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From Our Own Correspondent, 2013

(131 Posts)
Salbertina Mon 09-Sep-13 06:33:57

If I may? Loads of us seem keen. Idea is to post a little about your daily life overseas or a particular trip, event etc of interest, modelled on the R4 programme.

Got the school run but shall think of something to post later.

butterfliesinmytummy Fri 13-Sep-13 02:31:12

Love reflexology MasteroftheYoniverse and you are right about the thin line. I used to go to a place in Singapore staffed by blind reflexologists and I knew they could feel me wincing even though they couldn't see it! Enjoy grin

BillyGoatintheBuff Fri 13-Sep-13 02:40:55

I'd love to join in, this is such an interesting thread so far! But I have been stick in our unit for a whole week with two ill LO's. Argh! It feels like we're on lock down, meanwhile in the outside world a new PM has been voted in and all sorts of other things, but who knows because I haven't been outside so it all feels totally unreal!

thanksamillion Fri 13-Sep-13 10:04:29

Today it's raining. This morning when I left with DD to go to kindergarten it was raining a little but by the time I got there it was pouring. Out of 18 children only 6 turned up and one of them is the son of the teacher!

I can understand it - there are no paved roads/paths and most of the soil is clay so very slippy. The village is split half up and half at the bottom of a very steep hill (kindergarten at the top, our house at the base) and most people don't have suitable footwear.

But I still can't get over children having a day off for rain!

Shanghaidiva Sun 15-Sep-13 08:43:43

Two "uniquely China" experiences to report.
Was in Auchan supermarket this week and turned around to find a local lady having a good rummage through my shopping trolley. No doubt part of her research on what do those strange foreigners eat. What meals can you make with 6 bars of dairy milk...?
Popped out to the local supermarket today and crossing the street outside by compound observed a guy driving a fork lift truck across a 5 lane road!

Salbertina Sun 15-Sep-13 09:01:17

So a poor strike-breaking petrol pump attendant got shot dead for turning up to his £47 a week job. Most petrol stations closed. This country would disintegrate without petrol- very poor public transport network. People wondering whether to panic or if it'll all blow over. And will the companies up their paltry set wage?

TheRunawayTrain Sun 15-Sep-13 15:13:54

Hi. I'm in the US at the moment- lived in Ecuador for fourteen years, then Hawaii for the last year for work, and we are moving back to Ecuador soon. Currently here though, for work arrangements etc; for a month.

It was good today. Went by small plane (they're very cheap trips because of island hopping) to San Cristobal island. We lived/will live on Isabela island (Galapagos) so it was an interesting change. Everyone knows everyone. I asked the taxi (well, a pickup truck) driver to take me to xx street and he laughed hmm I could have said the name of the person I wanted to go to, and he'd have happily taken me and known who I was talking about. Been away for too long! A sea lion chased two children up the beach (they were messing around) which was scary, they're a bit smaller than Californian sessions but they bark loudly and can be quite vicious.

And I can kick off my shoes and walk down the streets bare foot thanks to sand roads. Best place ever smile

MasterOfTheYoniverse Sun 15-Sep-13 15:40:07

Runaway that certainly is a showstopper!
Tell us more?

Isthiscorrect Sun 15-Sep-13 16:23:15

Thanks a million, a few years ago all schools here were closed for a rain day. To be fair it only rains 2 or 3 days a YEAR, so when it does the downpour is a full on deluge. Roundabouts disappear, street corners disappear, whole roads disappear. Cars disappear right up over the running boards of all the 4x4's. The water just can't drain away, either there are no drains or they are full of sand. It's just too dangerous to go to school with drains and sanitation flooding, and the electrics aren't exactly the standard you would hope for so standing in water is not what you'd want to do, although watching all the littlies who have never seen rain playing outside is very cute.

ZamMummyInGabs Mon 16-Sep-13 09:41:09

Marking place from Gaborone, Botswana, where on Friday night we too had our first rain. Even if I never set foot in Africa again I will always miss & be never forget that smell. We need more, though, last three years have been drought & whole country is facing serious water shortages sad

cariboo Mon 16-Sep-13 09:56:11

Mouth agape at the idea of rain falling only two or three days a year: Here in Vancouver it rains... and rains... and rains.

Salbertina Mon 16-Sep-13 10:01:19

Lots of rain here too! Know what you mean about that African smell, very evocative! Less so in suburban SA though.

Wintery walk with dog- gloomy and tempestuous, no one else, perfect!

Managed to get petrol from un-uniformed attendants (so not targeted for attack) Meanwhile in the shops all is summery clothes and early Christmas goods, somewhat incongruously for me.

Inthesleeplessnightgarden Mon 16-Sep-13 20:20:07

Reading this thread has inspired me to share a few highlights of today in sweaty sunny Lagos, Nigeria.
Coaxed DS1 (3)into car at 0745 for run to preschool with promise to count tankers and that we'd see ladies with bread on their heads. Thanked lucky stars for housekeeper who meant DS2 (4 months) could be left snoozing. Saw no fewer than 17 tankers, 4 cranes and 2 diggers on 20 minute drive. Also ladies with various carefully balanced loads on heads. And a man fixing a razor wire fence wearing neither gloves nor shoes.
Home to get DS2 and coffee only to find no power as generator 'being serviced' so headed to shops for bread (and air conditioning) before visiting a friend and then collecting DS1. To make my day, shop had had a recent chocolate order including mint chunky kitkats! So, one happy lady here, especially as power was back when I got home so chocolate safely chilling in fridge. Now just hoping it doesn't rain and make the telly go off as I want to watch master chef Australia tonight. Simple things...

bubbleandbubble Tue 17-Sep-13 03:29:08

Not as exciting but made me smile: on our notice board in the complex in HK is a big sign warning all residents that the "waterfall is closed for cleaning today". Not sure what I was meant to do but it's always good to have a clean waterfall...

glastocat Tue 17-Sep-13 03:48:20

Checking in from Perth, WA here! It's the start of spring but we are still getting lots of rain, wish the sunshine would hurry up. I have been told off by an Aussie friend for daring to say that, the Aussies all love the rain, and many seem to hate the hot weather, but I tell them I am from Ireland and have seen enough rain to last me a life time. On the plus side I have been invited to a pool party as soon as its warm enough, also planning a visit to see the fairy penguins on nearby Penguin Island.

As for out new glorious leader russ Abbott, I have no idea how he one as absolutely everyone seems to loathe him!

KalevalaForMePlease Tue 17-Sep-13 04:36:46

Haha glastocat, I'm in Queensland and I agree re Abbott, I think in a few months time no one will admit to voting for him! He named his cabinet yesterday, only one woman on it. Hmmm, an interesting three years I think...

deXavia Tue 17-Sep-13 04:51:16

A beautiful day in HK - great breeze (although this may be helped as we just moved to a new apartment on the 41st Floor). Kids are back in school, so I can work from home with peace and quiet.
But marking my place to report back after Mid Autumn Festival and spending the weekend in Macau - the Las Vegas of China....

glastocat Tue 17-Sep-13 05:11:22

One? Won obv!

somuchtosortout Tue 17-Sep-13 07:37:05


somuchtosortout Tue 17-Sep-13 07:46:31

Well that was concise!
Malawi here. Beautiful, enormous Jacaranda trees in full bloom everywhere. Driving around in big 4x4 and keep passing women walking, walking, walking, sometimes with no shoes, always with a baby on their back and a load on their head. Sometimes want to stop and offer them a lift, but never do.
A toothless oldish man turned up at my door asking for a job, who should by all rights be enjoying a more leisurely retirement age. So much dignified resignation, it is an impenetrable wall and it makes it almost impossible to connect on a personal level with people, which makes me a bit sad if I dwell on it, but lots of positives too, of course!

PeriPathetic Tue 17-Sep-13 07:56:51

Morning! Checking in, but now totally green at Runaway being in Ecuador and Galapagos. My favourite places ever!

Anyway, I'm learning a little about some African frustrations. Phones work only intermittently and the wifi wouldn't work last night either. All a bit worrying when my DD is 6000 miles away and wanting to chat.

Found an amazing garden centre at the weekend so bought some Jasmine and a lemon tree to make my teeny garden a bit more mine. Was thrilled to see so many fruit trees I can only dream of having - no point buying them as we are not here long enough for them to mature.

I really think I'd like to live her forever.

AmericasTorturedBrow Tue 17-Sep-13 11:14:12

somuchtosoetout where in Malawi are you?

Sibble Tue 17-Sep-13 19:51:01

Drug driving in NZ is a hot topic with TV and radio adverts as frequent (if not more) than drink driving ads. This is a fantastic and is a reflection on the situation some children find themselves in.

justonemorethread Wed 18-Sep-13 06:42:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Salbertina Thu 19-Sep-13 08:13:17

Despite being the house of bling, we have a leaky roof- our third house in a row with such a flaw. At least we're not in a leaky shack like the 50,000 people in the nearest township acme 15km away. South Africa is still a gruelling place to live if - like half the population - you're poor.

glastocat Thu 19-Sep-13 08:58:46

The schools here are on strike today ( against proposed cuts) so we went to the local pool instead ( our house has no pool, our next one will!) anyway we had the outdoor pool to ourselves it was fab and so much nicer than going swimming back home in the smelly noisy indoor pool. It really is the little things. grin

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