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Jessica
Got to remind everyone about Purple Pumpkins for Epilepsy Awareness. https://www.facebook.com/Purple.Pumpkin.Project
0 Likes   1 hour ago
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Becky Harris
Steampunk pumpkin reminds me of a Key and Peele skit that had me laughing so hard I spit out my drink. Maybe its nickname could be "steampunkin."
0 Likes   49 minutes ago
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smoore
We plan on aging in place in our current home too! Thanks for sharing the home of a family who, like us, loves their "family home" and plan on staying long after the nest is empty. Bravo!
0 Likes   25 minutes ago
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yssim55
I agree that the personal touches in this house really make it a home. I have the same problem with a favorite bench in my home. When it is just my husband and I, it's not an issue but when we have company I do move it out of the way to make more room - problem solved! This is a lovely family home!
1 Like   24 minutes ago
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Sigrid
Learn the language. Even a little bit of a tough language can really help.

It's harder being a trailing spouse. Most cities have an International Women's Club (IWC) or American Women's Organization (the umbrella organization is FAWCO), which really help. They usually have sessions for newcomers, with all kinds of tips. They usually have local members, and more importantly, they have other people who have arrived, friendless and lonely, unlike most locals who have great networks already. Further, the AWO and IWC will have advice on where to shop, the names of things and all sorts of useful information, like, where to find turkey, pumpkins and cranberries this time of year.

Assume the best. My experience is that most people are friendly and helpful, but often it comes in a form we can't recognize. I remember when my daughter was an adorable blonde toddler, she excited lots of interest in the Emirates. Two women clad in burqas with their faces covered except for a mesh part for their eyes, saw her and made gestures towards her, cooing like grandmothers. My guess was they were offering her candy and a kiss. My daughter took one look at those women, who only needed scythes to look like Hollywood's idea of grim reapers and burst into terrified tears.

Talk to locals about situations that annoy you so you can understand them better. When I was first in Moscow, I would get really annoyed as I'd stand in line to buy something and all these people would cut in front of me. ALL THE TIME! Later, I discovered that the way the Russians managed lines was that they'd ask who was last in line, declare themselves behind that person, do their shopping, and when the person they were behind got close to the end of the line, they'd get in line. So, the physical line (in which I'd stand) were short, but the actual line could be quite long and all the people cutting in front of me were actually in the line (and I wasn't).

Don't sweat the small stuff. When I was in Haiti, other volunteers used to complain about the fact that Haitians would state the obvious, like, "You're jacking up your car." The volunteer would think, "yeah, duh." In fact, Haitians found it rude to start a conversation with a question, so "you're jacking up your car," might be a prelude to offering very useful help or advice.

Read books about your new place. If you can't stand wading through a comprehensive tome that goes into exhausting detail, read fiction. It will give you a sense of the culture from the inside and things will start to make more sense.
4 Likes   5 hours ago
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risris
scarbowcow: you are absolutely right about many expats trying to hide from their personal issues or dissatisfaction. And as a corollary, many of the people you meet here in the states who say "I wish I lived [somewhere else]" would not be content in a new place either - the grass really is not greener. We tend to romanticize the unknown or the exotic (hi, Edward Said!), but there are positives and negatives to every environment, period. Dissatisfaction comes from internal, not external factors.
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midmodfan
Agree with artisticgurl that the toilet is questionable. There are less conspicuous washlets available. (Having one is fantastic, by the way! You'll never want to use a normal toilet again.) But I love the floor tile, because it ties in the light and dark wall tiles, and the almost invisible shower partition is definitely a good choice.
0 Likes   2 hours ago
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furpants
I think that floor tile works when the grout lines are thin and dark. In this bath the grout lines are competing with the tile pattern.
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adam
Awesome Decoration. I would like to say thanks to such hardworking persons who redeveloped and designed this such a amazing house. http://www.avinashgroup.com/
0 Likes   1 hour ago
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Becky Harris
Fantastic story Mary Jo. As I started to read, all I could think of was the horrifying scene in "The Girl" on HBO, where Hitchcock tortures Hedron with the birds, but then I got so into the story of the family, the town, the neighbors bringing back what they had pilfered, the ghosts, that I forgot all about it.
0 Likes   8 minutes ago
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