We Should Have Dinner Sometime

As I’ve observed earlier in Hello America, this is a friendly place.

Americans are incredibly welcoming towards newcomers, whether from within the country or from abroad. If you’ve listened to the political news coverage, you might not believe it, but what the people in Washington or in some state capitols say has usually nothing to do with the average person ... 


Traveling Premier Classe

The following is a guest post by Natalie Irwin about traveling from Johannesburg to Cape Town on the Premier Classe Train. One of the few regrets I have about our time in South Africa is that we never managed to do just that, and I was very happy to get at small glimpse of it through her story.

Even though we’ve lived in Johannesburg, South Africa, for two and a half years, we had never managed to visit Cape Town. I guess we were waiting for the right time but finally realized that if we didn’t want to miss out on Cape Town altogether, we had to just go.

So, ... 


Natural Disaster, Part II (Or: Tornadoes and the shame of being found dead in your basement with a bike helmet on)

As I was telling you in my previous post, we recently found ourselves huddled under blankets in our basement at 3:30 in the morning, just three weeks after our move back to the United States.

A “safe” country, right? I mean, we were coming from South Africa, of all places. Johannesburg, specifically. Which, prior to moving there three years ago, we had been told was most likely the most dangerous place on Earth.

The scene on our deck after Hurricane Fran in 1996

No one tells you that about Brentwood, Tennessee.

“What the ... 


Natural Disaster

You know one wonderful quality South Africa has that often gets lost amidst the collective angst about crime?

It is a country almost entirely devoid of natural disasters.

Note that I said “almost,” before you start trembling with indignation about my demeaning your disastrous-ness in any ...