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Old 07-11-2013, 09:17 PM   #101
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While I can understand the allure of living in a foreign country early in retirement, I just can't imagine dealing with end-of-life in a foreign country.
I guess we all have our own reactions to such prospects. For me the end-of-life situation is the time of life where location would matter the least. It's not as thought it's going to be particularly enjoyable anywhere.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:49 PM   #102
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... OSHA was started in 1982, long after the US had emerged as a global leader in manufacturing. .
Hmm, I can remember OSHA rules already being put in place in 1972 when I started working (mostly because the bosses were sooooo mad about them).
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:42 PM   #103
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Hmm, I can remember OSHA rules already being put in place in 1972 when I started working (mostly because the bosses were sooooo mad about them).
You're right. Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed in 1971. Makes sense now that I think of it since Nixon was the last liberal president, not Reagan.

Doesn't change my point though: safety is a luxury that appears long after basic development has been achieved.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:05 AM   #104
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Re: the hot coffee, in talking with a lawyer familiar w the case at McDonald, the liquid was scalding. It wasn't simply someone being clumsy. If you buy a cup of coffee, it's reasonable to expect to be able to drink it, but if you have to wait a bit, then so be it. To be given a drink that can cause serious burns and land you in the hospital is not reasonable.
I think it is pretty reasonable to assume any water based (are there other varieties??) fresh brewed coffee you receive is around 200 degrees F. Any hotter than 212 degrees and it would immediately vaporize at atmospheric pressures. Maybe it has cooled off a little below 200. Probably not below 160 degrees when served. And that will cause serious burns quickly with limited exposure times (seconds? fractions of a second?).
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:41 AM   #105
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On the flip side, I've noticed, as I've traveled to places outside the U.S., that some U.S. visitors seem quite naive and too trusting about their surroundings; like walking to the very edge of a steep cliff, getting far too close to wild animals, getting into dangerous river rapids, or other similar situations.

I wonder if this may be due to having been living surrounded by so many safety fences, warnings, etc....that they simply assume that everything is 'safe' unless otherwise directed.

I've seen it so often that I've started calling it the "Disneyfication" effect (where people think they are having safe Disneyland-type experiences and are totally unaware of the real hazards).

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Old 07-14-2013, 10:25 PM   #106
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I wouldn't normally push my blog, but I just so happened to write a post that addresses this very question and so seems relevant - "Taking the 'Ex' Out of Ex-Pat"
Here's my comment to your blog post....

Expat life is not for everyone. i’ve been an expat for 25 years, 6 countries and still counting....Safe to say, I've seen many come and go. there are two categories of expats in general (not to stereotype, but you cant help but do that ) — those who are “doing their time” courtesy of megacorp moving them around the world counting down the days to go home, and those that WANT to be where they are, or at least are accepting of the differences and are open minded, making the most of the experience.


Living the expat life goes way beyond saving a few bucks on housing or utilities or food. In some cases, it’s even MORE expensive living abroad (those damn plane tickets back to “home” get expensive).
It’s not for lazy people. You have to be up for a challenge, willing to dive in and learn new things, and get your proverbial @55 kicked from time to time… The lifestyle for us has been extremely interesting and mentally stimulating.



The friends we have made share bonds with us as strong as family.



Personally we would be bored dead “sitting on the front porch rocking chair”. Even an “exciting” life in the USA seems totally boring by comparison to what we do, see, and live every day. The stimulation is fantastic. Even the most mundane days abroad are intellectually interesting…. challenging….etc.



Yes, we have “I hate XXXXX (fill in your favorite expat location_)” days from time to time — all perfectly normal and healthy —sometimes the culture shocks get to you ...just want a "normal back home day"...but alas, the grass is always greener...


truth is, I have the “I hate being back in America” days too…where there is equal incompetence....and what we expect to work flawlessly just doesnt.... eg. yesterday the dumb blond at the grocery store drives her car the wrong way down the parking lot, the droid at the post office cant work faster than a snail’s pace, the 28 year old "kid" at walmart cant make change on his own without using the computer terminal, a host of college educated people protesting god knows what and blocking traffic for miles, and 3 of our cherished military vets are standing on a street corner begging for your change because the VA kicked em to the curb. . .



It happens…



So, expat life is just simply not for everyone.



In closing - I honestly think those who are not cut out for this kind of life should not try it...because those who can’t handle the lifestyle are typically the ones who bring the rest of us down with their endless whining and complaining. Better that they stay on the porch....
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:11 AM   #107
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Judging from the expat boards I read and the State Department post reports, the one thing that Americans miss most when living abroad is Mexican food. Apparently my fellow Americans get upset when they find that there is no Mexican (or not their preferred version— CalMex, TexMex, New Mexican) when they travel abroad.

I probably eat Mexican food once or twice a year so I can get my taco fix when I get back to the US for vacation.
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:09 AM   #108
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As a 7-year expat in Indonesia, here are some of the things I miss:
family/friends most (but Skype helps a lot),
long summer evenings (at the equator it always gets dark around 6:00-6:30),
good cheese,
drive-by-rule as opposed to drive-by-feel,
cool hikes in the dry mountain air,
sourdough bread,
newly released, competitively priced computers and electronics.

I can get good Mexican food, Netflix, and scalded by coffee here just fine.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:41 AM   #109
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Can you give some examples of things you unexpectedly miss when moving w/in the US?

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It is true, as stated above, that most people can find something at least close to what they're looking for right here in the USA. At the same time, as a person who has lived all over this country, I can say that relocating within the USA can cause you to miss many things you take for granted in your current territory.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:55 AM   #110
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Can you give some examples of things you unexpectedly miss when moving w/in the US?
New York Pizza.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:16 AM   #111
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Can you give some examples of things you unexpectedly miss when moving w/in the US?
The main library at Texas A&M.
Foggy mornings in Berkeley.
Stringing leis with friends in Hawaii.

I could go on. Every place I have lived has had its good points and not-so-good points.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:33 AM   #112
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It is interesting how we tend to notice and think about the bad things while taking the good for granted, isn't it?

During our fairly extensive travels, I've noticed that missing the little things is a whole lot more likely in other countries than other parts of this country. I guess in one way, that shouldn't be surprising. But in another it is, because I notice this difference even in English speaking foreign countries.
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:34 PM   #113
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We would miss seeing our children and grandchildren on a regular basis.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:26 AM   #114
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As a Foreign Service Brat (14 of my first 18 years overseas), it is interesting where many of my classmate have ended up. I think a third are overseas and most of the rest are ready to vacation there at the drop of the passport. Among my coworkers are several who have never been out of the country (and we are only a few hours away from Mexico).

I can't say what I would miss since things have changed so much since I lived overseas. The things I missed are available now. Plus I had diplomatic immunity back then.
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:27 AM   #115
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What I'd miss about the US is living in a country where everybody speaks English.

Oh....errr...wait a minute....forget that.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:45 PM   #116
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Corn fed beef. I never find a decent steak when I'm abroad. Oh and US style bacon. Full sized refrigerators..sinks that meld cold and hot water..air conditioning..

Probably US women also. Since I have one looking over my shoulder...
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:58 PM   #117
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What I'd miss about the US is living in a country where everybody speaks English.

Oh....errr...wait a minute....forget that.
I would miss that too but more I would miss not having to try to communicate in a language I'm not at all fluent in, while outside the US.

We have four in-laws of our family now who are not native English speakers and every time we get together I am grateful and in awe of their efforts to speak English.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:05 PM   #118
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Being able to get French/Chinese/Mexican fusion takeout from a place run by a Vietnamese family at 1 in the morning.

And yes, it's really, really good.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:21 AM   #119
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I am visiting the USA at the moment and visited Silicon Valley and Yosemite to see friends. I was using buses all over Silicon Valley and also using the airlines and I noticed just how polite Americans typically are to each other. It is an adjustment for me.

I have been doing a lot of shopping at Costco and Walmart while in the USA. Geez, these places are simply amazing. Even the service I got at Costco today was amazing, both in level of competence and willingness to help.

In San Jose, my friend and I had a million ethnic restaurants to choose from, and we ate at one Indian place and another Ethiopian place. Both were outstanding. That just is not possible in many other locations.

Re: Hot Coffee
I actually like my coffee that hot and drink it. It is how I make my own coffee. I can't stand luke warm coffee. And coffee that you buy hot stays acceptably hot longer -- I sometimes buy a bigger size than I need strictly for thermodynamic reasons (cools more slowly). At StarCrack I always request extra hot on my drinks.

Those people that have sued for too hot coffee have deprived my enjoyment over the years (seriously).
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:12 AM   #120
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My earlier post aside, we lived in both Europe and Asia for many years.

A good "American" steak and US coffee were missed dearly. A decent Martini was also hard to find even at "American" bars. Asia seemed to do a better job at meeting the US palate for such things than Europe however (one of my best steaks ever in my life was in Taiwan--imported from the US)

Of course they make up for it with outstanding food/wine/etc of their own! Snails in garlic butter and a nice baguette!
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