Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Fifteen months and counting—that’s how long I’ve been living in Bermuda. Fifteen months of curious exploration (Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve, anyone?), memorable firsts (chatting with Wyclef Jean before last year’s Music Festival) and lessons learned (never leave home without bungee cords and duct tape). Short trips abroad definitely have their benefits—after all, it’s called vacation for a reason—but living outside one’s home country sure has its perks. Expat life stokes reinvention, adventure and the willingness to try new things. With it comes unforced cultural exchange and the opportunity to learn at every corner. Here in Bermuda I quickly learned to say “good morning,” “good afternoon,” and “good evening,” before starting any conversation—although having lived in the über-polite U.S. Virgin Islands in years past, that custom had long been engrained into my consciousness. Fifteen months in I’ve also learned to cross at the crosswalks, to honk my horn when I see friends and to dress smart casually, constantly. I’ve also learned that seemingly simple things, like obtaining one’s driver’s license, is a long and difficult process pitted with potholes, but alas, I won’t open that can of worms again.
Point is, being an expat is a good thing as Istanbul transplant Meg Nestorov recently discovered. I first met Meg through Twitter where she and I casually connected about planning for her big move abroad. I’m not exactly sure why, but all expats, no matter what their nationality or where they live, really like to help other expats or expats-to-be. Call it some kind of secret expat code. So when Meg had questions about moving to Turkey I was more than happy to help. Like me, she posts funny quips about life abroad on her blog, The Notorious M.E.G., and has since parlayed her time in Istanbul into a part-time blogging gig on Gadling. As her first post about expat life attests, living abroad is sometimes a challenge, but no doubt an interesting, weird and incredibly fulfilling challenge.
Writes Meg: “No matter how well-traveled you are, moving to a foreign country and living as an expat is a whole new ballgame. Your priorities and standards change, and hours that you may have spent as a traveler in a museum or wandering a beach are now spent as an expat in search of an alarm clock or trying to distinguish between eight types of yogurt. You become like a child again: Unable to speak in complete sentences, easily confused and lost, and constantly asking questions.” Her post goes on to suggest ways to ease the transition, namely by calling upon expat bloggers and asking for advice. As you’ll see, Bermuda Shorts is in esteemed company, suggested as a resource alongside Miss Expatria (a witty American woman in Rome), Fly Brother (a humorous African-American man in Brazil) and Carpetblogger (a sarcastic chic in Istanbul).
It's all good advice, as anyone who's ever lived outside their home country knows. No doubt, it's definitely a challenge living abroad—do I miss my family and eating hotdogs at Mets games? Absolutely—but it's one that without question opens doors and expands minds. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be here in Bermuda, but with fifteen blissful months behind me and 90-minute flights “home” I may be staring at the turquoise ocean for the foreseeable future.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Do you live on the east coast of the U.S. or Canada? Are you really hot? If so then you probably have Bermuda to blame. According to North American weather reports—like this one from Toronto, this one from Vermont and this one from Massachusetts—meteorologists are blaming the July heat wave on a “Bermuda high,” which is also causing haze, humidity and some very funny comments on Twitter. A few of my faves:
“#pitstains currently trending in Ottawa” -- @domcoballe
“Email from a NYC friend/colleague: I am homicidally hot the minute I am more than 2 inches away from the A/C but otherwise fine.” -- @victoriajcoe
“The East Coast is going to melt” -- @skeletalknight
“I thought I lived in Canada, not Grenada” -- @jonjuane
“I’m starting to understand what the dinosaurs felt like” -- @poofleia
“I would relish having a kidney stolen today if it’d mean waking up in an ice bath” -- @rellasue
“Ok, now it really is hotter than two rats fornicating in a wool sock.” -- @deadflagblues6
Says @007LouiseOB, that last one was the “best hot weather description EVER” and at the risk of doting on the profane I think I have to agree (although @rellasue’s ice bath comment is a close second). As for Bermuda, well, it’s 80 degrees and sunny here. And with flights less than two hours from New York City, you can feasibly fly to Southampton, Bermuda faster than you could drive to Southampton, Long Island. Just sayin’.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
This weekend marks the second straight year I’ll be celebrating Independence Day on foreign soil—although considering the soil is sand and the sand is pink I’m certainly not complaining. Back in the States it’s always the jolliest of weekends. Also known as the official start of summer Fourth of July weekend is when beaches become flooded with sun-worshippers, naughty kids mess around with fireworks and barbecues get stoked for the first time (if of course they hadn’t been lit on Memorial Day or in my case, Father’s Day when my family was treated to grilled pizzas during a recent trip to New York). It’s all good fun, but the point is to celebrate the independence of a nation.
So what’s an American in Bermuda to do? For starters I’ll be wearing this snazzy shirt again, originally procured from a prominent member of the U.S. Olympic volleyball team (that’s me on Church Bay last year). Second? Some down home cooking should do the trick, perhaps barbeque chicken, corn on the cob and fresh watermelon, if indeed the juicy fruit made its long trip overseas in a refrigerated container. I don’t have any fireworks to shoot off but I’ve never really been an explosives kind of guy anyway. Oh yeah, and I’ll read the Declaration of Independence because every American should read the Declaration of Independence at least once a year. Just consider the first sentence. It doesn’t get much better than this:
“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” It took a lot of, shall we say, cojones to write that first sentence. But then Mr. Hancock and friends hit us with this doozy: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Amen brother! Consider my happiness officially being pursued on Bermuda’s pink shores. In the meantime, happy Fourth of July to all you Americans out there.
Thursday, July 1, 2010