First year in France and Expat Tips( #expattips ) | By stregatta


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Ieri festeggiavo il primo anniversario di questo blog e, cosa ancora più importante, il mio primo anno in Francia. Ovviamente l’ho scordato.

Questa data però non poteva passare inosservata, poiché esattamente (ok, non proprio esattamente, ma che pignoli che siete!) un anno fa scrivevo il mio primo post da expat e senza sapere una parola di francese mi avventuravo per le strade di Nizza e della Costa Azzurra (lo so che suona meno spaventoso di come mi sembrava all’epoca, ma era terrificante anche solo scendere a fare la spesa!).

Durante quest’anno sono successe molte cose, meno di quelle che avevo previsto per un’avventura del genere, ma comunque parecchie. Mi sono fattanuovi amici, ho imparato una nuova lingua, lasciato definitivamente il mio vecchio lavoro e me ne sono creata un altro, mi sono abituata a nuovi ritmi, nuove abitudini, nuovi cibi, all’efficienza e alle strane regole francesi. Hoviaggiato, vissuto il mio primo carnevale di Nizza, scoperto nuove feste, cose che mi piacciono della Francia ed altre che mi piacciono meno.

Dopo 12 mesi, il regalo mi andava di farlo a voi che mi avete accompagnato lungo questo entusiasmante percorso. La mia idea sarebbe stata quella di farvi dei regalini “francesi” attraverso un giveaway, ma un’altra cosa fantastica dell’Italia è la questione “legale” relativa a questa pratica  e finchè non sarà chiarita e ci saranno pericoli di sanzioni, preferirei evitare.

L’unica cosa che posso quindi “regalarvi” al momento, sono pochi consigli derivanti dalla mia (per il momento ancora breve) esperienza come expat:

  1. Non parlare mai nella tua lingua pensando che gli altri non ti capiscano. Ti capiranno proprio mentre stai dando della culona alla signora che non si sposta per farti passare.
  2. Avventurati e scopri i ristoranti locali, con cucina locale. Troverai nuovi gusti e manterrai intatto il ricordo della tua cucina originaria. E soprattutto non pagherai al ristorante 18 euro per una pizza surgelata.
  3.  Impara la lingua e le usanze del posto. Farsi nuovi amici è la parte più bella dell’essere expat. E anche capire quello che ti stanno urlando contro aiuta.
  4. Scopri una nuova persona. Trasformati in tutto quello che hai sempre sognato. Vestiti come vuoi. Hai il vantaggio che nella tua nuova città non ti conosce nessuno. Ecco, magari non fare come Sara Tommasi: le mutande mettile.
  5. Va bene l’integrazione, ma non perdere mai le tue origini e le tue radici. Sii orgoglioso della tua provenienza. Sì, puoi comunque far finta di non essere italiano quando dei compatrioti applaudono all’atterraggio o parlano ad un tono di voce superiore ai 200 decibel sperando che il loro deficit linguistico sia compensato dalla modulazione di volume.

E dopo questi (inutili) consigli, invito anche tutti gli altri expat a regalarci i loro “tips” per tutti coloro che sono o saranno expat. Ma anche indicazioni su come muoversi e comportarsi nella città che li ha accolti. Indirizzi, luoghi da visitare, cose da non perdere, da sapere, ecc…

Vi chiedo solo di indicizzare i vostri post, tweet, immagini, ecc… con il tag#expattips (se volete potete aggiungere anche il tag con la città o il paese di riferimento. Ad esempio:#Londra #Parigi #Berlino #Francia #USA…) in modo da ritrovare tutti i consigli.

Dai che lo so che ne avete di cose da raccontare…;-)

Grazie a Shabby Blogs per l’immagine qui sopra ed a PicMonkey per sopperire alla mia incapacità e alla mancanza di Photoshop.

*** Leer más “First year in France and Expat Tips( #expattips ) | By stregatta”

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The Ethics of Free: Is it Wrong to Get Free Stuff?

I love to get free stuff. Don’t you?

The problem with free is that it doesn’t mean something is really free. It just means that someone else has paid for the product or service instead of you.

Recently, I was surfing around the Wise Bread archives, and I came across a post on how to get movie rentals for free. Well, that sounds interesting, right? As I read through the comments, I found that some readers were really appreciative for the tip while others thought taking advantage of the coupon codes was either cheap, an assault on capitalism, or downright immoral.

Then the same discussion came up again. While dealing with the topic of student loan debt forgiveness for people who work for non-profit organizations, it was clear that some individuals are concerned that free to you means I get to pay (through tax dollars) for that item — in this case, student loans.


I love to get free stuff. Don’t you?

The problem with free is that it doesn’t mean something is really free. It just means that someone else has paid for the product or service instead of you.

Recently, I was surfing around the Wise Bread archives, and I came across a post on how to get movie rentals for free. Well, that sounds interesting, right? As I read through the comments, I found that some readers were really appreciative for the tip while others thought taking advantage of the coupon codes was either cheap, an assault on capitalism, or downright immoral.

Then the same discussion came up again. While dealing with the topic of student loan debt forgiveness for people who work for non-profit organizations, it was clear that some individuals are concerned that free to you means I get to pay (through tax dollars) for that item — in this case, student loans. Leer más “The Ethics of Free: Is it Wrong to Get Free Stuff?”

Brain train to get ahead

HOW TO REMEMBER THINGS

Learning a language: When you’re learning a language memory techniques can help you quickly master a core vocabulary, Lyons says. The key is in forming a visual association. For example, the French word for bread is pronounced “pan”. Lyons suggests imagining a frying pan with a loaf of bread in it. “Then when you hear the word ‘pan’ you say, what was the image?” he says.

Remembering names: First, on actually listening to the name, Lyons says, create an image related to the name. “If the name was ‘Bill’, maybe you can picture them with a bill in their hand, and they’re jumping up and down and they’re not very happy; maybe they’ve given you lots of dollar bills,” he says. “Or you think of Bill Clinton in the oval office – you could have Monica (Lewinsky) in there as well.”



Better your brain ... for bigger career prospects.

Better your brain … for bigger career prospects.

“But he was like, ‘no way’.” Leer más “Brain train to get ahead”

Telling a story on the label


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Here’s a $20 bottle of soap. Functionally identical to a $3 bottle, so what’s the $17 for?

Let’s assume the people buying it aren’t stupid. What are they paying $17 for? A story. A feeling. A souvenir of a shopping expedition or perhaps just a little bit of joy in the shower every morning. Let’s dissect:

1. The hang tag. It’s special because most soap doesn’t have a hang tag. Hang tags come on things that are a little more special than soap. And hang tags beg to be read. This one says a lot (and nothing, at the same time.) It reminds us that it doesn’t contain SLS. What’s SLS? Is it as bad as SLES? Leer más “Telling a story on the label”

How to use clichés


Image representing Wikipedia as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

I love this definition from Wikipedia:

In printing, a cliché was a printing plate cast from movable type. This is also called a stereotype. When letters were set one at a time, it made sense to cast a phrase used repeatedly as a single slug of metal. “Cliché” came to mean such a ready-made phrase. The French word “cliché” comes from the sound made when the matrix is dropped into molten metal to make a printing plate.

To save time and money, then, printers took common phrases and re-used the type.

Along the way, they trained us to understand the image, the analogy, the story. Hear it often enough and you remember it. That training has a useful purpose. Now, you can say ‘Festivus’ or ‘There is no I in team…” or “that took real courage” when describing a golf shot, and we immediately get it. Monty Python took a cliché about the Spanish Inquisition and made it funny by making it real. The comfy chair!

The effective way to use a cliché is to point to it and then do precisely the opposite. Juxtapose the cliché with the unexpected truth of what you have to offer. Apple does this all the time. They point out the cliché of a laptop or a desktop or an MP3 player and then they turn it upside down. Richard Branson takes the expected boredom of a CEO and turns it upside down by doing things you don’t expect.

I often use the Encyclopedia of Clichés to find clichés that then inspire opposites. It’s a secret weapon and it’s all yours now. Have fun.

Vía sethgodin.typepad.com

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