Posts Tagged ‘expat life’

October Wrap-Up

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Here’s a summary of what’s been going on this month on a few of the expat blogs that I follow:

My favorite post from Voices in Español (not an expat blog exactly, but an excellent blog on the Spanish language and has a great podcast): The most annoying phrase in Spanish. Who knew there was a phrase that foreign speakers tend to say that annoys Spanish speakers? I won’t ruin in and tell you what it is– you have to go look. ;) There is also a great post about the phrase “It’s all Greek to me” in English and how that is translated into different languages. For some languages, the incomprehensible language is Chinese, and for some, it’s Spanish!

Frank Alameda makes and sells his wonderful brand of cookies throughout Buenos Aires. His cookies and his blog are called Sugar & Spice, where he talks about his business and raising his children here in BsAs. This month, Frank talks about his 7-year old comparing the life expectancy of a whale to that of Michael Jackson, updates us about where his cookies can now be bought in the city, and a list of other expat entrepreneurs in Buenos Aires.

Paddy in BA is now no longer in Buenos Aires, he’s in Asia, blogging about his adventures hiking in the Philippines with a few side notes about keeping his body hair in check. He always writes with his wry sense of Irish humor.

Tracy has been blogging about love and relationships over on Last Tango in Buenos Aires. She also has a book coming out, part of which can be read online. Congrats, Tracy!

And last but certainly not least, you MUST see Cate Kelly’s photos of the South American Sumo Wrestling tournament that recently took place. amazing. She’s an awesome photographer, and chooses unique subjects.

Julia Evans wrote this article forAffordableCallingCards.net where she blogs about her life as an expat.  She also writes a personal blog Evans’ Gateabout living as an American expat in Buenos Aires, where she lives with her husband.  Comments on both blogs welcome!

Three Things I’ll Never Get Used to in Italy

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Expat experts say one of the worst things you can do when you move to a new country is constantly compare things from your home country to things in your new life.

And it is true. It is a recipe for despair.

Once I stopped let up on that, things got easier for me and I began understanding and appreciating the differences. That being said, there are some things I don’t think I’ll ever get used to – and here are three of them.


-  Not receiving mail
The Italian postal service is notoriously ineffective-packages are lost, misplaced or stolen on a regular basis and every expat I know has had at least one run-in with the mail system. Just over the last two months, I’ve had two packages from Amazon gone astray and a small package I sent never reach Rome. Packages are often held hostage in customs and the recipients are forced to pay a ransom to get them.

To combat this problem: I have asked people not to send me packages.

-  Walking into a doctor’s office and smelling smoke
A few years ago my hometown in Texas went smoke-free (no smoking inside buildings) and non –smokers like myself relished in our fresh air and clean lungs.

Not so much the case here in Italy.

Two days ago I went to the doctor’s office, walked under the sign that said “no smoking,” and was greeted inside by a wave of smoke.

To combat this problem: I have purchased a surgeon’s mask to wear when I am in public.


- Kids riding in the front seat – without a car seat
The first time I saw this, my mouth dropped ajar and I stared dumbfounded into the passing car. A one time thing? Oh, but no.

Children regularly ride in the front seat, oftentimes without a car seat and more than once I’ve ridden in the backseat, while a pint-size toddler took the front.

To combat this problem: I look away.

What are three things you will never get used to about your new country?

Cherrye Moore is a freelance writer and B&B owner living in Calabria, Italy. In addition to Affordable Calling Cards, she writes about living and traveling in Calabria at her website, My Bella Vita.

Photos from flickr: maxinnaberlin, marqez and Rebecca and Bernhard

The Maid

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Maid-ServicesI know this sounds uppity, but I LOVE having a maid. It’s one of the perks of moving from a rich country to a poor one. Antonia, our “household angel,” as I refer to her, does more than clean the house. She cooks, sews, does laundry, even runs errands. But it hasn’t been easy for me, because I did not grow up with household help, and I am not used to it. (I know, I know, this is a problem you would LIKE to have… but it is an issue with many expats nonetheless.)

First, there is the guilt. To me, having someone do the chores that I don’t want to do seems naturally exploitive. I have a hard tome telling Antonia what to do. It makes me feel bad. But taking care of a house is a job she is good at, qualified for, and we pay her at the top of the market rate for her services. (She actually owns her own house, so I guess she has not done to poorly in her vocation.) As long as there is equal exchange of value for value, it is fair. She genuinely appreciates the work, and I don’t ask her to do anything i wouldn’t do were I to have the same job.

The next issue is not one that I was prepared for. I’m in charge of Antonia. I give her a list of things to do when she comes, pay her, call her when there is a problem with scheduling, etc.  Rob and I both work, but Antonia comes to me for direction, because I am the woman of the house. When Rob has a problem with her work (rarely), he tells me, and I tell her. At first, I was very resentful of this. But then I realized that to change it would be to fly in the face of a cultural norm, one that Antonia is probably comfortable with. She likes Rob, but she would probably be uncomfortable having him as a “boss.”

The other realization was one of a North American norm that I think goes unsaid: whoever makes the least amount of money takes care of the house. Although Rob and I both work, he makes at least three times my salary. We could survive without my job, but we could not survive without his. Therefore, I need to support him. If the situation were reversed, he would support me (how it would work with Antonia, I don’t know, but he would be willing). That’s a reality. I didn’t chase the high-paying career, he did. I take care of the food/shelter/clothing stuff, he makes sure our future is financially secure.

Antonia’s life is the way it is partly as a result of her living in a country with less opportunity; I have no excuse. There is no room for resentment in a life that I chose for myself.

When I write that best-selling book, or land a job with someone willing to pay oodles for my talent, Rob can manage the household. For now, I will. But at least I have help.

Julia Evans wrote this article forAffordableCallingCards.net where she blogs about her life as an expat.  She also writes a personal blog Evans’ Gateabout living as an American expat in Buenos Aires, where she lives with her husband.  Comments on both blogs welcome!

The Life of an Expat, Part Two

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

by Chantal Panozzo 

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In Part One of The Life of an Expat, I talked about the expatriate phenomenon of feeling like your life is on hold. We’ll get that dog when we move back. We’ll have that baby when we’re in a place where doctors speak better English. Yes, we’ll have a house. Someday. When we’re somewhere else in the world that’s more appropriate for such a thing.

And sometimes those “somedays” turn into not just months, but years. And even though to outsiders, we’re living our lives to the fullest (heck, we’re living a life most can only dream of), we can’t help but think part of us is just waiting for a return to the familiar before we do those certain things.

Another thing that’s hard about expatriate life is that you learn to love more than one country. You learn new ways of doing things. Some you hate. But some you like better. In Sarah Turmbull’s book about expat life, Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris, she meets a man who tells her, “It’s a curse to love two countries.” I can’t think of a better way to sum this feeling up.

Even though I do my own fair share of complaining about certain things Swiss, the reality is, it will be hard to leave when (and if) that time comes. Hard to leave my neighbor, my Swiss friends, my expat friends, and a country that almost feels like home. Key word, almost.

Which brings me to the point. As expatriates, we often don’t know how to answer the simple question, “where’s home?” Your adopted country is just that—adopted. And while you’re adopting, your home country becomes more and more foreign.

When I go back to the United States now, I can’t help but criticize all the gas guzzling cars, the wasteful packaging on products, and the stores that stay open on national holidays. But at the same time I can’t wait to eavesdrop on conversations while I eat deep-dish pizza and drink bottomless beverages. I thought living abroad would make me a more educated and international person, but deep down, I think I’m  just more confused. Happily confused, but still.

What do you think? If you’re an expat, does your life feel like it’s on hold sometimes? Do you feel cursed loving more than one place? What do you love and what do you dislike about expat life? 

For more on this topic, visit Part One, over on One Big Yodel.

Polo Anyone?

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

IMG_0155When I  think of Argentina, I immediately think of tango, wine, and good steaks.  I never thought of the sport polo.  Polo like football and tennis is a major sport in Argentina.  There is a whole industry built around polo in Argentina.

Argentina is most know for the breeding of polo ponies.  The horses used for polo are not the same as regular horses.  They are a cross breed thoroughbreds and criollas.  The Argentine polo pony although not considered an actual breed are recognized all over the world for being quick and strong.  I am not a horse person, but I must admit, when I saw them at my first polo match, they are a beautiful animal.  They appeared to fly across the field with almost no effort.  Just like tango dancers.  The horses are stockier and lower to the ground.

My friend Matthew suggested we go to an off season polo match.  I had never been before.  A group of us IMG_0108got together to go.  We walked over to the polo fields.  I don’t live that far from them.  They are across from the Hippodrome or the horse races.  Walking into the Polo fields is a unique experience.  Another world.

The fields are beautiful.  We watched them exercise the horses.  They are magnificent animals.  We walked around the restaurants and the booths of small stores.  Everything was geared towards polo, and people who have money.  There was a marching band that reminded me of the changing of the guard in London.

I didn’t realize that the first polo match was actually played in Persia.  The IMG_0151modern polo was made popular by the British who took it from a game played in Manipur (Now a state in India). Polo is an active sport in 77  countries but played professionally in only few, one of which is Argentina.  It is also one of the only sports where amateurs play along side professionals.

We had real seats.  But they were in the shade.  It was a cool day so we were cold.  Our view of the fields were excellent.  Matthew was the only one who understood the game and he would explain it to us.  He was great about keeping us up to date with what was going on.  There are two teams of 4 players.

It is a slow moving game.  It gave Amy and I plenty of time to check out the men.  We would use the zoom on our cameras.  A small dog came out onto the field.  It wanted to chase the horses.  It was actually more exciting than the match.  At least for us.  That and the cute guys 5 rows down.

The cold finally got to us, so we moved to the other side of the field to the bleachers and where the sun was.  By that time we were sort of bored with the game.  It was good, because it was almost over.   We watched them finished and then stood in line to congratulate the players.  Something you can actually do.

I think I am ambivalent about polo.  It was something I had to do since I live here.  I would go again since it is was fun to be with my friends.  It is not something I could become a fanatic about.  But then again, there were a lot of really cute guys there.

Deby Novitz moved to Buenos Aires in 2004 from California. She has a small bed and breakfast for tango dancers, she writes, does translations, teaches English, and of course dances tango. You can find more about her life in Buenos Aires on her blog  TangoSpam:La Vida Con Deby.

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Expat Interview – Katie in Florence

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Katie Greenaway and I connected through our blogs initially, and met in person in Florence, Italy in January 2007.  She’s been going back and forth between Florence and the US for almost 8 years.  If anyone loves Florence, it’s Katie.  Recently she came back to Florence – this time to stay – and I was excited to be able to ask her a few questions about her experience.

What do you do in Florence right now?

Right now, I am doing a plethora of things.  I teach English Tuesdays and Thursdays in Prato. I end those two days with a BodyFLOW class at a local gym.  Then several days a week I teach BodyFLOW at It’s Yoga Firenze studio near the Ponte Vecchio.  This week I start working part time for a local school helping with marketing.  Every other minute of the day I write on the Nile Guide as a Local Expert on Florence.  Soon I will take on the challenge of being the Tuscany Expert as well.

You have been in Florence on and off for several  years, and now you live there permanently.  Can you tell us a bit about the struggles and the triumphs of this journey?

My  journey started  in 2002 when I was a student here through Saint Mary’s University.  I am able to live here permanently because my mother was born in London, so I obtained UK (and EU) citizenship.  My grandmother was born in Italy but it was a mess trying to obtain Italian citizenship.  One big struggle was being unable to work properly because I didn’t have documents to work.  A triumph was definitely the day I received my passport.  I became an EU citizen.  I am still flabberghasted over it.

What’s your favorite part of your current Florentine routine?

The spontaneity of my life here.  I could run into my friend Pasquale on the street and end up hanging out with him all day.  I might come to the center just to teach my class but end up sitting with Davide at his hot dog stand.  It is great to know that my friends just randomly call or text me to go for a walk or a drink.  That is the biggest difference in my life here as opposed to in the States.

Even though you know Florence like the back of your hand, are there still things that surprise you about it?

There are still streets I come upon that I don’t recognize.  That is great because then I can explore a new street like I just arrived in Florence.  I also enjoy seeing new, unique stores and cafes that perhaps were never in my frame of view as a student.  Now that I have full range of the city and my new neighborhood, I can explore and get introduced to new ventures I never fathomed experiencing.

What piece of advice do you have for others who dream of moving abroad?

DON’T GIVE UP!  When you have a dream it is important to not let others put it down.  If you know your path is to be in a different part of the world, really believe in yourself.  Also a great quote my professor from college used to say to me, “I think the royal road to achieving genuine satisfaction in life is going the Bloody hard way.”  Keep the naysayers out of your circle of friends, those people don’t understand how to live life to the fullest.

Read Katie’s blog here.

Tina Ferrari is a translator, writer and tango dancer based in Perugia, Italy.  She writes at AffordableCallingCards.net as well as on her own blog, Tina Tangos. Comments are always welcome!

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Katie, what do you do in Florence right now?

Right now, I am doing a plethora of things.  I teach English Tuesday and Thursday in Prato. I end those two days with a BodyFLOW class at a local gym.  Then on Monday, Wednesday and Friday I teach BodyFLOW at It’s Yoga Firenze studio near the Ponte Vecchio at 11 am Mon and Wed and Friday at 6pm.  This week I am starting to work part time for a local school helping with marketing.  And every other minute in the day I am writing on the Nile Guide as a Local Expert of Florence.  Soon I will be taking on the challenge of being the Tuscany Expert as well.

Most of us know that you have been in Florence on and off for the past 8 years, and now you are living there permanently.  Can you tell us a bit about the struggles and the triumphs of this journey?

My journey started back in 2002, when I was a student here through Saint Mary’s University in Winona, MN. I’ve come to Florence for study, for pleasure and finally now for work.  I am able to live here permanently because my mother was born in London.  I obtained UK citizenship in this way (which makes me an EU citizen).  My grandmother was born outside of Modena but it was a huge mess trying to obtain Italian citizenship.  One big struggle was being unable to work properly because I didn’t have documents to work.  A triumph was definitely the day I received my passport.  I became an EU citizen.  I am still flabberghasted over it.

What’s your favorite part of your current Florentine routine?

The spontaneity of my life here.  I never really know when things will happen.  I could run into my friend Pasquale on the street and end up hanging out with him all day.  I might come to the center just to teach my class but end up sitting with Davide at his hot dog stand.  It is great to know that my friends just randomly call or text me to go for a walk or a drink.  That is the biggest difference to my life here than in the States.

Even though you known Florence like the back of your hand, are there still things that surprise you about it?

There are still streets that come upon me that I don’t recognize.  That is great because then I can explore a new street like I just arrived in Florence.  I also enjoy seeing new, unique stores and cafes that perhaps were never in my frame of view as a student.  Now that I have full range of the city and my new neighborhood, I can explore and get introduced to new ventures I never fathomed on experiencing.

What piece of advice do you have for other girls who dream of moving to Italy or anywhere in the world?

My advice is simply, DON’T GIVE UP!  When you have a dream it is important to not let others put it down.  If you know your path is to be somewhere else or live in a different part of the world, really believe in yourself.  No one else can believe in your idea as a possibility more than you.  Also a great quote my professor from college used to say to me, “I think the royal road to achieving genuine satisfaction in life is going the Bloody hard way.”  Keep the naysayers out of your circle of friends, those people don’t understand how to live life to the fullest.

Interview with Expat Ambi Alexander

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

I actually have never met Ambi.  The funny thing is our paths have crossed many times.  I met her husband Hugh when they first moved here.  He stayed up one night and read my entire blog and then emailed me.  He asked if we could meet for a cup of coffee.  He and his wife Ambi had just moved here from San Francisco.

Since that time we have stayed friendly.  I have been able to give him some helpful information at times.  Then it turned out one of my English students and her boyfriend were good friends with them.  She and Ambi met through their running club.  She told me how Ambi was teaching yoga and how she started a blog.  Being a fellow blogger, I would check in from time to time to read her blog.

I find Hugh and Ambi interesting as their lives are completely different from mine.  I asked Ambi if I could interview her for Affordable Calling Cards.

Deby: How long have you lived here?

Ambi: We moved to Buenos Aires 2.5 years ago.

Deby: How did you guys ever select Buenos Aires to move to?

Ambi: We came here for a 3 week vacation to celebrate Hugh’s 40th birthday (3 1/2 yrs ago).  Every time we traveled somewhere new, we’d play a game of “could we live here?”.  This time, the game got serious as we both said “yes”.  We spent the trip strolling through neighborhoods and getting to know the city – getting a haircut, going to the movies, eating out of course and talking to the locals as much as possible.

Deby: What was the influencing decision to make your move to Buenos Aires?

Ambi: Timing.  It was the right time for me to leave my corporate career behind and it was a great time to move to Buenos Aires.  The year we moved here, there was a positive energy to the city that was palpable.  Lots of new business and growth everywhere.  The expat community was growing and it was one of the world’s top destinations for travel (still is thanks to the exchange rate).

Deby:     What did you do before you moved here?

Ambi:    I was a Marketing Director for Charles Schwab (brokerage firm in San Francisco).  I managed a team of people whose job it was to convince our current clients to invest more money with the firm.  Also to educate them on how to get more our of their investments.

Deby:    What are you doing now?

Ambi:    I’m a new mom to an 11 month old baby girl named Valentina; I teach Ashtanga and Prenatal yoga; I’m studying Iyengar yoga and I write – mostly creative nonfiction.

Deby: What was the hardest thing for you to adapt to in your move to Buenos Aires?

Ambi: The language – the first 6 months were brutal and frustrating not being able to make friends with the locals but then it flowed…

Deby: What was the easiest?

Ambi: The food.  I like how Argentines use simple fresh ingredients and shop every day for their meals..

Deby: Do you have any regrets?

Ambi: Sometimes I wish we’d traveled more in Argentina when we first arrived as its more complicated with the baby but then we wouldn’t have learned the language as quickly.

Deby: What is your favorite thing about living in Buenos Aires?

Ambi: The emphasis people put on spending time with family and friends – really enjoying each others company without hurry or multi-tasking with their iphones.

You can read more about Ambi and her life in Buenos Aires in her blog Argentine Dreams

Deby Novitz moved to Buenos Aires in 2004 from California. She has a small bed and breakfast for tango dancers, she writes, does translations, teaches English, and of course dances tango. You can find more about her life in Buenos Aires on her blog  TangoSpam:La Vida Con Deby.

Is Expat Life Right for You?

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Maybe you thought about studying abroad for a semester. Maybe you have already missed that boat and have wondered what it would be like to live and work in another country.

Maybe you are just bored with your current situation and are looking to inject a little je ne sais pas into your life?

Whatever it is … you might be wondering if expat life is right for you.

While it is different for each of us and the situations that motivate our international moves vary, the most satisfied expats share some characteristics and qualities that make it easier to adjust to life abroad.

I’ve spent more than four years as an expat in both Italy and France and I’ve noticed that above all, there are three things expats just don’t do.

Think you can cut it?

Read on.


Photo: TreyGuinn

Successful (read: happy) expats don’t …

- Mind being broke
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the international company of your dreams called you up and offered you a six-figure salary , but only if you’d agree to set up house in your favorite international country?

Sure, it would …

But in reality, that doesn’t really happen.

Many expats choose to live in another country, even though they know they’d make more money back “home.” They have given up years of hard work, connections and networking to live the life many people dream of living.

- Focus on material things
This may have more to do with the aforementioned trait than anything else, but the happiest expats I know don’t hyper-focus on stuff. We know that no matter how much we might love our old dresser back home, it just isn’t gonna make the move with us.

We understand that things are replaceable. People and experiences are not.

- Ever stop dreaming
Although non-expats think living in another country is a dream, real expats know the dream has just begun. We are always looking to the future and thinking about new, exciting projects and wondering what else our new countries have in store for us.

We aren’t content just living the dream. We want to make the most of that dream.

There are also some things I’ve noticed happy expats DO. Be sure to check on My Bella Vita next week for Part II of Is Expat Life Right For You?

Cherrye Moore is an American freelance writer living in southern Italy. In addition to AffordableCallingCards.net, she writes about living and traveling in Calabria on her site, My Bella Vita. Comments and messages are welcome on both sites.

12 Great Resources for Expats in CH, Part Two

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

by Chantal Panozzo

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If there had been an Expat Expo when I arrived in Switzerland a few years ago, I would have been in heaven to find so many English-speaking resources in one place. But since I have now been in Switzerland for over three years, I didn’t so much need information as I needed confirmation that people still really do give things away for free. (Yes, I am bitter over having to pay for ketchup packets at McDonalds).

Anyhow, the Expat Expo is a fun thing to go to whether or not you think you’re a know-it-all like me. The event was free. I got a free issue of Inside Switzerland magazine, a free issue of Swiss News, a copy of the International Herald Tribune, a cool reusable bag from Swiss Info, and a cherry Jolly Rancher. One cherry jolly rancher may not seem significant, but if you had been craving this sour candy like I had for the last month, it would have been worth the trip alone (thanks to xpatxchange for that).

And get this, I even learned about some resources I didn’t know about. Imagine that. So in this, Part Two of a two-post series, I’m going to share some great stuff about Switzerland (some that I knew about, some that I didn’t) that I think you’ll enjoy. You can find Part One on One Big Yodel

Web Resources

7. www.outandabout.ch This is a going-out guide to Zurich written by a group of travel writers. It includes English-language movies and events as well as recommended restaurants, bars, and clubs.

8. Mamizeit is a web magazine with a focus on international moms living in Switzerland with children of all ages. It shares information on how Swiss daily life works and tries to help foreigners make the most of their time in the country.

9. Swisster is an online English-langauge magazine for expats. It covers topics like news, people, business, education, culture, and more. Users must pay for a subscription to read most of the content, but you can try a free subscription by emailing webmaster@swisster.ch. It seems like a content-rich site, but I don’t know if I’d read it often enough to justify a price of SFr 300 a year to use, especially when there are good sites like www.swissinfo.ch that are free.

Radio Resources

10. World Radio Switzerland If you don’t live near this Geneva-based English-language station (88.4 FM), you can still go to the website and listen online and download podcasts. WRS is the only English-language radio station in Switzerland and it offers a diverse range of shows that cover everything from news to culture to how the heck to make your garden look more Swiss.

Bookstores

11. Bergli Bookshop is an English-langauge bookstore in Basel that also holds Talk Parties, book discussion groups, and other events. Bergli is also a publisher of books that focus on living in Switzerland. Some of their titles include Hoi, your Swiss German Survival Guide and Beyond Chocolate, a guide to understanding Swiss Culture. To get 10% off and free postage within Switzerland on your first internet order, write ‘EXPAT EXPO Zurich 09’ in the comments box when ordering.

More

12. For even more info on Switzerland, visit Part One of this series or stop by the next Expat Expo near you. Upcoming expos:

Geneva Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lucerne Sunday, November 15, 2009

Zug Sunday, April 18, 2010

Basel Sunday, May 30, 2010

In which I declare my love for cheese

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

As an expat, it’s easy to miss all sorts of things. Friends, family, customs and regular hang-out spots may come to mind first, but if you ask anyone who’s lived abroad for a while, they’ll probably mention something else: food.

Call me crazy, but I specifically miss cheese. Sure, Chile has cheese and plenty of it. But most of it’s some form of mild and light yellow – gouda, mantecoso and chanco being the main options – with the other two major categories being quesillo/queso fresco (white, soft and even milder) and goat cheese (not the spreadable chevre style, this stuff has the consistency of provolone).

This is just about every variety of cheese available in Chile, source: www.visitingchile.com

This is just about every variety of cheese available in Chile, source: www.visitingchile.com

There are other options, ranging from parmesan to gruyere to edam, and you can easily find camembert and brie. What’s the problem then, you may be wondering. Here it is, in a nutshell: no cheddar. Don’t count on finding any of the other typical US cheeses either. I didn’t realize just how often I used cheese, from sandwiches to quesadillas, until none of the stuff available to me tasted quite right.

I’m half English, so maybe that’s where the cheese obsession liking comes from. The English do their cheeses well, and it seems like every little town has its own delicious variety. Coming from that to a land with no Lancashire or Wensleydale and not even a cube of Monterey Jack isn’t easy, and there are times when I’d kill for a slice of Swiss on a sandwich.

Friends and family you can call on the phone. Customs you can attempt to recreate on your own or with other expats. And you’ll make new hang-out spots. But food? If the ingredients can’t be found then you can’t recreate it, and often customs regulations make it hard to import your own supplies.

It explains why when I go home, I plan out what I’m going to eat to make sure I satisfy all my cravings. Why a friend’s mom brought her US candy and Goldfish crackers. Why that same friend earned herself some serious brownie points when she shared the goods with the rest of our gringa friends. And why I was once the thrilled recipient of a two pound block of Tillamook medium cheddar brought by a visiting friend. Luckily for me, Chilean custom agents have no problem with pasteurized cheese.

Delicious, source: www.tillamookcheese.com of course

Delicious, source: www.tillamookcheese.com of course

Emily Williams is a US gringa living in Santiago, Chile. She writes about expat life at AffordableCallingCards.net and on her personal blog, Don’t Call Me Gringa, and loves hearing from readers!

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