Category Archives: quirk

8 Wacky English Words that Sound Completely Made-Up

The English language is both complex and quirky. Its idioms, words that aren’t pronounced at all like they’re spelled,  and confusing (or contradictory) rules, all from a part of the wonderful language we call English. So don’t be a nincompoop and stop your lollygagging, and read onto to learn about some of the craziest English(…)


4 Ways to Combat Homesickness in Any Country

Homesickness is a reality that everyone faces from time to time, no matter how long one has been traveling or how well-adjusted one is to another country. Whether it’s missing the holidays with family, a special occasion missed with friends, or just the normal down-in-the-dumps cycle we sometimes find ourselves in, homesickness can strike anyone,(…)


What is ‘Feminism’ And Why is it the 2017 WOTY?

Feminism has been named the WOTY (word of the year) for 2017 by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and you probably won’t have too hard a time guessing why. Feminism has been huge in the last year, especially with the downfall of powerful figures like Harvey Weinstein, the rise of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, and the(…)


Taxicab Mandarin: How to Navigate Your Way through China

The goal of this article would be to provide some very basic Mandarin to be used in taxis by people who don’t speak Mandarin, however, “Taxicab Mandarin” is also an informal level of Chinese language acquisition, e.g. I speak enough Mandarin to tell the taxi driver where to go; hence, the taxicab element. Meanwhile, this(…)


Christmas Traditions from Around the World

It’s that time of year again! Time to overspend for a few days of overindulgence, re-gift those presents we’ve kept hidden in the back of our cupboards for a year because we can’t stand to look at them, and beg both our livers and stomachs for forgiveness (other festivities are available). Every person who celebrates(…)


The US Dollar’s Name Origin and Associated Common Slang

Money talks and nobody walks, and that is just the way it is. In a consumer-based society, money is at the top of our conversational pyramid. How often when hanging with friends, having dinner with family or chatting with colleagues at work does someone ask: “How much was that?” Even between strangers waiting for a(…)


10 Must-Know Phrases for Your Diwali Celebrations

Diwali is one of India’s biggest festivals of the year and an incredibly important holiday for Hindus. The celebrations occur over a period of five days and include numerous traditions, activities, and, yes, tasty treats. If you’re celebrating the Festival of Lights for the first time this coming week, you may find yourself overwhelmed (and(…)


How Far Can You Get in the World Only Speaking English?

There are plenty of people who travel and live abroad, yet somehow manage to get by with only knowing English. The falling rate of people learning languages in the U.K. and U.S. perhaps points to a sort of English-speaker arrogance—because English is considered such a global language, we tend to assume that everywhere we go(…)


How the Stereotypes of Nationality, Ethnicity, Race, and Gender May Affect Your Expat Experience

The scope of my expat experience is limited to Asia. However, an informal survey of random online expat forums – as a member and visitor – confirms my suspicions: It’s the same everywhere, and by “it”, I mean the conditional happiness of people trying to make the nut* in foreign countries. *Make the nut =(…)


Right Swiping Your Way to a Second Language

Allow me to introduce myself: My name is Aaron and I am an American living and studying in Barcelona, Spain.   Ever since moving abroad, my answer to the inescapable “de donde eres” question has strategically shifted from ‘the U.S.’ to ‘California.’ I must admit, it’s a great strategy. As soon as the word leaves(…)