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┬áled 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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How to get around by taxi, Uber and Beat in Santiago, Chile

I’ve been too scared to drive since I arrived in Chile. Perhaps it’s dumb, but the traffic rules are soooo confusing for us newcomers. More to the point, I’m pregnant and rather sick, and I don’t fancy throwing up on the steering wheel. Besides, getting by taxi in Santiago is easy and cheap. I live centrally and I have been…
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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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Is Chile a good place to live?

Is Chile a good place to live? Is Santiago a good place to live? I recently got a lovely email from a lady contemplating a move from London to Santiago, asking the above questions. I started replying to her in person, but then I figured the advice would be very useful to many others, so here goes… Healthcare. If you’re…
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