Pet Peeves

Pet peeves are a ridiculous thing. We know that,  but we continue to nurture and feed them anyway. I don’t have universal pet peeves for everywhere like bad grammar or rude language (well, maybe chewing with your mouth closed)… but mostly mine are country specific!



Nepal: I start with my absolute major peeve at this point in time: spitting.  Do I ever hate it that people spit here!  OMG! Sometimes I’ll be walking down the street, quietly minding my own business and before I can turn my head fast enough, there comes the sound of someone hacking deeply–all the way down from their toes– as they deliver a disgusting, ugly splat of phlegm just inches from my feet.  And as I turn my head to the other side in disgust, yet another person –with horrendously perfect timing–hangs another, equally loud and disgusting.  There is no escape!

Philippines: Manila is full of zebra crossings, or pedestrian crossings if you prefer.  Unfortunately in Manila, I couldn’t help feeling they serve only to spruce up the city a little, make it look more modern.  Decoration, if you will.  They certainly serve no function.   (Kathmandu at least has the good sense not to even bother wasting the paint.)   In Manila, they are like death traps for expats who have the deluded notion that when you step out onto one cars will stop.  I found myself drawn to them out of habit and then felt utterly frustrated when drivers would seem to speed up as I used them to cross the street.

UK: “Sorry!  I’m so sorry to bother you, but this microwave you sold me doesn’t work.  I’m really, really sorry to make a fuss, but would you possibly consider replacing it with a new one?!”  Why do the British feel the need to apologize profusely for everything, even when something is clearly not their fault,  even when they have been more than put out by someone else.  When I go back to the UK and complain about something – people look at me aghast that I haven’t gone through this ritual.  I’m not rude.  But I am direct.  “This microwave doesn’t work.  I’d like it replaced please.”  What’s wrong with that?

US: Last week, on a Nepalese airport transit bus from the terminal to the plane, I sat with a group of about 20 young trekkers from all over the world.  The bus was crowded and uncomfortable,  and as we all sat there tolerating the jolts and jostling, a young American guy told his friends in very loud detail about his adventures the previous day.  Finally someone said, “Speak up a bit, John, the people at the front are complaining they can’t hear you!”  It did actually shut him up for a while, and it made me realize how much he had added to the discomfort of the situation.  Dear loud Americans, cliched or not, please stop.  We don’t want to hear it.

So sorry dear Nepalese, Filipino, British and American friends and readers of my blog.  I do usually try and focus on the positive…really I do.  But just occasionally, I think I deserve a rant as much as the next person.  And I’m sure its not you that spits/drives badly/over apologizes/or arrogantly takes over every conversation.  Its the other guy! ;o)


This post participated in the Daily Prompt:She Drives Me Crazy!

Here are some other pet peeves:

  1. I hate Inspirational Facebook Update Pictures | AS I PLEASE
  2. VIP Saudi Wedding at Ritz Carlton – JBR | Rima Hassan
  3. Daily Prompt: She Drives Me Crazy- Pyshology Behind “Being Late” and it’s Consequences | Journeyman
  4. Daily Prompt: She drives me crazy! | Purplesus’ Blog
  5. Daily Prompt: She Drives Me Crazy | seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah
  6. The Production of “Hair” At Billy Bronco’s | The Jittery Goat
  7. Daily Prompt: They Drive Me Crazy | Under the Monkey Tree
  8. Daily Prompt: She Drives Me Crazy | The WordPress C(h)ronicle
  9. I drive me crazy… | new2writing
  10. DP Daily Prompt: She Drives Me Crazy | Sabethville
  11. 狂気!(Crazy!) | Eyes Through The Glass – A Blog About Asperger’s
  12. Daily Prompt: what drives me crazy | Love your dog
  13. Control??? / Daily Prompt | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  14. A Courteous Nod to A Fresh Me | Views Splash!
  15. Daily Prompt: She Drives Me Crazy | littlegirlstory
  16. Wait you mean you came to class unprepared again??? | One Educator’s Life
  17. etiquette | yi-ching lin photography
  18. the second law of | y
  19. The First Date – Part 3 | In Harmony
  20. Stories That Drive Me Crazy | My Little Avalon
  21. Daily Prompt: She Drives Me Crazy | Pastathree’s Blog
  22. Stop lingering, STOP lingering, please stop lingering!! | The Flavored Word
  23. A dialogue | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  24. Actus reus | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  25. Daily Prompt: She Drives Me Crazy | Bob’s Blog-O-Rama
  26. Narcissism or Self-Exploration? | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  27. March is driving me crazy: Laguardia, Wrestlemania and Selena on my mind as winter draws to its final end « psychologistmimi
  28. She Drives Me Crazy | The Story of a Guy
  29. “Will the last one in my World please turn everything off” | Prompt Me Please
  30. daily prompt: one of these days, alice! | r | one studio architecture
  31. Déjà Vu All over Again! | My Author-itis
  32. Groove « Averil Dean
  33. Daily Prompt: She Drives Me Crazy | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  34. Leonard Woolf ‘speaks’ | ALIEN AURA’S BLOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
  35. Crazy Monday | Jody Lynne
  36. “She Drives Me Crazy” | Relax
  37. Watch Out for that Tree! | meanderedwanderings
  38. Daily Prompt: She Drives Me Crazy | imagination
  39. Like nails on a chalkboard. | Hope* the happy hugger
  40. Respect for the music | Life is great
  41. Pet Peeves Continued… | Live, Love, Laugh, Dance, Pray
  42. A few thoughts for improvement | An old fart back in school
  43. Daily Prompt: She Drives Me Crazy | My Atheist Blog
  44. ah shaddap you face | eastelmhurst.a.go.go
  45. Daily Prompt: She Drives Me Crazy |Five Annoying Things | Shawn
  46. Don’t be Manipulated | wisskko’s blog
  47. DP: DON’T TOUCH THAT! | Scorched Ice
  48. Some things just drive you a little crazy… | chattinatti


Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

P1030411March 2014. Bhaktapur, Nepal

The street is cleared at the end of the day, as an old lady picks up the pots that have spent the day drying in the sun alongside parked cars and motorbikes.  Here the pottery is still spun by hand on a stone wheel and baked in fire kilns.

bhaktapur pottery


This post participated in the Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life.

Here are some other takes:

  1. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Geophilia Photography
  2. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life, Or: Walking Through Chinatown | Polymathically
  3. Weekly Photo Challenge: Streetlife | Kosher Adobo
  4. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life of Telegraph Avenue | Light Words
  5. Street Life: McCall, Idaho
  6. Weekly Photo Challenge – Street Life | hometogo232
  7. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | marthalisek
  8. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life–Portland, OR. | Leona J. Atkinson-Inspirational Writer
  9. weekly photo challenge: street life « wise monkeys abroad
  10. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)
  11. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life (Part 3) | Cari Aiken Art
  12. Photography: Street Life | A Journey Called Life …
  13. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life (Part 4) | Cari Aiken Art
  14. Street Life In India | A New Life Wandering
  15. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life (Part 5) | Cari Aiken Art
  16. :: WP Word Press Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Belo Horizonte daily photo
  17. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life « Sasieology
  18. Street Life Where I Live | Exploratorius
  19. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | The other pictures.
  20. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life-Come For A Drive With Me | Brad’s Blog
  21. 3-28-14 Weekly Travel Theme: Street Life | The Quotidian Hudson
  22. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | imagination
  23. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Cardinal Guzman
  24. Weekly Photo Challenge – Street Life | Isadora Art and Photography
  25. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Picturing England
  26. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | This is who I am…
  27. Weekly Photo Challenge; Street Life | Day One
  28. Weekly Photo Challenge: Streetlife | six degrees photography
  29. Weekly Photo Challenge (Theme of the week) | Prompt Me Please
  30. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | What’s (in) the picture?
  31. Street scene | Thin spiral notebook
  32. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | br4ceyourself
  34. Street Life in Old Havana | Thirdeyemom
  35. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Bob’s Blog-O-Rama
  36. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Edge of the Forest
  37. Street Life: Spring in the Flats | Mary J Melange
  38. Happy Friday! (Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life) | The San Francisco Scene–Seen!
  39. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Travels with my son
  40. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Memory Catcher
  41. Street Life: Weekly Photo Challenge | 365 Days of Thank You
  42. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life: Ignacio | Quarksire
  43. weekly photo challenge street life | photo roberts blog
  44. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Tvor Travels
  45. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life |
  47. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street view from a tiny eye. | V A S T L Y C U R I O U S
  48. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Picture the Pretty
  49. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Travel-Stained
  50. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life part I | VernetteOutLoud
  51. Traffic Jams vs. Country Roads | Virginia Views
  52. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | genieve celada photography
  53. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Retired2Travel
  54. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Lonely Travelog
  55. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Rural Roads | undefined by design
  56. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Nola Roots, Texas Heart
  57. Release the Photographer Within. | wonderwomaninfinity
  58. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Ruth E Hendricks Photography
  59. Weekly Photo Challenge : Street Life | An Evolving Scientist
  60. WP photo challenge 3/28/2014: street life | CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS
  61. Weekly Photo Challenge – Street Life – When I’m Cleaning Windows |
  62. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street LIfe | 2812 photography
  63. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Joperpereira’s Weblog
  64. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | writesomethingtoday
  65. Weekly Photo Challenge : Street Life/Jalanan | bambangpriantono
  66. Street Life | Suzie81 Speaks
  67. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Nummer Vier
  68. I swear i didn’t mean to park here… (Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life) | V-Light Photography
  69. Street life | From My Horizon
  70. Shanghai Street Scenes: Photo Challenge | Canadian Travel Bugs
  71. Street Life | Inks and Scribbles
  72. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Ruined for Life: Phoenix Edition
  73. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | 2 | writesomethingtoday
  74. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Jinan Daily Photo
  75. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life – Memories of Old Kuching | littlegirlstory
  76. Dixieland Statues, New Orleans | Jaspa’s Journal
  77. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life ~ Lado de Calle | In Da Campo
  78. Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life | Beijing Daily Photo 2
  79. Street Life | Maverick Mist

Making Hanging Baskets


After living in a high rise apartment for almost three years, we were thrilled to get a house with a garden here in Kathmandu. The weather is warming up and the time has come to get outside and enjoy a little gardening. Our wire hanging baskets floated uselessly around the Manila apartment, but here they were ready for Spring! There’s no gardening centre here, so we needed to find all the components independently: chains for hanging, compost, seedlings and something to line the baskets. For the last part we decided to use jute, the hair from the outside of coconuts which a local store sold by the kilo. A lot of basket liners in places like Home Depot sell liners made from jute, but they are already pressed and pre-shaped. I would have to start from scratch.


A sack of jute, or coconut hair.


Five wire baskets ready to start


First step is to make thick, birds nest-like bases for the baskets by shaping the jute into thick layers


Then the nest are filled in with compost and the side plants are laid down along the edges. We used miniature pansies and allysium so they would make wonderful trailing bases for the baskets.


Next continue building up a wall of jute and fill the basket to the top with dirt. Plant. Looking good!


Our TDY cat, “Pickles” (or temporary feline visitor for non-FS types)….giving us a hand



The finished basket. Now to watch them grow…..


The Bhatbhateni Experience


Figuring out how to feed yourself is, of course, a basic first step when you arrive anywhere. As I’ve been blogging regularly from Nepal, I’m surprised I haven’t told a story yet about Bhatbhateni, our local supermarket.   After a while in a new place, food shopping becomes a way of life and the story disappears into daily routine, as there isn’t so much to say. However, six months into our life here, I found myself shopping one lunch time at another supermarket, Saleways.  I started marveling at how clean and organized it was.  Remarkable even.  Everything was neatly stacked, the shelves were clean.  I could find what I was looking for.  Then I realised that it wasn’t remarkable, it was normal.  At least normal elsewhere, and my usual Bhatbhateni experience had lowered my standard of expectation to such a point that chaotic had become the new norm.

That’s not to say that I’m not grateful for Bhatbhanteni’s offerings.  Its almost the only place in the city where you can shop department store-style (sort of).  You can practically get anything you need from olive oil to shoe polish, without having to hunt it down in the small stores locally.

But, boy, is that place a mess.  Here’s a little photo story of what its like to push a cart around the store:


This is probably one of the neatest sections in the store. The aluminum ware is all stacked and sparkly. Only one third of the floor is covered with stuff. It gets worse….


….and here’s an example of how bad. Not sure who thought it was a good idea to dump stuff and completely block the plastics aisle, but I was glad I wasn’t pushing a cart.


And from bad to worse. This is actually a cross section between two aisles, but is it so blocked with stuff that it looks like a dead end.


As for the shelves themselves….I say “just chuck it in!”


If you use the floor along every aisle (on both sides) as a storage area, the bottom shelf gets completely blocked. Then someone will come along and start pulling out everything in front because they cant’t get to the stuff on the bottom shelf. And guess what….the aisle gets blocked even more!


To really top off the confusion, you must maximize the number of people aimlessly wandering around the blocked aisles by hiding stuff in weird places. Shaving brushes and razors? Next to the orange juice.  Eggs…? Why they are under the coffee!  At least this week.

Come on Bhatbhateni. If Saleways can do it, so can you.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections


The view from our 4 meter high stone wall out across the island to the Saronic gulf.  Every summer I return to this spot, and every summer its different.  I’ve sat here with friends and family looking back, looking forward, or just watching the reflection of the moon on the water.

  1. Rippled by Geese | Lucid Gypsy
  2. Weekly Photography Challenge: Reflection | sukies original
  3. Reflections | Artifacts and Fictions
  4. Weekly Photo Challenge / B4 Retouch: Reflections (Pebbles on the Beach) | What’s (in) the picture?
  5. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflection​s | Jake Kuyser
  6. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Tim Wolverson – Photo Blog
  7. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Ritva’s Art – Photography
  8. Mes stats | Mon univers
  9. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections II | Ritva’s Art – Photography
  10. Reflections- weekly photo challenge | pdjpix
  11. Kawazu Sakura reflected in the river | Summerfield84’s English blog
  12. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Diary of Dennis
  13. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Pat and Al’s Adventure Continues…
  14. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflection | Photography Journal Blog
  15. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Sunrise Adventures
  16. Reflections on the River Thames, 23.03.14 | Markie’s Daily Blog
  17. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections, 23.03.14 | Markie’s Daily Blog
  18. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Travel. Garden. Eat.
  19. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections (III) | Uncle Spike’s Adventures
  20. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections – Wilderness Escapades
  21. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Jinan Daily Photo

Lingering in the Garden of Dreams


This very pretty bench is the perfect place to take some time to enjoy the sunshine, read a book, or just linger for a few minutes and take in the view. There’s nowhere else like it in Kathmandu.

Literally, nowhere.  Kathmandu streets are dusty, noisy and difficult to navigate.  Motorbikes don’t pay much attention to sidewalks.  And pedestrians have a very loose idea of where they’re supposed to walk.  So both mingle in a continual stream of near disaster and, if you’re not vigilant, you may well be standing in the wrong place when disaster happens.  And if you’re not looking down, you can trip, or twist your ankle or tread in something nasty. There are no benches, public parks or quiet spots, only gaps in the chaos where people dump their garbage.  It ain’t pretty.  Not surprisingly–especially as a foreigner–there is nowhere to stop and take a breath.

Except the charming Garden of Dreams, a paid park close to Kathmandu’s tourist district of Thamel, and a little haven of quiet and solitude amid all the chaos.  Getting out of Kathmandu to the beauty of Nepal is not always possible, but here at least you can escape for a little while.


Hanging out on the grassy amphitheater at the Garden on Dreams. Here in the dusty dry season, its not so green. But is pretty, calm, and  no one bothers you.


The park grounds are from the former Kaiser palace and still retain their feeling of Neo-Classical splendor.





Garden of Dreams

This post participated in the Daily Post’s prompt, Linger

Special places for others:

  1. A Night At Billy Bronco’s | The Jittery Goat
  2. Daily Prompt: Linger- What Makes a Life Worth Living For | Journeyman
  3. The Last | Kate Murray
  4. A Monday free of an alarm call is wonderful, isn’t it? | thoughtsofrkh
  5. DP Daily Prompt: Linger | Sabethville
  6. Daily Prompt: Linger | The WordPress C(h)ronicle
  7. S. Thomas Summers: Writing with Some Ink and a Hammer | There Be Leprechauns
  8. Shared Lullabies: An Adult Who Wants to Stay Just a Little Bit Longer in Her Parents’ Bed | Kosher Adobo
  9. linger | yi-ching lin photography
  10. after that first bite, | y
  11. When Do I Stay Awhile? | Cass’s Useless Opinions
  12. Daily Prompt: Linger | seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah
  13. Hardships will not deter me from getting closer to my love | Outreach
  14. My pre-game Pre-Game | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
  15. Daily prompt: Linger | The Wandering Poet
  16. A Love Affair With Southern Italy | AS I PLEASE
  17. Home Sweet Home | Views Splash!
  18. Step by step | Le Drake Noir
  19. Daily Prompt: Linger | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  20. Linger Longer… | Hope* the happy hugger
  21. Never fly solo | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  22. If ever | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  23. Love for lingering, drumming | Journey of a Culture Carrier
  24. Lingering longer | Sue’s Trifles
  25. The Trouble with Lingering | Wise Woman in Training
  26. Daily Prompt: Linger « cognitive reflection
  27. I see stars | littlegirlstory
  28. Linger At The Beach | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  29. Lingering, all day today | sixty, single and surviving
  30. Linger | forgottenmeadows
  31. Not Wanting this Moment to End. Daily Prompt | Angela McCauley
  32. Linger | The Library Lady and Rosie Bear
  33. Lingering Sun | The Ambitious Drifter
  34. Joyful linger over Versatile Award | litadoolan
  35. 279. Don’t Let it End | Barely Right of Center
  36. Until Next Time | Lifestyle | WANGSGARD

Happy Holi: Run!

DSC01737You better run if you don’t want to get hit!  Today in Nepal it is Holi, a colourful local festival that celebrates joy and happiness. On this day, men, women and children throw colored paint, vermilion power and plain old water on each other and (hopefully) unsuspecting passersby.   It gets pretty messy!

Holi celeration

After dousing his sister in purple paint powder, this little devil is about to super soak her too!

Above every street or around any corner is someone with a paint bomb, ready to take you out! 

This little guy was hidden on a roof, waiting for his next victim.  Little did he know I was watching him!

This little red-faced guy was hidden on a roof, waiting for his next victim. Little did he know I was watching him!

Holi is a religious festival with its own set of legends celebrating Krishna, but I prefer its social message: putting color on each other symbolizes amity, friendship and mutual trust….although I’m not quite sure how ambushing someone with an unexpected shower of coloured water quite installs trust!  But its fun and the kids love it.

It was very hard to take photos surreptitiously.  The second they saw a camera I would have been a major target!  However I did manage to sneek a few through the window.  Here are some very colourful people returning home from the festivities:

Waiting for a lift?

Waiting for a lift?

Holi Festival

For some very colourful people, they are looking very sombre. Maybe they lost the pink powder fight?


A Word a Week Photograph Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside


Po, our Manila cat.  And, ironically, our first “inside” cat…trapped on the 21st floor of a 53 story building.  Just like us, she was forever finding a new home! Here she is inside the apartment, inside the pantry and inside my nested mixing bowls.

This post participated in the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

See other interpretations on the theme:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside « Leya

Weekly Photo Challenge – Floating Inside My Mind | Isadora Art and Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE | MAGGIE’S BLOG

Inside Harmony | A Journey Called Life …

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | paintedwords

3-14-14 Getting Inside The Weekly Photo Challenge | The Quotidian Hudson

Weekly Photo Challenge : The Inside of Things / Bagian Dalam | bambangpriantono

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | 2812 photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | Spacious Interior | puncta lucis

Inside, Outside, Inside | Mary J Melange

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | Witrian’s Photofolio

Weekly Photo Challenge – Inside | Different Isn’t Wrong, It’s Just Different

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | Edge of the Forest

Inside view | marsowords

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE OUT | V A S T L Y C U R I O U S

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | mommyneurotic

Locked – Forever and ever!

weekly photo challenge: inside | Del’s other stuff…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | Geophilia Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | Memory Catcher

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | Ruth E Hendricks Photography

WPC: Inside | dadirridreaming

Weekly Photo Challenge: INSIDE | Captured By Kylie Photography

Hamster babies in a shoebox (Daily Prompt: Inside) | Photo0pal Photography

Inside uShaka | de Wets Wild

inside the light at the end of the tunnel | memoirs of an unremarkable man

Photo Challenge- Inside | eat less sugar you’re sweet enough


Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside (I’m Done With Winter) | Laughing Through Life

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside a Basin | littlegirlstory

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | WorldwideFriends

Flying inside the lines | See Diving

Weekly Photo Challenge : Inside | An Evolving Scientist

From Inside the Boston Elevated in San Francisco (Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside) | The San Francisco Scene–Seen!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | Retired2Travel

Weekly Photo Challenge – Inside – Boil, Boil, Toil and ……..pasta! |

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | Nola Roots, Texas Heart

Logos Compilation | Crazy Art

Uninvited Dinner Guest | Holoholo Girls

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | Shoot ‘N Go

weekly photo challenge: inside | bob’s wife

Inside: Who Does it Better than Cats?

WPC: Inside | blueberriejournal

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside (Ireland under a Rainbow) | What’s (in) the picture?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | Travel-Stained

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | tagnoue

From Within | Weekly Photo Challenge | Focal Breeze

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | thereviewparent

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | f-stop fantasy

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | Indira’s Blog

Weekly Photography Challenge: Inside « Minute Moments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside | Life Confusions

Inside | Eye of Lynx

Friendship and the Serial Expat


Thirty years into this mobile life I can truly say I have friends all over the world.  Not international Facebook buddies I’ve never met, but real friends who I’ve known for a while, or in some cases, forever.  Of course with advent of Facebook, it so much easier to stay in touch.   I remember the pre-internet days of typing, faxing or snail mailing letters – or worse –  writing the dreaded Christmas letter, trying to summarize  the major events of the year into one boring laundry list of milestones that were of little or no interest to anyone who receives it.

Or even worse –  participating in the annual Christmas card ritual that become increasingly meaningless to me, much to the annoyance of my husband.  I don’t think I’m alone in dropping the ritual of sending Christmas cards to distant friends, even when its the only method of communication left.  I think its been slowly dying a death independent of my negligence.  I have only contributed to their demise, and others aren’t writing them either, although some might argue that friends aren’t mailing them to us anymore as they’ve  just given up trying to figure out our address!  But I am suspicious that I’m not the only one that feels the drudgery of repetitively handwriting masses of envelopes outweighs the connectivity that they are supposed to bring,  especially when weighed against the personal connection of a Skype call or even an email.

Despite all the meaningless  white noise of Facebook, it does bring me everyday nuggets of trivia that I care about.  Photos of my nephews and nieces growing up, my friend’s new house, details about places and faces where I have lived but may never see again.  These are the kind of everyday minor details that we’d share if we lived across town or even in the same country.  Its trivia, but its meaningful because of the person sharing it.   And with real friends,  we switch to Skype to share real news, to hear each other’s voices,  or to explain important things privately.  Being an expat was much, much harder before the internet.

Yes, real friends are people that you can reconnect with after a long time apart, and that accept you for who you are.  (And, in our case, people who forgive us for completely wrecking the “w” pages in their address book!)  But they are also the people who remember all the crazy small things you’ve shared, and the little things that are important to you.

Sometimes I envy people who live in the same place all their lives, and have a real sense of place.  But that isn’t really who I am or what would really make me happy.  So I’m grateful that, for at least some of the time,  the internet – almost – makes me feel like I live in a global village.

This post participated in the Daily Prompt: Something So Strong.