Archive sections: ‘From an Expat’

Every now and again we see a review in the trade press of what guests look for when selecting a hotel. Price, of course, is a major criteria, and a potential deal maker or deal breaker … but they also look for other things – for example, location.  According to the estate agent, (realtor), this […]

Saturday, April 1st, 2017 at 06:00 Comments Off on Different Priorities

For the last couple of years, I have written New Year postcards based on  an annual number puzzle and thought I would pose it once again this year:   Write down the numbers from 10 down to 0 and the number of the year – leaving gaps between each one: 10     9   […]

Sunday, January 1st, 2017 at 06:00 Comments Off on A number puzzle for 2017

Apparently, … and, to be honest, I have absolutely no idea where this comes from … today is All or Nothing day. It seems that the idea is encourage people to: … break through the barriers that normally hold them back; … gird their loins, … taking it on the chin … ignore the fears and reservations … […]

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on Carpe diem

Sometimes, people jokingly tell me that after twenty one years here in Kyrgyzstan, I have become Kyrgyz … or at least half-Kyrgyz. After five years it is possible to apply for a residence permit – which I have done – or even for a Kyrgyz passport … but, as that involves giving up my British […]

Monday, July 25th, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on Saying ‘No’

I am often asked ehat I miss about England here in Kyrgyzstan … and one of the answers I offer from time to time, is the availability of books in English.  There are books in English to be found, but the range can be somewhat eclectic.  As it happens, that can be both a disappointment […]

Sunday, July 24th, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on E. F. Benson

A conversation with a colleague, the other day, brought to mind an old English idiom, proverb, adage: that Familiarity breeds contempt: … if you know someone very well, or experience something a lot, then you stop respecting them …    

Friday, July 22nd, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on Familiarity and contempt

One of the stangest days in my life was the day I ended up in Tirana, the capital of Albania. The country was just opening up to Western visitors and the trip wasn’t exactly planned in advance.  I was actually on holiday with some friends in Montenegro, (in what remained of Yugoslavia), when we saw a […]

Thursday, July 21st, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on … better than the original

I was somewhat taken aback the other day when I came home day to find Andy and some friends squating on the lfoor playing Nardi – Backgammon. What’s more, they talked about wanting to play Chess. Maxim is very fond of cards – but mainly the Russian game of Durak – Fool – a game I […]

Monday, July 18th, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on Tetris

Today is a special day for me … as I get to commemorate three of favourite themes … trivia, maths in several of its guises, and the calendar.  You see, today is 17th July … and that means it’s Yellow Pig Day. … and, yes, I can already hear the exasperated cries of What?! Actually, […]

Sunday, July 17th, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on Yellow Pig Day

Maxim, (when he’s not taking photographs), is studying Tourism … I have no idea why – he chose the course himself without me trying to exercise any influence whatsoever … and even if I had offered some advice, he would have listened and said “Thank you”, but would have still decided for himself. For one […]

Saturday, July 16th, 2016 at 06:00 Comments Off on The Great Divide