Monday, March 28, 2011

BlogExpat Interviews

Writing city guides, expat articles, and moderating the forum is fun. Really. I can honestly say I really like my job. But...I saw an area of growth. More and more I am perusing expat articles and our plethora of expat blogs and am really impressed with the quality of writing and creativity I see out there. Damn peeps- y'all are good!

I had an idea. Not exactly an epiphany, but pretty exciting for me. How about we shine the spotlight on these fine expat writers & blogs and get some interviews on? Luckily, bossman agreed and gave me practically free reign to write up our format, recruit interviewee victims, and put their interviews up on our new partnersite:
The blurb
"The expat experience makes for a great story of adventure, drama and surprise. While each expat’s story is unique, we can all learn valuable lessons from each other’s experience.

BlogExpat interviews offers expats a standard format in which they can be as funny, informative, and/or honest as they want about life as an expat. Interviews with expats in the UK, Italy, Russia, Cuba, Holland, Turkey, the United States, Cambodia, and more offers a view into their amazing lives.

These stories serve as inspiration, advice, and entertainment for expats, travelers, and people who want to hear more about the world. We appreciate their expertise and look forward to sharing their experience with the world. Enjoy the interviews & best of luck in your own adventures as an expat."

Truthfully, it has been even more fun than I thought it would be. It gives me an excuse to spend hours pouring over people's incredible blogs and making contact with the writers. And one of the best things about it was Ian got to be our guinea pig and go first.

We also just published our second interview with a Londoner who made the move to Turkey with his partner: Perking the Pansies. He is an excellent writer with fabulous English humor.

I'm thrilled with the results and can't wait to keep finding great expat stories to promote and share. We already have a nice little line up through April. Hopefully my fellow expats & friends out there agree.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Adjust Your Expectations

As Americans, we have a false sense of value that we are constantly reminded of in Europe & traveling. I like to think we have adjusted our views accordingly as expats, but sometimes a great visual reminds of how far off we really are. 


Gas in California is $3.96 a gallon
Red Bull clocks in at $28.16 a gallon & 
Nail polish is the big "winner" at $1,024 a gallon. 

Go Team USA.

Monday, March 21, 2011


St. Paddy's rolls around and Ian gets the urge to pull out the clippers. All that ruff & scruff that had been accumulating from last fall is shaved off in one fell swoop. Ok- not all of it. He may be going for another rat tail.

Ian- beauty shot

First locks hit the floor. Good work 6 euro clippers!

I asked Ian if anyone at the school noticed. Being the perceptive 3-year-old's that they are, only a few asked if I had been to the Friseur.
"No, my Frau cut it."
"Oh. My momma cuts my hair."

Same difference.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

David Sedaris Reading in Berlin

third row back
12 euro got us into a reading by Sedaris. Glorious. He started off talking to people in the lobby and signing books. We got the inscription:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sick Bed

On Friday Ian started feeling sick AGAIN. Those are some dirty little kids he teaches as this is the third time since we've been here.

Some friends wanted to hang out that night, just a quiet little get together, not too late- which sounded perfect. After a few drinks....we went to a dance club and danced and danced till the wee morning hours. Then we randomly went back to our friends house. Which lies in the opposite direction from our house. And took shots. Emergency sleep over. BAD IDEA.

Our usual "sick day" routine
Saturday was a bad day. In misery we glared at one another on the couch demanding the other make something to eat. Sunday wasn't much better. Monday...was the worst. This was the sick day to end all sick days. Usually we would call out sick to eat a sandwich at a specialty place in Pioneer Square or because it was sunny (gasp!) in Seattle.

We woke up and slept until 2pm. Then we sat on the couch some more and watched: Piranhas, Simpsons, The Town, Jersey Shore, Amazing Race, Boardwalk Empire, Louie, GoodFellas, Real Housewives, and so many more gems. Obviously this was time well spent, but we needed to get better.

Today we finally felt well enough to venture out. I praise Indian food with giving me back my soul. Jogi tea, soup, lamb subji, and naan. Thank you Kashmir! A trip to the library and grocery to re-stock on supplies and we're home again. 

We really need to rest up. No, not for work (although that too, now that you mention it)! The next few nights are busy ones as we are going to see David Sedaris tomorrow, St. Paddy's celebrations with the Irish on Thursday, and Roller Derby on Friday. So, too bad about missing work, but now we have fun stuff to do. 


We really are alive, although from pics of our outing to the library you can see how happy Ian is about it. 
Bezirkszentralbibliothek Frankfurter Allee
Beautiful Library with nonsense entrance covered in pebbles. Es macht kein Sinn!

Across from the library, lovely Soviet design.

Angry Ian doesn't like being out of bed.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

We're gonna party likes it's Kindergarten

If you were to walk around Berlin, you would have no idea it's Fasching (Carnival, or Mardi Gras in American speak). However, all across the city tiny children are celebrating with copious amounts of sugar and horrible costumes. They may not celebrate Halloween, but dammit, they sure know how to sell a superman mask.

Ian's Morning class of 2-3 year olds.

I got a great idea for breakfast. Candy!

Toby: Where are my tools you ask? Darius and Alec raided the tool belt and are throwing them around the playpen.

John says "Thanks for the saw Toby". Note the dream catcher sewed to his costume. I have a dream...never to see a dream catcher again. You hear that German truck drivers?

Idi: Ian told me this little girl reminded him of me because of her unusual dress and "quick wits". You are a bad person Ian.

"Say cheese Julia! Oh Marlene- get out of the picture."

How I see the children- I am the all powerful IAN!

Alec and Darius enjoy the booty of Toby's tool belt. I would later help them bury the treasure in the sand box.

Darius "Ladies, care to step into my play pen?"

No Levi, I think it is great to use your hat like a wheelbarrow. Just watch out for the other children.

Toby says cheese! A three-year-old's idea of a smile

Now if you kids don't mind just cleaning up those mats I'd really appreciate it...

Ian teaches the fine art of the fist pump

Saturday, March 5, 2011

In Love with Berlin

Despite missing friends & family, issues with visas, Deutsche Bahn strikes, subletting, poor pay, missing our belongings, language barrier, uncertain future, no animals....We love living in Berlin. A city so filled with art and culture sometimes it is literally bursting out of it.

Thanks for the video Travis

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Kids from Köln

Our relationship with Thomas is complicated. He is my parent's foreign exchange student from Köln Germany (known in English as Cologne), that arrived while we were still in Berlin, that is now back in Köln, as we are back in Berlin for the second time. So he's our foreign exchange student- kinda.

We saw his home & family as we rolled  through Köln in November and were excited to host him in Berlin. He wrote us two days before.
"Can I bring some friends?
Oh. Um...ok sure. The more the merrier!
Can they stay at your place?"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Love letter to the Northwest

My aunt & uncle are planning a trip from N California up to Washington in April & were asking what things they should do. Suddenly, I was waxing poetic about the Great Northwest, our forsaken home.

"...beautiful places with breweries. Snoqualmie Falls is really pretty- bigger than Niagara. The restaurant's there have killer pancakes. There is a tiny brewery in town that makes a mean sandwich & tasty IPAs (

Bellingham is where I went to school, about an hour & half north of Seattle & it is a stunning beauty. It sits on the bay looking out at the San Juan islands and is a quirky college town. Larrabee Park is my favorite place to gaze out at the water. Plus- Boundary Bay Brewery is very popular (

Bellingham- view over the water

Leavenworth is also always fun. Touristy, but a good time, with tasty German food & pretty mountain views."


Oh Northwest, you are so lovely. We've been in Berlin for 3 months now and are truly enjoying  the city, the people (not joking), the food, the experiences. We love being abroad, and more importantly being here in our adopted city.....but, there really is no place like home- is there?

Seattle Thunderstorm
For more NW Brewery love, check out our Brewery Road Guide 

We're Back in Berlin Ja!

We're Back in Berlin Ja!
ebe & ian at Yak-toberfest 2008