British Expat Newsletter:
25 January 2006

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

In this issue

  • This week: Astrology
  • Virtual Snacks
  • Bizarre Searches
  • Quotation and joke

This week

Kung Hei Fat Choi! This coming Sunday marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year celebrations – the Year of the Dog. My year, as it happens.

A Chinese company recently advertised for staff but made the restriction that only “Year of the Dog” people should apply. In spite of a good deal of criticism from the media, it stuck to its guns, insisting that as a human resources company it needed people with the characteristics of loyalty and honesty associated with the Dog. And although Chinese law forbids discrimination in employment, the terms are vague.

Just imagine if any firm in the UK dared to advertise that only Leos may apply! Mind you, at least that wouldn’t have any more far-reaching effects than a very high number of office parties in July/August. Whereas under the Chinese system you’d need to replace a disproportionately large chunk of your workforce every twelve years.

The debate about astrology and whether it works is a subject that’s been debated for as long as humans have been looking at the stars in any kind of systematic way. Some people believe in it – others think it’s nonsense. My beliefs lie somewhere in the middle. For instance, people born in the Year of the Dog are said to be responsible, compassionate, honest and loyal, which sounds reasonable. However, allegedly they’re also pessimistic, anxious, overwhelming and nosy, which is clearly utter twaddle put about by the envious.

What’s most scary is that people in positions of power appear willing to base their decisions on the position of the stars at the time of their birth. (Why the stars? Why not the furniture in the room, which would have had a far greater gravitational pull on the new-born baby than all the stars in the Zodiac put together?) Hitler was notoriously prone to consulting astrologers, but he at least had the excuse of being a maniac. Rather more scary, perhaps, was the revelation that Ronald Reagan’s daily schedule as President of the US was heavily influenced by his wife Nancy’s consultations with a San Francisco astrologer. When White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan clashed with Nancy over this, it was he who lost the fight and, eventually, his job.

I confess to occasionally reading my horoscope in the newspaper but I always read the Leo rather than the Virgo which I technically am (by only three-and-a-half hours). After all, who wouldn’t rather be the top dog?

Do you have anything to say about this topic, or do you have some suggestions for other issues we might discuss in our weekly email? Why not comment and tell us about it on the forum?

Virtual Snacks

Here’s a link to the “Only Dogs need apply” article on the Beeb.
BBC News: Chinese company wants “dog” staff has an article about the facts, myths and allegations surrounding “Astrologate” – “perhaps the only instance of paranormal forces having an undeniably real impact on the course of U.S. history”. Astrologate

Bizarre Searches

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

  • louis xiv s big cock
  • horse called squiffy
  • jamies school dinners what vegetables the kids though they where
  • whilever dictionary
  • sex portuguese breakfast
  • naked photos on lanzarote
  • southend-on-sea actors
  • what psychologists has to say to insecure women
  • steam photographs
  • woman humiliating penis
  • blocked tear ducts in cats
  • heilige drei konige sparkling

Till next time…
Happy surfing!

British Expat Magazine


“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”

– Chinese proverb


In a poor, rural farming province of China, a gas station sold its gas for 150 yuan per litre. Those few who had cars often would barter their produce for the gas, instead of paying in cash. This worked, provided the gas station manager allowed it, since, he couldn’t always use the motley collection of foodstuffs that would come in. A local cook, Chef Po, was renowned for a special heavy cream sauce, which he sold for one yuan per serving. The manager loved the stuff, and always took Po’s goods in exchange for the fuel.

In time, the manager had to raise the price of gasoline to two hundred yuan. Chef Po, who could ill afford the increase, angrily stormed up to the manager’s office door and protested the price by flinging two hundred spoonfuls of sauce against the door and walls. When the manager came in later, he saw the mess, and cried, “Who did this?”

The attendant said, “It was Po! He was very angry at the price increase. What shall we do if he comes back?”

The manager looked at him and growled, “Do not gas Po! Do not collect two hundred dollops!”

This entry was posted in 2006 by Kay McMahon. Bookmark the permalink.

About 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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