To me those are all just -- light switches. :tongue
I have both kinds in my UK house; the US ones are in the older rooms, the others are newly installed.

Griesmeel
08-08-2010, 08:11 PM
Really? I thought they would work form goat's urine, or something.

If anything it would be oliveoil. :)
Lot less icky too.

OneWriter
08-08-2010, 08:16 PM
Toilets!

I love the matter of fact bidets are in Portugal! :)

I have installed some lightswitches here already too, no biggy Sara. ;)

Ha, il bidet...
My kids never saw a bidet until we brought them to Italy and the first thing they said was: "Look! A sink for us kids!!"

And then they looked at the toilet and said: "It's clogged."
We told them that no, Italian toilets are like that, with no water. I wonder if they go to the UK, are they going to think that the toilet is a bidet???? :D

I've never seen Asian toilets but I hear those water spurts do wonders!!!! :D

SaraP
08-08-2010, 08:33 PM
Oooooh I forgot the full vs. empty toliet thing! I mean, seriously, why the heck are US toilets full?

Oh and I LOVE bidets. They are the best thing to have in a bathroom, good for so many things!

OneWriter
08-08-2010, 08:41 PM
Oooooh I forgot the full vs. empty toliet thing! I mean, seriously, why the heck are US toilets full?



Tsk tsk. Sara, there's MANY GOOD reasons why the toilets are full, I just can't get into nasty and gory details right here on a public forum.... Especially since somebody may be having lunch or dinner or whatever right now.....

Griesmeel
08-08-2010, 08:50 PM
Oooooh I forgot the full vs. empty toliet thing! I mean, seriously, why the heck are US toilets full?

Oh and I LOVE bidets. They are the best thing to have in a bathroom, good for so many things!

Some water is not a bad thing. If you have ever done a number 2 in what they call a German toilet you will appreciate the reduction in cleaning effort.
Those toiletbowls are quite common in the Netherlands too and they have this little plateau on which you can examine stuff before flushing it.
Yep, my thoughts exactly.

Maybe there is a non fiction opportunity in a work on the unintended qualities of the humble bidet. I'd buy one. :)

aruna
08-08-2010, 08:57 PM
oooooh German toilet shelves! Yummy!

aruna
08-08-2010, 09:01 PM
If you have yet to experience the glories of a German toilet, read this article (http://asecular.com/%7Escott/misc/toilet.htm)for a chuckle. Luckily, they are speedily becoming obsolete -- "flat-flushers" being replaced with "deep-flushers".

aruna
08-08-2010, 09:05 PM
From the above article, and I can vouch what this is true. German housewives are reallly on a crusade on this matter. A close friend of mine informed me proudly of her success in training her son to always "do it" sitting down.

The German toilet's shortcomings are not limited exclusively to Number Twos. It is almost impossible for males to urinate while standing without soaking the bathroom. Urine sprays everywhere. There is a technique, but is tricky and requires a certain degree of penile agility: bestride the toilet and direct the stream vertically down into the hole at the front of the shelf. If you are sufficiently flexible and accurate, it's relatively clean, though it makes one hell of a noise.
The alternative, of course, is to pee sitting down - the dreaded Sitzpinkel. Herein lies the source of much gender conflict, for German women have become increasingly militant in their efforts to encourage or enforce the Sitzpinkel Rule. It's not uncommon to see little stickers on the underside of toilet lids, reminders to less civilized males that they really need to embrace their feminine side and sit the hell down.
On the flip side of that scenario, there are many Indian women who pee standing up. The spread their legs and whoosh!! The sari, of course, covers up everything and many of them (the ones that do this, almost exclusively rural women) don't wear underwear.

OneWriter
08-08-2010, 09:21 PM
oooooh German toilet shelves! Yummy!

:Wha: Yummy????????

aruna
08-08-2010, 10:11 PM
Yesssss! Don't you just love inspecting your own poo? I thought everyone did!

backslashbaby
08-08-2010, 10:21 PM
What are your light switches like? In the countries I've lived in they are all pretty similar - except in UK bathrooms, where you have a string to pull!

As for toilets -- well, the most -- interesting -- are Indian squat toilets; especially in--um--rural areas where people are not sure where they are supposed to squat etc...
WHat I love in some Asian toilets are the water squirts in lieu of toilet paper.

But never pull the red string! How embarrassing... of course I did. I'm like a cat.

Lauretta
08-09-2010, 04:20 AM
I really enjoyed all the bits above. I'm happy to read I'm not the only one who moved from her own country to settle somewhere else. I'm Italian, moved to Ireland 5 years ago, now house hunting.
I'm a city center girl, grown up in the city center, living in the city center now looking for a house in the suburbs. Not sure it will be the right decision, I'm afraid to get bored in a flash.

Anyhow!


Yeah, the food is the one thing I do miss. I tend to forget how good REAL Italian food is, and then I go back and I realize all over again what I miss... But then there's drama, chaos, unemployment, crappy politics and all that stuff that I do NOT miss...
This.


Ha, il bidet...
My kids never saw a bidet until we brought them to Italy and the first thing they said was: "Look! A sink for us kids!!"


And this.
I may get a toilet-bidet on Amazon, that kind of bidet that's used in Japan...

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:Sx3stoNtn9q6HM:http://www.nature4energy.co.uk/uspaindex_files/ub-main.jpg&t=1

OneWriter
08-09-2010, 04:21 AM
I really enjoyed all the bits above. I'm happy to read I'm not the only one who moved from her own country to settle somewhere else. I'm Italian, moved to Ireland 5 years ago, now house hunting.
I'm a city center girl, grown up in the city center, living in the city center now looking for a house in the suburbs. Not sure it will be the right decision, I'm afraid to get bored in a flash.

Anyhow!


This.



And this.
I may get a toilet-bidet on Amazon, that kind of bidet that's used in Japan...

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:Sx3stoNtn9q6HM:http://www.nature4energy.co.uk/uspaindex_files/ub-main.jpg&t=1

Woah.... :Hail:

Gabby
08-09-2010, 04:23 AM
Hey all! I'm new to the forums and was pretty excited to find an international section. I'm from Mexico, born and raised and still living here.

I've been lucky enough to travel a bit, and hope to actually live in some other country for at least a while. International is cool, after all.

madderblue
08-09-2010, 03:30 PM
This.



And this.
I may get a toilet-bidet on Amazon, that kind of bidet that's used in Japan...

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:Sx3stoNtn9q6HM:http://www.nature4energy.co.uk/uspaindex_files/ub-main.jpg&t=1


I've got one of these! It's my baby. I can't tell you how many times I've had to save my mom when she's been visiting and pushed the wrong button. :roll:

Lauretta
08-09-2010, 03:52 PM
Welcome aboard Gabby!

ROFL Madder! I love it! We tried on our honey moon, around Japan. I wanted to take one of those back to Ireland!!!

Billingsgate
08-09-2010, 04:29 PM
I'm American, came to Hong Kong in 1985 intending to visit for two weeks and never left. Except when I left "forever" to move to London. Two years later I was back in Hong Kong and ready to kiss the ground (if it was a bit cleaner).

Speaking of toilets (why are we?), my main peeve here is that Chinese, especially mainlanders, stand on the toilet seats. Raised with hole-in-the-floor squat types, they believe that it's unhygienic to sit on a toilet seat shared by others (you got to agree) and unhealthy posture to sit on a toilet western-style, since squatting is much better for passing whatever out of your whatever (they have a point there too). So all the time I find footprints on the seats of toilets in any office building. Gross.

Well, they also think that spitting is much more hygienic than emptying your phlegm into a cloth and shoving it in your pocket. Hm, they're right on that one, too.

Vive le culture clash!

Krysondra
08-09-2010, 07:09 PM
When I lived in Japan for two years, the public squat toilets also came without toilet paper or bidets... So, you had to collect tissues from the advertisers who would hand them out and carry them with you for when you needed a public restroom. (Public like at the train station and scary places like that.)

aruna
08-09-2010, 07:48 PM
Indian toilets in cheaper hotels and many homes etc come with a tap next to the squat toilet, a bucket, and a plastic jug for ladling it out. You use your right hand for retrieving the water and the lft hand for -- you know what.

Hmmm. We've been on this toilet theme for quite a while now!

Bluestone
08-09-2010, 08:15 PM
I came to the thread with Poetinahat's question and all seemed to be going along well in the first page...fast forward to this page and all of a sudden we're discussing the nuances of toilets?? :crazy:

Since I have nothing to add to that (okay, I do like the one flush/two flush water saving option we have in Australia :) ) here's my journey:

born and raised in Australia
four months as exchange student in New Caledonia
one year in London
two years in Spain
twenty-five years in different states of the U.S.

I miss Australia a lot, try to visit as often as possible and intend to move back in the next five years. My husband, who is American, would move there NOW, but we have commitments over here. I love the US, have great friends here and it has been a wonderfully significant - and huge -chunk of my life, but I miss my sisters, Mum and all those things that say home more than anything else.

aruna
08-09-2010, 08:53 PM
One of the pleasures of being an expat is the ability to compare and contrast the way they do things in different countries, so that is a natural development on this thread.

Australia is one of the countries I'm keeping in freserve as a plaace to retire to. I have a cousin who lives there and she recently came to the UK -- I met her again after 40 years! I have several Autralian friends and friends who have been there and the praise is always in the superlative.

One thing I require from a retirement country is all-year sunshine, and Australia has that. So, you Ossies - beware! You might be seeing me one day! My cousin lives in Queensland and that's where I'd be heading -- if only for a visit.

Gabby
08-09-2010, 09:05 PM
Oh man, the few months I lived in Japan left me with an almost compulsive tic of storing toiletpaper in my purse. Wherever I went, if they had enough toilet paper, I would rip some squares, fold 'em, and place it in my purse for, y'know, harder times in public toilets.

A friend told me she had accidentaly peed on her shoes while squatting. That never happened to me, but I think I can understand how it happened...

SaraP
08-09-2010, 09:11 PM
I came to the thread with Poetinahat's question and all seemed to be going along well in the first page...fast forward to this page and all of a sudden we're discussing the nuances of toilets?? :crazy:

It's the little things that we miss about our homes. ;)

Scriptissima
08-09-2010, 11:02 PM
I came to the thread with Poetinahat's question and all seemed to be going along well in the first page...fast forward to this page and all of a sudden we're discussing the nuances of toilets?? :crazy:
That's just the logical result of the predecessing discussion, when we were talking about foods we've been missing after moving abroad. After all, what goes in must come out. :D

madderblue
08-10-2010, 01:53 AM
I'm American, came to Hong Kong in 1985 intending to visit for two weeks and never left. Except when I left "forever" to move to London. Two years later I was back in Hong Kong and ready to kiss the ground (if it was a bit cleaner).

Speaking of toilets (why are we?), my main peeve here is that Chinese, especially mainlanders, stand on the toilet seats. Raised with hole-in-the-floor squat types, they believe that it's unhygienic to sit on a toilet seat shared by others (you got to agree) and unhealthy posture to sit on a toilet western-style, since squatting is much better for passing whatever out of your whatever (they have a point there too). So all the time I find footprints on the seats of toilets in any office building. Gross.

Well, they also think that spitting is much more hygienic than emptying your phlegm into a cloth and shoving it in your pocket. Hm, they're right on that one, too.

Vive le culture clash!

Billingsgate, I spent a little time in Hong Kong. Completely smitten. The energy there is unreal!

And in Japan they do the standing on Western-style toilets too. In our old house a warning was posted on the actual toilet stating (with stick figures) to sit down, not stand. I believe people lift that first lid though so they standing directly on the hard porcelain.


When I lived in Japan for two years, the public squat toilets also came without toilet paper or bidets... So, you had to collect tissues from the advertisers who would hand them out and carry them with you for when you needed a public restroom. (Public like at the train station and scary places like that.)

It's surreal, both extremes. There are still a lot of terrifying toilets without toilet paper and well, just nasty. And then there are the new fangled fancy ones with seat warmers and a lovely flushing sound (or music) to prevent your neighbor from overhearing you do your biz.


Indian toilets in cheaper hotels and many homes etc come with a tap next to the squat toilet, a bucket, and a plastic jug for ladling it out. You use your right hand for retrieving the water and the lft hand for -- you know what.

Hmmm. We've been on this toilet theme for quite a while now!


:eek:




I miss Australia a lot, try to visit as often as possible and intend to move back in the next five years. My husband, who is American, would move there NOW, but we have commitments over here. I love the US, have great friends here and it has been a wonderfully significant - and huge -chunk of my life, but I miss my sisters, Mum and all those things that say home more than anything else.

I've been in Japan twenty years and really starting to think about my parents getting older and me being and only child...and you said it perfectly, "all those things that say home more than anything else."


Oh man, the few months I lived in Japan left me with an almost compulsive tic of storing toiletpaper in my purse. Wherever I went, if they had enough toilet paper, I would rip some squares, fold 'em, and place it in my purse for, y'know, harder times in public toilets.

A friend told me she had accidentaly peed on her shoes while squatting. That never happened to me, but I think I can understand how it happened...

My big accident was when I was a student out drinking with the kendo club. I was wearing this cute pair of overalls (well, I thought they were cute) and I didn't manage holding on to the shoulder straps very well so that half the top half fell into the toilet. Yep. "Here's my money! I'm going home!" *dash~!*

Bookewyrme
08-12-2010, 11:48 PM
So far, I have never been to a country where I felt particularly comfortable in the public toilets. They gross me out and I hate having to use them. I'm not even wild about the UK ones which come with an attendant and you have to pay to get into (Only 30p for a pee! :tongue).

I do love comparing the way they do different things in the different countries I've been in though. I worry that it gets a bit tiresome to the people around me, but I love having my friends explain cultural things and then sort of working out what cultural practice from home it matches up to, if any at all and sort of fitting it into my frame of reference. I think of it as my inner cultural anthropologist (my minor in undergrad) at work. :)

backslashbaby
08-12-2010, 11:59 PM
I noticed the co-ed toilets in France really freaked out a lot of tourists. I love it. They are much quicker than waiting on women and women with kids all of the time (just a practical thing).

I did wonder what certain Muslims, etc. would do? I think there was probably a disabled toilet somewhere, unless I'm imagining the UK in France (in the UK, there is a whole sepaerate toilet room for the disabled, not just a stall that is wheelchair-ready like in the US).

The red string is for a medical emergency, speaking of disabled toilets :D I had one in a hotel room and pulled it out of curiosity!!

I had a well-travelled friend post on his Facebook status one night for help in figuring out how to flush the toilet! Folks from all over the world were trying to give him tips. It was the funniest thing ever :ROFL: And he was in NYC!! (The flush handle was across on the opposite wall!)

Bookewyrme
08-13-2010, 12:29 AM
The red string is for a medical emergency, speaking of disabled toilets :D I had one in a hotel room and pulled it out of curiosity!!
See I've only run into a second (non-light) string in private homes. In fact, there's a string pull in my bathroom (though the lights are switch operated). I have no idea what these things do, but they're always connected to a box in the ceiling with a little red light on it.



I had a well-travelled friend post on his Facebook status one night for help in figuring out how to flush the toilet! Folks from all over the world were trying to give him tips. It was the funniest thing ever :ROFL: And he was in NYC!! (The flush handle was across on the opposite wall!)
The opposite wall? Who thought THAT was a good idea? :rolleyes:

backslashbaby
08-13-2010, 12:50 AM
A space thing? A remodeling thing? I have no clue, but that's New York for ya :ROFL:

Yeah, with the red string, they were required to come check on me. I tried to talk them out of it. How embarrassing! One guy understood; another didn't.

I think there are two types of people in the world: those who'd pull the red string and those who think pulling it is crazy :ROFL:

Bluestone
08-13-2010, 02:38 AM
You guys slay me. I return three days later....and we're still talking about toilets!

But I get it. All the stuff that says familiarity, home, etc.

I was thinking about how I could easily make grilled asparagus and cheese on toast myself, but when I go home and order it in a cafe, it just tastes different, like they get you. Because even if you felt like ordering it here, you couldn't. Does that make sense?

Okay, as you were... :D

backslashbaby
08-13-2010, 03:27 AM
:D

I don't understand how cultures live without biscuits, myself. Not the kind with tea, but the hot, flaky, food-of-the-gods kind.

I've always been back to the US South again to visit at least before that became an emergency situation, but I could imagine it.

Paul
08-13-2010, 03:37 AM
This is an american light switch:

http://lokura.blogia.com/upload/20060802110641-interruptores.jpghttp://lh3.googleusercontent.com/hQnVlBTglkCdYr0EuldqwqiMqj3h6voIP55V4U_q2Rz3VveMkf JTWLLqpolLHfA2OSW7WmExfK4uDfwEoPSxeBwTaq0ebF_-R1mam_sRH0AOcnPhMIirbVOaZr0fsjaAVyiBFIAgFyZSiWXZyS 3dZHEj61Vsop07luJ3eqHTcCd7MQemXl8MqiPrjSeQpchhgpt2 BH8YskazElGMx3rfCnfY

This is closer to what portuguese light switches look like:

http://www.masterdigitalmediadesign.com/marc/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/interruptores.jpg


Yeah, love those switches (the big ones)

and it is the little things which matter - dunno, hate this feckin rain, but...

SaraP
08-13-2010, 03:57 AM
:D

I don't understand how cultures live without biscuits, myself. Not the kind with tea, but the hot, flaky, food-of-the-gods kind.

I've always been back to the US South again to visit at least before that became an emergency situation, but I could imagine it.

We don't have biscuits in Portugal. Our bread makes up for it though. Every american I have met that has lived here says it's one of the things they will miss the most when going back home. :D

OneWriter
08-13-2010, 08:11 AM
We don't have biscuits in Portugal. Our bread makes up for it though. Every american I have met that has lived here says it's one of the things they will miss the most when going back home. :D

I'm going to say something politically incorrect: Americans DO NOT know how to make bread. Sorry, guys. I really, really like you folks and that's why I've lived all over the place and now I live here in the US. But, man, do I miss bread!!!!!!

backslashbaby
08-13-2010, 09:31 AM
Oh, I believe it! The only great bread I've had in the US was home-baked with eons-old recipes. You can't buy it where I live.

Scriptissima
08-14-2010, 03:28 AM
I'm going to say something politically incorrect: Americans DO NOT know how to make bread. Sorry, guys. I really, really like you folks and that's why I've lived all over the place and now I live here in the US. But, man, do I miss bread!!!!!!
That is supposed to be politically incorrect? Hm.
Anyway, I whole-heartedly agree, and I have found myself being forced to turn into Miss Baker Chick at least once a week ever since moving to the U.S. - even the "German-style" bread you can buy at our local "German bakery" sucks - they are apparently catering to the U.S. bread taste which prefers bread to be tasteless, spongy and laden with preservatives.
Currently having two loafs of crusty whole-grain bread in the oven - and willing to share bread (or recipes). Interested? ;)

Bookewyrme
08-14-2010, 03:50 AM
:D

I don't understand how cultures live without biscuits, myself. Not the kind with tea, but the hot, flaky, food-of-the-gods kind.

I've always been back to the US South again to visit at least before that became an emergency situation, but I could imagine it.

I know exactly what you mean. I was shocked and horrified to discover that the KFCs over here (UK) don't serve biscuits. Or mashed potatoes and gravy. Or any side other than chips, really. And the chicken is all wrong too!!

But pasties more than make up for it. I have become seriously addicted to corned-beef and potato pasties, and cornish pasties are just sublime. I honestly don't know what I'm going to do when I get back to the US. Just thinking about them makes me want to go out and get one (tomorrow, it's too late now!)

Bluestone
08-14-2010, 03:51 AM
I think that's pretty mild for politically incorrect! Ha.

I do like the par-baked rolls from Trader Joe's. They are a lot better than some of the other bread out there. It approximates nicely fresh baked bread. Not actually fresh baked like homemade, but quite good.

I have to say that Southern biscuits are something pretty great. Not the big, doughy kind, but the small, buttery, flaky, melt in your mouth type from the deep South, served at dinners with white linen tablecloths and the good silver. At least that was my experience. I'm not sure the latter is a prerequisite. :D

Bookewyrme
08-14-2010, 03:55 AM
I have to say that Southern biscuits are something pretty great. Not the big, doughy kind, but the small, buttery, flaky, melt in your mouth type from the deep South, served at dinners with white linen tablecloths and the good silver. At least that was my experience. I'm not sure the latter is a prerequisite. :D
Definitely not a prerequisite. That kind of biscuit is practically universal in the SouthEast. I've tried to describe them to my friends here in the UK though, and it is SO darned hard. There's no familiar approximation that I can point to as an example!

Darn it, you guys start talking about food, and now I'm starving! :D

SaraP
08-15-2010, 06:32 PM
(at least we've moved on from the toilets :D)

OneWriter
08-15-2010, 06:55 PM
(at least we've moved on from the toilets :D)

No, we haven't. We're running in loops... Just wait and see. :D

Scriptissima
08-17-2010, 08:22 AM
Here's something that's neither food-related nor toilet-related, that I really, really miss in the U.S. - may I continue even though I am leaving the eat-poop-eat-loop? ;-)

Having grown up riding my bike virtually everywhere (all commutes to school or work, thousands of miles during vacations, running more or less all of my errands including groceries shopping and trips to the vet...), I find it majorly hard to get used to the fact that the U.S. doesn't really do anything to encourage cycling. It's actually quite the opposite: Apparently cyclists are considered to be extremely annoying and need to be kept off streets by all means; they need to be yelled at, honked at, thrown beer bottles at and pushed off the roads whenever possible. Bike lanes are somewhat of a rarity in my corner of the bushes, and the few bike trails we have aren't connected, and more often than not there are no bike lanes leading to those trails (so all you can do is ride up and down the trails, but you can't actually go anywhere), and you kinda need to throw your bike in a car and drive to the trails - alöl of which is beyond me.

Bottom line: I really, REALLY miss decent bike riding over here.
(I am determined, though, not to change my cycling ways and not to be turned into a driving-my-car-everywhere kind of person. My tree-hugging heart simply wouldn't allow that - and neither would my pants' waistbands... :D)

backslashbaby
08-17-2010, 08:51 AM
I miss Hungary because you could walk everywhere. And they have a great Metro in Budapest. Back home in NC, you must drive.

At Uni (:D -- in England, see) I was talking to some Slovak classmates about America, and they said that we were lazy for not walking. While I agree that we are just plain silly to drive across parking lots rather than walking between stores, otherwise we often CAN'T walk places because of the terrain. A German girl chimed in, saying that she had that exact problem when visiting!

We don't have enough sidewalks. Where I live, there are briar patches and landscape that is literally practically unwalkable. They built roads, but no other way to get from place to place. So, the poor German girl realized that she couldn't just trek it to the hostels and such.

I'd love to be have more in town, at least, designed like in Europe or the UK. They are trying to do that downtown here, and I really support them.

OneWriter
08-17-2010, 04:44 PM
In Vienna you can bike and roller skate all along the Danube... The paved bike/skate trail is many kilometers long and it's very beautiful, with the river on one side and the trees and flowers on the other side. You can get to the island in the middle of the river and that's very pretty too.

Bookewyrme
08-17-2010, 06:21 PM
I miss having a car like I did in the US (Hate having to grocery shop on foot. Hatehatehate) but when I get back I know I'm going to miss all the beautiful footpaths and the ease of walking to places which I have here in the UK. Part of the problem in the US is that everything is SO spread out, so that even relatively small towns are spread about the landscape, not concentrated in one area like they always seem to be in europe. Also, US towns, with a few exceptions, were almost all built with cars (or at least a prevalence of carriages) in mind from the beginning, rather than having to adapt to them after having been established for hundreds of years. It really does seem to make a difference.

OneWriter
08-17-2010, 06:41 PM
Hey, Bookewyrme... I just noticed your location... I think I'm there too!!! Gee, it's NO fun and NO magical.... I HATE IT!!!! Other than that, I do have a car, which is nice...

SaraP
08-17-2010, 06:50 PM
Lisbon, being a european city, is totally walkable, but mostly unbikable, which I really miss as well. I actually learned to ride a bike in the US and basically stopped when we moved back to Portugal.

thethinker42
08-17-2010, 06:57 PM
For such a tiny island, Okinawa is surprisingly difficult to get around without a car. It's very spread out, and there are few restaurants, shops, etc., within walking distance of my house, particularly when you factor in the heat/humidity. And, naturally, the Navy stuck us on one of the few bases that is housing ONLY, so we have to go to other bases for the commissary, exchange, etc. They even put our mailbox on Kadena (which is about 11 km away) instead of Courtney (which is about 4 km away).

So, I don't do nearly as much walking/biking as I'd like to.

Griesmeel
08-17-2010, 07:24 PM
Lisbon, being a european city, is totally walkable, but mostly unbikable, which I really miss as well. I actually learned to ride a bike in the US and basically stopped when we moved back to Portugal.

Yep, but they are, sort of, working on it. trouble with the new cyclylanes in Lisbon is that whenever you manage to get up to speed it ends and you have to get to the next stretch starting diagonally across a really busy crossroads. Maybe you know that spot Sara, east by northeast of Colombo. :)
The one stretch I would like to try for maybe being rideable is from Praça de Comércio to Belem. Seven kilometres that could just be uninterrupted.
I'd have to cram the bike in the car to go there though, maybe take it on the Metro. :crazy:

SaraP
08-17-2010, 07:40 PM
I wouldn't mind if they had all of Telheiras, Colombo area, Carnide, Campo Grande all the way down to Marquês de Pombal in bikelanes. I hate it that they do it in stretches and it's a pain to get to the lanes, like you say.

Also, once you get to older parts of the city, it simply becomes too hard. And I don't necessarily mean downtown. Benfica is flat enough and a small pain.

Bookewyrme
08-17-2010, 07:56 PM
Hey, Bookewyrme... I just noticed your location... I think I'm there too!!! Gee, it's NO fun and NO magical.... I HATE IT!!!! Other than that, I do have a car, which is nice...
Oooh yes. I know exactly what you mean. I love my dissertation but I just want it to be done already!


Lisbon, being a european city, is totally walkable, but mostly unbikable, which I really miss as well. I actually learned to ride a bike in the US and basically stopped when we moved back to Portugal.

I actually also rode a bike frequently, especially to and from classes, in the US. Over here, my town is built on a series of hills, and by hills I mean small-mountains which are quite steep. It's really easier to just walk everywhere and not try and bother with a bike! :tongue

knight_tour
08-18-2010, 08:29 AM
I'm American, but I have been overseas almost continuously since 1993. I've travelled to around 40 countries so far, and lived in six, including the US. In order, I have lived in Moscow, Zagreb, Beijing, Reykjavik, and now Baku.

SaraP
08-18-2010, 04:07 PM
That sounds fascinating! What did you like best about each place, if you would like to share?

Scriptissima
08-19-2010, 12:31 AM
That sounds fascinating! What did you like best about each place, if you would like to share?
I second the "fascinating" sentiment as well as the question. :)
Those are certainly all very interesting places.

Billingsgate
08-19-2010, 06:25 AM
I'm American, but I have been overseas almost continuously since 1993. I've travelled to around 40 countries so far, and lived in six, including the US. In order, I have lived in Moscow, Zagreb, Beijing, Reykjavik, and now Baku.
What do you do in Baku? My grandparents were from there, though I've never visited. How safe is it nowadays?

Changing to the subject of cars, one of the best things about living in Hong Kong is the absolute non-necessity of owning a car. Public transport is excellent, with numerous choices, and for those few places that are hard to reach, taxis are reasonably priced. My wife and I once calculated that if we took a taxi round-trip to the remotest corner of Hong Kong, every Saturday and Sunday, 52 weeks a year, it would still cost less than owning a car and leaving it parked without once driving it, and simply paying license fees and insurance. It is liberating to think that I haven't owned a car in 25 years!

The down side is, when I visit the US, I'm lost during the inevitable conversations about which cars people own.

knight_tour
08-19-2010, 08:51 AM
That sounds fascinating! What did you like best about each place, if you would like to share?

Sorry, my responses will alway seem late, because of the time zone I am in.

My favorite was Moscow, but Russian has changed so much since I was there in the early 90's, plus I was single at the time. Moscow felt like what I imagine Chicago was like in the 20's with gangsters everywhere and a lot of fear and excitement.

Beijing is odd, almost like being on another planet. It has the worst air and traffic anywhere. Sadly, they destroyed a lot of the Oriental flavor that I love about places like Bangkok.

Zagreb is a nice little city, though I had trouble living there because of terrible allergies. I even developed asthma there.

Reykjavik is flat out the best place to be on New Year's Eve anywhere in the world. There's a reason that a number of celebrities go there each year just for that. The whole country has only around 300,000 people, so it has the feel of a medium sized village. I loved the chess there, though. There's a lot of great nature, but it is super expensive.

Baku is a difficult place for me to live. It is relatively safe, though the driving is dangerous. There's not much for my kids to do, so they spend too much time on the computer or watching tv. They are very athletic kids, but there are no parks here except those for 'looking at'. You can't step on the grass. There's no place to go to throw or kick a ball around. It's terribly expensive but without any real reason. I can't get any foods that I like.

knight_tour
08-19-2010, 08:52 AM
What do you do in Baku? My grandparents were from there, though I've never visited. How safe is it nowadays?

Changing to the subject of cars, one of the best things about living in Hong Kong is the absolute non-necessity of owning a car. Public transport is excellent, with numerous choices, and for those few places that are hard to reach, taxis are reasonably priced. My wife and I once calculated that if we took a taxi round-trip to the remotest corner of Hong Kong, every Saturday and Sunday, 52 weeks a year, it would still cost less than owning a car and leaving it parked without once driving it, and simply paying license fees and insurance. It is liberating to think that I haven't owned a car in 25 years!

The down side is, when I visit the US, I'm lost during the inevitable conversations about which cars people own.

I love being in places where I don't need a car, such as Moscow. I am a diplomat, so that is what keeps me moving around from place to place.

pdr
08-20-2010, 11:51 AM
a question.

Several American posters in this thread say they have lived in, still live in, and love a different country from their birth country. Fine.

But why then do you call yourself American and not become citizens of that country?

thethinker42
08-20-2010, 12:05 PM
a question.

Several American posters in this thread say they have lived in, still live in, and love a different country from their birth country. Fine.

But why then do you call yourself American and not become citizens of that country?

My husband is stationed here with the US military. Chances are, we'll end up in another country before he retires.

Now, if we decide to retire to another country, and that IS a possibility, we'll address citizenship and such then. For now, though, it's a moot point.

Billingsgate
08-20-2010, 12:10 PM
a question.

Several American posters in this thread say they have lived in, still live in, and love a different country from their birth country. Fine.

But why then do you call yourself American and not become citizens of that country?
In my case, it is excruciatingly difficult for someone who is not racially Chinese to become a Chinese citizen. And I see no advantage in it. I am a Hong Kong permanent resident, which is pretty close; closer, say, than a non-US citizen having a Green Card. Here I have the right to stay without a visa, to vote, even to run for public office if I want (I'm considering running for chief of my village), and to pass on my permanent resident status to my kids.

Meanwhile I keep my US citizenship, in spite of the unfair, highly resented requirement to file and pay US taxes, in addition to Hong Kong taxes (citizens of every other country in the world, except South Korea, don't have to file or pay taxes when they live abroad; only us Yanks. Sucks!)

pdr
08-20-2010, 02:00 PM
we Kiwis have to pay tax too. All the years I worked overseas I paid tax. Although it made life very difficult I know discover it's a good thing too or I would not qualify for the govt superannuation/pension.

Yes, I can see the problem in China, but what about those people living in Oz or NZ or SA where citizenship isn't complicated?

Billingsgate
08-20-2010, 03:03 PM
I never realized that New Zealanders also are taxed on world-wide income. Well, scratch NZ as a potential place for me to emigrate to.

trocadero
08-20-2010, 07:30 PM
I'm an Australian living in Hong Kong, where my family and I have been for three years. We'll stay several more - it's a wonderful place to live. The Australian gov said last year that Aussies have to pay tax if they live overseas, but it depends on a few factors - I think we're safe. I would never give up citizenship. I hope to live in other places too though and continue our great adventure.

What I love here: I find it a very calm place, even though it's super busy. It's clean and very safe. The water and islands are beautiful. Public transport and food are great. People are friendly.

What I miss about Australia: Grass, stars, Pascall marshmallows, being able to buy clothes larger than a size 4, western department stores, the local kebab shop where we used to live, family.

knight_tour
08-20-2010, 08:35 PM
I love traveling and seeing the world. There is so much to experience. However, there is still no better place to live than America for me. The US has its problems, but they are far fewer than any other country. When I lived in Iceland a study of some sort came out ranking Iceland as the happiest people. That wasn't my experience there and when I examined the factors they looked at I could see the problem. To me they weren't taking into account many other factors that really count towards happiness.

Bluestone
08-20-2010, 09:47 PM
I've lived in various parts of the world where I never considered applying for citizenship and giving up my Australian citizenship. Now I've lived in the U.S. for many years, married to an American and have a business here. When I first came, you had to relinquish citizenship of another country to become an American, which I would never consider. But although dual citizenship has been allowed for quite a few years, I just haven't gotten around to it. I will soon though. It only makes sense to have the ease of travelling to both countries without worrying about green card renewals. I'd like to vote too.

knight, have you been to Australia? I think it's one of the most beautiful and easiest places to live. It can be expensive, but it hasn't gone through the economic downturn of the rest of the world and the quality of life is pretty great. I return a lot, but I miss living there.

What I miss about Australia: open spaces, pristine beaches and clear waters, family (most of all), best seafood in the world, lack of crowding, relaxed lifestyle, lamingtons, sticky date pudding with toffee sauce, Magnum icecream, Devonshire tea, Moreton Bay bugs, the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, rugged coastline, native animals and birds.

Scriptissima
08-20-2010, 11:46 PM
Several American posters in this thread say they have lived in, still live in, and love a different country from their birth country. Fine.

But why then do you call yourself American and not become citizens of that country?
Not an American living abroad, but as a European living in the U.S. I can answer that by asking back: Why give up something superior for something that is clearly inferior to the status quo? I would never even remotely consider trading in my European Union citizenship for citizenship of another country. I don't intend to spend the rest of my life in this country, and I would like to move back to Europe at some point - not necessarily to my home country, though.

Now, dual citizenship is a horse of a different color, and that is clearly what I am aiming for the moment I become eligible (which will be in about a year from now). I want to be able to participate in local politics, and I want to be able to leave the country without having to fear to be forced to give up my home in the U.S. for good.


Meanwhile I keep my US citizenship, in spite of the unfair, highly resented requirement to file and pay US taxes, in addition to Hong Kong taxes (citizens of every other country in the world, except South Korea, don't have to file or pay taxes when they live abroad; only us Yanks. Sucks!)
I am not familiar with the tax agreements between the U.S. and Hong Kong, but don't dual-country tax agreements between the U.S. and several countries only require the Americans abroad to file their taxes with the IRS but not to pay additional taxes to the IRS if they already pay taxes in their respective country of residence?


The US has its problems, but they are far fewer than any other country.
Funny. I think that the United States have so many major problems that the idea of spending retirement over here positively scares the crap out of me. I don't know how you can say that the U.S. has far fewer problems than "any other country". When I look at industrialized Western countries, the U.S. seem to be among the worst in many very essential regards - unemployment, poverty, health care, social security, crime rates, gun laws, and so on and so forth - and I don't even mention the lack of mass transit opportunities in most of the country and the super annoying dependence on cars. About one sixth of all Americans live off food stamps by now, and this trend is only going to get worse. Things are most certainly not nearly as bad anywhere in Central, Western or Northern Europe, Australia, NZL or Canada.

Now, none of those things may matter to you personally. But from a somewhat neutral point of view all of those are major problems that are very evident in the U.S. and that I have not found in most of Europe.


What I miss about Australia: open spaces, pristine beaches and clear waters, family (most of all), best seafood in the world, lack of crowding, relaxed lifestyle, lamingtons, sticky date pudding with toffee sauce, Magnum icecream, Devonshire tea, Moreton Bay bugs, the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, rugged coastline, native animals and birds.
Question out of curiosity: What are lamingtons?

Bluestone
08-21-2010, 01:33 AM
Ah, lamingtons are another food item on my list. Simple sounding, but delicious: squares of cake and jam, rolled in chocolate sauce (not icing) and coconut.

Can be found in any bakery, just like custard tarts, caramel slices, Portugese tarts, pavlova. It all says home to me. I would add sausage rolls and meat pies, but I don't eat meat. :)

Fullback
08-21-2010, 03:30 AM
1. US ex-pats are required to file a return with the IRS and must pay tax on income above $91,400.

2. Some countries are jure sanguini and some are jus soli, so not everyone has the option of obtaining citizenship in a country they live in. Others may not really care, since it would not affect their lives if they did or did not obtain citizenship.

Not everyone buys into the philosophy "the state is all powerful and defines your existence." For some people, it's a just nuisance.

3. "The US has its problems, but they are far fewer than any other country." -- knight_tour

That is just a steaming, smelly heap of nonsense.

Griesmeel
08-21-2010, 03:38 AM
I would add sausage rolls and meat pies, but I don't eat meat. :)

No worries, pass them over, thanks! :e2cookie:

SaraP
08-21-2010, 03:40 AM
Can be found in any bakery, just like custard tarts, caramel slices, Portugese tarts, pavlova. It all says home to me. I would add sausage rolls and meat pies, but I don't eat meat. :)

Ooooooohhhh - what are those?

Billingsgate
08-21-2010, 05:33 AM
What I miss about the USA (in descending order): CornNuts, English books that cost less than full retail price, and um...actually, that's about it. Not enough to tempt me to move back. I love visiting New York, though.

"The US has its problems, but they are far fewer than any other country." Nonsense. Put together the escalating problem of private gun ownership, crumbling infrastructure, the breath-taking dumbing-down of political discourse, the expanding culture of selfishness, and many other things besides, and the USA looks like it has a lot more problems than many other places. People in Iceland may be gloomier than the statistics portray, but at least they're not walking into schools and gunning down twenty people at a time because they had a bad morning.

Hong Kong too can be a very annoying place to live once you've been here long enough, especially if you start caring about the politics and more especially if you're not obsessed with money. Air pollution is horrible! But it's home, and we've made the absolute best of it by living outside the city. The people aren't the warmest, but they're not standoffish either, there's so little violent crime that if a woman is assaulted it makes the news, taxes are low (and, more importantly, easy to figure out, unlike the US), transport is efficient and cheap, and--this is where Hong Kong beats the US, Australia and other places hands-down--there's virtually no political correctness. I can criticize a Chinese person and vice-versa, without either of us being labeled "racists". As a cartoonist I could get away with things here that would have lynch mobs running after me in the States. It's so refreshing compared to America!

My wife and I were discussing whether we'd move elsewhere when we retire. We don't have to stay where we are, and it often drives us crazy living here. We were trying to name the best country on earth according to our own criteria...and we couldn't name a single one.

pdr
08-21-2010, 06:19 AM
I don't intend to spend the rest of my life in this country, and I would like to move back to Europe at some point - not necessarily to my home country, though.

Fine, but I wonder about the highly irritating Americans I met in the library this week who have chosen to escape 'the horrors of the USA' (their words) and live in New Zealand. They have been here twelve years but insist that they are Americans. They have no intention of returning to the USA, and they chose NZ carefully, but they won't become Kiwis. And I don't just mean citizenship, I mean taking part in Kiwi life. He moans about no baseball and she moans about our expensive cost of living.

SaraP
08-21-2010, 06:50 AM
You know, there are plenty of things I don't like about Portugal and we've considered emigrating many many times. I'm pretty sure that even if we found another county to live in and I stayed there for the rest of my life, I would always think of myself as Portuguese.

And, because of the time I lived in the States, I think of myself as being a little bit american (the middle left toenail ;) - you can definitely see the stars and stripes when the sun hits it just right).

These are complicated issues for some people and it can be very annoying.

Next time you see them, just hit them with a kiwi. A bird, not a person. Or not. The poor bird doesn't deserve it. :D

Scriptissima
08-21-2010, 07:37 AM
Ah, lamingtons are another food item on my list. Simple sounding, but delicious: squares of cake and jam, rolled in chocolate sauce (not icing) and coconut.

Can be found in any bakery, just like custard tarts, caramel slices, Portugese tarts, pavlova. It all says home to me. I would add sausage rolls and meat pies, but I don't eat meat. :)
Thanks for explaining. :)


1. US ex-pats are required to file a return with the IRS and must pay tax on income above $91,400.
Not running any risk of meeting that amount any time soon. So I guess I would be safe. :D


No worries, pass them over, thanks! :e2cookie:Leave some for me, pretty please. :)


What I miss about the USA (in descending order): CornNuts, English books that cost less than full retail price, and um...actually, that's about it.
I am obviously culinarily challenged. First the lamingtons, now the cornnuts. What are cornnuts?

"The US has its problems, but they are far fewer than any other country." Nonsense. Put together the escalating problem of private gun ownership, crumbling infrastructure, the breath-taking dumbing-down of political discourse, the expanding culture of selfishness, and many other things besides, and the USA looks like it has a lot more problems than many other places.
I subscribe to that.

Hong Kong too can be a very annoying place to live once you've been here long enough, especially if you start caring about the politics and more especially if you're not obsessed with money. Air pollution is horrible! But it's home, and we've made the absolute best of it by living outside the city. The people aren't the warmest, but they're not standoffish either, there's so little violent crime that if a woman is assaulted it makes the news, taxes are low (and, more importantly, easy to figure out, unlike the US), transport is efficient and cheap, and--this is where Hong Kong beats the US, Australia and other places hands-down--there's virtually no political correctness.
Sounds like Germany. :D Well, except for the air pollution-part.
And then there's the super complicated, majorly annoying German tax system that even the German CPAs don't understand.

We were trying to name the best country on earth according to our own criteria...and we couldn't name a single one.
That's interesting: What would your personal criteria for the "best country" be?

I don't intend to spend the rest of my life in this country, and I would like to move back to Europe at some point - not necessarily to my home country, though.

Fine, but I wonder about the highly irritating Americans I met in the library this week who have chosen to escape 'the horrors of the USA' (their words) and live in New Zealand. They have been here twelve years but insist that they are Americans. They have no intention of returning to the USA, and they chose NZ carefully, but they won't become Kiwis. And I don't just mean citizenship, I mean taking part in Kiwi life. He moans about no baseball and she moans about our expensive cost of living.
I think that is - in part - the "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" syndrome. Occasionally, I suffer from that, too. I have moved to the U.S. for a reason (several reasons, really), however, I DID enjoy living in Europe and wasn't looking for a better place. Which is good, because from where I stand life in most of the European Union is far better than life in the U.S. in so many regards, and if I had hoped for a better life over here, I would be disappointed on so many levels.

As for "taking part in Kiwi life" - well, I don't know about those specific Americans you have met in NZL, but to me, missing certain dear aspects you have enjoyed back home (and moaning about those) doesn't rule out participating in your new country's life. I am certainly pretty active over here, I have dear American friends, I work as a volunteer, I have U.S. clients and so on, but that doesn't mean I don't miss European food, European restaurants, taking my pooch to stores and cafés, the bikeability of towns and so on. And, yes, I do mention that I miss those things when I feel like it - especially the bikeability aspect gets to me more or less every single day. So maybe (just maybe) that couple DOES participate in Kiwi life, but they simply haven't mentioned that to you? Just a guess. It's hard for me to imagine that someone would spend 12 years in a place and live more or less isolated.

thethinker42
08-21-2010, 07:51 AM
As for "taking part in Kiwi life" - well, I don't know about those specific Americans you have met in NZL, but to me, missing certain dear aspects you have enjoyed back home (and moaning about those) doesn't rule out participating in your new country's life. I am certainly pretty active over here, I have dear American friends, I work as a volunteer, I have U.S. clients and so on, but that doesn't mean I don't miss European food, European restaurants, taking my pooch to stores and cafés, the bikeability of towns and so on. And, yes, I do mention that I miss those things when I feel like it - especially the bikeability aspect gets to me more or less every single day. So maybe (just maybe) that couple DOES participate in Kiwi life, but they simply haven't mentioned that to you? Just a guess. It's hard for me to imagine that someone would spend 12 years in a place and live more or less isolated.

Agreed.

I love living in Japan, love Japanese culture/food/etc, love the scenery here on the island, and am pretty sure they'll have to drag me kicking and screaming out of here when we transfer. But you know, sometimes I DO miss things from back home. I would kill for access to a decent bookstore, miss the hell out of a few specific restaurants, and sometimes it would be nice to be able to travel back home without losing 20+ hours to airports and planes (or upwards of a week, which has happened). The language barrier is a constant struggle, too.

On the other hand, when I'm back in the States, I miss the politeness of Japanese culture, the awesome weather, and the minimal traffic.

And yes, sometimes I bitch about either side of that coin.

Maxinquaye
08-21-2010, 08:12 AM
I think that's pretty universal. I mean, now that I'm in Sweden I miss the energy and the pulse of the UK, which we don't have here. I miss the argumentative, bollocksing, alive brit - compared to a swede. I miss the crowded tube, the smells, and I would never complain about christmas pudding now. I look around and see the safe, clean, boring country I'm on where you have to arrange two weeks in advance to go out with your best friends for a coffee. Everything here is so organised, so orderly, so still.

And I know that when I get back to the UK, after a couple of months I'll be muttering about the nincompoops that can't run a bus service, about the people that don't respect my privacy, and I'll moan about the total chaos of the political debate. And I'll shudder over christmas pudding again, properly.

The grass is always greener over there...

trocadero
08-21-2010, 08:58 AM
It's funny the things you miss when you start traveling about. I'm Aussie, living in Hong Kong, but this morning I had a hunger-that-must-be-satisfied for cornbread muffins and honey. When we were in Italy for the summer, my 13-year-old son craved noodles. I don't think he's ever asked for them while we've been in HK.

Bluestone, I have a killer recipe for sitcky date pudding, if you want it.

One more thing I miss about Australia (or pretty much anywhere else) - clean air. Forgot about that til Billingsgate mentioned it.

And now I want lamingtons.

Bluestone
08-21-2010, 09:28 AM
And now I want lamingtons.

Haha. The power of suggestion. And yes, please PM me the recipe for sticky date pudding. Would love to have it!

pdr
08-21-2010, 10:26 AM
As one who spent nearly 10 years in Japan I am interested in the poster who said she lives in an American base in Okinawa.

One of the things that Jet students - young Americans who came to Japanese schools to teach English for a year - moaned about incessantly was how expensive everything was. I know myself from my frequent visits to North America that Japan was much more expensive than the US.

So is Okinawa - I could never afford to travel there! - subsidised for the American troops by both govts?

thethinker42
08-21-2010, 10:31 AM
As one who spent nearly 10 years in Japan I am interested in the poster who said she lives in an American base in Okinawa.

One of the things that Jet students - young Americans who came to Japanese schools to teach English for a year - moaned about incessantly was how expensive everything was. I know myself from my frequent visits to North America that Japan was much more expensive than the US.

So is Okinawa - I could never afford to travel there! - subsidised for the American troops by both govts?

Okinawa is waaaaaaaaay cheaper than mainland Japan. People piss and moan here about how they never have any money, but that probably stems more from drinking their paychecks than anything. The cost of living is low, cars are dirt cheap, food off-base is wicked cheap, etc. I mean, I can get a Kobe steak dinner at a nice restaurant for $25. A friend of mine got a comparable meal in Osaka for $100, and in the States, it set someone else back $60.

So, almost everything here is cheaper than in the States or mainland Japan. This is also, to my knowledge, the poorest prefecture of Japan, so that might have something to do with it. I don't know.

pdr
08-21-2010, 10:37 AM
the couple I mentioned have been here 12 years but every year they mouth off at their school meetings about how much better education is in the States, (see the OECD figures before saying anything! NZ is way ahead of the US) and I am told they also nag their pastor with similar comments. In the library they demand all the newest American published books although as part of the Commonwealth we are in the British publishing zone and don't easily access American published books.

As one has spent most of her working life working overseas I do know about nostalgia and homesick longings, but after 12 years, by deliberate choice?

P.S. Who wanted to swop good bread recipes?

Billingsgate
08-21-2010, 10:37 AM
I wonder about the highly irritating Americans I met in the library this week who have chosen to escape 'the horrors of the USA' (their words) and live in New Zealand. They have been here twelve years but insist that they are Americans. They have no intention of returning to the USA, and they chose NZ carefully, but they won't become Kiwis. And I don't just mean citizenship, I mean taking part in Kiwi life. He moans about no baseball and she moans about our expensive cost of living.
That's typical expat syndrome. I know many many westerners living in Hong Kong for 20+ years who don't speak a word of Chinese, and irritatingly refer to some grey-skied country thousands of miles away as "home". Worse, they indoctrinate their kids to think of some distant land, seen only during the obligatory summer and Christmas holidays, as "home". I run into this same syndrome among expats in Singapore, Japan and elsewhere. They don't spend a penny on decorating their company-paid apartments, except for knick-knacks picked up during their Bali holidays, and always look like they could leave on a moment's notice, though they've been living and working there for decades. Their only conversations are "back in (America/England/Australia/etc.) we do it this way" or about which resort holiday they're planning. My poor kids, born and raised here, are abandoned every summer as their non-local friends are dragged away for "home" leave.

There are enough such people clustered here that they consider such an attitude as perfectly normal. Party conversations will be mainly moaning about Hong Kong, talking about property investments, and discussing the weather and food "back home".

That's why I don't consider myself an expatriate, and tend not to socialize in such circles. I totally think of where I am now as home. If "home is where the heart is", then most expats I know need heart transplants.

knight_tour
08-21-2010, 10:54 AM
knight, have you been to Australia? I think it's one of the most beautiful and easiest places to live. It can be expensive, but it hasn't gone through the economic downturn of the rest of the world and the quality of life is pretty great. I return a lot, but I miss living there.


Not yet, though I have tried to get posted there a couple of times. Those positions are not easy to get.

knight_tour
08-21-2010, 10:58 AM
Funny. I think that the United States have so many major problems that the idea of spending retirement over here positively scares the crap out of me. I don't know how you can say that the U.S. has far fewer problems than "any other country". When I look at industrialized Western countries, the U.S. seem to be among the worst in many very essential regards - unemployment, poverty, health care, social security, crime rates, gun laws, and so on and so forth - and I don't even mention the lack of mass transit opportunities in most of the country and the super annoying dependence on cars. About one sixth of all Americans live off food stamps by now, and this trend is only going to get worse. Things are most certainly not nearly as bad anywhere in Central, Western or Northern Europe, Australia, NZL or Canada.

See, it is what I already said before - it depends on what it is that you need to make you happy. I have visited more than 40 countries, some of them quite extensively, and I have lived in 6. I have been to almost every country in Europe, and while there is much that I love about it (it's why I have spent the vast majority of my career there, after all), for me it still can't come close to providing the happiness that I can get in America.

sgroyle
08-25-2010, 05:00 PM
I was born in Manchester, next to Manchester United's training ground. Aged three I was bundled on a ship and ended up in Cape Town. Nelson Mandela was on Robin Island, our parents used to tell us if we were naughty that's where we'd end up.
Aged 10 it was an Alitalia flight via Nairobi back to London and then New York. There for a couple of years and then back to England. Winchester for five years. Then HK for a couple years, followed by a couple of years in Europe, mainly France, but also Denmark, Spain and Italy. Had enough of cold weather so back to HK. Lived there till 1989 then moved to Thailand. Now 21 years.
About England - miss - nothing.

Noah Body
08-25-2010, 05:57 PM
I love HK. Been in and out of there so many times it's almost like my second home, even though I've probably spent more contiguous time in China and Japan. Love Japan too... China? Not that crazy about it anymore.

I'm back in the US, but will likely retire to Singapore, where things are nice and stable. And hey, you can buy gum there now in state-sanctioned stores, so it's almost like the US anyway. :D

Never spent any time at all in Thailand though... how is it? All I ever hear about is the red light district in Bangkok and katooeys!

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
08-25-2010, 06:44 PM
I'm American, now living in Canada with my Canadian husband.

I miss things I never knew I would. If I'd known I couldn't get them here, I would have stocked up and packed them in our moving crates!
1. Cranapple juice (they have every other "cran" flavor but the one I like the best and have been drinking since I was a kid)
2. Lindt Chocolate Mint truffles (the round balls packaged in green with the liquid centers). I see every other flavor here-- the red, blue, gold, white, even light green. But no dark green mint. :(
3. Sea Breeze astringent- Been using this stuff on my face since I was 12!! my complexion is a wreck since I've been up here, and I've always had gorgeous skin.

I had a friend recently bring me a bottle of Cranapple and 4 bottles of Sea Breeze. My complexion is finally beginning to recover. Yay!

I consider myself a Texan, and I always will. Texas, and the U.S. in general have a lot of problems I was sick to death of dealing with. The universal healthcare alone has been a Godsend for me (mostly since it helped a neurologist to figure out that I did not have MS-- after living with the diagnosis, and the injectable drugs for five years!).

But I am definitely not Canadian, nor do I want to be. It's interesting living here, and there are parts that I really like, but I couldn't imagine changing my nationality. If anything happens to my husband, I'm not sure I'll stay. I'm very homesick.

OneWriter
08-25-2010, 06:47 PM
OOOOHHHH..... I LOVE Lindt chocolate truffles... My favorite kind are the white ones. The mint ones are rare!! My husband brought me a full box of assorted ones from Switzerland a few weeks ago! :D

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
08-25-2010, 07:27 PM
OOOOHHHH..... I LOVE Lindt chocolate truffles... My favorite kind are the white ones. The mint ones are rare!! My husband brought me a full box of assorted ones from Switzerland a few weeks ago! :D

Jealous!!

Seriously, if you held one in front of me right now, I'd be like Pavlov's dog. Drooling all over myself and stuff.

OneWriter
08-25-2010, 07:33 PM
Oh, but I can't...They are all gone already! He's going back for another trip next month, though... If you read my 500K WIP I'll have him buy you some!! :evil

Sorry, couldn't resist the joke...
Let's have a Lindt party, I'm ALWAYS available for Lindt! :D

SaraP
08-25-2010, 07:33 PM
Seriously, if you held one in front of me right now, I'd be like Pavlov's dog. Drooling all over myself and stuff.

You mean this?

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQzIYkaCu4b0LrMejzPR57XpLlyb7z59 8yxBxx_UNoqLi4d-40&t=1&usg=__U6C0LfNx44N7ZWxN6vF-ZooJa3c=

:D

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
08-25-2010, 07:52 PM
You mean this?

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQzIYkaCu4b0LrMejzPR57XpLlyb7z59 8yxBxx_UNoqLi4d-40&t=1&usg=__U6C0LfNx44N7ZWxN6vF-ZooJa3c=

:D

YOU are a cruel person. :P

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
08-25-2010, 07:54 PM
Oh, but I can't...They are all gone already! He's going back for another trip next month, though... If you read my 500K WIP I'll have him buy you some!! :evil

Sorry, couldn't resist the joke...
Let's have a Lindt party, I'm ALWAYS available for Lindt! :D

Well, I AM unemployed right now. What genre? I could be persuaded to take a look at it for chocolate. Maybe. I'm such a Lindt whore. PM me with details....

SaraP
08-25-2010, 07:57 PM
YOU are a cruel person. :P

Me?

*bats eyelashes innocently*

OneWriter
08-25-2010, 08:46 PM
Well, I AM unemployed right now. What genre? I could be persuaded to take a look at it for chocolate. Maybe. I'm such a Lindt whore. PM me with details....

LOL, I was joking... I'd have to be Dostoevsky to have a 500K novel. Not to mention very, very cruel to ship it off to victims willing readers!!

I'll ask hubby if he can get more Lindts on his next trip. Last time he was stuck at the airport for twelve hours, we may not get that lucky this time, but if he does get them I can ship a few your way. :)

Fallen
08-26-2010, 12:37 AM
About England - miss - nothing.

:e2cry: Not only do I get a rejection for my novel today, but I also get told I'm not missed. Me being, y'know, English n all. :e2cry: I'll, well, just go sit over here on my own for a while :e2cry:

And you can throw me some Lindt wrapping paper if you want OneW. So I can :e2cry: at least smell the chocolate from over here.

;)

SaraP
08-26-2010, 12:48 AM
Awww Fallen. :Hug2:

I'm sure One at least thought of you while she ate her chocolate. :D

Raindrop
08-26-2010, 01:05 AM
Awwww, Fallen. I miss England, if that helps any. :D

Fallen
08-26-2010, 01:33 AM
:e2bouncey Aww, come 'ere you two :e2arms:

*secretly checks in SaraP's and Rains pockets for chocolates* Mmmmmm, chocolate... :D

OneWriter
08-26-2010, 01:44 AM
:Wha: Honey, what are you talking about??? I've been checking my PM's all day fretting, when is she gonna come here??? You think I haven't missed you???? Now, where's that Lindt you said you can get for free over there???

:Hug2:


:e2cry: Not only do I get a rejection for my novel today, but I also get told I'm not missed. Me being, y'know, English n all. :e2cry: I'll, well, just go sit over here on my own for a while :e2cry:

And you can throw me some Lindt wrapping paper if you want OneW. So I can :e2cry: at least smell the chocolate from over here.

;)

OneWriter
08-26-2010, 01:49 AM
Aw, I should be the one crying now... where is MY hug??
OK, I'll tell hubby to get you Swiss choco too... did I mention my 500K WIP just swelled to 800K?? ;)


:e2bouncey Aww, come 'ere you two :e2arms:

*secretly checks in SaraP's and Rains pockets for chocolates* Mmmmmm, chocolate... :D

Fallen
08-26-2010, 02:07 AM
B-b--b-b-b-but I was only hugging for chocolate. See -- look -- I gots you some too :D :D

*quickly hides stash as SaraP looks over*

quick, look busy :e2writer:

:D

SaraP
08-26-2010, 02:35 AM
*pops her head in the Lounge*

*thinks all seems well. Peeps are keeping themselves busy*

Carry on, guys. Holler if you need anything!

*leaves the Lounge*

Raindrop
08-26-2010, 03:55 AM
*stands by her stash of chocolate with a chainsaw*

Hugs are free, my chocolate... Not so much!

SaraP
08-26-2010, 04:02 AM
Hey guys ... come on ... no violence, please.

*spreads peace-inducing sparkles*

(sorry, somebody stole my secret chocolate stash :( )

sgroyle
08-26-2010, 05:54 AM
:e2cry: Not only do I get a rejection for my novel today, but I also get told I'm not missed. Me being, y'know, English n all. :e2cry: I'll, well, just go sit over here on my own for a while :e2cry:

And you can throw me some Lindt wrapping paper if you want OneW. So I can :e2cry: at least smell the chocolate from over here.

;)

Dearest Fallen,

Kindly note that I wrote, "England", not the English. I don't miss England. I never liked it; not when I was 11 and not when I was 38 (last time I was back there). People are a different matter I try not to miss them by staying in touch, a task made easy by the internet.

So sorry to hear of the rejection, if it is any consolation I've been rejected enough that I have decided to not bother anymore and self-publish. Considering the time it takes, the paltry advances, minuscule royalties, and lack of support once you DO get an agent - I think DIY makes more sense. The stigma of Vanity is fading fast. It doesn't mean that you don't have to edit, market and distribute - you do and it is amazingly hard-work - jut more likely to reward your effort.

Stay happy. :-)

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
08-26-2010, 06:00 AM
LOL, I was joking... I'd have to be Dostoevsky to have a 500K novel. Not to mention very, very cruel to ship it off to victims willing readers!!

I'll ask hubby if he can get more Lindts on his next trip. Last time he was stuck at the airport for twelve hours, we may not get that lucky this time, but if he does get them I can ship a few your way. :)

Awwwww... you're so sweet! I'll wait hopefully, and although it wouldn't be fun for him, I'm pulling for a long layover!

sgroyle
08-26-2010, 06:48 AM
Never spent any time at all in Thailand though... how is it? All I ever hear about is the red light district in Bangkok and katooeys!

Thailand, how is it? That's a BIG question. Firstly, yes, news is sold based on negative sensationalism so you always hear the worst of a place. Personally I haven't been into the red light district (often a place that out of towner's want to visit) for well over a year, possibly two.

It has a very distinct culture as opposed to the former colonies which all have the shadow of their former owners extending into the present day. Through this culture, Thailand is unique. If you travel often in Asia, I recommend a trip - there's a reason it is the world's most favored tourist destination.

Bookworm0o0
10-12-2010, 02:19 PM
*approaches the thread at gunpoint* Put that thing down, Sara! I'm here, already!

Hiya. Yankee born and bred. Traveled a lot. Lived in a few countries. Got stuck in the ice in Sweden.

There. I did it. I gave my life story. *wipes her sweaty brow*

Fika
11-17-2010, 07:33 PM
Hi,

I'm new here - American to UK and now currently in Sweden. Probably for good - but everytime I say that I move somewhere else.

I'm not a big truffle person - but hope I fit in here none the less.

SaraP
11-17-2010, 10:12 PM
Hi Fika. :welcome:

Welcome to the Absolute Write Water Cooler and to the International District. :hi:

Scriptissima
11-24-2010, 12:21 AM
Welcome to the Water Cooler, Fika!
Where in Sweden do you live? Sweden is such a beautiful country! I am somewhat envious. :)

Griesmeel
11-24-2010, 01:55 AM
Hi there Fika!
No worries, I'm not big on fish but I still quite like Portugal. :)

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
11-24-2010, 04:54 AM
Sara, OW--

I have discovered the most WONDERFUL WONDERFUL thing! I can get the Lindt chocolate mint truffles here at CHRISTMASTIME!!!

I was at Shopper's Drug Mart the other day, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a box of GREEN TRUFFLES!!! So, of course I bought it. And I need to go stock up for the rest of the year. Never can tell when I might get a craving for one of those babies....

:D Squeeeeeeeeee!!!

SaraP
11-24-2010, 02:33 PM
Yay! :hooray:

*continues to hope some enlightened soul will start importing Reece's Peanut Butter Cups and jelly beans to this country*

:D

Kewii
11-24-2010, 03:19 PM
Yea! A thread where I belong. I was born in Canada, lived most of my life there. But when I graduated University, I decided I didn't want to fight for teaching jobs with everyone else, so I moved.

I now live in Kuwait. Originally, it was supposed to be for one year. Four years later, I'm still here. But I have an awesome job and awesome perks. I actually teach writing. And I only mark it once a quarter. Leaves me lots of free time for writing, rugby and coaching.

Things I miss: Common sense. Seriously, Kuwait is not always the land of logic. Besides that, I miss Tim Hortons and grass.

SaraP
11-24-2010, 03:33 PM
There's a thread for everyone here in the District. :D

Sounds great, btw. :)

sian
03-11-2011, 11:36 PM
I'm new too. :) At least, I think I am...I tried to register, and it told me I was already registered. LOL I don't even know when I did that.

Anyway, to the OP's question: I was born in Abu Dhabi, where I lived for 2 years before moving to Sharjah for 2 years, and finally moved to Dubai, where I lived until I was 22. I then moved to Bombay, India, and lived all over the city for 8 years. I moved to Goa, India less than a month ago. Dubai was a place I considered home until I was made to leave when my father lost his visa. Since then, nowhere has really felt like home. I'm something of a nomad. lol. I've wanted to move to the US for a while to be closer to my SO and my friends, but short of marrying my SO or suddenly winning the lottery and affording a student visa, that doesn't seem likely. Right now, I'm biding my time, waiting for the right opportunity to pop up, and I'll move again until I find a place that feels like home. :)

Places I've visited briefly: All 7 emirates in the UAE, Egypt, France, England, Germany, and Oman.

SaraP
03-12-2011, 04:49 PM
Welcome to AW, sian. :welcome:

Carmy
03-14-2011, 03:57 AM
Born in Wales, I lived in various places in England before coming to Canada. This is home.

sian
03-14-2011, 07:51 PM
Thank you, Sara. :)

Zelenka
03-14-2011, 10:53 PM
I don't really belong here yet but I will in a while. Living in Scotland at the moment but I'm in the middle of preparing for a move to Prague, Czech Republic, aiming to be set up and sorted by the end of July this year. Can't wait, despite the amount of stuff to be done. I really want to find somewhere that feels like home again.

SaraP
03-14-2011, 10:55 PM
Oooh, sounds exciting!

Keep us updated. :)

karlhindle
03-16-2011, 06:12 PM
Born in Wales, I lived in various places in England before coming to Canada. This is home.

I heard a quote, "By luck born in Britain, by Grace of God English, by choice Canadian" - I'm sure I'm misquoting, but as a Brit on the American side of the pond I know how you feel.

I'm not at home in the US and would rather prefer Grand Manan in New Brunswick, but that is looking like it will have to wait for a few years yet as I slog it out here in Virginia.

Where in Canada are you?

Karl

LaLa
03-17-2011, 02:10 AM
Hello, lovely expats. I'm enjoying this thread.

I'm laughing at the references to German tampons, toilets of the world, and European light switches!

I've no big problem with the American-style light switch, but I did like those wide, flattish European ones that you could conveniently thump with an elbow or hip when coming in with too many bags.

They should let Expats design our own country. We've sampled plenty and know what works!

SaraP
03-17-2011, 02:54 AM
They should let Expats design our own country. We've sampled plenty and know what works!

:roll:

Welcome to the International District, btw. You too, karlhindle. :)

:welcome:

RS007
05-16-2011, 07:00 AM
Born in Russia, lived in Italy, US, Uzbekistan, Argentina, Austria. Love love love living in different places and moving every 3-4 years!

SaraP
05-16-2011, 07:10 AM
Sounds awesome! Welcome aboard, btw. :hi:

Snitchcat
05-16-2011, 07:14 AM
Lived in the UK for 20+ years, been in China for 10+ years, travelled almost all over Europe in between, visited the States, hit Doha (airport only, shame), Dubai, and Taiwan.

L M Ashton
05-23-2011, 07:59 AM
That's why I don't consider myself an expatriate, and tend not to socialize in such circles. I totally think of where I am now as home. If "home is where the heart is", then most expats I know need heart transplants.
That's pretty much me. Of course I whine a bit about things I miss, but mostly, I manage to make do. How I make do depends on where I am at the time. :) But what I'm NOT wrapped up in is trying to live my old life in a new place. That just doesn't work well if I want to stay sane AND if I want to really experience the best of what a country has to offer.

I was born & raised in Western Canada (all over, really), lived there until mid-30s. Flew to Sri Lanka to marry my hubby, lived there 8 years, now we're in New Zealand, which we hope to make permanent.

What I miss about Canada? Universal health care (New Zealand has something similar, but there are payments out of pocket for it, and I don't qualify for it yet anyway). People. Um... Oh, cast iron cookware. Seriously. Found one griddle in Sri Lanka after being there 6 years, cost me $3. New Zealand, cast iron is available, but outrageously expensive, like 10x what it costs in Canada.

What I miss about Sri Lanka? Cows roaming the streets, free, or tied up to the banana tree in the empty lot next door. Chameleons in my garden. Lizards (4' and bigger) living on my roof. The pack of purple faced leaf monkeys that lived in our neighborhood and frequently lunched in the neighbor's mango tree. Tropical birds of all sorts. Tropical fruit. My mother in law's cooking and the inlaws in general - wonderful people! What I don't miss? Mosquitoes, flies, fruit flies, spiders, snakes, geckos, dust, heat, humidity, and armed men (police, army) everywhere.

What I love about New Zealand? Cool weather, real cheese, quality lamb and other meat choices that I couldn't get in Sri Lanka, variety in shopping (altho not as good as Canada, way better than Sri Lanka), friendly people. What I don't love about New Zealand? Cost of living.

The reality is that there's good and bad about every place. The real question is what combination of good and bad will be better for a particular person or family.

Scott Kaelen
05-23-2011, 09:36 PM
English born and raised in the northeast for the first 18 years of my life. Well-travelled, been to a fair amount of countries. Lived in Germany now for the last year and a half. Unemployed and half-blind with a fantastic girlfriend. Ausserdem, spreche ich die Sprache ein bisschen! Yay for me :D

SaraP
05-23-2011, 09:43 PM
Welcome aboard. :hi:

PrincessofPersia
05-23-2011, 11:20 PM
Australian in America. :)

JenniferB
05-26-2011, 09:55 PM
American living in England for the last four years - just had my "England-versary." I travel a lot and have seen much of Europe now.

I can definitely relate to what's been said in this thread - the survey of toilets made me laugh. Ah, the German shelf toilet - thought it was just me that found it odd!

I certainly don't know where I belong anymore. Love Europe, would love to live in other countries, but miss my family and friends in the US. At times I grow tired of being a foreigner (I live in a small town - sure that doesn't help), but now I feel like a foreigner when I visit the place I grew up. When people ask me where I'm from, I hardly know how to answer anymore. Travel does strange things to a person. Wouldn't trade the experience, though.

Kelsey
06-01-2011, 05:40 AM
U.S. >>> France >>> university in the U.S. >>> counting down the days until the big move to South Africa (secretly hoping it's a forever move).

Matchy
06-01-2011, 07:36 AM
I am a German living in the US - Gulf Coast area to be exact. I moved here 4 years ago to check up on the parents after Hurricane Katrina, went to school because I was bored, met my husband and so I'm still here...

About things I miss from home? The street-cafes (can't find the accent...), the bars, the restaurants - mainly because you don't get kicked out when you're done eating...

Public transportation is nice, healthcare not too shabby, but I do enjoy the laid back life here in the US a lot more. And that I am able to do the things I like to do without being strangled by German bureaucracy.

And just in case you guys need shopping tips:

Vanilla Sugar, Vanilla Pudding, Peanut Puffs (proud owner of 4 bags right now...) as well as a huge assortment of wine gummis can be ordered through amazon here in the US.

German Ritter chocolate @Walmart, Walgreens
Gummi Bears @Walmart, Target
Cola Gummi Candy @Target
Belgian Magnum Ice-cream @Target
Lindt chocolates @RiteAid, Walgreens, Target, Walmart

and there is a place called Germandeli on the Net that imports everything. (Well almost...)

So food-wise I only miss the variety from the stores back home, I'd love to have a Bakery, a Butcher here. And of course all those European sausages and cheeses. But at least when I get them I appreciate them more (and defend them with the largest kitchen-knife...)

Sunwords
10-14-2012, 01:06 PM
I did not read all of the eight pages of this thread. I found it last night when I was thinking about posting a new one and thought, I might still be right here. If not, Sara, plz move my post.

I don't consider myself so much as an expat - those are the ones who live abroad temporarily, often, in my experience, busy with meeting each other and missing this and that from home.
Emigrants - in my opinion - are rather those who chose to live permanently in another country, for whatever reason. But still, many of them keep strong ties with the old country.
Recently I wonder what about writers like me. I left the place I was born for more than one reason. And now, looking back, reading news, following discussions, I find out that it is no longer my country - if it ever was. In one forum I made the "mistake" of declaring that I would not mind to give up my nationality for a new one, if that was possible - these words raised a real shitstorm. The amount of bad, hateful words I received made me think deeply, because these people are usually nice, ordinary people. We share some interests - they would be just whom normally I would write for.
But they made me understand that I did not just move away. I went into exile. And now, sitting in front of a white page on my laptop I wonder whom I should be writing for. My english is not good enough to just change the language and write for another public.
The white sheet is looking at me. I keep on looking back.

L M Ashton
10-14-2012, 02:44 PM
Sunwords, sorry you were on the receiving end of hate. That sucks. :(

I'm not ready to give up my Canadian citizenship yet. I like Canada, even though I may never return. But I can understand giving up citizenship for another in the right set of circumstances.


So it's been over a year since I posted in here last, and since then, we returned from New Zealand to Sri Lanka - long story short, New Zealand immigration sucks and changed the rules mid-stream. So we left.

We were back in Sri Lanka for a half year or so, then got the husband's employment visa for Singapore approved, so we're now in Singapore. And we're waiting to find out if his employment pass will be renewed or not. If it is, we stay in Singapore longer. If not, then we return to Sri Lanka and figure out where we go next. :)

aruna
10-14-2012, 02:54 PM
You can always try Guyana! ;)

I didn't even know you had moved to NZ, Laurie. I didn't even know you were thinking of emigrating. May I ask why?

As for me -- I'm back in Germany, been here for a year now after 10 years in the UK.
My ultimate home, I've always thought, would be India, but immigration there sucks. In short, it's impossible to get a visa unless you marry an Indian, which I am unlikely too do. For a start, I'm already married!

I'll be in Germany for the next four years at least. That's my official retirement age, and I do want such boring things as a better pension, so I'll stick it out. Besides, I love my work and I like living in Germany, though I don't want to stay here forever.

My son is moving to Guyana later this month. If he can settle there and if living conditions improve, I'm seriously considering "going home" again.

I gave up Guyanese citizenship for German. I would love to get it back; but not if I have to give up German (EU) citizenship. But there is a way around that.

L M Ashton
10-14-2012, 03:04 PM
Aruna, the main reason behind leaving Sri Lanka for greener pastures is that Sri Lanka is a bit of a sinking hole, economically speaking. There's a lot more I'd like to say, but if/when we return to Sri Lanka, that wouldn't be a good thing. We're better off not speaking up and flying under the radar.

If the country were more stable and had a better government in place, I wouldn't mind staying there. But it scares me. And I don't trust it.

aruna
10-14-2012, 03:38 PM
Sorry to hear that. I'm also worried that that might be the case in Guyana too. I do so wish otherwise; that these potentially wonderful countries could get their act together, politically and economically. I hope my son stays under the radar, but he is actually eager to be politically active and I have a bit of fear that political activism is in his genes and his destiny - we have a family history of it, both my dad and my uncle having been activists. Furthermore, my son has changed his last name back to the family name.

Sunwords
10-14-2012, 04:01 PM
Thanks for your answers, aruna and Laurie. Interesting read.

But at least both of you can write in english. I am still fighting with the problem that the language I write in is the one I do not want to publish in any more - due to the audience. Maybe I should stop writing for a while and improve my english - or any other language.

L M Ashton
10-14-2012, 04:28 PM
Sunwords, I don't know that I'd suggest stop writing for a while. But if you want to improve your English - which, from these two posts in this thread, is already very good. Not perfect (no one's is, I don't think), but much much better than a lot of native English speakers. If you want to write in English, I'd suggest reading a LOT of books in English. Which you may already do, but I thought I'd suggest it anyway.

My husband, by the way, speaks English as his, I think, third language. And he's so fluent that people mistake him for a native English speaker. And his written English is also much better than most native English speakers. I add this to let you know that it *is* possible to reach that point of fluency. Although, like I said before, judging by these two posts, you're already very very close. :)

Sunwords
10-14-2012, 04:38 PM
Thanks, Laurie, you made my day with your nice words.

True, I started reading english books when I was fifteen - I was always a fast reader and a new book in german would not last more than one day. Buying the original gave me more pleasure and saved money. These days I read english all the time, german only free on the internet, classics.

Maybe I might manage to write in english, then. One day.

Drainland
10-22-2012, 05:58 PM
I'm from Australia. Currently living in grim Berlin. I miss my language and my friends and not a lot else at present. Berlin means a quiet, low-distraction life in a new place.

(Might be the only person to move here to escape the party)

MsLaylaCakes
11-06-2012, 03:31 PM
Let's see...born in Thailand, university in the US, married an American and became one, and I'm following him around wherever his work sends him - thus far, 2 yrs in the Middle East and 1 yr in South Asia.

Luckily, my dream career is as mobile as it gets. Unluckily, reality interferes so I still have to work a day job :P.

simplifye
11-14-2012, 09:33 AM
I'm American, met my wife online, now reside in the Philippines. Lovely country, beautiful scenery, temps and weather conditions to die for (unless a typhoon hits). We will stay here for a while, but not sure if it will become permanent - publishing my novel would help, but right now that's probably just a pipe-dream.

Haven't really missed the US yet - especially since this was an election year. Boy, I really appreciated that fact that I was spared all the hype and commercials. I rely on internet for most of my information and connections with others, and I guess that's why I found my way to this forum. Cheers!

SaraP
11-14-2012, 10:21 AM
A big welcome to you new people. :hi:

poetinahat
11-14-2012, 10:30 AM
Welcome, simplifye! I ended up relocating from the US to Australia, and have spent a bit of work-related time in the Philippines (mostly Cebu). I have many very happy memories of the place and the people!

J.S.F.
11-14-2012, 12:23 PM
Born in Toronto, Canada, moved to Japan when I was 26 and I've been here ever since...a long time. Got married 15 years ago and never thought about returning.

Amanda R.
12-18-2012, 07:44 AM
I am American, born in Arkansas, moved outside Kansas City, MO when I was 15. Missouri is where I consider myself really "from." It's where I grew up, went to university, got married, got divorced, and really found my voice.

I moved to Orlando in 2009 and got remarried. In 2010 we moved to China to teach English. Teaching didn't end up being the great experience I had hoped (lots of misinformation out there about what teaching in China is actually like), so we quit teaching in 2012 and when to work for a computer game company. I'm quitting my job at the end of the year, though, to focus just on writing.

We like living in China in spite of some of the hardships, but we have no plans to return to the States. We will stay at least until we adopt two children, which will take a few more years.

Saavedra
12-18-2012, 10:38 AM
Just wanted to pop in and say I really like this thread.

I'm neither an expat nor an emigrant -- not yet -- but I'm a fledgling traveler with plans of that sort, so it's encouraging to see how many folks have jumped country to country. I've been fortunate enough to have studied in Spain and Ireland, and at the moment I'm saving up to travel down through Central and South America to find a new home.

thisischiqui
12-24-2012, 10:45 AM
Oh, I love this thread!

I am Filipino, born in the Philippines but I spent a portion of my childhood in Saudi Arabia because my dad worked there. Came back to the Philippines to study and gain some work experience. Then, almost on a whim, a friend and I tried our luck in Singapore and that's where I'm working now as a Graphic Designer. :)

I plan to move again someday, because ahaha why not? I'm thinking either Australia or the UK, but that probably won't happen for another year or so.


I'm American, met my wife online, now reside in the Philippines. Lovely country, beautiful scenery, temps and weather conditions to die for (unless a typhoon hits). We will stay here for a while, but not sure if it will become permanent - publishing my novel would help, but right now that's probably just a pipe-dream.


I'm glad you love the Philippines! The scenery (especially the beaches!) is one of the things I will always miss about it.


Welcome, simplifye! I ended up relocating from the US to Australia, and have spent a bit of work-related time in the Philippines (mostly Cebu). I have many very happy memories of the place and the people!

Cebu is beautiful. :)

JHUK
12-24-2012, 09:17 PM
I'm an American (born in Iowa, then moved to Virginia, Nevada, Texas, Colorado), then moved to Japan as a child (father in USAF), then as an adult moved to Iran (which I loved until the revolution), Lebanon (taught English-- life was difficult there), then back to US, married a Brit and moved here (England) 10 years ago. It's probably my home for the rest of my life, though I have mixed feelings about that.

I miss the food in Iran, the shopping and restaurants in the US, the friends everywhere.... and of course, family (scattered all over the US). I guess this all makes me simply a "citizen of the world".

Ellie LaTraille
01-07-2013, 11:51 AM
I am not a world citizen, but I've done a small bit of international travelling -- Canada, Czech Republic, Ghana -- so I've seen a bit of the world. Just wanted to pop in here and remark on this thread.

Even though I'm not an expat nor an emigrant, I love culture of any kind, and I have recently moved two states away from my home-state and felt many of the same feelings that several of you have commented on -- missing the food, the people, feeling uprooted, but still enjoying the stay and assimilating to a different culture. My experience has been much milder, but it's cool to see how it's juxtaposed against your experiences.

Ultimately, it seems to come down to a question of identity, and for me, at least, that aspect is the same. (But my answer is different -- I miss my home-state terribly.)

Anyhow. Loving the discussion, now missing loads of food from everywhere.

merry_and_silver
01-17-2013, 03:16 PM
Greetings. I'm an American living in Ecuador. My wife of thirteen years is Ecuadorian. We've lived in the states and Ecuador, went back, now we're trying again here. The weather is nice, and Ecuador is beautiful as always. There have been many improvements in the infrastructure compared to fifteen years ago. My wife and I are like, "Wow! WOW!" There are difficult things to deal with too... Nice to see that there is an expat thread here. I've been a member of this site for a while, but hardly every post. I guess I hardly ever write anything worthwhile either, although I'm trying now. I haven't read the whole thread through either, but I'll try to get to it soon. Cheers.

Susan Anwin
02-07-2013, 06:51 AM
Hungarian, spent 1 and a half years in Jerusalem, Israel, currently living in Reykjavik, Iceland and most probably staying for good, as my significant other is from here.

Bec de Corbin
02-12-2013, 03:04 PM
Ooh, Reykjavik--I'm jealous. My latest manuscript is set in Iceland. The trickiest part was figuring out exactly when the sun "rose" and "set" in winter.

I'm an American teaching in South Korea. I didn't read all the pages of this thread, but I expect that there are *many* of us. It's a good life, especially if you can get a university gig.

Lils
02-19-2013, 03:30 PM
It's nice to see this thread! I've found that it's a bit hard to describe a life of constant movement from one place to another to people who haven't experienced it first hand.

I am Filipino, initially lived in Manila, then moved to Canberra in Australia, moved back to Manila for High School, then to gorgeous Virginia for my first go at Uni. When I decided I needed 4 more years of punishment, I relocated to Melbourne where I still am now, six years later. It's the longest I've ever stayed in one place. Loving it here, except for the four-seasons-in-one-day weather.

My dream right now is to relocate for a couple of years or so to Singapore, because I've loved my visits there!

stray
02-19-2013, 04:37 PM
Born in the UK, moved to Bangkok, Thailand when I was twenty-four. Still here twelve years later. I love the pollution, the crazy lights, the madness of the crowds. Travel and relocation is great fodder for fiction.

AbsoluteKoala
02-20-2013, 07:30 AM
Sign me up to the nomad group! Originally Scottish and lived there until my mid-twenties, but since then I've lived in the Netherlands, briefly in Canada, San Francisco, London, Sydney and now Denver.

We were in Sydney for eight years and I felt very settled there - I now have joint UK/Australian citizenship. Denver is good so far, but I still miss my Aussie home.

L M Ashton
02-21-2013, 03:55 PM
My dream right now is to relocate for a couple of years or so to Singapore, because I've loved my visits there!
We've been in Singapore for the last year. The cost of living here is very high, so be warned. But leave that aside, and life here is wonderful. Multicultural, lovely cuisine, cheap and efficient mass transit, clean and green city... :)

Receding Waters
02-23-2013, 04:59 PM
How have I just found this thread? Insane.

I've been living and teaching in Dalian, China for about a year and a half. Lookin' to stick around for a few more years. The language is a blast even when some of the customs and negative effects of Guanxi aren't, but I love it all. Except maybe the pollution. Back home in the States I went three years with barely a sniffle, but I can't seem to go three months without thinking I'm dying of some rare disease here.

I've gotten to a few places here in China and met some great people from all around the world that I still keep in contact with, but most recently I visited Thailand. That was pretty cool, but I'm not a fan of the heat. I like me some fall and winter.

I've been kickin' around some ideas for a new story that include blending a few details about European history and the Chinese legends of the White Snake. I'm a few thousand words into it, but I'm taking my time on the story. Still focusing on polishing my latest MS before moving on.

I'm interested in learning how living abroad has influenced other writers' writing. Not just the experiences that make for good story-telling, but the mentality or the thought processes that have changed because of the expat experience.

Any thoughts?

Jordan

TimGavin
03-07-2013, 03:39 AM
Born in Ireland, came to the US when I was fifteen. I love Americans, they are some of the brightest and kindest people I know, even if they do have a habit of speaking through their noses.

GypsyKing
03-22-2013, 05:17 AM
Born in Ireland, came to the US when I was fifteen. I love Americans, they are some of the brightest and kindest people I know, even if they do have a habit of speaking through their noses.


I also am an immigrant from Ireland. And my name is also Tim!

Small, small world. Well, at least our island is small. And very interbred.

Ghostwriter-Mom
03-22-2013, 05:44 AM
Wow, almost every country (or continent at least) is represented here.
I'm Nigerian and I live in Malaysia - been there for 3 years now. What do I miss? I don't know...the food I guess and of course my family's in Nigeria. But my husband and kids are here so that's good. What do I love? I love how laid back Malaysia is and it is a truly beautiful country!

L M Ashton
03-22-2013, 06:00 AM
Wow, almost every country (or continent at least) is represented here.
I'm Nigerian and I live in Malaysia - been there for 3 years now. What do I miss? I don't know...the food I guess and of course my family's in Nigeria. But my husband and kids are here so that's good. What do I love? I love how laid back Malaysia is and it is a truly beautiful country!

Howdy, neighbor! We haven't made it to Malaysia yet, sadly. I want to visit, but... The husband's Sri Lankan, so he has to get a visa ahead of time for nearly every country in the world (with the exception of the Maldives and Singapore), and that's a pain in the patootie... Someday. :)

GypsyKing
03-22-2013, 06:01 AM
Wow, almost every country (or continent at least) is represented here.
I'm Nigerian and I live in Malaysia - been there for 3 years now. What do I miss? I don't know...the food I guess and of course my family's in Nigeria. But my husband and kids are here so that's good. What do I love? I love how laid back Malaysia is and it is a truly beautiful country!

That's good to hear. I'll be honest, I have minimal personal experience with either country, beside there being a large Nigerian immigrant population in Ireland. But from what I hear on the media, I've been under the impression that both nations are a bit tumultuous and somewhat repressive. Is this not the case?

xamich
03-22-2013, 06:10 AM
I miss Bangkok terribly!

I'm Korean, grew up in Singapore, went to university in Switzerland and spent a year working in Bangkok. Now I'm in Canada because my family and I were granted permanent residency. :)

PowerWriter
03-22-2013, 08:50 AM
Born in Wisconsin and have lived in Canada 42 years.

DeaK
03-22-2013, 11:15 AM
I was born in Denmark, moved to Canada at 12 years old. Moved back to Denmark at 25 (to answer the question Am I Danish or Canadian, or what?); moved to Sweden at 26 (well, the answer was neither!); then San Fran, USA for 2 years; and now back to Sweden, where we're planning on staying for a while. It's still winter here, in late March. I miss Cali.

iLion
03-28-2013, 08:43 PM
Great thread idea... thx.

US born American, but grew up in Venezuela where I lived in larger cities like Caracas and Maracaibo, but also in jungle bound communities like Tamare, LaSalinas, Lagunillas, and others for maybe 15 yrs. Loved it. Love the country and the people, exept for Caracas insanity. Life in the jungle is nothing compared to life in that city in terms of crime and poverty, political unrest and high cost of living. I lived there many yrs.

Travel around Caribbean was always incredible.

Now I am so restless... it's killing me to live in the same place (Ohio) so long now. Would go back to certain So. American jungles or the Andes or Caribbean islands in a heart beat.

Every American politician (Feds at least) should be required to live elsewhere for maybe 2 yrs minimum.

I've also lived in PA, TX, FL, WY, TN, WA, and OH. Have been to every state except HI and RI. I love CA and TX the most, but people are amazing and mostly wonderful where ever I go. :)

JDwrites
03-30-2013, 09:12 AM
Canadian here, just returned from almost a decade in Asia with a few gigs in Europe along the way ... trying to wrestle time to increase my writing.

trocadero
03-30-2013, 10:01 AM
Just saw this thread. I'm Australian and have spent the last six years here in Hong Kong. In two years time, I think I'll be looking for an adventure elsewhere—maybe middle east or eastern Europe.

Hong Kong is an amazing city, but very polluted. Great SCBWI group, and lots of authors seem to swing through.

calling33
03-30-2013, 03:34 PM
Just seen this thread. I'm a Brit who's settled down in Sydney, been here for over three years and loving it.

Chris P
03-30-2013, 03:45 PM
I've seen this thread for a while, but never checked it out for some odd reason. I'm American, lived in the former Confederacy for a number of years (well, it FELT like a different country!) and now I'm in Uganda with the Peace Corps.

I guess what I miss the most is the music (progressive rock, alternative, etc) and pay-as-you-go internet doesn't lend itself to streaming. I also miss anonymity! Everybody notices when the muzungu is around. I like just going about my day and not attracting attention. I don't mind the attention from kids until they are all looking over my garden wall watching me do laundry, and I don't mind it from adults as long as it's not followed by "give me!"

Snitchcat
03-31-2013, 06:52 PM
Just saw this thread. I'm Australian and have spent the last six years here in Hong Kong.

Wait. How did I miss that you've been in HK for the last six years??? o,0

Permanent resident here.

Radzeer
04-01-2013, 03:24 AM
Born and raised in Hungary, I have been living in the US since 2001, but lived in Canada for some time too (miss that very much!). Cheers!

njmagas
04-09-2013, 04:48 PM
I was born in Denmark, moved to Canada at 12 years old. Moved back to Denmark at 25 (to answer the question Am I Danish or Canadian, or what?); moved to Sweden at 26 (well, the answer was neither!); then San Fran, USA for 2 years; and now back to Sweden, where we're planning on staying for a while. It's still winter here, in late March. I miss Cali.

Ah~ Danish is in the top three of my sexy languages list, much to the chagrin of my Finnish friends.

I was born in Canada and spent most of my life there before briefly living in San Fran and then moving to Japan where I've been living for three years now with no plan to return any time soon. The original plan was a one year stint, but there's so much to love about Japan, Kansai in particular. The history alone is keeping me mesmerized here.

Things that I miss? Real cheese, cheap produce, clothes that fit me, and the ability to easily raise reptiles.

Ollyj777
04-17-2013, 05:04 PM
Hi, I am UK born, moved to the USA in 2012. Any other Brits hanging around in Connecticut, or the surrounding area?

Describli
04-25-2013, 04:21 PM
Hi everyone, just saw this thread too :-)

My family is British (English, Scottish and Welsh) and I was our first person born in the US. Since then I've lived in the US, England, and now Armenia. We're posted here for 2 years, then maybe on to UAE, Malaysia, or Austria (we don't get to choose).

I would say not getting to choose where I live gives me a go-with-the-flow attitude that transfers over to my writing. Does anyone else have experience w/ that?

Creative Cowboy
05-03-2013, 05:13 PM
Hi there. Creative Cowboy here – the Lucky Luke of expats: a lonely cowboy a long way from home. I came to Poland in 01. In fact, this month is my 12th anniversary. I have lived in Vienna for a short time in ‘88. This gave me the luxury of traveling around Europe while having the base I needed to pursue a career in journalism with UPI and a job at ORF – radio free Europe. I did not accomplish either but what a time, so full of promise for a young university dropout! I returned home to concentrate on business and that was the last I wrote creatively (until recently).

I was self-employed in public relations strategy development (not press writing) between 89 – 01, when I left to come to Poland. I came to find a wife (with what I thought were traditional values without she being a slave). I had enough of the platitudes “be yourself” in response to my complaints about serial dating. I wanted someone that would size me up and be serious.

Anyways, lots of water under that bridge, and I crossed it and found myself broke in Poland. Destitute broke not whiny whinging broke but cannot afford food broke. Food is first, then shelter then clothing. It broke down for me in reverse order until I was ready to eat dry pet food. Ye-haw.

No stories, just the facts. Then someone took pity on me and, well, I eat and have Internet access today. I even got to meet and discuss my story with a big time author a couple of years ago. What a different life. I am now back to writing and working to be a successful writer so I can return home, alone if that’s the way my life plays out, but smart enough to know that if I do not enjoy my writing, it ain’t worth reading. It’s a business model based on the way I used to love writing before I went away to study English literature and began moaning how I will never be the next Fitzgerald. Today it is “do or die” and I better not have that attitude or I will die. So I am in a kind of a happy bubble today despite my continuing dire straights.

I am originally from the place where no one wants an English person like me: Montreal, Quebec. If you know the politics of language there and the problems they cause everyone regardless of which language they speak, you know of what I faced. Not unlike Poland but Poland is more welcoming: polite if not friendly. It was really difficult to give up my entrepreneurial habits –those enculturated knee-jerk reactions to every good opportunity to come my way and to energetically develop every possibility to find work that has not paid but drained my coffers in Poland. These habits make great procrastination tools when staring at a blank page – and they rationalize so well.

So, for the meantime, I am content with being a bum and I have an understanding sponsor. Now top that if you can for something to be grateful for/to! I am also honest. I call’em as I see’em, which translates to “take from me what you like and leave the rest.” Beware that when I offer criticism, which is the reason I have returned to AbsoluteWrite!

It is my turn to repay the help I have received here.

A) What's it mean to you? What do you miss, what are you glad about?


Being an expat means different things to different people. I fell out of the sky into Poland and that colours my picture of the situation as surely as the seconded CEO sent from HQ has a different colour of Poland. I am absolutely alone. I am a ghost – a nondescript form wandering the streets with only my own internal dialogue for company to wrestle me to life. Everything is foreign to me, including the foreigners. My isolation matches the loneliness in my heart. In that respect, I finally fit. So it’s a paradox.

I miss many things and I have had to turn to eBay over the last decade to return useful items to me. You would be surprised what material goods Poland lacks.

Razor blades not made out of crap aluminum, which nicks me and easily dulls
Irish Spring soap
Decent staplers (to staple 30 pages, not 2)
File folders
Duo tangs
Standardized toilet seats because one-size does not fit all here
Paint that stays on the wall when the wall is wiped
Cast iron frying pans
Universal healthcare
Coffee that tastes like coffee and not Confederate chicory
Peanut butter
Smoked meat sandwiches
Access to North American hockey and baseball
Woven material that has substance from flimsy towels to sheer thin underwear
Tube socks that seem to last me forever, unlike the painted nylon that feels like pantyhose

I miss other things too, not just consumer goods:
Personal effects of great sentimental value I lost in Canada, like my deceased father’s belongings
Big English book stores that I used to wander into to soak up what’s new on the shelves
A library – period
Speaking with people and arguing points on interesting topics bordering the philosophical
Being friendly and open to everyone
Being on time because it just does not matter in Poland
Relying on people to do what they say because it just does not happen in Poland
Stable friends – i.e. close friends, not beer chums I no longer have the money to support

And, of course, having some basic control in my life beyond how I choose to meet death 24/7.

Then there is the surprising one you won’t read about in Fordor’s Travel Guides: a communication barrier. This is due to an over reliance on getting everything nailed down in the local language that features four dialects (actually 4 different languages so they say) and no one trust amongst anyone because of this over reliance and the multiple languages. This affects everything from buying tickets for the bus at the automatic machine where my benefactor cannot read her own native Polish well enough to know the cost to traveling north or south from Warsaw where they speak a German-Polish (Gdansk area) or a Slavic-mishmash-Polish (Tatra mountains). And you think understanding a Scotsman is difficult?! Or, the situation in Belgium that has three national languages plus Flemish? Poles understand the Czechoslovakian people better than they understand the Tatra mountain Poles. So language is right out, and no one trusts anything less. This I think is the most depressing thing in Poland and it hardly affects me, a foreigner, but it does affect the national character of the people here: polite but not friendly.

So that’s all pretty dismal but not so bad for a shut-in like myself. I have thousands of miles of English Internet radio in a language, dialect and even slang I understand. I also have Youtube. The world is my oyster. This I am grateful for, and Powell’s eBay bookstore as others have mentioned in the last 9 pages. By the way, Powell’s has a Polish connection too.

But there are things in Poland I am grateful for as well.
Excellent bead. I just ate a whole cranberry dark bread the other day.
Superb public transit – published times, routes and on time! No really, on time unlike everything else.
Doctors make housecalls, something when I had the money was important to me – but more so the fact doctors sneak me into their office, treat me like a worthy case and do not charge me when I need their help because there is something more than money left in this profession – just do not mind the unhygienic hospitals. I also like their simple remedies like the time I thought for sure I was dying (and I do not over exaggerate the pain) the paramedics gave me a glass of tomato juice and it worked to my utter astonishment. This kind of common sense foundation to dealing with health problems appeals to me greatly.
Flowers and vegetables have a beautiful perfume here that is as pungent as smelling salts back home
I have a bicycle and there are many castle ruins in the area. Since I write fantasy as well as crime stories this opportunity to spiritually connect to my writing is an unspeakable bonus to me

eBay and Amazon have been godsends to me. My strategy for survival and future sustainability has been to try and return my environment to my teenage years as one way to re-immerse myself into the joy of writing. So I have been able to buy a few vintage teenage things I might blush at relating being a man nearing 50.

And whether I am in Poland or not, I am incalculably grateful to my benefactor who assists me to buy the Bambi sheets I currently sleep in, in the first place. A dedication to this patron is not good enough. And, in this regard, I have many people to whom I am grateful over the years including one that is not a person: my pet ferret who taught me the meaning of perseverance until his death on 4 December 2011.

For the last year, since his death, I have been coping with dramatic depression something that is finally lifting. I am very blessed to have a default attitude that is positive. So the paradox of being a shut-in, shut away from all the negativity that is Poland itself, works like a tonic for me.

B) I'm interested in learning how living abroad has influenced other writers' writing. Not just the experiences that make for good story-telling, but the mentality or the thought processes that have changed because of the expat experience. - Receding Waters


Well, I have mentioned much concerning the diversity of Polish thinking as a foundation of the distrust within the nation. And this allows me to write better characters by shifting points of view – not unlike what GRRM has done with Jamie Lannister. Except, rather than just artificially copy GRRM’s style of portrayal, I can continue to develop my own style from what I have seen occur.

I have always been a pacifist. Sometimes an angry pacifist but still a pacifist and my thinking about characters has been rather black and white to match the dichotomy of those who fight (bad) and those who must fight (good). Watching locals deal with each other and deal with foreigners, getting the stories secondhand from foreigners and natives alike as well as having my own rough times dealing with the same issues, has given me some insight into different culture: the bad and the good.

As I mentioned, thinking I was not the next Scott Fitzgerald was not so much the cop out it sounds as it was the lack of love in my own voice. Now, because of how I must (and I must) deal with my future financial well-being, I have come to appreciate my ability to write more. When I start sharing my work here to seek critique and approbation, I will have that going for me. I am not entirely satisfied with my voice but I know it exists and it is valuable even if it does not currently star Robert Redford or Leonardo Dicaprio.

I have a crime story too and one of the interesting facts I learned about Poland is that a private detective may NOT investigate someone unless there is police activity already on-going with that person. This certainly puts a sharper edge to my noir writing, as well as the experiences I have had in both the expat scene(s) and with the locals. It gives me a certain unique selling point that if I craft it right, would make for a much more interesting telling of the Maltese Falcon, for example.

I also learned that that is just as credible an objective for a writer as is writing the original masterpiece. Harlequin romance and classic literature stand on the same pedestal in my contemporary mind and I no longer listen as much to “great literature.” James Joyce’s Ulysses certainly has that pretext going into its writing but I’d rather Coles Notes it myself. Henry Miller is certainly not in this class and yet? Gatsby is just a fine example of good patient writing. Yet, they all attend to the same pillar in the imagination of English literature. This is not a conclusion I could come to in university because everything I was supposed to read was grand. But, since coming to Poland, my appreciation for this truism has really hit me.

It hits me so hard that I say to myself every time I see Steven Brust’s wikipedia article: Why have I waited this long to do it! That’s a pretty powerful paradigm shift if you ask me. I have to be grateful to that. And time will tell if others are as grateful. LOL.

----
Now look what I found but could not edit into my signature:
I have a sense of exile from thought, a nostalgia of the quiet room and balanced mind. I am a writer, and there comes a time when that which I write has to belong to me, has to be written alone and in silence, with no one looking over my shoulder, no one telling me a better way to write it. It doesn't have to be great writing, it doesn't even have to be terribly good. It just has to be mine. - Raymond Chandler (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Raymond_Chandler)

GBin13
05-20-2013, 01:32 AM
not really sure what this section is about. everyone has been somewhere abroad and writes: that is it or am I missing a point or two? GB

Creative Cowboy
05-21-2013, 11:48 PM
not really sure what this section is about. everyone has been somewhere abroad and writes: that is it or am I missing a point or two? GB

I think the idea of an expat is residing somewhere abroad in a foreign culture. I've been in Poland 12+ years, and I hail from Canada.

So living in a different voivod (Polish for "state" not the music group) for some time in years would be my idea of an expat. Filling taxes in (or from, if double taxed) a different country is a dead giveaway.

Roadlawyer
05-27-2013, 12:31 AM
Born in the US but living in Italy for the last 5 years. I have dual citizenship which makes living here much easier, but I'd love it anyway. The only thing I miss is Mexican food.

L M Ashton
05-31-2013, 02:52 PM
not really sure what this section is about. everyone has been somewhere abroad and writes: that is it or am I missing a point or two? GB
We're all expats, short for expatriates, meaning we're all living in a country other than the one we were born in/have citizenship in.

I was born in Canada and lived there until I was 35. Since then, I've lived mostly in Sri Lanka with a bit of time in New Zealand, but now live in Singapore. As one example.

wilchris
06-10-2013, 01:48 PM
Born in the UK, brought up in Kenya, then back to Britain for thirty odd years, then moved to Bangkok five years ago and love it!

Chris P
06-10-2013, 02:05 PM
Born in the UK, brought up in Kenya, then back to Britain for thirty odd years, then moved to Bangkok five years ago and love it!

Southeast Asia seems to be the place to be nowadays. A lot of people I know pass through especially Thailand after they finish their Peace Corps service on the way back home. TBH I've never thought much about that part of the world. Perhaps I should start!

wilchris
06-10-2013, 04:19 PM
Southeast Asia seems to be the place to be nowadays. A lot of people I know pass through especially Thailand after they finish their Peace Corps service on the way back home. TBH I've never thought much about that part of the world. Perhaps I should start!
You should try it. Special places, special people and wonderful food!

PowerWriter
06-19-2013, 02:13 PM
Two weeks ago I became a Canadian citizen. It is ironic that one of the big reasons for doing this is so I can leave the country. I now have full mobility between America and Canada. Do I even want to go back and work after 43 years abroad? Maybe I should move to Mexico.

Hilary
06-28-2013, 12:26 AM
Born in the UK, lived in Gibraltar for a while, now in New Zealand. Have the romantic idea of living a more simple life on a small(er) Pacific Island, but then how would I get my shopping rush or morning latte!

williemeikle
06-28-2013, 12:33 AM
Born and raised in Ayrshire, Scotland, also lived in London for 10 years.

Moved here to the east coast of Newfoundland in 2007 when I quit my job in IT and decided to write for a living.

Live on a house on the shore with a great view in a quiet fishing town, and haven't regretted a second of it.

by_the_way
07-22-2013, 02:48 AM
Born in the States, spent my childhood in Scotland, moved back to a different part of the States, early teen years in Rwanda, now moving to yet another part of the States. I'm one of those expats who can't stand to be in their home country so I'm hoping to attend uni somewhere in Europe!

Josemxr
07-22-2013, 10:31 PM
The word does not finish in your village, living abroad makes grow as person.

Electricista Urgencias (http://http://www.madridelectricistasdirectos.com/Urgencias.html)

by_the_way
07-23-2013, 09:19 AM
The word does not finish in your village, living abroad makes grow as person.


I completely agree. Experiencing cultures completely separate from one's own, in my opinion, makes one more of a person.

Silent Rob
07-23-2013, 12:27 PM
Can't believe I haven't noticed this thread before! Salutations, world travellers!

I'm a Brit, but I spent my childhood in South Africa and the Netherlands, then back to the UK until a year and a half ago, when I came to Germany. I'd love to end up in New Zealand at some point.

jessicabucher
08-01-2013, 09:18 PM
What a great thread!
I'm an American living in a small village in the south of Germany. While I feel terribly isolated at times, it's a dreamy, romantic place to live for sure!

Any other Germany dwellers here?

SaraP
08-01-2013, 09:43 PM
Welcome to AW, Jessica, and to the International District. :welcome:

Silent Rob
08-09-2013, 12:57 PM
What a great thread!
I'm an American living in a small village in the south of Germany. While I feel terribly isolated at times, it's a dreamy, romantic place to live for sure!

Any other Germany dwellers here?

Hi Jessica. Welcome to AW!


I'm in Heidelberg, beloved of Mark Twain and a million other tourists.

I wouldn't describe it as either dreamy or romantic, but it's certainly a nice place to live!

SophieHWeisman
08-17-2013, 11:27 PM
Who's moved around the world? Where'd you come from, where have you been, where are you now? What's it mean to you? What do you miss, what are you glad about?

I'm an American, but I've been in Australia now for seventeen years - it was supposed to be a short-term stay, but I'll stay here.

I was happy in the US and would be again, but I fell completely in love with Australia when I arrived. I blog (http://poetinahat.blogspot.com/) - very slowly and very lazily - we're talking years here - about all the reasons I love Australia.

I have been here 17 years also. I love the lifestyle and climate. I love how seriously Australians take sports and outdoor leisure activities. I miss being able to complain with passion without putting people off and generally engage people with that "I just know where you are coming from" feeling.
I have just completed my first manuscript.

SophieHWeisman
08-17-2013, 11:31 PM
That is a lot of moving around! What do you write?

aruna
08-18-2013, 09:35 AM
What a great thread!
I'm an American living in a small village in the south of Germany. While I feel terribly isolated at times, it's a dreamy, romantic place to live for sure!

Any other Germany dwellers here?

I also live in a small village in South Germany...


Hi Jessica. Welcome to AW!


I'm in Heidelberg, beloved of Mark Twain and a million other tourists.

I wouldn't describe it as either dreamy or romantic, but it's certainly a nice place to live!


I also live near Heidelberg!

Do you guys know about Toytown Germany? (http://www.toytowngermany.com/forum/)It's worth joining, for the company and for any questions you might have on life in Germany.

Ramsay
08-26-2013, 07:46 AM
Hello, everyone. I'm American, but I lived in England for several years. I absolutely loved it. We lived up in York. It's in Northern England, and it's just beautiful. It started off as a Roman city, then became a Viking settlement, and then Lord knows what else. I loved having all that history on my doorstep.

LGallier
09-18-2013, 01:01 AM
Evening all, I was born and raised in England but planned on escaping from a young age. I always figured I'd end up in New Zealand but I moved to Prague this spring! I'm so glad I did, I feel like I'm finally home. I adore this city.

L M Ashton
09-19-2013, 03:53 PM
Welcome!

LGallier, have to admit I'd love to go to Prague. It's just fascinated me for so long.

Kaitlin Brianna
12-16-2013, 09:18 AM
I'm an American who has lived in Beijing for the past two years. I work for a Chinese tech company here. Previously I taught English in Taiwan for a while.

What I miss (other than family of course): Clean air, green spaces, being anonymous, and cheese.

What I like: Beijing is a happening place. I meet so many interesting people here, both Chinese and expat. And being able to string together a coherent English sentence is a legitimate job skill.

FionnJameson
12-17-2013, 12:58 PM
I'm an American who has lived in Beijing for the past two years. I work for a Chinese tech company here. Previously I taught English in Taiwan for a while.

What I miss (other than family of course): Clean air, green spaces, being anonymous, and cheese.

What I like: Beijing is a happening place. I meet so many interesting people here, both Chinese and expat. And being able to string together a coherent English sentence is a legitimate job skill.

Hey, Kaitlin. :) Nice to meet another expat in China!

I'm a born and raised Californian, spent six years in Korea for college and then some, then moved to Chicago for three years, and now I'm in Hangzhou, China. :D

Kaitlin Brianna
12-18-2013, 05:43 AM
Hey, Kaitlin. :) Nice to meet another expat in China!

I'm a born and raised Californian, spent six years in Korea for college and then some, then moved to Chicago for three years, and now I'm in Hangzhou, China. :D

Hi! I love Hangzhou. I actually lived there briefly when I was just 4 yrs old... memories are a little fuzzy, haha. When I decided to move to China as an adult I was kind of hoping I would end up there, but here I am in smoggy Beijing. Oh well. :-)

FionnJameson
12-18-2013, 09:56 AM
When I decided to move to China as an adult I was kind of hoping I would end up there, but here I am in smoggy Beijing. Oh well. :-)

Ugh, I feel soo bad for you! I know the last few weeks the smog has been just horrible down here...I've heard horror stories about how bad it is in Beijing :(