British Expat Newsletter:
24 August 2005

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

In this issue

  • This week: We are crazy!
  • On the website
  • Virtual Snacks
  • Sponsor
  • Bizarre Searches
  • Joke and quotation

This week

This week I received a comment by email that the BE team is crazy. It was intended as a compliment (and taken as such!). Perhaps some of us are a little eccentric. Between us we’ve certainly had some strange jobs, lived in strange places, and been on some strange journeys.

It’s not really a competition, of course, but I’d like to go for the prize for having some of the strangest jobs. Teaching book-keeping to Afghans in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province is quite good for starters, negotiating road building contracts so we could start trucking wheat flour and kerosene to Kurds in Northern Iraq after Gulf War I isn’t bad either (needless to say, I don’t know anything about building roads). But these were real jobs. Jobs that were challenging and satisfying – and paid some money.

The worst jobs are those which seem pointless at the time. Well, they’re not really pointless, just boring. Quite often students have to do these kinds of jobs. I once worked in an egg packing station. And Dave had a job guarding mammoth bones (though he says he enjoyed that one – low-paid, but nothing to do but sit and read for eight hours a day). Yeah, you’ve been there. And no doubt you’ll have your own stories to tell of crazy, stupid, pointless, bizarre or just plain boring jobs.

Bob Fretwell, a regular BE contributor, takes the cake for some of the amazing things he’s done, from train journeys in Mexico in the 1960s to currently being slightly nomadic in Spain. What was that again about the neighbours owning the ground floor on the one side and the third floor on the other side of your house and trying to join up the two? 🙂

Railways must be a particularly rich source for strange journeys. Every time you travel by train you’re throwing yourself into the hands of a system which only the railway staff (and perhaps all those people in anoraks at the end of the platforms) understand. It doesn’t take a great deal to throw it into chaos, as countless embittered commuters can testify. Add to that the extra complications of a foreign language, exotic scenery and some downright odd fellow passengers, and you’re almost bound to have a Paul Theroux experience at some stage. Yet somehow it never seems as stressful as flying or driving.

And strange places? Well, I suppose we all live in strange places. We, as expats, choose it. It seems quite weird (and a letdown) to be living in a semi in suburbia just now. At least it’s only temporary, then we can get back to the beach hut.

Have you done anything strange or unusual? Why not comment and tell us about it?

Virtual Snacks

Here’s a link to people talking about their strange or unusual jobs. Worth a quick browse for some amusing anecdotes.
BBC News Talking Point: Unusual jobs

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Bizarre Searches

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

  • stretch peoples faces
  • world seex
  • lot polish plate
  • in a dark dark house on a dark dark street silly bones
  • hobbit trivia in entertainment magazine
  • british phone sex greece
  • kenny haggis tour guide
  • captain kangaroo wreckage terminal
  • fart sniffer
  • knickers four leaf clover
  • dencing jesus
  • david beckham s bum

Till next time…
Happy surfing!

British Expat Magazine


“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

St Augustine (354-430)


A man and a woman who have never met find themselves in the same sleeping carriage of a train.

After the initial embarrassment, they both manage to get to sleep; the woman on the top bunk, the man on the lower.

In the middle of the night the woman leans over and says, “I’m sorry to bother you, but I’m awfully cold and I was wondering if you could possibly pass me another blanket.”

The man leans out and, with a glint in his eye, replies, “I’ve got a better idea… let’s pretend we’re married.”

The woman giggles and said, “OK.”

“Good,” he replies, “Get your own bloody blanket!”