On Becoming an Expatriate

Alternatively: I’m an American in Ukraine….

Okay, I just had to borrow a line from Sting. I know, I know, it would sound so much better if I were an Englishman, but I can’t satisfy everyone all of the time, and this time my friends from the UK will no doubt be glad I didn’t try. (Hello, Mike, Nick, Angela, Joel and Chris!)

I haven’t written an article here for a while, so this update may be a bit of a surprise to my readers. I’ve moved overseas!

That’s right, I’m no longer in North America. I made this change for a number of reasons, and expressing them is the purpose of this article.

You’ll notice a new category appearing here on my main blog: Expat. This is the first article in a new series I’ll be authoring about what it is like to be an American expatriate living in Eastern Europe. This first article, however, will focus on one thing….

My Reasons for Leaving the USA

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USA Travel Advice for Europeans

Shopping in New YorkI’m taking a CELTA course in Krakow, Poland right now, and I’ve been struck by the strange travel plans or travel histories to the USA from the Polish folks I’ve met.  In each conversation I’ve had about travel to the USA, the first thing at the top of their lists seems to be, “to go to New York City in November to shop for the holidays.”  This strikes me as totally bizarre, so I wanted to give a tiny bit of friendly advice about travel in the USA.  First, I’ll respond to this particular desire – shopping in the USA – and then I’ll offer up my Top 5 places to visit for a European, and why.
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Official Launch!

space shuttle launch

A space shuttle launch

I’ve been working on this little network of blogs, and preparing it for launch for quite a while. It has been a side-project until recently, but took center stage when my little self-improvement project began to focus on the problem of procrastination.

I’m so happy to finally have this site ready to share with people!

I would love it if everyone who visits  would:

  • take a peek around at the several blogs you will find up there in the “blogs” menu
  • leave at least one comment on one of the posts
  • share at least one post on one of these blogs on your facebook wall
  • subscribe to any or all the blogs on this network
  • post a link to any blog in this network on your own blog or web site

I know that most blog readers don’t bother with most of those things, but all the same, I’d love it if every visitor did at least one of the above.  I hope you’ll find the things I’ve written about so far (or what’s coming next) well enough that you feel like doing one of the above.

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Evan’s Pure Paleo-Organic Pot Roast

the paleo diet
About the Recipe:

This recipe is my attempt to turn my mother’s excellent-tasting pot roast, which unfortunately was made with lots of commercially grown and preservative-filled ingredients, into a purely organic and natural recipe. I just cooked it for the first time, and I feel it is up to snuff. Mom’s recipe has always been great-tasting, so I wanted to try to reproduce the flavors without all the unnatural ingredients. I think I succeeded beyond my hopes. This has a deeper and richer flavor than her original, and is made with excellent all natural ingredients. I even used grass-fed beef for the pure Paleo Diet result.
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Review: HSBC BestBuy RewardZone MasterCard

My recommendation: DON’T GET ONE OF THESE.

I have one. I have one mainly because I went through a bankruptcy a few years back, and this is the only “normal card” (one without a ton of fees) that would take me. My credit score is good now, it is just the bankruptcy on my record that screws me for getting credit. So, in attempting to re-establish my credit, I am willing to accept deals from jerks like these guys. Unless you’re in my situation, you should find a better card.

Anyhow…here’s my review of their services and two recent stories about my experience with them.

HSBC Best Buy RewardZone MasterCard

Out of 5 possible stars (1 being “suck” and 5 being “awesome”)

Rewards Program: ****
Customer Service: **
Terms and Conditions: *

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Review: Trek 3900 & Reseda Bicycles

Several months ago, I purchased a brand new Trek 3900 mountain bike with front suspension and aluminum frame from Reseda Bicycles here in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley.

I could not be more pleased with my purchase.

Trek3900

This bike is lightweight, fun to ride, and has performed flawlessly thus far. It has 24 speeds and shifts smoothly and easily. The brakes perform better than any bike I’ve ever owned. The first time I needed to stop fast (going down a hill at about 50 mph when the dang light changed right in front of me), I nearly threw myself over the handlebars. That’s how much stopping power the brakes have on this thing.

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Samsung Transform and Credo Mobile Review

I don’t like phones that much. I never have. I much prefer to speak in person, or to use text to communicate. And so I am not in the habit of replacing phones often. This is how it comes to be that it took until 2011 for a techie geek like me to get a new “smart phone.”
samsung transform

I finally got tired of that tired old Motorola RAZR and its battery that died at weird unpredictable intervals, only to regain full life after being turned off and then on again. I finally got fed up with typing text messages on that crappy little phone keypad.

I broke down and got myself a Samsung Transform running Android 2.1 on the Credo Mobile service. I am in love with both my new service and my new “smartphone,” which I think is truly deserving of the name Tricorder rather than phone.

credologo

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