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British Expat Newsletter: March 2011

Hello, and welcome to those of you who have just signed up.

In this issue

This month

This month’s newsletter is a bit of a new departure for us – we’re writing it on our travels as we haven’t been at home for the last week!

It’s been a busy time for us generally. The main reason is our new venture, CanDoCanGo, enabling accessible travel worldwide by providing information online for travellers with disabilities. But we’ve also been visiting the beautiful and tranquil Malaysian island of Langkawi for the first time, and we’ll be letting you know more about how we got on soon.

But although we’ve been busy, we’ve still been adding some new information to the site, including a few more upcoming events – among them the UK referendum on electoral reform on 5 May. You can vote in the referendum if you register, but hurry; the deadline’s 14 April! Meanwhile, Talmaone has finally made the move from Central America to Malta, and has updated us on her progress. We’ve also had a couple of new Pics of the Week, with the quiet charm of a Copenhagen waterway contrasting with the brash glare of a Route 66 diner in Arizona!

Editorial: Wildlife encounters

There are some times when you actively seek out wildlife encounters. Sometimes they just happen.

Dave and I were walking around the compound of the Tanjung Rhu Resort on Langkawi just after our arrival when he casually remarked, “Oh, that’s a big lizard.” I hadn’t seen it, so asked him to show me where. He pointed to something just behind us, about ten feet away, disappearing slowly under the boardwalk.

As understatements go, this one was a classic – the “big lizard” was a monitor lizard as big as I am!

Even in the middle of cities, wildlife encounters crop up every so often. I’m not talking about rats or their airborne equivalents, pigeons – you can expect those almost everywhere you go in the world. But other animals now appear to have discovered that the urban environment is a viable one for them as well as for humans.

When we were stuck in London’s suburbia in 2005, we looked out of our upstairs window one afternoon to see a fox climbing onto our next door neighbour’s garden shed roof – and managed to photograph the event.

We mentioned it to her son when we saw him. “Please don’t tell her,” he begged. “She’d freak out!”

The compound we lived on in India was like living in an aviary at times. On the day we arrived it was swarming with clouds of green parakeets flying between the trees, which looked quite entrancing. And we’d hear the occasional cry of the pariah kites as they hovered overhead. Well before the time we left three years later we were grumbling about the amount of droppings below the parakeets’ favourite roosts. And I’d had the shock of one of the kites swooping across the table where we were lunching outside and stealing half my meal.

But if you’re going to seek them out, then it’s important to bear in mind that wild animals are – well, wild. For instance, I was on a safari tour in Kenya nearly 20 years ago when the minibus driver decided it would be great fun to drive between a rhino and her calf. Predictably, the mother rhino charged the minibus.

Ever been chased by a rhino? You’ll be on an adrenalin high for weeks afterwards!

What wildlife have you met with on your travels? Why not let the world know?

We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please post on our forum discussion.

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Bizarre searches

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

  • strange insects
  • garden furniture forum
  • living beauty gozo
  • viagra
  • can i make my own ice cream in the canary islands
  • candid camera.com
  • buses
  • new
  • where to buy a merkin
  • cotton wool balls

So there’s a round-up of all that’s been going on. Come on over and see for yourself! Don’t forget…
Visit the BE website and join in with our lively community!

Till next time…

Happy surfing!

Kay & Dave
Editor & Deputy Editor
British Expat – the definitive home for British expats

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