Culture

My Expats World | Idyllic Italian Islands Ban Plastic Cups, Plates and Utensils

From the beginning of this summer, plastic plates, cups, utensils and other packaging was made illegal on the Isole Tremiti, a chain of islands off Italy’s eastern coast. Alarming levels of plastic Alarming levels of plastic particles in the waters surrounding the archipelago were measured recently which is what inspired the new law. These islands lie within a protected marine reserve off the coast of Puglia. Local mayor steps up Antonio Fentini, the local mayor, proposed a solution of imposing fines of up to €500 on anyone (businesses or individuals) caught using plastic cups, plates or utensils on any of the archipelago’s three islands. People have been encouraged to change to using reusable or biodegradable picnicware. Are plastic bottles next? Fentini has not yet banned pla...

My Expats World | The Best Time of Day to Work Out

Staying committed to a regular gym routine is hard. Tackling fatigue, family and work don’t make it any easier. It may seem counterintuitive to get out of bed earlier when you are tired, or to go after work when you feel mentally drained. Just how are we meant to be maximising our workouts when we can barely keep our eyes open? Some fitness experts have explained the best time of day to exercise and to maximise your efforts while you do. So read on to see when is the best time of day to work out. Morning or evening? Most people are not weighing up their health benefits when deciding when to go to the gym. It’s usually a case of fitting a workout around other scheduled commitments. But is this the best way to do it? Personal trainer and instructor, Banafsheh Hassanzadeh, says: “The best tim...

My Expats World | How to Survive a Swedish Crayfish Party

It’s August, and in Sweden that means it’s crayfish party time. If you’re new to the country or just haven’t had enough practice with crayfish etiquette, an invite can bring on some anxiety. This handy guide will help you survive the ordeal. 1. Hope for a demonstration Crayfish are tasty little creatures but figuring out how to eat them can be challenging. One needs to get behind the pesky shell to get at the meat and good stuff. And, different people have different methods of getting into it. An easy way to begin is by twisting each of the claws clockwise at the base of the arms so they break off. Do this before sucking the juices out from them and removing the small pieces of meat inside. Next, it’s time for the body itself. This is where most methods tend to diff...

My Expats World | Climate change and laziness killed our genetic ancestors

What did affect their fate? The latest archeological study at the Australian National University revealed that Homo erectus (“upright human”) might die because of being too chill. The lead researcher, Dr. Ceri Shipton,  claims that their laziness is revealed by the way these archaic humans made their tools. Dr. Shipton and his team were exploring some territory in Saudi Arabia, where they were focusing on stone axes made by Homo erectus. Interestingly, the excavation site proved that our genetic ancestors were simply choosing something that was lying nearby their camp instead of going further away to pick some better-quality rocks for their tools. Their carefree perspective didn’t help them to survive during the climate change. When the rivers in the Arabian Peninsula dried up,...

My Expats World | The World’s Top 5 Food Experiences

Food is an important part of any place. It unlocks social customs and revealing ancient traditions, all while offering us a chance to connect with the locals in an organic way. It’s a delicious way to get to know the city we are living or traveling in. Here are the world’s top 5 food experiences: 1. Pintxos in San Sebastian There is probably no better way to explore a culture’s cuisine than pintxos in San Sebastián. Normally these delicious bites are accompanied by a drink and in many cases are part of a bar-hopping evening in San Sebastian. Pintxos are small, open-faced sandwiches which today take on many incarnations from the more traditional to molecular gastronomy. But in a pintxo, one will find very local ingredients represented. Everyone has their favourite. Maybe yours is the batter...

My Expats World | The decrease in Swiss citizenship applications

Switzerland brought in a new requirement for foreigners who want to apply for citizenship. From now on, foreigners must complete a formal test of one of four national languages in order to prove to be a suitable level. It is expected that this new rule will result in  quite a dramatic decrease of applications in the first six months after becoming effective. One more indicator is simply naturalization, which allows the foreign spouses and children of Swiss citizens to receive the citizenship much easier, which has dropped by a third in the last two last years. Moreover, the number of applicants was extremely low in French-speaking regions like Geneva and Vaud. New citizenship rules This year, the Swiss government approved new regulations that made the citizenship process even more complica...

My Expats World | 7 things that impact obesity in America

Obesity rates in the United States are the highest in the world: two of every three American men are considered to be overweight or obese. However, obesity in women is more common. According to the statistics, close to 40% of adults and 19% of young people are obese. And this trend is not decreasing.   Even though it is pretty clear that Americans consume more food than is necessary to turn into energy, an ordinary resident unconsciously overindulges in a great variety of unhealthy foods. Simply because in the States unhealthy food is the most tasty, affordable and available.  It’s provided in large portions and even visually looks better than healthy alternatives.   Let’s get some deeper insights about what influences American obesity.    1) Americans eat out a lot  The frequency of...

My Expats World | Polish your recycling habits: the non-recycled plastic penalty in France

The current project  The French government is planning to set penalties on non-recycled plastic in 2019. The country is planning to start using only recycled plastic by 2025. Thus, the penalty system is related with raising the expenses for consumer goods that come in packages which are made of non-recycled plastic.   The new regulation introduces the law system which is based on 10% lower costs for products that contain recycled plastic, opposed to products with non-recycled material which will cost 10% more. The French government is expecting that higher non-recycled plastic expenses will help eliminating the excessive packaging. The future  This change is to improve the environmental state and is one of the few that are going to be carried out in the following years. The next step conce...

9 of the most relevant etiquette norms of 21st century

Etiquette standards have changed a lot during last 20 years. Things that were normal for our parents and grandparents, like sending letters via mail or calling via a land line, in this digital age are used much less often. Earlier generations didn’t need to be worried about texting, mailing rules or dating app protocol. Well, pretty much everything used to be done face to face before. However, our environment progresses and keeps up with the latest innovations. For this reason, there exists a vague understanding about current etiquette norms and acceptable behaviors. Thus, this article should help you get a clue  as to what is acceptable and what is not in terms of technology, work and relationships. 1.    No phone on the table during a meal Keeping your phone on the table in most cases is...

What do Spaniards Find Surprising About Living in the UK?

There are many British people living in Spain. And many of them have opinions – often contradictory – about daily life and work in the country. But we don’t stop to think of the reverse very often, if at all. So, what is it that Spaniards find surprising about living in the UK? Wearing long socks, carpeted rooms and potato crisps inside sandwiches are just some of the things Spaniards living in London have been perplexed about. Almost a quarter of a million Spaniards living in the UK There are 240,934 Spanish people currently living in the United Kingdom, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE). To obtain their impressions on UK life, two groups of London living Spanish expats on Facebook were surveyed. These groups have over 90,000 members and they were asked what surprise...

How our age affects our appetite?

Food is the daily fuel of humans. And our relationship with food is formed by income, availability, trends and even peer pressure. Which means that the relationship can be as much complicated as it is joyful. Hunger is the main stimulant that affects our appetite and informs the brain when it’s time to have a bite. However, nowadays we got into the trap of overconsumption: smell, sound and advertising which all make us eat even we are not hungry. This also affects our eating habits. Anyway, our appetite changes with aging as well. Our lives are divided into seven stages that illustrate the differences of our relationship with food. Knowing this might help fighting against a few main the twenty first century issues: overconsumption, obesity and eating disorders. The first decade, 0-10 In th...

Individualistic vs. Collectivistic Cultures

Cultures are dynamic manifestations of a society’s value choices. They reflect a society’s preferences and approaches to problem-solving together with its citizen’s source of inspiration and motivation. In the world of psychology, cultures are often classified into two camps. Firstly, there are those cultures that are innately collectivist. Secondly, there are those cultures that are that are inclined to be more individualist in their philosophy. The Individualist – Collectivist Divide Individualist cultures, usually represented by Western cultures such as Western Europe and the United States, stress individual fulfilment without regard for their potential impact on collective group goals. This produces a robust framework of competition within a society. Collectivist cultures, often repres...