Life as an expatriate: Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. …

Last month was quite tough for me. I’m optimistic that things are improving though. I’ve laid down some ground rules. I’ve reset my priorities. I’ve been overwhelmed with support from all corners of the globe. My family and friends are awesome. It’s been interesting to see the way my Expater friends replied. Nine times out of ten, those living abroad…
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Expat mums: is this the craziest school admission process ever?

I guess if you’re reading this you’ve gone through it already or are about to face it. You thought the house move was tough. You find it hard to master your new local language, but nothing prepared you for… the dreaded school application process. School admissions can be a stressful process no matter your country. I’ve heard stories of parents…
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My most embarrassing, bizarre and surreal expat moments

Expat life is a funny thing. Funny as in odd, and funny as in hilarious. We’re thrown into situations we wouldn’t normally experience back ‘home’, where we don’t speak the local language, where we don’t understand the local culture and we’re perhaps a bit more brazen because we have to get on and get things organised. Here’s a collection of…
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My semester at a Syrian mosque: Islamic dress, spies and Britney Spears

I lived in Syria, pre civil war, before it became known to many as hell on earth, for about six months. A chance chat with a lovely beautician led me to rent a room in her home. To say that Syria was nothing like today is an understatement. After a few months studying Arabic at the University of Damascus, I still…
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Worst week of my expat life. Bet you’ve been there too.

I’m pregnant. I had written a lovely, cheerful post about how the doctor tricked me into thinking I was having triplets and how relieved I was to be having ‘just’ one. I’m overjoyed to be having another child. This is not the story, though. Back to the crap. After all, that’s the interesting bit. And more importantly, Expaters, this is…
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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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How a nanny can help you bond with your expat kids

I’ve written before about how nannies can help. I’ve never felt it as much as here in Chile. We arrived in Santiago a month ago after a nightmare journey and I collapsed upon arrival in our temporary apartment. We’d talked about getting a temporary nanny to help out, but I’d complained to my husband that I didn’t want anyone showing…
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Chile: First impressions

I’ve been in Santiago, Chile for a month now and thought to share my first impressions in a quick update. There are lots of skyscrapers, gigantic shiny glass buildings and more are on the way. Does the building work ever stop? British supermarket brands reign supreme. Waitrose, Tesco, Asda… they’re all here. And a Chilean version of Boots the chemist…
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£20 cucumbers and 20 pence sandwiches. The weird and wonderful costs of expat life

I’ve been in Santiago, Chile for a fortnight now. It seems like most of that time I’ve spent in supermarkets. Who knew a one year old could eat so many bananas? Santiago is not a cheap city. Mind you, today a fantastic manicure and pedicure cost me just £25. Avocados and watermelon are as good as free compared to the U.K.…
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‘Oi, Fatty!’ and other Latin American terms of endearment

Recently I read a debate on a Brazilian forum about the use of ‘gordito‘ (fatty) as a term of endearment. It turns out that the phrase is in common use here in Chile too. At the supermarket, I heard a mother shout to her child ‘hey fatty, get over here,’ before plonking a big kiss on his forehead. I’ve also…
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