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Overhyped Countries
Old 01-15-2006, 03:37 PM   #1
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Overhyped Countries

By David Kessel

January 14, 2006

With very few exceptions, when there is a popular rage about some foreign country that everybody is going to on vacation, to retire or to find friends or money, I take it as sign that the country is no longer suitable for any serious sojourn.

Overhyped Countries
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Re: Overhyped Countries
Old 01-15-2006, 06:35 PM   #2
 
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Re: Overhyped Countries

it is BERTH not BIRTH.
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Re: Overhyped Countries
Old 01-15-2006, 08:30 PM   #3
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Re: Overhyped Countries

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard
it is BERTH not BIRTH.
Thank you, Howard. Without your help, I might have believed that David Kessel, the male author of this piece was, against all precedent, undergoing a painful sounding obstetrical process in some over-hyped country.

Ha
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Re: Overhyped Countries
Old 01-16-2006, 09:14 AM   #4
 
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Re: Overhyped Countries

A very prestigious Private School up here advertised for a Teacher of Racket Sports, I responded pointing out that this might involve teaching Poker or Pimping, but if they wanted a teacher of Racquet Sports, well I was no good at Tennis or Squash.
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Re: Overhyped Countries
Old 01-16-2006, 10:49 AM   #5
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Re: Overhyped Countries

I think you can give birth in a berth...in any country.
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Re: Overhyped Countries
Old 01-16-2006, 11:56 AM   #6
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Re: Overhyped Countries

Maybe some countries are overhyped but they may have alot to offer expats which will offset the higher costs.

The author seems to hint that Buenos Aires is a good choice and I would tend to agree.

But even though I have never been to the other countries recommended I have no desire to live in
Dhabi, Oman, Gabon or Senegal even if they may be favorable in some ways.

To each their own.
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Re: Overhyped Countries
Old 01-17-2006, 03:29 AM   #7
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Re: Overhyped Countries

A report from an underhyped country - Nigeria

http://www.stickmanbangkok.com/reader/reader894.html
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Re: Overhyped Countries
Old 01-17-2006, 11:49 AM   #8
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Re: Overhyped Countries

I haven't been to a lot of the places he mentions but I tend to think he's on to something -- just like being a value investor -- searching for good deals is easier in places where few are looking. I have met Uraguayans who rave about the place and can't understand why more Americans don't go there. Maybe there are some treasures out there if we're willing to go beyond the obvious... Certainly fits with the ER independent-curmudgeonly way of thinking,..
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Re: Overhyped Countries
Old 01-17-2006, 10:58 PM   #9
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Re: Overhyped Countries

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTM
Maybe some countries are overhyped but they may have alot to offer expats which will offset the higher costs.

The author seems to hint that Buenos Aires is a good choice and I would tend to agree.

But even though I have never been to the other countries recommended I have no desire to live in
Dhabi, Oman, Gabon or Senegal even if they may be favorable in some ways.
My wife and I (and sons) lived in Argentina and Gabon during the 1980's. We lived in Comodoro Rivadavia in southern Argentina which my wife disliked due to the dust and sometimes strong constant winds. We visited Buenos Aires several times for several weeks and we both loved it.

We lived in Port Gentil, Gabon which is on the Atlantic coast about 40 miles south of the Equator. The beaches were beautiful. The food stuff was mostly imported from Europe which made it expensive but a hefty cost of living allowance from Amoco took care of that. The not so good part was the reservoir of diseases (Aids, hepatitus, malaria, and other tropical diseases), the lack of medical facilities and care, and government corruption with rule by a dictator (still in power today).

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Re: Overhyped Countries
Old 01-22-2006, 01:35 PM   #10
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Re: Overhyped Countries

He mentions the Philippines as a good place. When we lived there there was both Islamic and Communist guerilla activity. My dad was on a death list. But we never had any issues. The people were nice and friendly. The only people we know who got killed were in a love triangle.

My big concern was the volcanos, earthquakes and typhoons.
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Re: Overhyped Countries
Old 02-06-2006, 05:05 AM   #11
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Re: Overhyped Countries

Interesting article, thanks. 95% of the time when we told people our relocation plans before we moved we got "Where's Malta?" We knew we were on the right track when the other five percent said with certainty, "You'll love it there."
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Re: Overhyped Countries
Old 02-06-2006, 06:57 AM   #12
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Re: Overhyped Countries

Catherine,
I've always heard great things about Malta from my British friends and never yet got there. Read you linked page about Gozo -- definitely puts another one on my list! How long and how much does it cost to fly from Malta to say, Madrid, Rome or Paris?

The stats on healthcare were particularly interesting, and the fact that you just joined the EU. But cost of living being that low -- is it because people live pretty simply there or are prices actually that reasonable? I always thought that on islands everything is expensive or just plain hard to get? (Maybe I'm just thinking of the Caribbean?)

Good luck in your island home-- it looks delighful. Thanks for the headsup and welcome to the board.

ps: do you ever get 'island fever? (I guess if you do, you just hop on a plane back to mainland Europe or the UK?)
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Re: Overhyped Countries
Old 02-06-2006, 08:31 AM   #13
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Re: Overhyped Countries

Hi Bob

Flights are getting cheaper .. for example it's possible to fly roundtrip between London and Malta for $250 USD.

Regarding the cost of living, I think it's a combination of both. Definitely people here tend to live quite simply. Wages are so much lower than we are used to in North America (I'm told that a good local working-class wage on which to support a family is about $300 USD a week). Therefore, services are correspondingly inexpensive. Groceries are roughly on a par with Canadian prices (therefore somewhat pricier than U.S.), although some things are particularly inexpensive, like bread, pasta, milk, canned beans, cheese, etc. Manufactured items tend to be 20% to 30% higher than in North America (it's impossible to beat the competitive market conditions of the U.S.). One of the real deals here is housing, particularly rental housing. Our nicely furnished 2 bdrm and den "maisonette" with sea view and a pool we share with our landlords is about $480 USD per month. We're certain that a comparable location (well, as much as you can compare location) and amenities would rent for at least three times that back where we came from.

Island fever hasn't been much of a problem for us but we are pretty easily entertained To tell the truth, we don't even go to the main island of Malta all that often, and there is quite a bit going on there. We do have some European backpacking adventures planned for a few years from now when the kids are old enough to be left alone for a few weeks.

Thanks for the welcome!
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Re: Overhyped Countries
Old 02-06-2006, 08:55 AM   #14
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Re: Overhyped Countries

Hi Catherine -
Welcome to the board. Thanks for sharing your info about Gozo - the name caught my interest without haveing a clue where it was. It sounds wonderful. I guess there really are some "undiscovered" paradises still out there.

Are there many North Americans living there? Do you find the locals accepting of you? I hope the place isn't overrun by early retirees now that you've let the cat out of the bag.
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Re: Overhyped Countries
Old 02-06-2006, 10:02 AM   #15
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Re: Overhyped Countries

Hi Sheryl,

Many, many Maltese Gozitans have lived in North America and it is not unusual to hear young adults speaking fluent English with a North American accent because they were born and raised in NYC or Toronto. That said, so far we have only met one other non-Maltese North American couple here in Gozo! Most of the other expatriates living here are British, because Malta was a British colony throughout the 19th and much of the 20th century and Malta is a popular holiday destination for them still.

As for how the locals treat us, we have just been floored at the kindness and tolerance they show us. We have asked locals what are, I'm sure, the stupidest questions and still we are treated with generousity (eg: "What's this?" "A turnip." "Oh."). I believe the population is about 5% non-Maltese residents, and so locals are used to retirees' making their home here.

I hope we don't get overrun too but my concern is that some day they'll put in a bridge from Malta to Gozo
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Re: Overhyped Countries
Old 02-06-2006, 10:20 PM   #16
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Re: Overhyped Countries

Why?
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Re: Overhyped Countries
Old 02-07-2006, 07:51 AM   #17
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Re: Overhyped Countries

Anyone been to Slovenia?

Catherine:

Wow, Gozo looks like a wonderful place to retire. I've been to Malta for a week; it is indeed lovely.

Out of curiosity, have you said how old are your children? Are they in the local schools or do you homeschool?
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Old 02-07-2006, 08:25 AM   #18
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Hi P.S.

The kids are 14 and 12 (twins). The 14-year-old goes to the local secondary school and the twin girls spend September to the end of February with their mom and are with us from March to the end of summer. We homeschool them to help them keep up with their curriculum. Kids who reside here are statutorily obligated to attend school. Adjusting has been a challenge for my son but I'm happy with the teachers and the curriculum he is being taught.
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Re: Overhyped Countries
Old 02-07-2006, 08:30 AM   #19
 
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Many Canadians ,a nd Americans, may be entitled to European Citizenship or right of abode, depending upon whether Parents or Grand Parents were born in Europe.

Red Passport allows you to travel and work freely within the EU.
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Old 02-07-2006, 10:25 AM   #20
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Re: Overhyped Countries

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard
Many Canadians ,a nd Americans, may be entitled to European Citizenship or right of abode, depending upon whether Parents or Grand Parents were born in Europe.

Red Passport allows you to travel and work freely within the EU.
Hey, do you think they'd give me a Red Passport if my last name is Scottish and I can eat a pound of haggas?

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