THE DISPLACED DISPATCH
Is there any truth at all in the old saying that if March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb? Here in New York City, we're having our doubts. On Friday, the first day of spring, we were trudging through snow by the time we left work. That said, it seemed a different kind of snow, wetter and less brutal—the kind we used to have in March when I lived in Tokyo. As my office colleagues in Japan used to say: "Snow is the first sign of spring!"

Other hopeful signs include: 1) the snowdrops that are out in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens; 2) sightings of the first spring birds; and 3) the news that peas, asparagus, artichokes and ramps will soon be in the greenmarkets.

How is spring coming along in your part of the world—or autumn if you live in the Southern Hemisphere?

—ML Awanohara
What else to celebrate:

Strange statue-fellows. Yesterday a statue of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled in Parliament Square in London, right next to one of Churchill—an historical irony considering that Churchill despised Gandhi. But despite (or because?) of that irony, shouldn't it be seen as a marker of progress?

A belated happy World Poetry Day! (It took place yesterday.) Guess how much a poem is worth these days? A cup of coffee… This year Julius Meinl, a coffee-roasting company founded in 1862 in Vienna, marked the day with a promotion in 1,100 cafes, bars and restaurants across 23 countries—mostly in continental Europe but including the UK, the US and Australia. Each of these establishments offered a free dose of caffeine to any customer who handed over one of their own poems.

March Madness is here. The NCAA men’s basketball tournament started last Thursday. Newbie expats to the US should be on the lookout for the "Sweet 16" and "Final Four" as the tourney progresses and one of the teams is crowned the college basketball champion (Monday April 6). Also, don't be surprised if players and fans alike strike you as being "mad as a March hare"—an English expression that refers to someone acting excitably or unpredictably like hares do during their March mating season.

While we were all playing on social media:

Spain and South Africa want Alien Citizen! TCK Talent columnist Lisa Liang has been invited to perform her one-woman show about growing up as a Third Culture Kid by the SIETAR-Europa congress in Valencia, Spain (May); and by the Women Playwrights International conference in Cape Town, South Africa (June-July). She is now raising funds via indigogo. Spread the word!

Laurence Brown adds another feather to his bow. Brown, a British expat who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a Renaissance international creative: a writer (his blog is Lost in the Pond), linguist, orchestral composer, stage actor… And now he reports he is working on the first draft of a book charting his seven years living in the Midwest. He plans to serialize the book in an audio recording toward the end of the year.

British expat in Spain Barry O'Leary reached a Kindle milestone. He has now sold 3,000 copies of his book Teaching English in a Foreign Land, which he wrote to inspire others to travel the world and teach English, just as he did. (That is, until he ended up marrying a Spanish woman and settling in Seville for the past 10 years.) To celebrate, he's giving it away for 99 cents on Amazon. (Read excerpt.)

Extra, extra! Suzi Dixon, a British journalist who used to write for Telegraph Expat and is now with Cosmopolitan, is looking for a British expat blogger based in the USA to interview for the Displaced Nation. Send recommendations to @suzidixon77.
Updates from The Displaced Nation:

For this up-and-coming visual storyteller and lover of travel, a picture says…
My March guest is 22-year-old Singaporean Jamie Chan. She shares stories and images from her travels on her blog, No Foreign Lands, while shooting or writing for clients in the photography, lifestyle or travel genres....

BOOKLUST, WANDERLUST: When what happens in a third culture refuses to stay there: Allen Kurzweil’s “Whipping Boy”
Attention displaced bookworms! Our book review columnist, Beth Green, an American expat in Prague (she is also an Adult Third Culture Kid), is back with a rather unusual selection: a memoir that reads like crime fiction. The author, but of course, is an international creative....

Other recent posts:

Ten years after “Expat Harem,” foreign women will have another say on expat life in Turkey

LOCATION, LOCUTION: British expat author Carl Plummer turns his gaze upon his adopted home of China

GLOBAL FOOD GOSSIP: Et tu, France? Fiddling with that fine American classic, the Caesar salad?

DIARY OF AN EXPAT WRITER: Has it really been six months? How time flies when you’re writing full time

CULTURE SHOCK TOOLBOX: No apfelstrudel? Try some Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte!
Alice in Wonderland obsession:

Catch it before it disappears! The "Peanuts in Wonderland" exhibition at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California, has one more month to go (it closes April 26). Curated in collaboration with the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, "Peanuts in Wonderland" explores, among other topics, Schulz's own parodies of Alice. Did you know that Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Sally all read the book aloud? And Snoopy, of course, liked to show off his disappearing “Cheshire Beagle trick.”
Matters of debate:

White people are expats while everyone else is an immigrant or migrant. Even when top African professionals go to work in Europe, they are not considered expats. They are immigrants or at best "highly qualified immigrants."

Third Culture Kids are prone to bigotry and prejudice in their own passport countries. It's the flip side of the angst they experience about not fitting in back home: a sense of superiority towards those who haven't traveled.

To succeed in business, Americans in the UK and their opposite numbers in the USA should make the most of their national traits rather than trying to assimilate. A bubbly and familiar American personality can be a unique selling point in the UK, while British accents are a good ice breaker as Americans expect you to know any friend of theirs who lives there.

Surprising discoveries:

Helicopter parenting may be an American phenomenon but it doesn't come naturally to all Americans. Among those who find it particularly challenging are recent repatriates who'd been raising their children in Europe. One such parent, who has just moved back to Chicago, found herself ill-prepared when a food fight erupted between her three-year-old and an 18-month-old. She was letting her daughter handle it when it finally dawned on her that the other mother expected her to hover.

Age differences mean less in expat communities. In China, for instance, a 55-year-old mother of two finds that she enjoys hanging out with her 30-something colleagues. One factor that brings down age barriers is that so many people are starting afresh. Also, both young and old find they have more in common with each other than with peers back home who never lived abroad.

“Your big nose looks good on your face” is about the best compliment you can expect to get in Germany. For the most part, Germans don't appreciate small talk, idle comments, and feel-good messages. Which, if you're single, makes flirting and dating particularly brutal.
We hope you have a glorious week of international creativity. Please send any news, comments, blog post suggestions to ml@thedisplacednation.com. You can follow us on Facebook here and/or Twitter here for more frequent updates.

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