Musings on Foreignness

Cliff’s out of town for work and we don’t like traveling separately. That might have me in a more introspective mood than usual. It won’t be outright maudlin, though. Pinky swear.

A fellow blogger, Ellie & the German, has a new post up titled Expattery. I’ve tried to reply to it about a dozen times today, but nothing I write seems correct. I’m not a big commenter by nature. Unless I’ve really got something to say, I usually talk myself out of it. Not important enough, not insightful enough, not enough there there. But something about her post really stuck with me and made me want to reach out. So here goes:

Continue reading Musings on Foreignness

WEBMU 2011 In Pictures

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to our illustrious hosts for a great weekend of culture, gastronomy, history, and — most importantly, in my book — general merriment. This was the 4th annual WEBMU event we’ve attended, and every year it’s such a pleasure to chat and laugh with those faces and voices we otherwise only get to read.

To everyone who couldn’t make it this year: here’s hoping next year works out for you. This was a blast.

WEBMU 2011 — Where?

So. The annual WEBMU — the Whiny Expatriate Blogger Meetup, a weekend of interacting the same people as usual, but IN PERSON, out from behind the relative safety of your keyboard and DSL line.

Where do you think we should have it this year?

Last year was Kleinkleckersdorf. Before that it was Hintertupfing and before that it was Pusemuckel. I’m totally open for Kaff or even jwd.

Scratching your head? These are all different regionalisms* for “the sticks,” “the boonies,” or a just a speck on the map. For the uninitiated: we typically hold the meetup in a city setting, not the German equivalent Mayberry RFD, for ease in public transportation and variety of side-trip activities.

The discussion is going on now at (look for the WEBMU 2011 forum, or see how 2010 or 2009 turned out). If you blog in English from your adopted home in Germany, come check out our bulletin board. It’s not open to the general public, but it is open to any English-language expatriate blogger in Germany. I personally screen all membership requests and will contact you via the email address you submit with your registration if I’m at all unclear as to your eligibility.

*Thank you so very much, CN Heidelberg, for calling my attention to this awesome site about regionalisms in German-speaking countries.

WEBMU 2010: Phase 1 Complete

The planning for our annual Whiny Expat Blogger Meetup (a.k.a. the Whiny Expat Blogger Unmissable Meetup) is coming along nicely. We have democratically decided to choose a venue for this year’s event before nailing down a weekend. The next step is to discuss amongst ourselves the pros and cons of meetup city candidates. This is all happening on our discussion board at — so if you’re an expatriate English-language blogger located in Germany,

  1. sign up on our board, and
  2. participate in the discussion and planning, and
  3. have fun putting faces and voices to the words you read on the screen once the meetup season is upon us.

Two administrative things to note:

  1. New user signups are processed manually by real people (of which I am one). Before approving your membership on the discussion board, we need to look at your blog and make a subjective snap decision whether you appear to be psychotic, robotic, or otherwise unacceptable. So you have to tell us your blog’s internet address. Also, you have to state your location in Germany. If something’s unclear in your membership request, I’ll email you about it. If you look like a robot or don’t respond to my emailed requests for clarification, you don’t get membership on the board. Just so you know.
  2. This second bit applies more to existing members. I am rolling out two enhancements to the code behind the polls on the board tomorrow, Sunday, April 11th, around noon.
    1. Poll results will show your username and how you voted. Note well: past polls will show your username and how you voted, too.
    2. You will be able to change your vote up until the poll closes.

    Why is this important? Sometimes your opinion or situation changes. Or you forget how you voted. Since polls were more or less anonymous, and changing your vote was impossible, these polls were less than ideal for event medium-sized group planning purposes.

Read you on the board, and see you later this year at WEBMU 2010!