Expat issues

There are certain problems only expats have, and the Batgung have likely had most of them. We tell you aaaallll about them here.

Expat tribes

Regular readers know that if there’s one thing Mr Tall likes, it’s a little seat-of-the-pants amateur sociology. And recently I’ve come across an online writer whose very title glows with the kind of qualifications and expertise I’m looking for in my speculations on culture and society: Assistant Village Idiot.  Read more »

Stuff White Expats Like

MrB and I both are fans of a recent Internet phenomenon, Stuff White People Like. I strongly encourage you to go and experience the site for yourself, if you’ve not done so already, as I think it’s one of the best satirical efforts I’ve seen in many a year. Read more »

What do you do?

I don’t have a job.

And it’s ok, really. Read more »

Expat life: making a home visit

‘We care locally.’

That three-word profundity comes from a weblog written by Joe Posnanski, a sports writer whose work I enjoy.  Read more »

Cutting loose your cultural tethers

I went to see ‘The Simpsons Movie’ last month. It was fun: it’s not great, but it’s very good, upholding the general excellence of The Simpsons TV series – which I believe has earned a permanent booking at the base camp of the pinnacle of western civilization. The Simpsons has for years been my touchstone for the culture of my homeland; it’s the tether that connects me to my people.

Or is it?  Read more »

What if you had stayed home?

How different would life be if you’d never left home to live overseas? Mr Tall pointed out some of the big differences a couple of weeks back, but here’s a couple more. Read more »

More on the cost of living in Hong Kong

A few weeks ago I introduced a new component in our set of articles on the cost of living in Hong Kong. In that first installment, I compared the prices of fresh produce and meats in Hong Kong's markets, ordinary supermarkets, and high-end 'expat-oriented' food halls.
 Read more »

Cultural mirrors

Chengdu Airport, 8:00 AM

She is well-prepared; I’ll grant her that. North American, around 50, I’d say – far too practical to dress in the swirls of cheap Thai cotton favored by younger backpackers, she’s armored in quality adventureware straight from the reviews in Outdoor magazine. But she’s still got that Traveler look: a supercilious gaze, a smug little smile that assures you she’s already assimilated this morning’s airport adventure into its proper niche in her Experiential Tapestry.  Read more »

How much does food cost in Hong Kong?

We Batgung are asked the same question by many commenters and emailers: ‘How much does it cost to live in Hong Kong?’

The easy answer is ‘quite a lot, but maybe not so much as you might think, so long as you know where to look for things’.

What’s much harder is demonstrating by anecdote or isolated example how much difference it makes in Hong Kong if you buy your goods and services from expat-centric providers, as opposed to local ones.

Voluntary work in Hong Kong

Not surprisingly, most voluntary work in Hong Kong needs you to speak Chinese. Still, if you have some free time and want to volunteer there are options for English-speakers. I'll describe one of them, a place I spent some time at last year. Then I'll also list some other groups that are looking for volunteers.

Crossroads Read more »

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