Indonesia

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5 facts you might not have known about chocolate

I know Easter is a religious celebration but, like it or not, for a lot of people, it’s solely about chocolate. I’m happy to tell you I am not one of those people. I believe chocolate is for life, not just special occasions.

8 surprising facts from around the world

Did you know we had a mobile app? Well, you should do because we wrote a post about it in June. If you haven’t downloaded it already, it does lots of nifty little things – like helping you find hospitals and embassies while you’re abroad – but the feature we’re most excited about is the one that’s probably the least useful…

Plants you probably wouldn't want in your garden

5 plants you probably wouldn’t want in your garden

Gardening is seen as a therapeutic hobby – and rightly so too. There’s nothing quite like watching something you put into the ground and watered grow to its full beauty. We tend to buy and pot plants that make our gardens and parks look prettier, but there are some odd plants from different parts of the world that need some, erm, attention too…

6 truly bizarre sharks from around the world

Ahoy! When someone says the word shark, most people think of an enormous, terrifying, man-eating underwater sea creature… Basically, they’re imagining Jaws. But in fact, sharks come in all shapes, sizes and colours (and some of them are rather cute)!

Rambutan | Unusual fruit from around the world

Rambutan | Unusual fruit from around the world

A rambutan is a soft, white-fleshed fruit (similar to a lychee) covered in a red spiny skin. The word rambutan is Indonesian for “hairy”. This is fine as a description of how it looks, but really needs something more to make it clear that they’re talking about a fruit – the tree that the rambutans grow on is also called rambutan (and that isn’t even hairy) so there’s bound to be some confusion.

Salak | Unusual fruit from around the world

Salak | Unusual fruit from around the world

The salak is a type of palm tree which grows its fruit in clusters at the base of the plant (rather than dropping it on you from above, like some other palm trees I could mention).

8 foreign words that don't translate into English

8 foreign words that don’t translate into English

There are many things that we, as a nation, are good at, for instance: making tea, apologising needlessly and… drinking tea. Learning other languages isn’isn’t one of them. We are the slow learners of Europe. And can you blame us? Not only do we have to get our heads around words very often being male or female (why does anyone need a lady-word?) or sentences being the wrong way around (I don’t have “eyes blue”, “hair blonde”!), there are words and phrases we don’t even translate into English!