Chinese New Year begins this year on the 12th of February, and this year will be the year of the Ox (year of the Metal Ox, to be specific). Cattle of various types have been utilized in Chinese culture for millennia, so it makes sense that they would make the cut for the Chinese zodiac. So here we have provided a little more information on what it means to be an OX.
Winter is upon us, and while a cold beer never goes out of fashion, sometimes you want something a bit warmer, stronger, and spicier to carry you through the cold winter air. One of the things that fulfills this is mulled wine or Glühwein, a beverage made from the slow simmering of spices, citrus, wine, and sweeteners that is popular the world around. While many have their own secret recipe for the stuff, sometimes it is simply satisfying to walk into a place and order one, especially after having braved the elements to get there. As such, we have gathered together five places that are serving up the hot stuff this winter season.
“The Yellow River Soup Kitchen is a not for profit non-government organisation. A secular organisation that is open to everybody, it is wholly run by volunteers for volunteers and as such has no overheads of any description so that 100% of all donations are passed directly on to those in most need. Our objective is to organise or source a variety of projects with the aim of bringing together two specific groups of people; namely those with a desire to serve and those that are in need. Thus providing an opportunity, a vehicle, support and empowerment, to enable volunteers to channel their energies for the benefit of others whilst at the same time achieving personal growth and development. Facilitating the opportunity to cultivate a small change inside potentially manifesting in a larger change outside.
If there is ever a time when the expat lifestyle gets hard, it is around special occasions, especially those holidays which are typically designated for family. With travel restrictions still in place, many who would typically head home for the comfort of familiar surroundings will find themselves stuck both far from home and without a clue of what to do. Even those well-seasoned expats who are experienced with the whole holiday away from home situation may find themselves a bit adrift this year, as friends and family who may have come to call will not be able to do so this year. So, whether this is your first year away from home or your fifteenth, you might need some help recreating a bit of the holiday magic right where you are.
One of the great things about life as an expat is that you are able to meet people that you would have never had the opportunity to meet staying at home. Along with the diversity of people comes a great variety of traditions and different spins on the holidays that can help you to celebrate in a truly international style. To better understand each other and where we are coming from, we interviewed several expats about how they celebrate the holidays back home.
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No one plans on dying while living abroad, but sometimes bad things happen and the situation arises in which someone’s life is cut short a long way from home. In that situation, what happens? Are you buried locally or will your remains be repatriated? How is the process managed in either case? As morbid as the topic may be, and we certainly hope that this topic never need be relevant for anyone, this is something that people should be aware of when living so far from home.
It’s often been said that bookstores around the world are struggling. With the rise of the internet, and the subsequent easy access to information, as well as digital publishing, it would seem that this rumor would be true. In China, however, bookstore can still do quite well, as paper books still have a certain clout amongst readers, both for children and adults. These bookstore have moved beyond the basic model of simply providing books and have ventured into the territory of becoming entertainment centers all on their own. As such, they have often become sprawling mini-metropolises containing a plethora of options for both material objects and experiences.
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