Looking for the familiar in the exotic

In the last thirty years we have moved from the US, Germany, China, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and then got stuck in the United Arab Emirates. In fact we have been here in the UAE for so long that this is our first move since we have had internet access! 

Moving from Germany to China, we scoured Foyle’s bookstore in London and found the classic guidebook Nagel’s Encyclopedia Guide of China. We found some National Geographic back issues in California that eventually led us down the Yangtze and to the sky burial rock in Lhasa. There were no traveler’s guides to China back in 1983. 

When we left Malaysia we found lots of guide books in Hong Kong, but most memorable were the books of Paul Therox: The Consul’s File and The Great Railway Bazaar. 

Again guide books were hard to find for Saudi Arabia, but the book “Princess” had just come out. Scary stuff. Living there for four years didn’t change that impression of what we called “the magic kingdom.”

We interview in the UAE for our jobs here. At that time we picked up the book “From Rags to Riches” which chronicled the early growth of Abu Dhabi, but also foreshadowed the growth we have witnessed.


Moving to Kathmandu

We have traveled to Nepal before, not to mentioned that prior to our marriage, Linda lived there for three years. We know it is exotic, polluted, spectacular, and another challenge. Curiously, now that I have unlimited access to the resources of the internet and another pending move, I find myself not researching for the exotic, but the familiar. I know it will be exotic, but what is it like to live there? Where do I get groceries? How do I filter the water? Can I buy meat that I trust? In the past I couldn’t get those answers. Now I can.

Here are some of the great blogs that I found about expat life in Kathmandu:

27°72′N 85°37′E – The O’Sulivans abroad, two teachers from Portland, Oregon. One of the best blogs of expat life anywhere.

Everest and the Toenail – Like us, empty nesters living abroad. The post about the flight from the US, leaving the kids, hit home.

5+ months and counting….

Preparation for the big move. Part 1

Getting ready for the move. Research, Research, Research! 6 months until the move.

On a previous visit to Kathmandu, I noticed that the vegetation was very similar to Southern California, in fact it reminded me a lot of Orange County before it became a bedroom community. What can I grow in my imaginary garden? The food of the Kathmandu valley are highlighted in “A Taste of Kathmandu.”

If I turns out that space is in short supply in our new home, here was an idea for a vertical garden from the WEPCO of Nepal.

Bill the Pincushion

Bill the Pincushion was a practice character in “Minotaur”, a game created for the Mac by Jason Jones. No matter how hard you hit him, he would just keep moving through the maze. Bill the Pincushion takes on a new meaning with the list of shots (and pills) required for our new home in Kathmandu: Td/Tdap, MMR, Polio, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, TyphimVi, Rabies, and Japanese encephalitis. Those are required. Meningitis is recommended.