The best advice I got for packing was from my mother: “Pack drunk, then you have the perfect explanation for why you have what you have.” Slightly more practical advice I have gleaned form years of experience: forget all the ‘essentials’ lists and bring what makes you happy. It’ll be the wrong stuff anyway.

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Idioms are a weird thing in any language. They make total sense to native speakers, but are nonsense to language learners. For example, telling someone “I’m all ears!” means you’re listening intently, not that you’re made entirely of ears. Or the phrase “let the cat out of the bag” has absolutely nothing to do with […]

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The Affair of the Notebooks

Have you ever had a minor problem just snowball out of control? I have. During my first week of school it happened in an epic way… I have 18 students on my roster this year. A big leap up from only 9 last year, but still manageable. The first week is always the toughest, and on […]

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Adventures in Egyptian Ikea

If you’re going to go to Ikea, pick a time when it’s not busy. In Egypt (and most of the Middle East, I assume), that time is Friday mid-morning, before prayer. Friday is the holy day here, and is celebrated by Christians and Muslims alike. Most people sleep in leaving the streets bare and ghost town […]

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