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Monday, April 30, 2012

More Timbits: Making or Breaking Cross-Cultural Relationships

العربية: دونات معروضة في أحد المحلات المشهورة ...Image via Wikipedia

I hoped that the last time I tossed some tasty timbits your way that it whet your appetite for more. Because today I've got some more juicy morsels that my mind has been chewing on in regards to the theme of cross cultural relationships.  It is something I like to call the "Monkey in the Middle".  This is a key element that can make or break your relationship with someone from another language and culture.

What I mean by the "Monkey in the Middle" is finding someone who understands both cultures and both sides. Those of you who are well versed in our story know that Marisa and I came to a point where all the talking in the world wasn't getting us anywhere. It wasn't that I didn't understand spanish, I understood what she was saying but we still weren't able to piece together exactly what was going on.  This was because at the time of the conversation, we didn't have understanding about the other person's culture.

Monday, April 23, 2012

From Friend to Frenemy.......

As all of you know, I periodically write article from time to time with tips on how to have success in cross-cultural relationships. This article takes on a very different nature in that it will be teaching all the steps you need to take if you wish to end up hopelessly caught in the coils of a snake and eating out of hands of a powerful enchantress.....a friend turned frenemy. Bonne appetit  :)

We last left off with me telling you the story of the seemingly random incident where I couldn't call my friend after redialing her from the airport. I ended up boarding the plane without having one last chance to speak to her. But separation turned out to be a good thing because being on another continent would allow me to see a whole other side of this friend of mine whom I have dubbed the "Argentine Serpentine"

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Buenos Aires Best Kept Secrets : Two Day Itinerary by Unanchor

 Unanchor is a company that provides self-guided itineraries so that you can skip researching your destination and enjoy a pre-made itinerary that has been put together by local experts. They are constantly looking for travel writers to put together fantastic itineraries that will be available for purchase by travelers wanting to travel more, spend less while at the same time going at their own pace.

It has given me great pleasure to announce that Unanchor and I have put together an 2 day itinerary that reveals Buenos Aires Best kept secrets. Anyone can say that they've been to Evitas grave in the Recoleta Cemetary or have stood in front of the Plaza de Mayo. But not everyone can say that they've been to a hidden gem like the Evita Museum or seen Floralis Generica (giant metal flower) in Recoleta.  And where in the world is Parque Tres de Febrero and what exactly is it?

With this two day itinerary, Unanchor and I have taken the work of thinking and researching out of your hands.  The price of the itinerary I've created costs $4.99  and consists of maps, pictures, restaurants, means of transportation to each destination as well as an appendix full of secrets about the city that only an expat would know.  The itinerary consists of a balanced mix of museums, popular attractions, parks and hidden gems that most tourists miss.

When I first landed in this city in 2009, it was then that I realized how rich, complicated, and fascinating Buenos Aires was. Selecting the right guide to take with me before I left home made all the difference and I saw and experienced things that went beyond cliché tourist traps.  My guide kept me busy every single day for a whole 6 wks for hours and hours per day.

Because of that experience, I have always valued and understood the power of a good guide and when my turn came, I wanted to use my knowledge of the city to make sure that others are spending less and seeing more. Why spend money on hiring a guide? Beat inflation, get more bang for your buck and see your dollar stretch further by being your own guide.

 The link below will take you straight to the itinerary where you can view it for purchasing.  There are places in my two day itinerary that were a surprise for my Argentine friends who are native to the city that they didn't even know about.......

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Monday, April 16, 2012

An Argentine Serpentine

Before the death of Harry Houdini, he and is wife created a password of sorts. This was so that any charlatan or psychic claiming to be channeling Houdini had to give the password so that his wife knew that it was the real Houdini. After the passing of Houdini, many psychics came to his wife saying that Houdini was being channeled through them. But not one of them got the password correct.  In the end Houdini's wife came to the conclusion that it was impossible to bring Houdini back from the other side.

Houdini may have been master illusionist but an Argentine friend of mine wins the award of being MASTER HYPNOTIST :O  Putting this story on my blogsite was absolutely irresistable but in order to maintain some level of privacy, I had to make some compromises. Firstly that the name of this person is not going to be mentioned nor am I even going to let on to which season I met her in (we are currently in season 3 on this blogsite). Let's just say for now that she's someone that I've know for awhile.

One of the first things I do when I meet a friend is find out what Chinese animal they were born in. To each his    own and some people may not think to much of Chinese astrology or the Chinese zodiac but I do and the majority of the time there has been a high level of accuracy in sizing up people.  But no amount or reading or research could have prepared me for what it is like to receive a snakebite from someone born in the year of the snake and come face to face with a true Argentine serpentine.

When I was reading the profile of someone from the year of the snake, there were descriptions such as "seductive" "possessive" "suave" "calculative". It was my folly to have skimmed over lightly those descriptions thinking nothing of them.  Ultimately it led to me succumbing to a giant snakebite whose venom there is no cure for.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Tasty Timbits: 2 Tips for Maintaining Cross-Cultural Relationships

I LOVE chocolate glazed timbits. i can eat a w...Image via Wikipedia

Hope that all of you did some fantastic feasting over the holidays but saved room for dessert.....and by dessert I mean timbits.  That is the theme of todays post, timbits.  There are some random thoughts and pearls of wisdom that have been rolling around in my mind. These are things that I have learned from experience and observation but are not necessarily big enough to be the only theme of an entire post.  So I created a blogpost today where I can serve up some timbits for you to chew on.

Monday, April 02, 2012

A Whale of a Life

Whale Fall (after life of a whale) from Sharon Shattuck on Vimeo.

It's that time of the year again where some of you out there will be going to a church service. Others of you will find yourselves in the middle of an easter egg hunt. And there are those of you may end up doing both :)  I am so aware of how diverse my audience is and I have made a constant effort to appeal to the human spirit and the things we all have in common.  This ingenious short film someone made using cutouts to show what happens to a whale after it goes to that great ocean in the sky.  I thought that it would be the perfect video with a theme that encompasses the idea of death and new life in a way that anybody can relate to.

A whale is one of those creatures whose death is just as significant as its life. Because the body of a whale can sustain organisms for 50 to 75 yrs after its death. It literally becomes an island of life. In death there is life for so many creatures that live in the city. I am in my 30's and it blows my mind that a whale that died the very day I was born is still sustaining life to other organisms at the bottom of the ocean.

 I realize more and more each day that so many things I thought on my life were a beginning when really they were an end. But on the flip side, so many things that I thought were an end are only the beginning.....

"Death is lifes best invention" - Steve Jobs

Amorous Alpacas

Amorous Alpacas