I’ve learned the fun way (through extensive stays in each city) that culinary distinctions are just the tip of the business lunch iceberg that you need to look out for when it comes to the basics of dining with work mates in Barcelona, Bangalore and San Francisco. It turns out that to truly navigate this area like a native and fit in it’s pretty easy…if you are up for changing your habits almost 100% at times and goin’ with the flow!

Spring is here and it is a real pleasure to take the 15’ish minute walk from my flat to work now that I’m not freezing my ass off in Beijing.  This week I was happily walking along, reflecting on the number of weeks I’ve been here and thinking how AWESOME it was that I hadn’t seen a single man whip out his willy and pee right in front of me in all this time – something that I would have witnessed at least 10 times a day on…

Last year was my first Valentine’s Day in India and it was a pretty interesting thing to behold. 

********UPDATE 1am Jan 22, 2013*********  The MAXIM Magazine cover for Janaury’s 7th Anniversary Issue will not feature the original cover, the magazine announced tonight. 

In middle class America, most teenage kids look forward to starting our first “real jobs” when we turn 16 (the legal age for employment in the U.S.). 

Recently I went to a wedding reception in Mysore.  An Indian friend of mine had just married his lovely Iranian bride and they invited hundreds of friends and family to celebrate.  There were massive outdoor tents and romantic twinkle lights, men and women dressed in stunning gowns and suits and sarees. 

It’s official!  In a few days I will have lived in Bangalore for one year.  I’ve tried hard to surround myself with Indian friends so that my experience in India is as real as possible. 

A friend of mine from Los Angeles turned me on to the TV show Outsourced after he read my Facebook post last March about my daughter and I moving to India.

I had been living in Bangalore less than two weeks the first time I truly understood how different my experiences in life are when compared to many of my work mates. 

When I heard that my new work laptop had finally arrived at the office I was like a kid in a candy store, super excited to start using it.

I had been living in Spain for 7+ years when I was laid off from my job along with my entire team (save one) and half the company back in May, 2010. 

I still remember my first day at work in Bangalore like it was yesterday.  My new job started – as they should for some reason – on a Monday and I had moved to the country with three suitcases and into a hotel only the day before. 

The first time I actually saw someone doing it, it looked strange but I didn’t think too much about it.  I just assumed it was a one-off sort of thing.  But like many things I think about India, man was I wrong. 

Until now all of the hate mail I have received has come from angry brides-to-be who fall upon my first Indian wedding experience blog post. 

Every country in the world is different.  What is considered “normal” behavior in one country could be shocking or seemingly progressive or seemingly conservative and out of this world to another country.