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Glo'buZz - March 2008

Paguro newsletter - Issue # 1 - March 2008

Paguro Newsletter - To stay on top of everything Expat!

Glo'buZz keeps you up-to-date on worldwide events, travel advisories, news, information, and more!

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Join us this month as we March into Munich, Oslo, and Kuwait City.



- Travel updates
- Health updates
- Expat survival guide
- Piazza Paguro


Starting on May 5th, United Airlines will start charging passengers $25 to check a second piece of luggage if they are not part of its most-frequent-flier program. Read more 



If you're a family on the move, it's especially important that you make sure to keep up to date with vaccinations - for you, but more importantly for your children, who have more vulnerable immune systems.

Trying to figure out what vaccines or other pre-travel precautions would be useful before taking off? Visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to look up specifics for your destination. The Travelers' Health page is chalk full of useful info.  

To read more on subjects such as general health risks, health considerations concerning different modes of travel, exposure to blood or other bodily fluids, and more visit the WHO pages and download the World Health Organization's (WHO) 2007 edition of International Travel and Health (you can also order a hard copy of the publication.)



On your way to Munich? Curious which district most expats call home? Read our article on Expat Clusters in the City Discovery page.  Oh, and P.S. it's Schwabing

Brace yourself, it's finally here... that's right, your business can advertise on Paguro!! The bargain price of 250 euros gets your banner a six months visibility on Paguro, on your chosen spot. Curious about the details? We thought you'd be, read on

Nervous about embarking on your first expat transition? Or maybe it's been a while and you're a little rusty. Let the experts help, read the article on the Top 10 coaching tips for expat transitions

Stay current with the upcoming events section. Just log on, it's on the homepage, you can't miss it.


About to shed your skin but don't want to leave your tracks for the garbage collector? Check out the Buy sell exchange forum on Piazza Paguro. Chances are someone could use that fridge. And who knows, maybe s/he will even come and pick it up? 

Traveling to a new city and want to discover it with locals? The Piazza is a great place to meet them. Create a forum, and they'll come to you. Plus, we've found that often times, the best way to learn about your own city is to show it to someone else.

Trying to keep up with the Jones, Changs, O'Briens, Fernandez, Jensens, Dubois, Lis, and the Papadopoluous?
Let us help. By signing up on Paguro you will have your own mini-website you can use to publish your family news, post your photos, create your group of friends and more. Join Paguro now!


Bank Holidays 


March 21 - Good Friday
March 23 - Easter
March 24 - Easter Monday



March 16 - Palm Sunday
March 20 - Maundy Thursday
March 21 - Good Friday
March 23 - Easter
March 24 - Easter Monday



March 23 - The Prophet's Birthday

Even though these are recognized holidays, it does not necessarily imply that public places are closed. But it might, so make sure to check ahead of time. It really sucks when you cannot visit the school where you plan to enroll your kids.

Itching with curiosity about bank holidays a bit closer to home? Check it out for yourself at this link .



What may be acceptable in your home country may be totally unacceptable in your host country so we have compiled a useful list of what to do and what not to do in certain situations.


- Descending to the U-Bahn is much like driving a car. If you want to pass, move to the left. Staying put? Make sure not to block traffic, keep to the right-hand-side. And don't forget to give up your seat near an exit to someone in need (pregnant, elderly, you get the point).

- Looking to quench your afternoon thirst with a refreshing splash of Germany's finest beer? Well, if you saunter into a beer garden be sure to steer clear of any table with a brass plaque over it. Those are reserved for regulars: clubs and groups. But don't be shy to plop yourself down at a public table. Just ask if a seat is frei (free) or besetzt (occupied).

Learn more

- Don't be late! In Germany, punctuality is of essence. Unless of course you're trying to be rude or wish to appear incompetent.

- Be ready to greet people with a firm handshake and address your business contacts by Herr (for men) or Frau (for women) followed by their surname (that's a last name, but more on that topic later).


- During business meetings, Norwegians prefer to get to the business discussion quickly and cut out the small talk.

- It may be helpful to send your agenda to colleagues before a meeting so that they can be prepared.

- Business interactions of all types seem to be rather straightforward. Make sure to maintain eye-contact while speaking, but don't seem overly friendly at first; be frank, yet avoid high-pressure sales tactics. Also, better not to cut someone off while s/he is speaking. Wish to know more? Click here


- While women play a greater role in society than they do in other Gulf countries, it is important to remember that Kuwait is an Arab nation and customs and traditions may seem completely foreign to people not familiar with that way of life. Public greetings are strictly between members of the same sex.

- If invited to a Kuwaiti home it is important to bring a gift along. A houseplant, box of imported chocolates, or a small gift from your home country are good ideas. However, if a man gives a gift to a woman, it's smart to say that it came from a wife, mother, sister, or other female relative. Don't be offended when your gift isn't opened right away. Oh, and alcohol probably isn't a great idea, it might mean jail for you. Read more



Is there a particular blunder that really bugs you? What is it? We want to know! write us


Last Names


Ah last names, such a simple concept... beware, it is far from simple! Even the concept itself has about a zillion different names in English: Last name, family name, surname, patronymic (last name inherited from the father), matronymic (last name inherited from the mother) ...

Add to the mix, different cultural practices, new trends, feminism, symbols, and you find yourself in the position of making mistakes all the time in an international environment, especially if you're hopping around from country to country.

You do not believe it? Here are a few examples, read on.

Common among Westerners, the last name is passed along paternal lines. Meaning, for a "conventional" family a spouse will adopt her husband's last name when she marries. Children are then given the father's last name.

Many families are breaking from this tradition however. Many more women are choosing to keep their names upon marriage and children's names often are elongated with hyphens "-" so that they include both the father's and mother's last name. Other times these names are combined to create a completely new name. Other times, the mother's name will become a child's middle name.

In Hispanic cultures this has been long standing practice. Sometimes names are combined with a "y" or "i". Women often add their husband's surname to their maiden name with a "de". Traditionally for children, the father's surname precedes the woman's, although now parents have the right to choose in Spain.

In Japan, marriage law requires that married couples share a last name. Typically it is the man's name, but not always.

In many Arab countries, the children's surnames are the first name of their father. But it can actually be far more complicated than that. Visit wikipedia for a more in depth explanation 

Icelandic tradition may sound even more confusing. Here an example: Hender Moeson has a son named Jorgen.

Jorgen's last name will not be Moeson, but Henderson, derived from his father's first name "Hender"  followed by the ending "-son", to identify Jorgen as the "son of Hender" (Hender+son).

Icelandic daughters last name will be different form their brother's. Example: Hender Moeson's daughter last name will be Henderdóttir, which stands for "Hender's daughter" (Hender + dóttir).

And it is not finished, they have the option to choose the father's or mother's first name (or both!) as a base of their children's surname!

Now try explaining at a passport control of another country that your children, all with different last names, are truly all part of the same family with the same parents!

Now you know where to look to track the origin of English last names ending with -son!

The most important thing to remember is that it's nearly impossible to keep all these details straight, especially for those who constantly find themselves in new surroundings. Do your research on local customs before you leave, but also don't be afraid to ask! People always appreciate someone who makes an effort. But you don't have to wait until you feel your face burning with embarrassment... come to us first with your questions, we're here to help.




Tune in for then next  Issue of Glo'Buzz

Paguro’s mission is to establish a multi-lingual network of networks whose scope is to enhance the quality of life of expatriates and their families by providing relevant information, support and a collaborative space both to expatriate families and corporate.

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Paguro Newsletter GLO'BUZZ - March issue

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