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Spread the Love: Four Things to Do with Your Christmas Money

Hi, sweet IMBO readers. I hope you are all having a great Christmas or whatever you are/are not celebrating today. I celebrate Christmas–or, better, I am celebrating Christmas right now at my parents’ house in the States. I’m up a bit early, thinking about what to do with my Christmas money. Pay Bills is at […]

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Istanbul — A Turkish Delight

When Egbert the Enigma tells me we are going to spend a long weekend in Istanbul, I immediately go to I Must Be Off! to remind myself where my hands have already been in the Euro-Asian metropolis. Ah, yes. We had a grand taxi-driver experience, we lost ourselves in a Turkish bazaar once, we–or rather […]

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The Search for Gluten-free Beer in the Czech Republic

Pilsner Urquell Brewery in Pilsen, Czech RepublicI read on the Internet somewhere that the Czech Republic was one of the leaders in developing gluten-free beer, so naturally I believed this. Off I went with visions of gluten-free tastings, gluten-free tours, gluten-free lagers and pilsners. And all we found was smokers.If you are a chain-smoker, you […]

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A November Hike at Aachensee in Austria

Friday, we–and you know when I say “we” I always mean Oscar the Carpaccio Pounder because I don’t plan things, right?–so, we planned a spur-of-the-moment trip to Austria. We drove to Aachensee, just across the German border into Austria, then we hiked all the way to Gramaialm from the parking lot in Pertisau. When I […]

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On the Bee-ducational Path at Pillersee

Yesterday evening our neighbors came home after a family bike ride all bundled up in warm jackets and scarves, hats and gloves. I was standing there at my door barefoot in shorts and a not-very-clean T-shirt. “Um,” they said collectively. “What.” The only thing missing from my summer-fun gear was an umbrella-ed drink, sunglasses and […]

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200,000 Hits!!!!

I’m sure the 200,000th hit at I Must Be Off! was a Russian spambot. They do love me. I owe a great debt to my Russian spambot followers. Thank you for following my posts so closely, spamskis! And thank you for your übercreative, grammatically incorrect comments! And then there are the real followers. Thank you […]

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The Last Rays of Summer

Every year around this time, Otto the Bavarian Zookeeper and I go through the same ritual. We begin to say things like “Well, Otto the Bavarian Zookeeper, this weekend will be our last opportunity to go hiking, so we should make the most of it, eh?” or “So, Otto the Bavarian Zookeeper, how about one […]

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Do I really have to pronounce everything correctly when abroad?

How do you react when you hear someone mispronounce a place name or a famous person’s name? A few years ago I was hanging around the lobby of the MoMA in NYC waiting for my friends to get their museum fix. As you know, if you’ve kept up with my travels, I hate museums. Actually, […]

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Indiana Review 1/2 K Prize Results

I’m thrilled that my story “When Susan Died the First Time” was chosen as a finalist in Indiana Review‘s 1/2 K Prize competition. Writers use that word “thrilled” a lot. I don’t use it lightly. Indiana Review is one of the top 50 places to be published in the US, and it’s cool. Indiana Review […]

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Expat Author Interview with Hannah Thompson-Yates

Hannah Thompson-YatesHannah Thompson-Yates, a travel writer and English teacher from Birmingham in England, currently lives in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. In 2012, Thompson-Yates was one of the first-place winners in the I Must Be Off! Travel Essay Contest. _________________ IMBO: Hannah, welcome to I Must Be Off! and congratulations again on your winning entry in […]

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