Ten Years On: Sabine

It’s been ten years since I started my big foreign adventure. In this loose series, I talk to the immigrants I met in 2005 and those I’m only meeting now. They all tell me a bit about the changes that the last decade has brought for them. Read More Ten Years On: Sabine

Expat Ramblings: Make the Most of Your Language!

Over in Facebookland, a friend of mine recently posted a link to an expat’s blog post. In it, the writer expressed her fear of losing her native language while living abroad and not using it the way she used to. My friend and many other expats shared her concerns. And while I can relate to many of the examples used in the article, I’m not convinced. Read More Expat Ramblings: Make the Most of Your Language!

Expat Ramblings: English Politeness

Ah, yes, the English. While not giving anything away about themselves, they always manage to stay perfectly polite, with impeccable manners, stiff upper lip, shame about the weather, tally-ho, pip pip. Jolly good. Only it’s a trap! Read More Expat Ramblings: English Politeness

10-Second Anecdotes That Reveal Too Much About Me: Karo

One of the side effects of having a regular column is revealing things about yourself little by little, until you stop noticing how much personal stuff you’re actually telling perfect strangers. To pre-empt a slow and boring process, let me just tell you everything there is to know right now, and be done with it. Read More 10-Second Anecdotes That Reveal Too Much About Me: Karo

You’ve Stollen My Heart

No, that’s not a typo. It’s a super clever/punny reference to one of my favorite Christmastime treats: stollen. This German treat is not exclusively found around Christmas, but that’s really its time to shine. It is basically a coffee cake, filled with fruit and/or nuts and covered with confectioner’s sugar. It’s not Christmas in the McDoogal house until we break out the stollen (although it’s anyone’s guess as to how a German tradition became part of an Irish-Italian household). My brother, at 30 still a bit of a messy eater, always ends up with powdered sugar in an implausibly large ring around his mouth. My barking at him to stop being a slob is a Christmas tradition I hold dear. Read More You’ve Stollen My Heart