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Why I’m in Israel

Why I’m in Israel

Jerusalem, July 23, 2014 When I told people several months ago that I was planning to go to Israel, their reaction was usually “Oh, how interesting! I’d love to go there someday!” or “Really? How exciting!” By the time I told people a couple of weeks ago about our trip, their reaction had changed to…

How Americans see the Dutch

How Americans see the Dutch

When I posted about how the Dutch see the Americans, it wasn’t particularly complimentary, so I promised to write the opposite post: how the Americans see the Dutch. (Nederlands vertaling beneden) Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you click on one of them and spend money, I will receive a small percentage of what…

Advice for Expats: 12 Tips

Advice for Expats: 12 Tips

There are two kinds of expatriates: the kind who move to a foreign country to seize an opportunity for a job or education or retirement, and the kind who move to a foreign country for love. Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you click on one of them and make a purchase, I will…

Bicycle baptism

Bicycle baptism

All we were trying to do was to get out of the car while it was stopped in traffic. The plan was to walk to the restaurant two blocks away while my husband went to park the car. It made sense. I stepped out on the right side, but not before saying to the kids…

The Dutch and their bicycles

The Dutch and their bicycles

I’ve pointed out before that one of the things I like about the Dutch is that they ride bicycles. And it’s not just that it’s politically correct, non-polluting, and good exercise. I’ve lived here for 15 years, and the way the Dutch use their bicycles never ceases to amaze me. For example, to the Dutch…

Chinese Tourists

Chinese Tourists

Everywhere we’ve gone so far, there have been very few foreign tourists like us. Most of the tourists — and in some places all of the tourists — are Chinese. Sometimes they’re in pairs or families, sometimes in groups. When they’re in a group, even if it’s just 5 or 6 people, they hire a…

Conspicuous Consumption

Conspicuous Consumption

In my last entry, I mentioned how it seemed to me that the Chinese have wholeheartedly embraced conspicuous consumption. Visiting the Forbidden City the other day emphasized that for me. You could say that the emperors of pre-revolutionary China were the originators of the concept for this part of the world. They represent the ultimate…

On not being a VIP in Rome

On not being a VIP in Rome

We were in Rome yesterday and the day before, but apparently so were representatives of the G8 nations and other VIPs. Sights/sites closed or opened arbitrarily to accommodate their whistle-stop visits. A note from 2020: I wrote this post back in 2009, one of my earliest ones. I usually try to keep my articles useful…

How to be Dutch

How to be Dutch

Here’s something I wrote about five years ago, but it still applies! How to Be Dutch There’s been a lot of talk in Holland lately about immigrants and about how and how much we should adapt ourselves into the Dutch culture. Clearly we need to learn Dutch, no question about that. But there’s more to…