Welcome to another blog carnival! The one – the only: Strange Shores! I do believe this is number five, but can’t be sure. I rely on my co-conspirator Paddy to keep count – at least until he runs out of fingers. Just in case you’re new to Strange Shores: this is a blog carnival where we take a look at the world from an ex-pat’s point of view.
As you can see from my photo, spring hasn’t actually got to Sweden yet. Luckily, we got a break from the headlines about snow when Princess Victoria, who will one day be the Queen of Sweden, announced her engagement (at last!) to a regular guy. PaddyK brings you the good news with his tongue in cheek. (Where else would it be? Wait a moment – don’t answer that!)
Someone else who suffered at the hands of the weather gods is the charming Louise of Carmine Superiore. This story shows that she and her family are made of sterner stuff than … say, sugar!
A new friend of mine is the very funny Honeypiehorse. (What is a honeypiehorse anyway?) She’s a Californian transplanted to the chillier climate of Bavaria. Here she takes a look at the four phases of the Oktoberfest – complete with photographic evidence.
Another American is Kelli, who lives in Denmark. She has just started working at Herning High School and this has given her the chance to ponder the differences between education in Texas and Denmark. This will give your little grey cells some food for thought!
An ex-expat is Expateek: an American who lived in Poland but has just moved back to the USA. Trying to give stuff to charity in Poland requires muscles of steel. One way of getting those muscles – or dying in the attempt – is to go to the gym. However, if you’re Po from South African visiting a gym in the UK, then anything can happen!
And talking of the unexpected, Brenda in Paraguay takes an entertaining look at driving in Paraguay. In fact, her story reminded me of living in Fiji: the driving there was so exuberant that the buses would drive up onto the pavement and chase us poor pedestrians!
By the way, what do you listen to when you’re riding public transport? This is what Planet Nomad has to say about the music of her adolescence…
Last but not least – my good self. This is how I get buns of steel... on my kick-ass sled! If that doesn’t work, then I just throw myself on the ground and have a good tantrum.
So, all you have to do my friends, is to sit back, grab a cup of your favourite beverage and enjoy these posts! They’ll be up for a few days so that you can always pop back now and then to savour these literary delights.
As for that three-faced horse – it’s been bugging me for weeks. I don’t see why I should be the only who is bugged by it: so here you are! Well, you know what they say about sharing a joy…
In order to combat that slightly deflated feeling that comes in January when there is nothing else to do except work and blog, I have joined forces with that slightly anarchic elf from Ireland Paddy K to create a carnival blog blog carnival for ex-pats. No, you don’t have to be a former Pat, Patrick or Patricia to join in! All you have to do is move to a country that is not your own, or where you were not brought up, and Bob’s your uncle (yours too?): you’re an ex-pat! (That’s expatriate for those of you who don’t like abbreviations….)
A blog carnival is fiesta time! Paddy will be hosting the maiden event on his site on Sunday January 11th. What happens is that he will throw together carefully compose a story about something ex-pattish and link to all relevant, interesting articles or sites written by ex-pats, immigrants, us foreigners, in other words! Who knows? Perhaps we’ll be so organized that we’ll have themes later on? And guest bloggers! And free champers and chocolates and…
The plan is to hold a carnival every two weeks… I’ll be posting reminders here. Otherwise, you can check out our site for details and the timetable. (I’m counting on Paddy to keep things organized over there!)
Oh – did I mention that we are calling this fest: Strange Shores?
So, if you are an ex-pat who wants to join in, then send me a link to one of your relevant articles, or just leave the link here in the Comments section. Or in the comments section of Strange Shores. You can mail in your links to us every two weeks.
Oh – just one more thing. We are not really looking for articles that trash the countries you live in or that long for the motherland. We hope to be able to offer up a smörgåsbord of witty, funny and quirky articles that are lovingly ironic (OK – warm cynicism will do!), reveal new cultures and traditions, make us laugh and gasp and wonder. Failing that: articles that are mildly interesting will do.
If you’re not an ex-pat, then my condolences. But you can still read all the articles, of course, and make fun of us leave us lots of criticism comments!
Apart from having a wealth of good, readable material at your disposal, those of you who do send in links to articles will also get more exposure. Paddy assures me that exposure is good, but in this cold weather, I’m not so sure!