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British Expat Newsletter: May 2018

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In this issue

This month

More Cold War stuff this month. When we last wrote two months ago, it was the UK and Russia, with the UK’s allies standing firm (to varying degrees) beside it. Now it’s the US and North Korea, and their off-on-off-again plans for a summit in Singapore on 12 June. Or not.

It’s quite amusing to observe (or at least it would be if it weren’t so scary). Normally it’s the North Koreans who are apt to bluster, then make promises in order to try to win some substantial gains, then promptly launch into more bluster and disregard their earlier promises. This time round, the Americans seem to have been reading the DPRK playbook.

US National Security Advisor (and Mr Pastry look-alike) John Bolton and Vice-President Mike Pence have both suggested that North Korea could be like Libya in giving up its nuclear arms. Hardly tactful given that Gadhafi ended up being abandoned by his new Western pals very quickly and then deposed and murdered by the rebels his Westerners supported.

Then Trump sent a letter cancelling the summit. This after the North Koreans had:

  • held an apparently amicable summit with their South Korean counterparts;
  • blown up the tunnels of their biggest nuclear testing facility – although it should be noted that (a) they’ve probably done enough testing for now and (b) an earthquake has probably made the facility unusable anyway;
  • released three US prisoners – though again it should be noted that one of them had been convicted in a show trial and sentenced to hard labour.

Anyway, at the moment it’s off, but both Trump and the North Koreans are making positive noises, so it’s entirely possible that by the time you read this it’ll be on again.

Meanwhile, you’d be forgiven for wondering when we’re going to add to the bombardment of emails everyone else has been sending about the GDPR. We have no intention of doing that, simply because we’ve always done our best to follow best practice when it comes to our users’ data; it’s others who are now having to play catch-up. So this email has always been opt-in and the list of addresses has never been for sale to anyone at any price, even when some of our competitors have been automatically adding everyone who contacts them to their mailing list… but if you do want to unsubscribe (and of course we hope you don’t), then the details are – as always – at the end of this letter.

Since Korea’s been in the news so much, we thought it’d be a good theme for this month’s Quick Quiz. Some people might think it’s called the “Hermit Kingdom” because of North Korea’s secretive and isolationist stance, but the name goes back a lot further than that. All of which could make Korea quite a tough quiz topic. But why not have a go anyway? You might find you know more than you think!

And our latest Pic of the Week is of the Hyangwonjeong Pavilion in Seoul’s Royal Palace complex, Gyeongbokgung.

Are you ever flummoxed by fancy foodie words, mystified by menus, or confused by culinary terms? Then head on over to and become enlightened by our quirky A-Z of food. And it’s got cartoons in it! Don’t forget to tell all your friends about it too.

On the subject of food, I’ve been thinking for some time of trying hydroponics. With the chance of another stint overseas looming – quite possibly in a location where the soil’s poor or the climate’s difficult – it could be the best option available to me if I want access to all my favourite culinary herbs. So I’ve started a thread on the forum where I’ll be posting updates about my progress – I’ve taken advantage of the Bank Holiday weekend in England to get it on the go at last. Fingers crossed! I’d love to hear thoughts from people who’ve tried hydroponics already or have considered it – a couple of you have already joined in the discussion. Any other keen gardeners out there?

Meanwhile, of course, the forum continues to provide information on a wide range of expat issues, as well as the opportunity to socialise with like-minded people all around the world. You can see the full range of discussion boards here.

Write for British Expat

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Besides articles, we also publish 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

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!

British Expat—the definitive home for British expats

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