Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

More Airline Fees

I had total sticker shock when I bought my ticket to go home this summer – I paid for an economy class ticket what I used to pay for a business class ticket. Ulp. More money, less legroom, more headaches . . .

The Washington Post ways we have more unpleasant surprises in store:

Airline passengers, already enduring persistent flight delays and other customer service headaches, are confronting another aggravation: mounting fees for everything from checking a second bag to sending a child alone on a trip.

Carriers are turning to the fees and charges — some of which are built into the cost of a ticket — to help them cope with rising fuel costs, which account for increasing portions of their budgets.

Just in time for the summer travel season, airlines have tacked on a $25 fee to check a second bag, and yet another carrier announced last week that it was adding a fee for curbside baggage check-in. Others have steadily brought back pesky overnight-stay requirements to help them better separate business fliers from penny-pinching leisure travelers. Most have tried to slip fuel surcharges into the cost of tickets — fees that have climbed past $150 each way on some international flights.

Passengers won’t be feeling the squeeze just in their purses. Most major carriers have also announced reductions in flights by the fall to help improve efficiency, a move that will cram more passengers onto already crowded jets.

You can read the entire article HERE.

April 10, 2008 Posted by | Counter-terrorism, ExPat Life, Financial Issues, Living Conditions, Travel | , , | 8 Comments

Shop and Eat Locally

I’m fascinated with the concept of trying to eat “local” and there is an article in Wired: How to Shop and Eat Locally that tells us more about it. Below is an excerpt:

Innumerable books and other media extol the virtues of eating food that’s grown and processed near you: it benefits the planet, it benefits the farmers, it tastes better, it’s better for you. ReadMichael Pollan or Barbara Kingsolver for examples.

But piecing together a local menu isn’t as easy as going to the Local aisle of your supermarket. Here are some tips for bringing your meals closer to home.

Start small. Shopping locally goes against the grain (pun intended) of our globalized economy, so it’s not the easiest thing to do. Even if you live in a region that’s rich in vegetables and meats, chances are you won’t have easy access to staples like sugar, salt, oil, and flour. Just focus on what you can get, and keep an eye out for sources and/or substitutes for what you can’t.

Personalize. If you want to try the classic 100-mile diet, you can find your personal 100-mile radius at

Get a supplier. You can find farms, greenmarkets, and locally oriented stores in your area using web tools offered and If you live in a city, investigate CSA — Community-Supported Agriculture. Citydwellers pay a fee to subscribe to a farm, and get a share of its output delivered in weekly boxes of joy. Just Food offers a listing for New Yorkers.

April 10, 2008 Posted by | Community, Cooking, ExPat Life, Experiment, Food, Geography / Maps, Living Conditions, News, Social Issues | 8 Comments

Sunrise 10 April 2008

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a sunny day, sunny and no clouds. This is actually a color photo of what it looks like this morning:

The cloudiness has lowered the daily temperatures about 10 degrees, giving us just a tiny bit more Springtime – we thought the Spring was over when the temperatures started hitting 100°F. This morning it is a refreshing 73°F / 23°C.

April 10, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Women's Issues | 12 Comments