Hello, and welcome to those who have joined up since our last newsletter.
Many of you will have heard about Batman climbing up the front of Buckingham Palace a week or so ago. For those of you who haven’t, Jason Hatch of pressure group Fathers 4 Justice, wearing a Batman costume, scaled a perimeter wall at Buck House and clambered up the building to a ledge just to the right of the main balcony. There he unfurled a banner reading “Super Dads of Fathers 4 Justice – Fighting for your rights to see your kids”. He stayed up there for five hours before finally being brought down off the building. Although the protest was successful in attracting media attention, it may not have been as effective as the protesters hoped. Most of the press coverage focussed on the implications for royal security rather than the issue F4J were trying to address – securing unmarried fathers’ rights of access to their children.
Meanwhile, here in Thailand the wildlife saga goes on. In our last issue we mentioned the snakes we’d seen round here. Well, the other morning Dave was cleaning the downstairs toilet floor when he found what looked like a dead cockroach behind a bleach bottle. It was about 3cm long and medium/dark brown. When he went to sweep it down the drainhole, though, it started moving. It was then that he found out the beastie was (a) alive, and (b) not a cockroach at all, but a scorpion! Nothing very worrying, we’re told – Thailand’s scorpions are no more dangerous than bees in the UK. But all the same, you can see why people here often throw their shoes on the floor before putting them on…
Just a couple of suggestions if you have a little time to spare:
The BBC’s H2G2 website is worth a look. H2G2, as Douglas Adams fans will already know, stands for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – it’s an online encyclopaedia with a surprising range of topics. Like the original Guide, some of its research may be dodgy – it’s based on members’ voluntary contributions and can be edited by anyone who’s signed up – but very entertaining all the same. I particularly liked the feature on buying beer in Australia!
If you’re after a laugh, why not try Graham Rawle’s Lost Consonants? Graham has been producing these collages for The Guardian since 1990, each of them illustrating a sentence from which one consonant has been removed – producing a meaningful but bizarre sentence. If you still don’t know what we’re on about, try the link below:
Graham Rawle: Lost Consonants
And you can find an online interview with Graham here:
www.b3ta.com interview with Graham Rawle
Some strange search terms which led people to visit British Expat recently:
Till next time…
British Expat Magazine
“You’re an expatriate. You’ve lost touch with the soil. You get precious. Fake European standards have ruined you. You drink yourself to death. You become obsessed by sex. You spend all your time talking, not working. You are an expatriate, see? You hang around cafés.
“It sounds like a swell life.”
– Ernest Hemingway, author (1899-1961)
No joke this time – another quotation instead:
When I was working in Peshawar in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province in the late 1980s, the US Consulate there received a death threat naming several individuals, including me even though I didn’t work for Americans. It was written in quite flowery language including stuff like this: “You have been trained in the nightclubs and casinos of the west and are worse than the sting of the poisonous scorpion which lurks beneath the bedclothes. Leave now or you will be quickly destroyed.” I’ve never even been in a casino…
Kay has been an expat for 25 years. She set up the British Expat website more than 15 years ago, 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.)