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A Special Message to all Black Expats (and expats in general)

Dear Readers,

As everyone knows, we live in increasingly precarious economic times with all of us struggling to keep our jobs or just make ends meet. In light of the current turbulence in some areas of the world, we on Black Expat would like to give a few tips that may help in your time abroad in these volatile times. Unemployment is soaring and industrial output collapsing in many parts of the world. We are not being alarmist but just helping you have a safe and fun time abroad.

1. Unfortunately, it is the verdict of history and experience that economic turbulence brings political and social turbulence. Several governments such as Iceland and Latvia have already fallen (albeit peacefully) and riots and demonstrations are being increasingly seen in many parts of the world. This will likely continue.

2. Political and social instability can bring grave consequences especially to those seen as having means or being outsiders. Attacks on foreigners such as Americans or Blacks could increase. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and stay clear of any mass demonstrations or unruly mobs of people. Don’t let curiosity get you in trouble!

3. Keep abreast of the news in your country of residence daily. If things begin to change, especially for the worse, you do not want to be caught by surprise.

4. Banking systems are increasingly unstable and not all countries have FDIC protection for deposits like the US. It is a good idea to keep a good reserve of cash at home for living or travel expenses in case of bank or financial emergencies. Also, keep your cash in a STABLE and EASILY CONVERTIBLE currency. If hyperinflation or worse hits the country, you want your cash in the most stable medium possible, most likely US dollars, Euros, or Japanese Yen. In the worst case scenario, gold is usually always convertible (but expensive).

5. You should register with your home country’s embassy and keep abreast of travel warnings. If it is recommended that foreigners leave, don’t be stubborn LEAVE (otherwise like a friend of mine you could be caught in a war zone like the summer 2006 war in Lebanon).

6. Far-right and other fringe groups are gaining currency, especially in places like Eastern Europe. Be aware of these sorts of rallies and don’t hang around the general area if they happen.

7. Do not advertise your Western (especially American) status unnecessarily. Flashing passports and having signs of wealth such as jewelry and electronics may attract the wrong kind of attention.

8. Make sure all of your passport, visa, and residence documents are up to date. Legal residency may become more strictly enforced.

9. Have a contingency plan in case you lose your job or have another emergency.

We hope these tips will help those abroad continue to have a memorable experience in these unusual times. Thanks for reading Black Expat!

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