Monday, 17 September 2007

Can't do without IT

I don’t think I’d survive very long as an expat without IT. It’s essential for…

Communicating with family and friends overseas
Email is the main tool I use as it's easy and cheap, but recently I have been taking advantage of the phone software, Skype.
Vicky and April do a video phone in to EnglandWith Skype software and a webcam I can do space age style video phone-ins to my family (but I have to brush my hair first). It's really important to be able to do this so they can see how April is doing (she changes so much and I don't want them to miss anything). Skype also allows me to have long chats with friends and family without spending too many Euros.

Buying stuff
Using the internet I can order expat foods (eg proper English tea) which enables me to cope with living in a foreign landscape. While I have managed to source most of my usual groceries here, there are annoying gaps that only online expat suppliers can fill. I'd be miserable if I had to survive on German tea...


Thank heavens for Google on this one! I can copy and paste blocks of German text into Google translate and ask for it to be turned into English. It’s not fail-safe, but it’s dependable enough to give me the gist.
Also, whenever I have a German grammar question I usually turn to Google to find a quick answer.

I use the internet a lot to find things out. I did this before I moved to Germany, but now I really rely on it. I don't have the benefit of being able to understand local radio, TV, or newspapers and nor do I have a well-developed community network here (yet), so the internet is my first port of call for questions like 'What's the best Thai restaurant in Cologne?' or 'Where can I go for baby swimming classes?'.

I need IT to be able to publish my blog. And what motivates me to have a blog?
1. I need to keep my grey matter ticking over (it could easily turn to mush when pregnancy and new motherhood are taken into account)
2. It's another means of letting my family and friends know what I’m up to
3. It's a great way to record my experiences: I am archiving all my entries and I intend to print and bind them when I return to the UK so I’ll always have a diary about my time here

All hail the interweb!


Ali & Dave said...

Seems you're getting plenty of IT despite having a new baby then xx

Laurel said...

I completely agree! My blog has become essential for grandparents and friends on both sides of the Atlantic.

Just wish my dad would splash out on a connection OTHER than dial-up, so that we could use Skype video, too. :(