Oh, the places we’ll go.

Or, adventures in expatting (verb, intransitive – the habit of living in countries that aren’t one’s own).

Booyah, Shakespeare, I just invented a word, too.

Or so I thought. This is a verb that has been hovering on the edge of my consciousness for a while, but it wasn’t until I idly looked it up to discover a raft of references in the Urban Dictionary that I realised why I feel part of neither one world or another. Even the wryly humorous term expatbagger (see note) seems to me to refer to someone who moved to one different country and then returned to their home country, rather than someone who left their original country, has travelled around and lived in a couple of others, and just hasn’t gone back home yet. In my current place of residence there are a high number of transient, short-term contractors passing through in a similar manner to me, but this is an exception. In previous places I’ve found myself part of a community who have moved in and stayed long-term. So what should I call myself that would fit the bill? More

An anniversary

Three months! Darnit, mi gente, I really let the ball drop, roll under the cheap seats, sneak off out of the ballpark and head post-haste for the getaway vehicle. Well, it’s certainly time to get these nimble blogging fingers limbered up again. And I plan to start with a reflection.

September 25th marks the day each year where I reflect on my life since I took redundancy and headed for the exit. The first year it fell just after I cancelled my return flight and made a go of life abroad, longer term. Things were still very uncertain. I was living in a guesthouse in a small, Peruvian jungle city eating lentils and boiled eggs, both of which I boiled in a cheap electric kettle. Yes. In the kettle. In the tiny bathroom. Hell, those were the days.

By the end of my second full year away from home, life was somewhat more stable and involved things like frying pans and salad bowls again, generally used in a kitchen. This, while less pioneering, was probably a much healthier sign for both my digestion and my prosperity in general. I had managed to squeeze in a visit home to take the edge off the homesickness any traveller feels after the novelty and regular emails and dispatches to and from home start to dwindle. I caught England in the midst of a glorious English summer: the 2012 Olympics, an epic thunderstorm, walks through the Essex wheatfields and strawberry-picking all reminding me why it takes a journey to realise a home. More

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

The Award

They say it’s not quantity, but quality that counts. I surely hope so as I have definitely not been a prolific producer of posts this year. Fortunately, just when I needed a boot in the rear to up productivity somewhat, along came Catriona, who is Crazy, to give me one in the form of the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

I’ve been following Catriona’s online brand of crazy with added rainbow shit and penis socks for a while now, whenever I need a dose of LOL in my life. I recommend you do, too, although if the blogosphere were HMV, this blog would have a Parental Advisory sticker on it. Just sayin’.

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Lost in translation

I stayed up late last Sunday to watch the Oscars. I had spent the two weeks prior diligently watching my way through as many of the offerings as I could. I was pleased to see that Games of Destiny was nominated, although I didn’t think Jennifer Lawrence deserved an Oscar over Quvenzhané Wallis. I was also pleased that The Darkest Night, a good film, didn’t get drooled over by the Academy in the way such political films often do. I suppose Argo sandbagged its drool as the other ‘US vs the world’ offering.

Wondering if I’ve got a screw loose like John Malkovich in My boyfriend is a zombie? No, I’m lost in translation. In Peru, in this case, unlike Scarlett Johansson who was – at least in the Spanish speaking world – Lost in Tokyo. Yes, I’m talking film titles in translation. More

Sharing the love

An exciting accolade I have been unable to acknowledge properly in the last few weeks is that – I am very proud to say – I have been awarded a reader appreciation award! I am even more proud because I was nominated for this by the superb blogger, April, writer of Aventuras de Abril. More

Happy Teachers Day!

It’s 6th July, and that means it’s officially Teachers Day in Peru. I and half a million Peruvian teachers are celebrating a day which is highly recognised and valued in Latin America. So far this has meant chocolate and hugs (from students and colleagues alike), an afternoon of fun activities, a meal thrown by a teaching company I worked for previously, and, greatest wonder of all, a four day weekend!

It almost makes up for the thankless hours of marking, chasing students for work and the mental breakdown of reports season. Still, when all else fails, there’s always Xanax!

Happy Teachers Day fellow TESOLers, TEFLers and educators in general.

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