The ExPat Returneth

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

The Expat Returneth has been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award! I'm so grateful to Sabrina Garie, one of my Triberr mates and a returned expat, for the nomination. She blogs at Definitely check her out and thanks Sabrina!

As part of the rules, I have to list 7 things about myself and nominate 15 other bloggers. Since this is an expat blog, I'm going to keep those 7 things expat related and maybe you'll find some similarities in your experiences. The blogs I have chosen are ones I read so you'll have a mix of food blogs and writer blogs.

1. Egypt was my first international experience and I think my second time flying. I went in college as part of a independent study class. Halfway through the ten day trip, Iraq invaded Kuwait (the start of the Gulf War). Our tour had taken us up the Nile as far as Aswan and on our return to Cairo by boat we started seeing more and more soldiers standing in front of sandbag barricades with semi-automatic weapons. In the days before internet and satellite TV, we had no idea what had happened. Our hotel in Cairo was overrun by Kuwaiti businessmen who couldn't return home. I had to lock myself in my room. That's as close to war as I ever want to get.

2. I was almost bitten by a monkey in Thailand. My husband and I were trekking across the island to catch a boat back to the mainland. How on earth I didn't notice a monkey chained to the side of the road, is one of life's mysteries. My legs had continued the treck while my brain did a "THERE'S A MONKEY ON MY ARM TRYING TO BITE ME!" Luckily the nasty thing was jerked off my arm when it reached the end of its chain just before the teeth clamped on my skin. To this day I don't mix with monkeys.

3. I have eaten raw whale meat and it's pretty delicious. I've also had cow anus (cooked) and it's pretty much what you think it would taste like (really, really rubbery). BTW, we didn't know we had ordered cow anus and the cook had a really good laugh.

4. We let our daughters (at the time age 1 & 3) try wine in France. They didn't like it. Well, one didn't.

5. My favorite Japanese food is the kind you find in cheap bars or diners. The same is pretty much true all over the rest of the world.

6. My children were born in China and my youngest came from a province known for extremely spicy food. I'd walk in a restaurant and my nose would start running (I learned Bu la!, no spice, real fast). When she was a baby she would eat jalapeƱos with milk. Today she's got a great palette but refuses to eat anything spicy. 

7. I don't cook Japanese food because I'm a foodie. I didn't learn to cook until forced to (in Japan) and now I find it easier cooking than other kinds of food. It's fast, the prep is easy, and the ingredients are usually cheap. Plus we miss eating out in Japan, so there's the nostalgia factor. And we just like it. If you have 5 key ingredients in your cupboard -- soy sauce, mirin, cooking sake, vinegar, and sugar -- you can make most dishes. Add rice or noodles. 

The Fifteen Blogs:

1. The Displaced Nation An expat and travel friendly site that shares stories, food, information, all kinds of things that have to do with the nomadic way of life.

2. A Japanese restaurant advice guide but a great source to learn all kinds of things about Japanese food.

3. An awesome Japanese food blog by an expat Japanese. 

4. Another Japanese food blog (are you detecting a trend?). 

5. Yet another Japanese food blog, this time by an expat living on the island of Shizuoka. The blogger comments on recipes, restaurants, and travel in Japan.

6. Jennifer Tanner: Romance and Other Legal Stimulants Jennifer lives in California and blogs about everything from food, to writing, to travel. You never know what you'll get, but it's always entertaining. She's also a romance writer.

7. ChickSwagger This hilarious blog written by Misty Dietz and Josie is meant to enlighten women and also teach us to lighten up. Definitely not G rated, but always interesting. They know how to push the envelope without getting crass. 

8. Cindy is a suspense author and queen of Social Media. She offers workshops for writers. Her posts are well written and chock full of information.

9. Casey is a urban fantasy and paranormal romance author.  She writes about writing and fun things going on in her family life.

10. Karen is another writer who writes romantic suspense and romance. Her blog focuses on other writers and recipes. Fridays are Karen's Killer Fixin's. Great recipes and you can learn about new books!

11. Jill Kemerer Jill writes inspirational romance novels. She blogs about writers, writing, and interesting stuff going on in her life.

12. Brinda Berry Brinda writes Young Adult and has Cairn Terriers both fictional and real (I only have real). Her blog is always interesting, covering everything from writers to books to all kinds of things that strike her fancy.

13. Christine's Words Christine Warner writes romance and blogs three times a week on different topics. She's funny and wise, which is a great pairing!

14. Sherry Isaac Wildflower weaves her beautiful storytelling into her blog. Her writing is inspirational and gorgeously written.

15. Avery Flynn is a romantic suspense writer whose enthusiastic attitude is infectious. Her blog combines books, writing, fun stuff going on in Avery's world, and great author interviews.


  1. Congrats on the award...Welcome to the club...Nice to learn a little more about you..

  2. Well done Larissa. I've been bitten by a jaguar (a cub in a suburban house in NJ, the couple was nursing it to health for a local zoo) and my daughter had a fingerful of wine at a shabbat dinner at the home of an orthodox Jewish family when she was 5. Trouble was, they give the children super sweet wine so they can get it down, and she liked it. Fortunately she does not like most of them.

    1. Thanks Sabrina! I would think a jaguar would be a pretty nasty bite, too! Better keep your daughter away from the Boone's Farm;)

  3. I loved reading the mix of expat and foodie facts. I was most entertained by #2. Okay. Maybe entertained was the wrong word to use here. Let's say I am AMAZED by #2. Steer clear of monkeys (my new mantra). Thanks for nominating my blog. Now I have your list of recommendations to explore!

    1. #2 is a great story now. Almost worth the experience. Almost. I left out the part about peeing my pants.:)

  4. Thanks for the blogger award! It's the impetus I need to update my blog more often.

    I've been bitten by cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, hamsters, and a horse. The horse bite, in my tookus, was the most traumatizing. I was nine and at summer camp. I'd already been thrown off the horse and then it bit me. A good friend of mine's mother was bitten in the tooshie by a sacred deer while visiting Japan. Her Kevlar-like girdle prevented further injury.

    1. I know those sacred deer & I'm not surprised. They are worse than goats.

      I think you need to stay away from animals!