Chile is wonderful and oh so weird. Top ten super weird cultural …

We’ve been in Chile seven months now and we love it. As a Brit I find Chile sunny, friendly, fun… and at times rather weird. Here’s a top ten of things I find funny, unusual or downright hilarious: When born, babies often have their heads shaved. I’ve asked why… some have told me it makes the hair grow back differently,…
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Cultural tradition or cultural appropriation?

Last week my children celebrated ‘Mapuche week’ at their nursery. If like me, you’re clueless as to what Mapuche means, well I checked and according to Wikipedia they’re ‘a group of indigenous inhabitants of south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina, including parts of present-day Patagonia’. I went to a market seller and asked for a Mapuche costume and was handed a couple…
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How Chileans are the most horrid people in the world

Chileans are the most rude, impatient, horrid people I’ve ever met. There. I’ve said it. But hold up, hold up… They’re actually the loveliest too. Say what? Well, they’re the nicest in that they are so, so helpful. As a pregnant lady whose had her fair share of baby bump issues, I can’t thank the general public enough. The security…
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British expats – is this the single most annoying thing about life abroad?

Last week I was at the supermarket here in Chile. I chose an aisle because there was just one man in front with very few items. When asked to pay he took out a bag of coins and counted them out, one by one. ‘Oh, how much did you say?’ he asked. Then he started all over again. ‘Ah, wait……
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Did you know the meaning behind these Christmas traditions? Clue: look to …

Unlike most British tabloid newspapers would lead you to believe, I’m proudly British and I love Germany. Why? Because I also love Christmas. I studied German at university, mostly based on its year abroad programme. Some chose to learn French in Martinique, others Spanish in Colombia, but I yearned after a winter in Bavaria. If anyone knows how to do…
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The British are weird – customs and etiquette for surviving British culture

Carpets in bathrooms, apologising when we’re not really sorry, and endless talk about the weather. Yes, we Brits are weird. My husband is Spanish and despite being married to a Brit and having lived in the UK himself, there are a few traditions and customs he just can’t get his head round. For any expats in the UK, here’s a…
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Don’t cut your egg in Spain and other table manner rules

My Spanish husband and I agree to disagree on many things. One thing we cannot agree on however, is table manners. It seems that we attended different etiquette schools in our youth. The Spanish and English rules are not just different, but contradictory. I’ll stare at elbows of random Spanish people in cafés, swallowing the rage to the back of…
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Why is it bad luck to pass salt in Spain?

Last week I was getting a facial and the facialist shrieked ‘stop!’ as I went upstairs to the treatment room. Another beautician was rushing down and apparently it’s common knowledge that you never cross someone on the stairs for fear of bad luck. This got me thinking about all the superstitions I’ve learnt in all the places I’ve lived. In…
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Swiss culture: Don’t cut your salad and other top tips

I lived in Switzerland for one glorious year. If you’re new to the country you may question my affection for my Helvetic friend. Your neighbours don’t like you, you get told off for mowing your lawn and your work colleagues stare at you when you eat. While it may seem like any other Schengen country, and while it feels European…
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10 things all returning British Expaters can relate to (and love)

My temporary stay back ‘home’ in the UK is taking longer than I envisaged. Some days I crave Delhi sunshine, at other times I miss Antwerp’s fashion scene and I often dream about the clean air of Lausanne. OK, yes, we’re on a downward path to Brexit but all is not lost just yet. Right now I’m really enjoying the UK……
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