English as a Foreign Language

(Important! If the bottom of this post is cut off by the homepage pictures, try reloading the page. This usually works.) Something you may not have known about me: I teach EFL. Yes, I do. And I’ve taught English as a Foreign Language for the last 16 years. How time flies when you’re drilling the […]

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Lost in Translation — >Language >Place Blog Carnival Edition 13

(Important! If the bottom of this post is cut off by the homepage pictures, try reloading the page. This usually works.) _____________________ The >Language >Place Blog Carnival is all about language and how humorous or just plain hard it is to understand when it’s foreign. For my post on the theme of “Lost in Translation” […]

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Kimberly Menozzi — Expat Author Interview

Kimberly Menozzi’s Ask Me if I’m Happy is “a literary read with a strong romantic core” set mostly in northern Italy where Menozzi lives. She’s in Tennessee right now promoting her books. Allen: Hey, Kim! Welcome to I Must be Off! You’re going to be in Tennessee, my home state. When? Where? Give us the […]

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A Year in Wacky Signs

(Important! If this post is cut off at the bottom, reload the page. This usually solves the problem.) Do your friends walk 20 meters in front of you when you’re taking pictures of signs? Do they whisper under their breath, “Oh God, Chris is taking another picture of a sign.”?Do theymake gestures–signs of their own […]

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How Can an Expat Go “Home”?

Marienplatz, MunichAn expat often hesitates when someone asks “Where’s home?” Gosh, I don’t know. Munich? London? Nashville? Earth? Radnor Lake, Nashville, TN Am I a Nashvillian because I was raised there and love Radnor Lake? Am I English because I spend half my time there and I have the blood of English ancestors muddling through […]

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Taksi or Fright?

Fright number 89, Asia Air to Phuket boarding at gate number 66.I looked around at the Chinese travellers around me. They were too busy clamouring over trinkets and sweets to hear the humour in the announcement. They wouldn’t have noticed it anyway. Such things are for Anglo-ears only.“Fright 89,” I said to myself and laughed—because […]

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Third Time’s the Charm?

(Important! If this post is cut off at the bottom, reload the page. This usually solves the problem.) _________________________________ Gelid. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of my third trip to Prague. It was fifteen years ago. A friend who was teaching in Lithuania had come to Munich for a Christmas […]

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Dobrou chut!

(Important! If this post is cut off at the bottom, reload the page. This usually solves the problem.) __________________________ As you can deduce from my first visit to Prague (below in Prague, Rain and Common Sense), I learned more about myself than I did about the city. My second trip, a year later, was like […]

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Prague, Rain and Common Sense

(Important! If this post is cut off at the bottom, please reload the page. This usually solves the problem.) ______________________ Do I have a relationship with Prague? We’ve been on a few dates, had a few fights, a few laughs, a few beers. I suppose you could say we’re getting to know each other slowly. […]

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My AAA therapy: Germany

As most university freshmen in the US do, I started waiting tables to pay my way through school. By the time I started my master’s degree in English, I was managing the best restaurant in Nashville: Then The Cakewalk, now Zola, owned by my friends Ernie and his wife Debra Paquette, deservedly an award-winning chef. […]

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