Technology Tools for Expat Life

Many of the questions that I am often asked about living overseas have to do with technology and connectivity.  How do you stay connected to people in the US?  How do you call home? Move money back and forth? Get your mail?  Technology has DEFINITELY made living overseas easier.  Like everyone in the US, we use Google chat, iMessage, and Viber to text internationally.  I love being able to text my siblings just like I would if I were back in the US.  Once you get past texting, the recommendations are less clear.  We have gone through a fair bit of trial and error before landing on these suggestions. I thought these tools might be helpful for those considering a move overseas or an international assignment.

Mail

Some expats have their mail sent to a relative’s house, or have a relative or friend check their PO box.  If you don’t have a relative to do this for you, (or you would rather not), consider using a mail forwarding service.  I know several people that use US Global Mail, and have been very happy with the service.  They can provide you a US address for shipping, bills, etc.  You get a PDF scan of each piece of mail, and then tell them what pieces to send to you or discard.

International Phone Calls

We primarily use Skype to call/video chat with friends and family in the US.  In addition, we paid for a Skype local (US) phone number, in our parents’ area code in Texas.  You can set it up to forward to your international phone at no charge to the person calling you.   That way, we can always give a US phone number to people who need one.  Our skype number is forwarded to Brad’s Irish cell phone.  We also get email notification when a voicemail has been left on that phone number (which we can access online.) Sometimes the call forwarding doesn’t work perfectly, or we get a notification that we got a voicemail, even though the phone never rang, but it hasn’t ever been a major problem.  It can also be helpful to give to vendors that require a US phone number.

Calling while in the US

Expats tend to take longer trips home than most people.  When we come to the US, we try to stay at least 3 weeks.  If you are taking a long trip back to the US, you don’t want to pay international charges to use your non-US SIM card. Solution: embrace the pre-paid SIM card!  I think that pre-paid cell phone service has an unfair bad rap in the US – as in only teenagers, drug dealers, and those with dodgy credit use pre-paid service.  But it is a great option for expats!  We use a pre-paid T-Mobile plan when we are in the US.  It provides both Brad and I with US cell phone numbers, and  we just switch out the SIM cards, and away we go.  This helps us avoid costly international charges, and our friends and families can reach us via our US numbers whenever we are in the country.  We top up at least every 90 days so that we can maintain our US numbers. (The most difficult issue with this arrangement is keeping up with the *tiny* SIM cards!)

Smartphones:

We use unlocked smartphones so that we can use both US and Ireland SIM cards.  Electronics are generally cheaper in the US (no VAT!), so buy the phone you want before moving overseas. On the other side, phone plans are much cheaper in Europe as compared to the US.  You can easily find a monthly plan or a pay-as-you-go plan.  In fact, Brad and I still use our pay-as-you-go plan, because the company will direct debit the monthly payment, and there are never any surprises about the bill.

Banking:

If you are like us, your US expenses don’t end simply because you are living overseas. Getting paid in another currency adds to the complexity.  You still need to do online banking, pay bills such as credit cards, mortgages, or student loans.  Or perhaps you want to buy something from a US merchant and have it sent to a destination in the US.

VPN – If you haven’t done so already, pay for a virtual private network (VPN). You can set it up to give you an IP address in the United States (or any other country, for that matter).   This will come in handy when you need to access US-specific sites that are not accessible outside the US.   We use WiTopia personalVPN Pro, and have found it to be very reliable.

Currency exchange.   If you are living overseas, at some point, you’ll either need to move dollars to your current country, or vice versa.  For that, you can use a wire transfer through a bank, which can be very expensive, or a currency exchange service.  We use XE Trade to move euros to dollars to pay US expenses that we might have, or to move money into savings accounts in the US.  It isn’t instantaneous, and takes a few weeks to set up the accounts (to prove you aren’t laundering money!), but it is reliable and fairly efficient at moving money between currencies.  There are other foreign exchange services, but we have found XE Trade to work best for us.  Also, it pays to check around for terms and conditions of different currency exchanges.  The best service for your needs may be different, depending on how much money you are looking to move around and into which currencies.

Hopefully these tools will make an overseas move smother, and a bit less frustrating.  Did I miss anything?  What other questions do you have about living overseas?

Friday Finds

Hi everyone!

I missed Friday Finds last week due to traveling from Portugal back to Dublin.  It’s hard to believe that just a week ago, we were in sunny Portugal.  At least it is sunny, if not warm, here!  I had to go into city centre this morning to run a few errands and it was such a lovely morning. I had actually been dreading the trip, just because it killed my work time this morning, but the streets were so fresh and bustling, it was hard to stay grumpy for long!  Above is Drury Street, one of my favorites.  A few weekend links for your reading pleasure.

Ever meet a Roisín, Caoimhe, or Eoghan and subsequently butchered their names? You’ll enjoy this video.

Good news for expats!  Living overseas could make you more creative!

The dollar is strong against the euro.  While this is bad news for me, there’s never been a better time for my US friends to visit Europe.

I loved this article.  Proof that innovation does not equal technology in all cases.  It reminded me of two life-changing literature classes I took in high school, from two excellent teachers (Mr Biggers and Ms McFarland) that espoused many of the points this teacher has raised.

We’re making pizza with purple sprouting broccoli tonight.  Have you ever eaten this vegetable?  It’s a new one to us…

See you back here next week!

x Rheagan

My thoughts on Freelancing

I never wanted to be an entrepreneur. Too risky. Too solitary. Too much work for too little reward.  Moreover,  I was never SO passionate about what I was doing that I wanted to work on it all.the.time. which is how I saw most entrepreneurs I knew.   When I was a senior in college, I took a class on entrepreneurship.  It fulfilled an elective requirement I needed, and met at a convenient time.  It was a masters class, with a fun group of students, a good professor, etc.  Most of the students in that class were there to work on their (already-hatched) business ideas, but the main thing I learned was, “Never in my life do I want to be an entrepreneur.”  I went on to work for a large engineering firm, and then to graduate school – all with the aim of returning to the corporate world.

Did I ever mention that moving abroad takes all those life plans and tosses them out the window? When we decided to take the opportunity in Ireland, our understanding of Brad’s work permit was that it came with permission for me (his spouse) to work as well.  Although that is technically true, I must have a work permit in order to work. To get a work permit, you must first get a job, and the vast majority of employers I spoke with only wanted applicants that had existing work permits, since the process takes about 12 weeks to obtain a new one.  It was a Catch-22. I couldn’t get a job because I didn’t have a work permit, but the only way to get a permit was to get a job. When I finally obtained the all-important work permit, I ran into further problems.  Most employers, when they saw “USA” on my application, assumed that I did not have permission to work, because I am not an EEA (European Economic Area) citizen. Never mind that I had the all-important permit, they couldn’t get past one line on the application! I have continued to apply for jobs with some success, but have not yet found the right opportunity. (As an aside, this experience of trying to get a job overseas has given me a completely new perspective on immigration issues.)

In an effort to not go stir-crazy with 3 kids under foot (hence the picture above, with the dollhouse for added effect), I started teaching myself how to design websites in WordPress. At first, it was just to tweak items on my personal site.  Then I did a project for a local PR firm, and then another friend asked for help on her business’ site, and now I am working on several sites.  Despite the frustration of looking for full time jobs, my freelance web design business has been growing – with very little advertising or effort on my part.  Just word of mouth. As happy as I should be with this development, it makes me uneasy.  Why is that? I guess I feel this way because I never considered going into business for myself at all, and certainly not in web design. I look at friends and former classmates, and I’m wistful for their careers. I see the life that I willingly stepped away from, for the chance to move overseas. Career path! Responsibility! Salary! Entrepreneurship is never where I expected to be, and sometimes feels like a waste of my skills.  I struggle to decide – should I pour my energy into my freelance business, even though there are plenty of competitors out there?  Should I expand my skill set with more coding skills, even though those tasks can easily be outsourced? I worry I don’t have enough passion, or insanity, to make this gig work.  All the entrepreneurs I know are 150% invested in their work.  What if I’m not?  Is enjoying what I am doing, serving my clients well, and being happy with myself, is that enough?  Or do I need to have the desire of world-domination? (Ok, probably not that.)

On the other hand, should I focus solely on my full time job search, and hope that someone will be able to look past my nationality, and see the value I could bring to their organization? If I were to decide to return to the full time workforce after a few years of freelancing, would employers discount my experience? I worry it could be viewed as “well that’s nice, but it’s not a real job”, but maybe I just don’t have enough faith in myself to sell it as a valuable experience – which it is!  All of this leaves me with a conflicted relationship with freelancing. I worry that it is a waste of time because it doesn’t look like the career I always imagined. And yet, I really enjoy it because it challenges me in new and different ways.

For those of you who are entrepreneurs – are you comfortable in your decision? For those of you thinking about freelancing, what has held you back from jumping in?

How Portugal is like Red River (and other tales from my childhood)

Greetings from Portugal!  We are here for a week of fun in the sun (and warmth!)  Well…that was the plan at least.  The resort is beautiful, but we apparently brought the Irish weather with us.  When Brad and I decided earlier this year that we weren’t taking a summer trip to Texas, we knew we would need to “get off the island” for a few days over Easter break.  We chose Portugal because it is reliably warm at this time of year, and we had some friends going as well.  We joke that this is NOT cultural tourism.  It’s all about seeing the sun and avoiding the rain.  Well that worked out swimmingly! Ha!

wpid-wp-1428569939027.jpeg

But is has me thinking… When I was growing up in the Texas Panhandle, it was very common to drive over to the mountains near Red River, or Santa Fe, New Mexico or similar for a long weekend.  In the summer, it was to escape the heat, and in the winter, for a bit of skiing. If it was Christmas break or Spring break, we might go to Colorado, but in general – if we wanted a quick getaway, Red River was just the place.  You would probably run into someone you knew at the local restaurant or grocery store, or even more likely, at the Dairy Queen in Clayton, NM.  It wasn’t fancy or exotic, but it provided a chance to hang out in a different place.  In reality, the Algarve peninsula of Portugal is very similar. It’s about the same amount of travel time from Dublin to Portugal. It’s mostly resorts that serve Irish and UK residents.  We are staying in a self-catering apartment in a resort.  We can walk to the beach, play in the indoor pool, (or the outdoor pool – if the weather was warmer), eat fabulous cheese and drink Portuguese wine on our patio overlooking the ocean. And that’s basically what we have done this week.  It sounds more exotic to say, “We’re going to Portugal for the week!”  But it’s really just a chance to relax as a family, catch up on some reading, and enjoy time with friends.

Watching the rain fall

Regardless of where you live in the world, a chance to get away is always welcome!

Friday Finds – Easter Edition

Hello friends!

Happy Easter or Happy Passover to all who are celebrating this weekend.  Is it “Spring Break” where you live?  Here in Ireland (and in most of Europe), students have a 2 week break over Easter.  So life has slowed down a bit, as people enjoy some time off, or leave for a bit of sun!  Fun fact:  You can only buy brown eggs here.  They don’t sell white chicken eggs, so if you want to dye Easter eggs, you either have to buy duck eggs or dye brown ones.  Once dyed, the brown ones have these beautiful deep colours, like the ones above.  A few links for your weekend.

These jokes made me laugh. Or had me stumped. I’ll leave it to you to decide.

Do you think America is obsessed with STEM Education?  Is this a good or bad thing?

Expat parents will enjoy this one.  I loved the analogy of the three concentric circles.

I thought this was an April Fools Joke, but no!  You can actually rent-a-ruminant (a goat!) to clear your unwanted grasses in shrubbery!

Need to kill some time tomorrow?  Here’s a good list of Easter crafts and other ideas for kids.

We’re off to Portugal on Monday.  In theory, we hope to escape the Irish weather and see a bit of sun.  Of course, the forecast in Portugal is for rain next week! Fun times ahead!

Have a great weekend.

x Rheagan

Photo credit: Deann Barrera via Flickr

Weather In Ireland: Handy Translation Guide

Complaining, or “giving out” about the weather in Ireland is a national pastime.  Ireland seems so idyllic from the pictures: rolling green fields, crisp blue skies, or perhaps, a soft dewy rain falling.  What those pictures fail to capture is the fact that it is bone-chilling cold, the wind driving in off the ocean, or the fact that that “dewy” look was created by the torrential rain that just passed by.

Combine this with the seemingly innocuous weather “forecasts” that we get from Met Éireann, and you could be lulled into thinking that the weather in Ireland is positively lovely!  Wrong. Now, we don’t get some of the truly life-threatening weather conditions that are common in the US.  There are rarely any tornadoes, hurricanes, extreme heat or drought.  It is more that the weather is low-grade bad and annoying for 90% of the time.  People are always shocked at how cold it feels here – even though the temperature may not be all that “cold”. We had a few weeks in the summer of 2013 where the temperatures rose to the mid 80s and it didn’t rain for 2 weeks.  You would have thought we had died and gone to heaven.  People took off of work, spend the day in the park, at the beach, or generally just laying outside.  For the rest of the year, if you want warm weather, better head to Portugal!

Here is the weather forecast for yesterday, copied directly from the Met’s website:

A mix of bright spells and showers today. A few of the showers may be heavy, with a slight risk of hail. Windy again with strong and gusty westerly winds, the winds will moderate in the late evening. Highest temperatures of 8 Celsius.

And my “real-world” assessment:

It lashed rain, and then the blinding sun would peak through between the storms. Most of the showers were heavy, and nearly every shower will be accompanied by hail. We were under a wind-warning. 50-60 kph (30-35mph), with gusts to 100-110 kph (60-65mph).  If it is your trash day, you can find your bin somewhere in the next county.  It was 5C/40F when I drafted this post.

Now, it’s not all Met Éireann’s fault.  The weather here is just…well…variable.  It’s not like the temperature steadily rises and falls, and the rain follows a noticeable pattern. Part of this is just life on an island in the north Atlantic.  But it would help if they offered wind speeds, wind chills, or numerical probability of precipitation, i.e. “There is a 40% chance of rain today.”

Given the discrepancy between Met Éireann’s forecast and reality, below is my handy translation guide to Irish Weather:

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]What Met Éireann says:[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]What will really happen:[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Mostly Sunny[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Mostly cloudy, but you might see the sun once or twice.[/one_half]

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Close[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Muggy[/one_half]

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Breezy[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Windy[/one_half]

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Fresh[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Freeze your a$$ off cold, regardless of season[/one_half]

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Cool[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Cold[/one_half]

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Clear or sunny spells[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]You might see the sky[/one_half]

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Bright[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Cloudy but not raining[/one_half]

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Warm[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]You will be cold[/one_half]

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Unseasonably warm[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Don’t put away those winter coats.  It’s still May![/one_half]

[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Scattered Showers[/one_half]
[one_half spacing=”yes” last=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””]Raining where you are – without fail[/one_half]

Friday Finds

Hello all!

Look at this – Friday Finds on a FRIDAY. Who knew?! How was your week?  It was such a strange week here – one day of work and school, and then St. Patrick’s Day holiday, then back to the normal world for a few more days.  The weather was also on-again, off-again rain, but we went on an early evening walk in Phoenix Park one day.  Liesl and Isaac played hide-and-go-seek amongst the huge trees.  You can barely see them at the bottom of the picture. The days are finally getting longer.  I hope your St. Patrick’s Day was full of good cheer and Irish luck!

A few links to get you through the weekend.

Would you rather your child try marijuana or alcohol?

Mathematical equations that changed the world. Proud to say I actually knew most of these!

Empowering books for little girls’ (or little boys’) bookshelves. Several of my favorites made this list.

How to humiliate yourself in Europe.  Definitely guilty on some of these. (Also, in regards to tipping, I have also forgotten to tip in the US – I’m so used to just “rounding up” to the next euro.  Equally embarrassing!)

“There is a difference between being actively challenged and being passively influenced.” A great read about the power social media can have on our lives.

Also – in case you haven’t noticed – the dollar is strong against the euro.  A great time to visit Ireland.  Need more reasons?  Check out these.

See you again next week!

x Rheagan

When things go awry

Last week was one of those weeks.

My entire family, excluding me, caught the stomach bug.

Our car started spontaneously leaking diesel.

Our neighbor was burgled (such a funny word), and we discovered that our alarm system was not working.

I got onto the blog early in the week to draft a post, and found that all of my custom settings had reverted back to the wordpress default.  FUN!

In the midst of the chaos, I decided to just take the main page offline for a bit while I figured out what went wrong.  As the week slowly passed, I found myself editing bits and bobs of the website, fixing not only the bugs, but also some other settings I wanted to change.  I guess that was the main benefit of last week.  As things began to really go awry, I cancelled meetings, delegated responsibility to others, and spent a lot of time at home.   I could not go anywhere for very long, so I had some idle time to work on the things that are always on the back burner. I finally added an About Me page. (I’ll add a picture as soon as I can get the one I want off my other computer.) I added a Sites I Love page.  I added a menu at the top with posts grouped by popular category, and I tweaked the colors and fonts.  I don’t have everything exactly how I want it to look (the pictures are too big, the headings are too small…), but if I waited for perfection, we would be looking at the placeholder page forever.

This past Sunday was Mother’s Day, or Mothering Sunday, in Ireland.  As we limped towards the weekend, I told Brad that all I really wanted for Mother’s Day was a healthy family.  Thankfully everyone has fully recovered.  I got some daffodils and we finally got out of the house for a walk at Phoenix Park.  The air was cold and the light was flat, but we all needed some time outdoors.  Perhaps, in the end, a little bit of forced downtime was good for all of us.

Happy International Women’s Day! (& Friday Finds)

Happy International Women’s Day – a day to honor achievements by women and to call for greater equality for women worldwide. I only really began to hear about International Women’s Day when I moved overseas.  I’m not sure if that is because it wasn’t as popular until a few years ago, or if it isn’t promoted as much in the US, or both.

Below are some interesting links for International Women’s Day.

13 Amazing Women in the Irish Food Industry.  I have been following Iseult Ward, and her organization, FoodCloud, for awhile now.  (Also, for my non-Irish readers, the list is a fun look at some popular female Irish names!)

In a constant comparison between yourself and other women? Just don’t. (Easier said than done, I know.)

Despite all the good press surrounding the tech industry, why are women leaving in droves?

Of course, not all the press is good.  Have you been following the lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins (the much-admired venture capital firm)? It makes for riveting, if depressing, reading.

An interesting collection of feminists, including one of my favorite authors, Virgina Woolf.

Sometimes, women are our own worst enemy.  But I like her solution.

 

Rugby! (An expat’s view)

Since moving to Ireland, one of the things that Brad and I miss the most is the college football season.  The fans, the rivalries, the regional politics – it’s great fun!  But one of the fun things about being an expat is learning to love new sports and new rivalries.  Recently, Brad and I have really become fans of rugby.  It is probably the sport that is most similar to football, in terms of play structure and scoring.  The ball is roughly the same shape, and teams score points in the same way as American football.  A “try” is where the ball is carried over the goal line.  A try is worth 5 points, and another 2 points can be earned via a conversion kick – very similar to the extra point in football.  Teams can also earn points via a penalty kick through the goal posts for 3 points.

In addition to the similar rules of the game, rugby also has the regional rivalry that I really enjoy. Right now, we are in the middle of the Six Nations rugby tournament.   The six teams that play are Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, France, and Italy.  Since these teams are “national” teams, most of the players also play on professional rugby teams – so like in the Olympics, rivals become teammates and teammates become rivals.  Ireland is coming off a huge win this past Sunday against England – but matches with Scotland and Wales await us.  The video above was an advert that BBC Sport aired in 2012 for the Six Nations tournament, but the ad was banned in England for being ‘unpatriotic’.

The main differences in rugby are the absence of the forward pass, length of play, and absences of pads.  The lack of the forward pass makes the sport particularly frustrating to watch as football fans.  I keep yelling at the screen – “Pass the ball!!” Instead, they toss the ball in these strange horizontal formations.  The game is much much faster than football.  There are no timeouts, no breaks for change of possession.  If a player gets injured, I have seen the medical staff run out onto the field to tend to the injured player while the rest of the players continue with the game!  Referees can stop the game for (major) injuries or to issue penalties, but generally the time does not stop on the clock.  Rather, additional time is added at the end of the match – so you never know when exactly the game is going to end.  Did I mention that rugby players don’t wear pads?  It is really shocking to watch these huge guys run full force into one another. Receiving stitches on the side line is no big deal. Blood everywhere.  It’s just not as sanitized as football is.

These guys are incredibly fit.  (I can’t lie – the scenery is nice!) Would American football players survive rugby?  I’m not so sure!