travel

Why do Swedes have the longest vacation time?

Vacation in Sweden is something phenomenal. Local residents have 41 paid days annually. The country takes the lead on a global scale. Nearly two months of the year in total For many employed workers around the world 41 paid vacation days may sound glorious, but it is only a humble minimum for Swedes. In fact, legally they can be out of office around 2 months of the year. It is calculated with possible absences regarding personal matters, grief leave, public holidays and even a day off when you’re moving house.   However, the country keeps breaking down the standards: after taking the first 20 holiday days, Swedes are allowed to save remaining time up to five years. In addition, employers are responsible to inform their employees about their vacation situation in order to use it before thos...

Tipping in Germany

The tipping culture in Germany is deeply entrenched. Thus, this article explains the most actual tipping habits: how much Germans favour waiters; and what expectations waiters have; So, read the article to avoid any possible misunderstandings and unnecessary blushing!  The information is based on a study, made by Dr. Christian Stegbauer, who is an academic at the Frankfurt University.  So, many people all around the world would use rational logic when tipping: if they like the services and food, they will tip the staff accordingly. Meanwhile, Germans have their own standards that aren’t based on a typical “calculations”. German tipping habits Tipping is known as “trinkgeld” (“drink money”) in the country. Interestingly, Germans are known as generous restaurant-goers, even though the tip is...

How does language affect our perception of reality?

Can a native language influence the way we think and express our thoughts? Can it shape our world accordingly? It is very likely. This topic catches a lot of attention among linguists and researchers.  They are trying to identify the relationship between language, culture, and perception. The words, grammar, metaphors we use influence the diversity in perception and experiences. However, it is quite difficult to measure what is the extent of a language’s influence. Culture, traditions, habits and local environment shape our mind too, for this reason they affect how we talk and how we express our opinion. Linguistic differences There are a few examples below which demonstrate the differences from a linguistic perspective among unlike nations. –          Eskimos have many more words to...

Does New York Shape Its Residents?

New York The New York can be anything you want it to be. It’s why countless people have pinned their dreams on this evocative city, thrown caution to the wind and shown up on its doorstep. As Frank Sinatra famously put it, New York is the “city that doesn’t sleep.” New York City is the American centre of gravity for all things modern and cool that evolved into a hyper-frenetic centre stage all the world dreams of performing on. This is the city that is always non-stop, 24/7 in its eternal quest to remain one step ahead of the rest of the world. Living In New York Visiting New York is fundamentally different from living permanently in the Big Apple. New York is indeed a one-in-a-million, exciting place to live and work. New York, however, is not for the faint-hearted, the vacillating nor th...

Expats in Switzerland: where do they belong?

Even though everyone is different, it is still possible to sort people into groups regarding their attitude to a specific matter. Expatriates in Switzerland are not an exception: they can be grouped to the tribes due to their experience and viewpoint of living abroad. Here is the variety of Switzerland’s expat tribes. The love refugee They can’t even properly explain how everything happened and how they found themselves living here: working on their residence permit, as locals kissing other on the cheek three times when they meet them. They became extremely punctual and no longer notice the church bells, which ring all the time. The taxpat People chose this place because it is easy to park some money here. However, the situation has changed over the years, but Switzerland still stays...

Internet censorship in China

Internet in China is strictly controlled by many laws and administrative regulations. It is the most extensive and advanced online censorship operation in the world. More than sixty Internet regulations have been created by the government of China, which have been implemented by provincial branches of state-owned ISPs, companies, and organizations. The governmental authorities of China block access to selected foreign websites and slow down cross-border internet traffic, also monitors individual activity of users. Moreover, it limits the access of foreign international tools and mobile apps; and requires overseas companies to accustom to the indigenous regulations. For this reason, this phenomenon has a worldwide famous nickname “The Great Firewall of China”. (Wikipedia) The Gr...

Tips to survive the Spanish heat

Most us enjoy hot summer weather. Especially if we are on our vacation in Spain. But we have to be aware that it can become quite dangerous to our health if we lose a control and disregard possible risks: heatstroke, sunburns, dehydration, sunstrokes.. So, here are a few tips how to survive the Spanish heat and stay safe under the sun. Even locals use them! Protection against sunburn Even though we don’t have anything against the look of a lobster, it possibly can increase the chances of having a skin cancer at some point. So, high factor sun cream, shade, an umbrella, and a hat are the best alternatives to prevent it. By the way, it is worth knowing: SPF (Sun Protection Factor) doesn’t mean the strength of a sun cream. It is all about timing. E.g. if your skin would normally burn after 10...

Tips how to make friends in rural French neighbourhoods

Relocating abroad and settling down is a great challenge. This is especially true if an expat moves to a rural area instead of going to a big international city. And what about the resettlement in rural French neighbourhoods? How to make friends and become accepted in your local community? Read all the tips below that come from the experience of our fellows who are living in the rural French regions. The French countryside with calm, no-rush, stress-free environment and long walks in the nature around vineyards sound idyllic. But being social creatures, we tend to communicate with other human beings. For this reason, even an idyllic world can become boring without interaction with people. Moreover, we can’t escape it: daily life provokes the communication with locals on many different leve...

The attraction of living in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has long been a popular destination for expats. Expats are so welcome in the Netherlands that expats with residency status are permitted to vote in local elections. Little wonder then that the vast majority of expats are able to adjust quite readily to the Dutch way of life, once they have come to grips with the local language. As with many European destinations, one of the biggest challenges facing expats living in the Netherlands is the extensive bureaucracy. Extensive legislative rules and regulations apply to almost every aspect of daily life. Expats often find trying to cut through the red tape to achieve what seems like basic tasks frustrating and exasperating, particularly the lengthy waiting times associated with individual government departments. Living In The Neth...

How is Oslo to Live in?

Any prospective expat spending a day in this vibrant city to familiarize themselves will be easily able to answer the question, How is Oslo? The answer is immediately obvious as are the reasons why Oslo, Norway’s capital and its largest city remains Europe’s fastest-growing capital. Flanked by mountains, Oslo is set in a giant amphitheatre with its feet soaking in the Oslofjord an inlet of the imposing Skagerrak Bay which thrusts all the way up to burst out into the North Sea and the sea, while its suburbs spread out and up to meld with the densely forested Marka area. Living In Oslo Oslo is a city comfortable with its past and eager to usher in its future as can be seen by its thriving museums, burgeoning foodie movement, dynamic contemporary-art scene and daringly energetic archite...

10 frightening superstitions from around the world

Superstitions are something unexplainable. But they do exist, and people simply believe in them. Our rational thinking doesn’t make much sense here, but at least we can enjoy the diversity of the world.  Let’s take a look at these weird, frightening and simply amazing superstitions below. Turkey If you are wondering why nobody is chewing gum at night in Turkey, here is an answer. Locals believe that if you do so, you are actually chewing on rotting human flesh. Obviously, brushing your teeth or choosing another type of breath freshener is a better option in this country. Spain and Latin America Hollywood taught us well about Friday the 13th. So, we are aware about the presence of bad luck. Meanwhile, Spanish-speaking countries have a different schedule – it is Tuesday the 13th that is unlu...

Spotlights of Swenglish

In recent times, the English language became quite active in ordinary Swedish vocabulary. For this reason, an ongoing interaction between the two languages appeared, which led to a common term “Swenglish”.  It is usually accompanied by the local one: ”Svengelska”. This article revels how the absorption of English language affects the local one. The roots ”Svengelska” is a combination of two Swedish words svenska and engelska. The term firstly appeared in one article published in 1960. It tried to get the attention of readers to the case and make them aware about the words they use in order to prevent any possible influence on the native language. And more than 50 years later Svengelska is more progressed and lively. It became a common thing in daily communication. However, generations Y an...