India is vast and a fast developing country in South Asia. The vast size means that it has a varied climate ranging from tropical to temperate however, generally speaking, the climate is tropical. For a visiting expat or tourist the country holds a lot promise be it in terms of beautiful locales like the mountains of Kashmir, the Thar Desert in the west or the beaches in the south or the buzzing business and IT hub like Mumbai and Bangalore. [Read more...]
What comes to your mind when you think of Pakistan? A country held hostage by a few hundred extremists? Well, there is more than bombings and terror plots from Pakistan. It is home to 180 million people who are resilient enough to extract good from the worst. A few thousand diehard expatriates also call it home.
Who are they? To make things clear, they are not CIA contractors. They are not from the diplomatic corps either. They are simply normal, law-abiding citizens like you and me. They are Pakistanis! [Read more...]
I’m sitting in an auditorium in a school in Thailand. My cousin is next to me planning courses.
I spent the morning stretching on top of a brick staircase in the sky. The steps were falling apart and as I walked up it hoping the structure wouldn’t crumble beneath me. The staircase didn’t seem to lead anywhere except to the platform at the top, at the edge of the clouds.
Every culture has their own superstitions, and it’s always a good idea to be aware of them before embarking on an extended stay in a foreign country – lest you unknowingly violate a centuries-old taboo. Korean superstitions may strike Westerners as being distinctly odd, but when it comes down to it, they’re no stranger than our fear of black cats, avoidance of sidewalk cracks, and tendency to knock on wood. However, many Koreans take their superstitions a bit more seriously than most – “fan death”, arguably the country’s most infamous urban legend, can be found listed on several death certificates issued in South Korea. In fact, many Korean superstitions are somewhat morbid, with four of the five on this list being allegedly fatal – and the other causing life-long physical suffering. So, here are five prominent Korean superstitions to be mindful of before coming to The Land of the Morning Calm.
‘Gaijin complex’ is a term used to describe the general discomfort many Japanese feel toward foreign human beings (gaijin means foreigner). It’s the old guy who’s about to sit next to you on the train and then gets a look at you and thinks better of it. It’s the lady who trembles while she rings up your coffee and can’t understand your simple order even though you said it in perfect Japanese. It’s the teachers at the high school where you work who pretend you don’t exist. [Read more...]
What’s your experience with Indian – or on a broader scale – South Asian food? Are you in love with it? Do you feel heartburn after a hearty meal of spicy lentils? If your experience is not good, chances are that you made a bad choice. South Asian food is as diverse as the languages spoken in the region. Knowledge of different types of food will help you in better enjoying the delicacies. [Read more...]
Moving to Japan was the most utterly confusing experience of my life. Everything was too small and the people didn’t welcome me with open arms like I thought they would. All my efforts at studying Japanese were worthless when I encountered the real language that was spoken daily by human beings. I was here but I felt distinctly outside of everything with no way in.
After two years of getting to know Dubai from the inside out, I have finally moved on with mixed emotions and a perspective that I feel most people may never get to truly appreciate. I offer you 7 lesser-known reasons why Dubai is truly a great place, whether you believe it or not.
Blood-Orange Saturated Sunsets
Come to Dubai if you want to see a giant blood-orange sun dipping into the Arabian gulf. For that miraculous moment, witness an interplay of rich magentas and oranges bring time to a standstill in the thick and quiet air which only defers to a polyphony of adhans, the Islamic call to prayer that will impregnate the heavy air. To some it is a religious experience. For anyone else, it is a matter of reflecting on how the sultry aura of the gulf will make your spirit feel. It can be. incredibly. relaxing. [Read more...]
On March 11th at 2:46pm, everything began to shake. Within ten seconds it grew from a slight swaying to a full-scale earthquake with floors shifting, walls creaking and things flying off the shelves. Even though more than 200 miles from the epicenter, I could hardly walk through my apartment and navigate down the stairs to the parking lot below. [Read more...]
in collaboration with Said Hamideh
That is the question for women visiting the Middle East. In Sex and the City 2 we witness Sarah Jessica Parker and the entourage donning burkas to escape the wrath of locals. And yet they also parade around in some pretty revealing clothes such as in that scene where they visit a Dubai souk. A reality which is almost passable, but not quite. Like many other aspects of that movie, it is difficult to take away some kind of reliable lesson. [Read more...]