Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Thanks for the feedback on our podcast!

A big thank you to everyone who wrote in with valuable feedback on our first podcast.

As a result of those comments I'm delighted to say that we now have a RSS feed at http://www.expatfocus.com/podcast.xml for those who wish to subscribe and be kept informed about future shows and we also have a downloadable MP3 file for anyone who would prefer to download the first show to their PC/iPod/etc.

Thanks again and keep those comments coming!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Expat Focus podcast (radio show) launched

Today sees the launch of the Expat Focus podcast (a radio show you can listen to or download from the internet for those who aren't familiar with the term!)

In our first show we talk to expat author, and Expat Focus columnist, Toni Hargis about her writing career and what it takes to make a living in the world of expatriate books and blogs. We also talk to Oliver Heslop to get his expert advice on expat UK taxation matters.

We hope you enjoy the podcast and welcome feedback and suggestions for future shows!

Listen to the podcast at http://www.expatfocus.com/podcast

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

“Successful Living Abroad” - Video Lecture Series to Help Expatriate Families Relocate Overseas

‘Successful Living Abroad’ is an 18-part on-line global lecture series based on the expatriate family book series by ExpatExpert.com author Robin Pascoe. Each short segment (one hour in total if watched all at once) addresses themes of global mobility as examined in Pascoe’s books: challenges for the accompanying expat spouse; raising children abroad; relocating a relationship; and finally, coming home again (repatriation.)

Watch the videos at http://www.expatexpert.com/video_lectures

Friday, August 20, 2010

The World at your Fingertips

by Expat Focus columnist, Toni Hargis

Toni Hargis
About the Author

Toni Hargis is the author of the popular expat book "Rules, Britannia; An Insider’s Guide to Life in the United Kingdom" and blogs as Expat Mum

If you'd moved thousands of miles across the Pond in 1990 like I did, it wasn't such a big deal. Television had given us details about many countries around the world so it was hardly an unknown quantity; even less so for me as I was moving to the USA. Although I now know the two countries can be quite different at times, television had made it seem so familiar that there was little anxiety before my move. I often wonder what early nineteenth and eighteenth century emigrants to American or Australia must have felt like - leaving families behind in Europe, knowing that they would probably never see them again and having at best, an unreliable mail service for communication. The Proclaimers' song "Letter from America" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-OzdiaJZkw) tells such a story.

These days, with the advent of the Internet, it sometimes seems like global relocation is no more arduous than popping down to your local supermarket for a pint of milk. Web sites and blogs such as Expat Focus mean that would-be emigrants and global nomads can literally find a house to rent on the other side of the world before setting foot outside their own country. Visa applications can often be tracked online, somewhat alleviating that arduous process. Isn't it great?

Recently on my Expat Mum blog, I had a request for information from an English woman about to move to the Chicago suburbs. Not only was I able to answer her questions, but by posting her letter on my blog, my readers added to my response. It might not sound like much, but knowing not to bother buying a winter coat in the UK (more expensive and not up to the job) is one less thing to worry about when you're in the throes of packing your life up into moving boxes. Additionally, she'll hear from people who have less of a horror about the remote suburbs than I do, and thus will end up with a more balanced picture...

Read more at http://www.expatfocus.com/toni-hargis

Two Old Fools on a Camel

by Expat Focus columnist, Victoria Twead

Victoria Twead
Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools About the Author

Victoria Twead is the author of the popular expat book Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools and co-leader of the Expat Focus Spain forum

Ironic isn’t it? Our grapes will be ready in a couple of weeks, but we won’t be eating them. They’ve never looked better; plump, blushing purple, huge heavy bunches ripening in the Spanish sun. And we’ll never taste them.

They are building a new council building in the village which should be ready in time for the Fiesta. But we won’t attend the opening celebration. And we won’t be dancing at the Fiesta.

I’m busy writing the sequel to ‘Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools’. It will be called ‘Two Old Fools - OlĂ©’ but I won’t finish it here in Spain, in our village.

Isn’t it astonishing how one click of the mouse can change your life forever?

It was Joe’s fault, of course. We haven’t actually been employed since 2004 when we moved to Spain. We manage quite well, but the battering the Euro has taken in the Credit Crunch hasn’t helped our finances. So when Joe saw an advertisement for teaching posts in Bahrain, he applied.

To our amazement, the response was immediate. “Mr Joe, We are most interested in your application. Please forward copies of your qualifications.” So he did.

Then it snowballed. Not only did the Bahraini school want Joe as a Maths teacher, but they wanted me, too, to teach English in their Middle School. The salary isn’t huge, but it’s tax-free, and they will provide a two-bedroomed flat with all utilities paid, medical insurance, flights to and from Bahrain and transport to work. And the best part? It’s only for ONE YEAR...

Read more at http://www.expatfocus.com/victoria-twead

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Have your say on the Expat Focus radio show/podcast!

Expat Focus will shortly be producing a radio show/podcast where we discuss expat issues, talk to expats and interview expat service providers.

Would you be interested in participating in an upcoming show? The shows will be short (around 10 minutes in length) with each individual interview/discussion expected to last no more than 5 minutes.

We're particularly interested in hearing from expats who have met some kind of adversity when moving abroad so that others can be warned of potential challenges or dangers but it won't all be doom and gloom - we want to hear the success stories too!

If you'd like to be involved (interviews will be carried out by phone or Skype) or would like to learn more please email Carole at carole@expatfocus.com without obligation. Please include a brief description of your background and what subject matter you would like to discuss, thank you!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Household Clearances in the Sydney Suburbs

by Lesley Snell of Northern Beaches Know-How

Every six months or so somewhere in a Sydney suburb a "Household Clearance" day is happening...

On this day households are allowed to pile their grass verges (called nature strips here) with all manner of rubbish. Some households will only put out a small neat pile while others will spend the whole day trailing up and down their driveways piling up their verge until little or no grass can be seen! I actually love "chuck out" day - I take the dog on a long meandering walk and casually mooch around to see what I can find. I am currently looking for an old hanging chandelier which I can covert into a tasteful outdoor tealight holder (as seen in the "Home and Garden" Magazine March issue) but no luck so far...

Seems like I am not the only one to relish this special day ...Streets are suddenly filled with white vans trawling up and down looking for aluminum items and electrical wire that can be sold and recycled. Others are looking for old bikes to repair and the gardeners come out to salvage old pots and useful pieces of fencing.

This day also seems to bring out hoards of local kids (mine included) who will spend the day playing with old broken toys, riding down the driveways on old office chairs and making racing carts from old bits of wood.

Yes chuck out is somewhat of an event in my neighborhood!! They say you can tell a lot from what people throw out...so here are my top ten items that I ALWAYS see in the rubbish piles...

Old barbecues
Outdoor furniture (broken and well used)
Surfboards and bodyboards (damaged)
Pool toys (noodles etc)
Kids bikes
Laundry baskets
Broken fans
Twisted wine racks.
Plasma TV boxes (great for watching sport)

Northern Beaches Lifestyle in a nutshell !!!!!!!

Meanwhile I will keep looking for my chandelier...

Lesley runs a relocation service on the Northern Beaches in Sydney. Helping families locate the schools and services they need.

Email: lesley@northernbeachesknow-how.com.au
Website: www.northernbeachesknow-how.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/northernbeaches

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Ramazan Experience in Turkey

by Margy, Forum Leader in the Expat Focus Turkey Forum

Mosques lit up during Ramazan
Mosques lit up during Ramazan

On August 11th 2010 the holy month of Ramazan starts. One of the first things I usually notice is the arrival of packets of dates in the supermarkets - one can’t generally find them at other times of the year. Many people like to break their fast with a sip of water and a date or an olive. My dear old father-in-law used to.

In recent years there has been the introduction of various types and prices of Erzak box. Every supermarket has a choice of them on sale. Erzak means supplies or provisions, so these Erzak boxes are given to people one wishes to remember and help during the month of fasting. The box might have a packet of sugar, a packet of tea, a bottle of oil and some other groceries. It’s a handy way of letting people know you care about them, are thinking about them during this special time and of fulfilling Ramazan duties. Many people have some idea about what happens during Ramazan. Fasting is from sunrise to sunset, no food or drink must pass the lips. The time is also used to offer more prayers, ask for guidance and forgiveness as well try to perform good deeds and practice self-restraint.

Is it all right to eat and drink outside during Ramazan in Turkey? In my opinion the answer is yes and no. When in Rome, do as the Romans do is a good rule of thumb. If you are in a touristic area and many people are sitting outside in cafes etc. having a meal or a drink, then it’s fine. If one is in a street, region, village or town where there don’t seem to be any restaurants open let alone people munching away as they go about their business, then it would be wise and courteous to refrain. Staff working in eating places might be fasting themselves but are happy to serve customers. There may not be seating outside in certain places but it is fine to sit inside to have a meal. Alcohol may not be available in certain areas and again it’s best to use one’s discretion.

The breaking of the fast meal at sunset is called Iftar. In some towns and cities notice that it’s time to break the fast is given by having a canon go off! Otherwise people just listen out for the ezan, the call to prayer. Delicious flat pide bread is served along with soup and light dishes of different vegetables. Heavier meals may be served later. Some hotels and restaurants serve elegant, luxurious banquets; while local municipalities serve free meals and everyone is welcome.

It is a tradition for drummers to go around in the middle of the night to wake people who wish to fast so that they can prepare and eat the early morning meal before sunrise, called Sahur. If one doesn’t know what’s going on, the drumming can be very loud and even frightening!

Another lovely tradition is that the mosques and minarets are lit up with many lights, some even spell out beautiful phrases. One example is ‘Intercede for us, Prophet of God.’

Being in Turkey at Ramazan can be an exciting, interesting and joyful experience!

If you would like more information about life in Turkey or have any questions please visit our Turkey Guide or our Turkey Forum where you will be made very welcome!

Expatsradio.com - the very best in expat broadcast media is on air!

Bored with the same old weary, dreary topics cropping up again and again in the expat media? Well, not any more!

The all-new, re-launched www.expatsradio.com is hitting new heights in both listener statistics and exciting programming and is reaching a brand new audience.

So, from today, why settle for anything less than something that really excites and entertains you?

With our hugely varied menu of on-demand programmes - covering topics such as travel, expat lifestyle, cookery, horoscopes, technical issues, music, celebrity authors reading their own stories, and 24-hour rolling international news – you and your family can listen to exactly what you want... exactly when you want it wherever you are.

Who is behind this venture? The station was founded by Peter Anstis in 2005. Involved in audio, music and the media since the sixties - Peter has been an engineer in major studios, and has worked in audio and video as a musician, producer and director. A number of his company’s productions have won prestigious national and international awards. At the same time, he has had a long-term involvement in language education and training - and has been responsible for many foreign language versions/dubs of UK productions. A committed expat supporter, Peter continues his broadcast career as Media Director at www.expatsradio.com

We want to introduce you to topics that are...fun, interesting, practical or just plain bizarre! Very soon you will wonder what you did without us, and our hand-picked team of presenters will very quickly become familiar on-line friends. And you don't have to sit back and wait for something you like to pop up. Get involved - tell us what you want to hear, and we’ll do our very best to provide it! Music, competitions, chat, advice and entertainment – if www.expatsradio.com is not covering your particular interest, tell us! Our presenters and the team are all keen to bring you something you will enjoy because, let's face it, without you we are talking to ourselves!

Don't miss out - Wherever you are, Expatsradio.com is here to help and entertain you... on air and online!