Thursday, 20 February 2014

Completion!



      It has been achieved! The end was in sight and we are now laughing in its great orange face!  The biggest lifetime achievement in drinking history goes to myself and Mr. R. Could we make this to a Nobel prize?

      You guessed it dear readers. Every Kruzhka on a Moscow metro line has been completed! Out of the 45 still in existence we have completed 46! (R.I.P Okhotny Ryad). We have our orange T-Shirts (bought legally) and some other items which appeared the next morning (Sorry to the Kruzhka on the Orange line that is missing a reserved sign!). It is now our belief that Kruzhka should start a hall of fame in our honour. 
      
      As far as we are aware nobody in living memory has completed this great feat! We are the pioneers of modern day drinking. A beer in every single establishment. We are (in our own terms) Kruzhka legends!

      It all finished in a mad final week. The party had been planned for the 7th February, the champagne was on ice (330rubles for a 750ml bottle! Bargain!), and the guest list was drawn up. We just had one final hiccup. We had to complete 2 on the blue line before heading to Kievskaya for the party. Then on Wednesday 5th February  – 2days pre-completion party - we hit a hiccup. We discovered a new one had been opened at Vykhino! Bugger!
      
      A mad dash the day before the celebrations meant that we were still on track. 43/45+1. It was a sleepless night on Thursday 6th Feb but the magical morning came, work flew by in a daze and it was 16.30. Time to fly from work all the way to Mitino. The party was planned at 7.30 at Kievskaya, meaning we had 3 hours to get from the south of Moscow to the north, have two stops at different Kruzhka’s (and having at least 1 beer in each) before getting to the final destination. It was a hard slog. We got lost, we fell over, we downed pints, we laughed, we panicked, but in the end...WE MADE IT! With 15 minutes to spare as well. 11 people celebrated with us, we cracked open the champagne, ordered beer and ate cheap food. It was majestical. Even better was that it coincided with the opening ceremony of Sochi and as I was in Russia, I got to see all five of the Olympic rings open.

        Should anybody want an autograph it will cost 1000000rubles, but I guarantee (maybe) that it will be worth much more than once we die, which could be due to alcohol poisoning sometime soon.

      (Aplogies for the spelling, tone and anything gramatical errors. This was written a few weeks ago in a state of intoxication! ;) ) 

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Many Sleepless Nights Ahead.

Bloody hell, life is busy! 6months have passed since I last logged into my own website/blog, but I eventually have a spare half hour to write...



       Hello to all, and a belated happy new year! The end of 2013 was definitely a long but happy year.

       I returned to Moscow at the end of August and came back to some very unexpected news. No, my lost passport hadn’t turned up. Nor are there any Russian prostitutes in the UK who have been arrested for a false passport (that I know of!) and the Kruzhka chain was still alive and well!
       But I came back to find that I was going to be a father. GULP! My better looking other half had just found out she was pregnant and in all honesty it was some news to take. Anyway, being the strong, independent and foolish type first thing was first - a phone call to the mother! After a long silence and many unnerving questions, I can honestly say that the worst part of the next 18years was over - I had informed my mam and I was still here to tell the story!

       The next few months flew by quickly. I got settled back into work, ate, drank and went to the toilet as usual. Life was normal, apart from occasionally checking over my shoulder to ensure my mam hadn’t enlisted a Russian hitman and before we knew it, it was Christmas time. That meant it was time for my first visit back to the U.K in nearly 5 months. With my passport safely in one hand and the big orange airline ticket in the other I set off on my mini adventure. Which I will call ‘The Hunt of the Bacon Sarnie’ (A bacon sandwich for any non-native readers!) It was a fruitful and successful journey in which I scoffed down as many as I could possibly manage.

       Then we come to the New Year. 2014 – The year of the change. A promotion, a new flat and the prospect of changing nappies for the rest of the year. We currently have 10 weeks left until the little ones due date - A life changing event. A step into the real world of parenting. A lifetime of pain, misery and being a personal bank. (I’m sure there will be happy memories ;) )

       But what is this... STOP THE PRESS! Readers, take a seat and hold onto your hats. There is more exciting but life changing news! It involves that little orange pub chain. Me and my friend are nearly there! Out of the 44 (current) Kruzhka’s on the Moscow Metro lines, we have completed 42. Leaving 3! Yes, my Maths is good... one has closed down. That means the final frontier, one last stand and the war will be won. The final battle plan has been drawn. We approach the dark blue line this week, ready to assault; empty stomachs, dry throats, beer drinking arms ready and three Kruzhkas’ to conquer. In less than one week the enemy will fall. We will celebrate with champagne, beer, shots and some cheap food in the final place. Kruzhka will be ours! (Should anyone know a boss for this place, please have them contact us for our pictures on the ‘hall of fame’ board – We may be the only two idiots to ever do it...)

      9 months, 100’s of beers, many rubles spent, many man hours exhausted, many lost ways and many miles walked (of course I mean Kruzhka, and not the pregnancy), it is over. The journey is complete.


       So take a moment and spare a thought for NL... I have many sleepless nights ahead... as I wonder what my life will become without the Kruzhka challenge!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Return to Civilisation... Just!

       

       Well, that is it. Nearly a year has been completed in the motherland and I am back in England. I have been back for over a week now and in all honesty, I am surprised that I am back.
        One sunny Wednesday morning (Yes! We still had sun and hot weather in Moscow) I was showing my girlfriend my passport, as she was chuckling over the dreadful photo of me 5 years ago. When it was returned to my pocket, two days later when I needed it to attend a concert it wasn’t there... Bugger! I know Russians have a reputation for many things, but I don’t think my girlfriend wants my passport to get to England. I think she’d struggle to look like a Northern teenager with a spotty face and strange hair!

       Northern Lad Top Tip #17363 – Never EVER lose your passport in Russia. It’s a long, tedious and frustrating process.

       I spent the next day retracing every one of the million steps I had done over the previous two days, phoning up restaurants and anywhere I had been (well I didn’t. I always knew a Russian girlfriend would have it’s advantages somewhere!) But, no joy. My heart sank as I thought of telling my employer. I bit the proverbial bullet and went to work to confess. Rather than the disappointment and anger of my boss and sympathy of my colleagues, I was actually greeted with laughter and harsher words than ‘idiot’. I would like to point out that this was all 8 days before flying back to the U.K.

       So, the next day a trip to a sauna. Not to relax, no, it was actually a police station, but I’m pretty sure it was a health spa sauna at the weekends. This was due to the decor and to the unbearable temperatures. Luckily two Russian staff members accompanied me to the station to report it lost.  Even with them writing the forms for me and dealing with it, it still took over two hours. I walked out looking like I had took a swim in the Atlantic ocean, sweat entered places I didn’t even know existed. This was followed by a trip to the British embassy, a place to get a ‘spravka’ and then my work sorted out my new visa to allow me to leave the country. My emergency passport only allowed me to fly on the 5th July. The wonderful visa people then decided to tell me that it “might be back on the 4th July”... Fricking great. A week of stress later (and many hangovers – It was our last week in Moscow) the 4th of July arrived, with no passport.

       Uh oh!! As I sweated like a nun in confession, I received the joyous email I had been waiting for. My passport had been delivered! I ran down the stairs with my hands in the air and screaming like I had scored the winning goal in the world cup final against the old German boxheads’.  

       Passport control in Russia was fairly straight forward, but even they laughed at me as they asked if I had lost my old passport. I wasn’t even allowed to keep my nice white emergency passport as a sign of idiotic behaviour, as UK Border Control took it off me.

         If you don’t want the hassle, stress or laughter... Don’t lose your passport. Although if you want to make Russians smile... Lose it. The decision is yours! I do suppose that some Russian mafia man is furthering his sex slave business to the UK using my passport as the cover.  God bless the future Russian prostitutes of the UK if they are made to look like me.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

The Little Orange Dream


       As we can all guess, the non-drinking pact with myself was an failure, in line with Lindsay Lohan’s film career. Tonight’s blog is all about a little chain of pubs in Moscow and the unique charm of the place.

       This place is an utterly amazing place. It is the thing dreams are made of. The name I hear you ask? Kruzhka (Кружка). Now, the people who know Moscow will undoubtedly groan and stop reading. But here is a pro-Kruzhka blog post.

       The average price of a pint of beer in Moscow is usually between 200-300rubles (£4-6). However, Kruzhka sells its own brand of beer for an average of 75rubles (£1.50). Although last week in a Kruzhka, under one of Stalin’s 7 Sisters; me and a friend found a very reasonable price for a beer – 55rubles... £1.10 a pint...in one of the largest capital cities in the world... My mind was blown!

       Other redeeming features of the beloved orange pub chains:

       The decor – 95% of them have dirty orange walls, park benches to sit on and picnic baskets over the bunker style wall lights.

       Location – Usually straight outside of a metro. There are nearly 40 locations across Moscow and the majority are underground, in dimly lit rooms. Perfect if a war starts, beer and shelter! Win!

       The fresh air – No need for perfume here ladies and gents, you can leave a Kruzhka smelling like a drunk tramp, who smokes 40 a day. It’s ok, you’ll still pull. Russian people love it (and you’ll still smell better than most men.)

       The people – Usually drunk Russian men. Although very popular with the younger students as it’s cheap. In some locations, keep your English voice down. It doesn’t always go down well.
4
       The randomness – I have visited a Kruzhka under one of Stalin’s magnificent seven sisters, been to one with a bowling alley inside and one with a beer garden, next to a main road.


       As you can see; a delightful dream. Ok, maybe it’s a nightmare but the beer is cheap! God bless Kruzhka! 

Monday, 20 May 2013

Read all about it! NorthernLad rejects Booze - World Exclusive!



      Well, it all started 6 days ago. I woke up on a delightful Wednesday morning feeling a little ‘tired’ and in one hell of a foul mood! After considering my lifestyle choices, I could only put it down to the crappy food and the copious amounts of alcohol that have been consumed in the last 8months. So, I decided to give alcohol a break. My moods were hit and miss and tiredness from lack of sleep was really beginning to affect my dazzling good looks. So here is the ‘6 day alcohol free’ blog post update How am I doing so far?...

Day 1  - Wednesday.
       “Are you coming to the pub now or in 5 minutes?” asked my friend.

      “Nah, not at all tonight mate. I’m staying off the beer for a few days or weeks.”

      My friend was genuinely speechless. A shrug of the shoulders, an open mouth and a glint of ‘why?’ crossed his eyes. It was like he had witnessed history being  made in front of his eyes. This history was short lived. Precisely 1hour and 38minutes later, I had arranged to meet one of my Russian friends for a walk around a park, in which the heat made us have a few bottles of beer! Damn it! Let’s try again tomorrow.

Day 2 (well 1) – Thursday.

      A whole day at work – in 30degree heat with no air-conditioning and being suited and booted. I have to be honest, there was no contest between going home or heading to the local bar for a pint of ice cold beer. I failed epically. Tomorrow will be a good day I thought– I’ll be good and stay off it tomorrow, so much so the pope will even want to bestow his worldly possessions to me as a sign of appreciation.

Day 3 (still 1...) – Friday.

      Another ridiculously hot day in Moscow. Really hard to imagine any other countries that have a 60 degree Celsius weather difference in the space of 2 months. Moscow seems to be this place (-30 in winter. +30 in Spring). Gorky Park was calling us all. A beautiful Friday evening relaxing watching women in bikinis sunbathe or play volleyball... Why would you not? Unfortunately when asked if I would like a few beers brought down, my mind said no. My mouth said yes. Another failure. B*llocks! At least it was only 2 bottles. Still, I was not going to be winning any awards from the Pope.

Day 4 (but really still day 1) – Saturday.

      It started so well! I awoke at 7.30am after my first full 8hour sleep for months! So I headed to work to get some bits done that needed done for Monday. Unfortunately, I forgot what my work was like in the middle of the day. By midday I was hot, irritated and staring longingly outside at the sun. I made a decision with some friends - Gorky Park again for more Russian women watching and sunbathing. This time the total hit 6 pint bottles of beer, 1 pint of Russian beer and a picnic. Afterwards I ended up in a pub near to work with more friends, more beer and then a few bottles of red wine. I think I got in at 5am... Bugger! I’m as useful as Vladimr Putin at solving the Syrian conflict.

Day 5 – (still frickin’ day 1) – Sunday

      I woke up to a hangover of epic proportions. I stumbled around the flat and felt sorry for my failure of a man self. A friend invited me to a Spa (she lives in a hotel and it is free!) So hell, why not; a sauna, ice bath and swimming pool later, I was feeling much better. It was this moment in which I then received the text every single man who is trying to stay off the beer dreads:

      ‘Fancy a few beers in the beer garden up near mine?’

      Fuck! Of course, I could say no, but it was 3pm, my flat resembled something a pig would live in and it was hot. I obliged and 45minutes later the day was ruined by sipping in the heat another ice cold pint. Which was duly followed by meeting another mate at 8pm for a few beers, whilst watching the football.


Day 6 – (Still not past day bloody 1) – Monday.

      I woke up with a mouth like Ghandi’s flip-flop. I realised that as everyone was out over the weekend, I should be safe from beer temptation, at least for today. Then the walk home from work happened... I had 43 rubles in my pocket. A warm stuffy day in Moscow... Will power faded... A bottle of Baltika 3 from the shop is precisely 43 rubles... Day number 6 bloody ruined!

      People in England will say that I am a drunk or an alcoholic. I disagree. Alcoholics go to meetings, I go to parties which gives me the stories to tell, for your entertainment on the world wide web.

      So, I have realised – Resistance is futile, and my moods were probably my monthly man period – Much worse than a women’s monthly period – So I may try again tomorrow, but I doubt it. Russia is not a place for a weak liver or a weak bladder (the queues at the toilets can be worse than being a made to suffer water-boarding!). I suppose it's also a good job I failed, I wouldn't want the pope to lose everything he owns. We can effectively say that me drinking is keeping him in his luxurious lifestyle! Not quite sure what I would do with all those bibles either!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Heaven or Hell?




       Moscow is a place of great change at the moment. Flowers and being planted by the truckload, grass is once again growing and there is even the occasional smile from a Russian person (admittedly it was because I stumbled on a paving stone).

       Moscow is as close to heaven as it has ever been right now, the weather is hotter than Mila Kunis and I’ve been enjoying the time off work exploring the tourist sites and dossing in some of the better bars that Moscow has to offer! (The parents were here, so I couldn’t really take them to my dive bars could I?) As I said... Heaven!

       Or is it hell?

       My bank balance has taken a major hit – I may have to start selling my body on the street corners. The sunburn from the 30degree Celsius weather is not only painful, but I feel like a radiator and my flat is about 50degrees inside! So maybe it is really hell in disguise?

       Now, I’m not a religious person. I don’t go to church, I don’t believe in any higher power (Other than my boss) and I don’t believe in heaven and hell. However, for the purpose of this blog post, let’s say that there is. Now, as human beings we make choices every day. What are we going to have for breakfast? Is beer at 9am too early? Should I kill my wife? We choose what we believe to be correct and moral or in the case of men: Whatever option your partner wants to hear. These things all send us to heaven as we make what we believe to be the correct choices.

       However, as you move away from your country of origin, your choices become different, as do your morals. Now, you are not going to go around murdering people or start your own illicit drug den... However, you will find you just feel like you are on holiday, permanently. As a single, young NorthernLad being an expat is definitely fun. My daily decisions (outside of work) are:

  • Should I drink beer? (Usual answer – Yes)
  • Am I feeling bloated because of this beer? Should I drink a glass of water? (Usual answer – No, change to whisky.)
  • Should I chat to that pretty young woman? (Usual answer depends on state of intoxication.)
  • Should I have food? (Usual answer – Yes, if a beer can also be bought.)
  • Should I run around the metro playing hide and seek with my friends? (Usual answer – Yes!)
  • Is it acceptable to have an empty fridge? (Usual answer – Yes, there are plenty of fast food places to eat.)
  • Will that pretty Russian lady notice me starting at her and her lovely short dress? (Usual answer – No – It’s the sole reason I’m wearing sunglasses indoors.)
  • Is it acceptable to get in at 7am in the morning? (Usual answer, after walking into a door and falling out of the lift doors – What a night...)
  • Is it acceptable to fall asleep in the taxi’s? (Safe answer – No! Usual answer – Not really, but he looks nice enough... I’m sure he will wake me when he gets to my flat.)


       Really, any other decisions are so small they are not even considered. Maybe hell is full of drunken expats looking for more partying and all the suffering and torture we hear about is just the hangover. So, in light of my lifestyle choices - I’m definitely going to hell, or at least somewhere outside of Moscow if I carry on falling asleep in Gypsy cabs...

Saturday, 4 May 2013

What to do when you have visitors?



       Well, the time has finally arrived. I have my first guests visiting Moscow. My parents are here. So, naturally what is the first thing to do when you are an Expat Brit expecting visitors? PANIC!

       Everything seems so easy; they arrive, you show them the sites of the city, you have good food, good alcohol and a merry time before they leave... Or so it seems. But let’s start with some simple questions and the real answers:

Where do your guests stay?
       In Moscow, hotels aren’t the cheapest. A hotel is around £100 a night. So the next option is your flat. In England, many people have a spare bedroom or two. Yet Moscow’s tiny rabbit holes have usually one bedroom and a front room (if you are lucky). If your drunken mate is coming to stay then the sofa isn’t a problem for them. If your parents are coming then the sofa becomes the only option...for you. Either way, expect a week of restless, uncomfortable and broken sleep.

What do you do with your guests?
Well, again you have two categories:
       Your unruly friend - Do some light sightseeing of the local bars, clubs and brothels. All is then good and you have a merry time, until your friend gets hysterically drunk, wanders off and gets lost in the depths of Moscow.

       If your parents are coming, you see all the sites of Moscow for the 3rd/4th/5th time again because you are a good host and want your family to see the best of the city that you live in – Obviously you exclude the news about the latest bars, avoid the talk of best places for chatting up women and ignore any questions about what places you know the best (the wanted answers are Red Square/Kremlin/Art Galleries etc., they don’t want to hear about the latest mischief you’ve been causing).
Either way, you end up knackered and ill (although it’s unlikely to be an STD if it’s your family are here).

Where to go for good food?
       Your degenerate friend – Not a problem, he/she will be perfectly happy living off the Russian delights of Vodka, Beer and questionable kebabs. Although, get ready to play toilet tag team (where one leaves the toilet, the other quickly enters to ensure no mess is made in their trousers/ your sink) and repeat until your stomach is empty from sickness or other unwanted illnesses.

       Your parents – Your usual liquid diet is not going to cut it. It’s time to start hunting out those lovely places to eat, those that you may have visited in your first week or the ones that your slightly more sensible colleagues, who sample the local cuisine, visit regularly and often. Although it’s Moscow, expect your outgoing bills to be much higher than usual – You may need to take an advance on your wages.  

       Either way, you’re going to be spending more money than usual. Best get saving or selling your body on the street corners!

Where to socialise?
       Your party animal friend – Anywhere which sells cheap drink and has a decent ratio of women - If your friend is a girl, she might be better going lesbian for her stay in Moscow. Many men in the bars and clubs of Moscow are undesirable or downright strange. How many stories do you hear of beautiful Russian men?

       Your Family – Anywhere you normally go, don’t. Cheap bars and clubs are outstanding value and great fun, but not exactly suitable for a sociable drink with your parents. Especially when the newest bar girl starts to dance on the bar.  Take them to that expensive place, get them drunk and drop them off at home before heading out to these places with your friends – Just be sure to be back before they wake up.

       Either way, you will be hungover the next morning.

       Does the visiting of family and friends still sound easy and fun? Thought not. Just remember: You will struggle to find suitable places to eat, everything becomes expensive, you can't sleep in your own bed and worst of all... you can't walk around your flat naked and scratching your crown jewels (British slang for men's dangly bits).

NorthernLad Top Tip: Don’t invite any guests over from your home country... Ever.


       P.S – Mam, when you read this, it was lovely having you over in Moscow. See you sometime soon... in England. ;) 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Dating Rules - NorthernLad Style


      


      So, are you currently dating? Are you planning on dating? Either way, I have a few pointers after a recent date. Take them or leave them, either way I am sure that you will find it amusing.  This date was with someone who knows me well, fortunately. Unfortunately, the rookie mistakes were just.... poor!
      
      Rule number 1 – Don’t turn up drunk.
Yes, it may seem like a superb idea to head off from work at 5pm and hit the local bar with your mates. It may be a wonderful idea to knock back a few pints before your 7pm date. It’s not a wonderful idea, at all!
      
      Rule number 2 – Don’t turn up drunk.
I have to emphasise this rule. Don’t do it. Dutch courage isn’t Dutch courage if you are running late because that extra pint went down a bit slower than expected. Turning up red in the face and smelling like Russian beer isn’t a good idea, at all.
      
      Rule number 3 – Don’t turn up drunk.
When meeting your date, do not say you have just left your mates at the pub to meet the lovely lady you’re with. Nor, talk at 100mph about random nothingness. As much as you think you are ‘holding it together’; your glazed eyes, beer stinking breath and ability to talk about nothing in particular for half an hour will give the game away.
      
      Rule number 4 – Don’t forget your bank card.
Don’t order food, drinks and get to the end before realising your bank card is at home. ..
  
      Believe it or not, there was a second date.
NL x

Spring is Here!



     Well, this is the last of the catch up blogs – Then I am up to date.

     Finally - after 5 long, downright ugly and icy months, the sun is out! It is amazing what the sun can do to your mood!

     The winters in Moscow are not to be underestimated. They are arduous, dull and drag on and on. Now, I am not one to be afraid of the snow, in fact I love it. However: the joys of walking around in white powdery stuff soon wears off if you are not a Columbian drug lord. The fun of making snow angels gets frustrating when your friends think it’s hilarious to kick snow over you. The competitiveness of snowball fights gets plain annoying when it’s no longer snow, but ice, that you are throwing. Add into the fact that I once skated home (about a mile) one icy 5am morning. But hey, it’s all fun and games.

     The sun is out. In the space of about week the temperature has gone from about -5 to +21. A huge difference, which was long overdue. But, less of the moaning as the warm weather has many advantages.

     The first advantage – Russian girls are cracking the skirts and knee high boots back out. A joy to marvel at and possibly a contender for one of the wonders of the world.

     The second one is that I get to wear sunglasses. Why is this number two? Any man’s must have accessory for checking out the local delights. They also double up as hangover hiders – Girls don’t want to see your hungover, British face staring at them as they pass you in the street. Sunglasses my friends – The best invention. Ever!

     Finally - add in the ability to walk to work without the hundreds of layers and Ski jackets, which makes you feel like you are wearing an inflatable sumo suit, and we have a winning combination!

     So, the sun is out and the skies are blue. The summer mood is infecting everybody right now, so I’m signing off, donning the sunglasses and heading out to check out the local sights.

NL x 

Monday, 22 April 2013

Is Expat Life For You?



      Expat life isn’t always as easy as it seems. After the highlife of Paris, coming back to work with a stomach bug isn’t the easiest transition.

      There are times when home comforts are just missed. Now, don’t get me wrong I love Moscow, I love my friends here and I love my job. But 5 months of grey, snowy and cold days don’t improve anybodies mood. Unfortunately NorthernLad has been a little down recently. Those feelings that are usually reserved for women – Moodiness, loneliness and frustration seem to have been slapping me in the face like a wet fish recently. Seems I have the man version of the menopause – Like Man Flu, this is much worse than the womens version!

      Before moving yourself from your nice little snug country, your daily routines and your family. You need to ask yourself a few questions:

  •       Can you deal with a language barrier when you need assistance?
  •       Who will you turn to in an hour of need?
  •       Is your liver strong enough to handle the copious amount of beer?


      If you think you can cope with all them, let’s play a little game:

      1)      First, walk into the street and start stopping passers by and asking for directions to a bar. Sounds easy? When speaking, use a made up language.
If easy – You have passed question number 1 – Move on.
If hard – Stop. Turn around and head back into your house and cry that your dreams are shattered.
      
      2)      Next, spend the whole night muttering this language in the bar. This includes ordering drinks, talking to people and getting the taxi home. Obviously the plan is to get quite drunk (that’s what most of us expats do) and eventually get home safely.
If easy – Continue onto number 3. You are doing well!
If hard – Stop, start speaking slurred English and turn around, head home and cry that your dreams of living abroad are ruined.
       
      3)      Once home, fall asleep into vivid dreams. Wake up and feel the pain of the incurable hangover. You need to get some aspirin and some unhealthy food, but you can’t leave the flat due to the toxic and incredibly vicious hangover. Ahhh, you will phone a friend...but all your mates are still passed out in a drunken state. What do you do now?

      The options are:
      a)      Stay in bed all day making regular trips to the toilet to make friends with the bowl.
      b)      Leave your house, get fresh air (you’ll sober up quickly enough) and see the sights of the magnificent .

      It takes a special person to become a fulltime expat, who will spend years away from their home country. If you pass the above challenges and choose answer A, then you are definitely 'special' enough for expat life. If you choose B... You may want to think a little harder. It’s not all as easy as sitting on a beach (in a hot country), or seeing the beautiful sights of Red Square. In reality you will work pretty hard, your weekends you will be shattered and simple things become very hard, all whilst looking out of the window to see more grey, dull concrete buildings.

Anyway kids, keep smiling... You will get to write a blog!

NL x