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British Expat Newsletter:
11 September 2004

Hello, and welcome to those who have joined up since our last newsletter.

In this issue

  • An apology – and some good news
  • This week: Snakes
  • Virtual Snacks
  • Bizarre Searches
  • Joke and quotation

An apology – and some good news

First of all, many apologies to all of you for the long delay since our last update, which was on 1 April. We’ve been involved in a major move – house and career – since then. Dave has come to the end of his posting in India and is taking two years off to devote himself full-time to British Expat. So the good news is that you should be getting this newsletter on a much more regular basis from now on.

This week

As some of you will already know, we’re now on holiday in Thailand in a glorified beach-hut just north of Pattaya. Although we’ve been coming to Thailand for years, living out of the city centres is rather different! One of the big differences is that during our earlier visits we’d never seen snakes in the wild before. Since getting here four weeks ago we’ve seen several. Admittedly most of them have been dead – a common approach here seems to be that you kill the snake first and then try to find out whether it’s poisonous or not. But we saw our first live one just a couple of days ago when it dropped out of a tree about six feet away from where we were standing. After a bit of Internet research we came to the conclusion that it was a Diamond Tree Snake, described as “mildly bite-happy” but with only “harmless very mild poison”. So that’s all right, then.

Meanwhile, back in the real world there’s been a good deal of debate about immigration into the UK. But whether it’s really a problem or not seems to depend very much on where you are. The programme for this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe contained a full-page advert from the Scottish Executive’s Fresh Talent initiative, which read, “Living in Scotland. It’s even better than visiting.” Apparently Scotland’s population is ageing and is set to dip below the crucial figure of five million by 2010. Statistics suggest that 8,000 people a year need to settle in Scotland – 6,000 to offset the difference between births and deaths, 2,000 to make up for those emigrating. Something to think about when you read the next horror story about immigration in the UK press…

Virtual Snacks

Just a couple of suggestions if you have a little time to spare:

One of the recent discussions on the Chinwags board has been about superstitions. A member kindly posted a link to HowStuffWorks’s explanation of how the Friday the 13th superstition arose. There’s a mine of useful information on HowStuffWorks, from computers and cars to money and travel.
HowStuffWorks

And if you’d like a bit of a laugh, try Britain for Americans – a spoof guide to the UK for visitors from the US.
Britain for Americans

Bizarre Searches

Some strange search terms which led people to visit British Expat recently:

  • pictures of penises (again! and we still don’t know why) (4)
  • www.leedsunited.com (Why use a search engine if you know the URL? And then how come they end up in BE?) (4)
  • arabic drum (3)
  • google thai ginger? (3)
  • where are the campaign headquarters of labour party in london (3)
  • monkey footprints (3)
  • opinions on sex (3)
  • british sandwich week (3)
  • www.britishsexpats.com (sic – look at it carefully…) (2)

Till next time…
Happy surfing!

Kay
Editor
British Expat Magazine

Quotation

“Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite, and furthermore always carry a small snake.”
– W.C. Fields, actor (1880-1946)

Joke

A young honeymoon couple were touring southern Florida and happened to stop at one of the rattlesnake farms along the road. After seeing the sights, they engaged in small talk with the man that handled the snakes.

“Gosh!” exclaimed the new bride. “You certainly have a dangerous job. Don’t you ever get bitten by the snakes?”

“Yes, upon rare occasions,” answered the handler.

“Well,” she continued, “just what do you do when you’re bitten by a snake?”

“I always carry a razor-sharp knife in my pocket, and as soon as I am bitten, I make deep criss-cross marks across the fang entry and then suck the poison from the wound.”

“What, uh… what would happen if you were to accidentally SIT on a rattler?” persisted the woman.

“Ma’am,” answered the snake handler, “that will be the day I learn who my real friends are.”

PG Author: Kay McMahon

Kay has been an expat for nearly 30 years. She set up the British Expat website back in early 2000, whilst living in London and missing the expat life. These days she spends much of her time lugging computers and cameras around the world. (Dave gets to deal with all the really heavy stuff.)

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