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British Expat Newsletter: November 2011

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

In this issue

This month

As usual we’ve been travelling a lot. This time we went to Phnom Penh. We stayed in the California2 Guest House, which is modest but very clean and comfortable.

We also visited the Killing Fields – a shocking, sad and very moving experience. You can read an account of our visit on the site, and the graceful stupa that forms the centrepiece to this memorial site is our Pic of the Week.

Our latest Quick Quiz focuses on clothing – we’ve listed five garments from around the world, and asked you what they are and where they’re from. Do you know your áo dài from your ajotas?

Sudden death is a heartache for those left behind – and all too often it can be a headache, too, if they don’t know how you’ve organised your affairs. But it needn’t be. UK-qualified financial adviser Ross Naylor has compiled a checklist of 26 documents you should collect to make things easier for whoever deals with the practicalities after your death.

Meanwhile our sister site, Not Delia, has been running a chocolate fest through the month. You can find out all about the food of the gods there.

And of course the BE forum has been bubbling away all month too.

Editorial: Over the hill?

I don’t know if any of you are following The Young Apprentice with Lord Sugar. It’s similar to the usual Apprentice, but the candidates are all 16 or 17 years old and the prize for winning is a £25k investment from Alan Sugar.

A recent task was to select and sell products to the over-50s market.

The first thing both teams started talking about was, “What sort of products would appeal to old people?”

Eh? Hang on a minute, not everyone over 50 is a coffin dodger. Anyway, they selected stuff like a shopping bag on wheels, and a stupid-looking pie-making machine. Bizarre!

The shopping bag on wheels cost in the region of £100. I’d have thought that anyone who could afford to pay that much for a bag wouldn’t be needing such a product anyway. Wouldn’t they just drive to the supermarket and transport their shopping to the car using the supermarket’s trolley?

Similarly, to use the pie machine you had to make the pastry and the filling first. But if you’re making pastry and pie filling, then why not just put it in a pie dish and bake it? If you don’t want to make your own then why not, erm, buy a pie?

It’s funny how the young would-be apprentices perceived the market as being “old people” rather than realising that the demographic is often quite affluent, with more disposable income than many other groups. Sure, you get some elderly people struggling to make ends meet on a meagre pension, but why try to market your products to them? Much better, I’d have thought, to go for the comfortably-off retired or semi-retired person.

But it’s not always just teenagers who have this stereotypical view of “seniors”, to which group apparently the over-50s now seem to belong. We’ve also experienced some odd comments elsewhere about what “elderly” people like doing and what they can and can’t do. Admittedly, sometimes their mobility can be affected. But that doesn’t mean they can’t operate a computer or do lots of things that much younger people can do too.

Experience counts for something, doesn’t it?

What do you think?

Have you had any experience of ageist stereotyping? We’d love to hear from you, so please post on our forum discussion.

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Write for British Expat

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We’ve started doing some quick trivia quizzes – five questions about any subject. So, if you’d like to write for us but don’t feel like producing a literary masterpiece, then why not try writing a quickie quiz about your city, country, or even your hobby? Please use our contact form to get in touch.

British Expat Amazon Shopping

Amazon don’t just do books, you know. We’ve teamed up with them to bring you the ultimate in online shopping – from a micro SD card to a garden shed! A great way to do your shopping online, especially if the shops aren’t up to much in your part of the world.
BE Amazon Shop: UK & EU | BE Amazon Shop: non-EU

And now for something completely different…

Would you like to be a millionaire? The BBC is running a new programme about how to make money online. We haven’t had the opportunity to see it yet but you can read about it here and watch a brief video clip of how a believer does her “wealth creation” exercises every morning. It’s totally bizarre in my opinion, but if I thought that rubbing my earlobes before breakfast every day would lead to great wealth, then I suppose I’d do it. Somehow, I’m a bit sceptical.
BBC News: Business: Who wants to be a millionaire?

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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