Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Un Joyeux Anniversaire

Today is one of those happy-sad days for AdventureMan and I, happy because our son found a sweet, beautiful, smart woman with whom to share his life and with whom he was married two years ago today, and sad, because we can’t be there to take them out to celebrate.

It was a beautiful day, we all had so much fun!

The Event Planner at the Panama City Beach Marriott, when she learned we were coming in from Kuwait, told us she has many Moslem wedding parties at that hotel, and that her biggest problem is finding enough female servers to take care of the bridal parties. Who knew? There is a huge Moslem population in PCB, enough to support private a private, segregated school.

We are missing you too much, and we wish you the happiest celebration!

April 15, 2008 Posted by | Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Relationships | | 22 Comments

Housing Collapse and Demographics

From The New York Times:

DUBLIN — The collapse of the housing bubble in the United States is mutating into a global phenomenon, with real estate prices swooning from the Irish countryside and the Spanish coast to Baltic seaports and even parts of northern India.

This synchronized global slowdown, which has become increasingly stark in recent months, is hobbling economic growth worldwide, affecting not just homes but jobs as well.

In Ireland, Spain, Britain and elsewhere, housing markets that soared over the last decade are falling back to earth. Property analysts predict that some countries, like this one, will face an even more wrenching adjustment than that of the United States, including the possibility that the downturn could become a wholesale collapse.

To some extent, the world’s problems are a result of American contagion. As home financing and credit tightens in response to the crisis that began in the subprime mortgage market, analysts worry that other countries could suffer the mortgage defaults and foreclosures that have afflicted California, Florida and other states.

Citing the reverberations of the American housing bust and credit squeeze, the International Monetary Fund last Wednesday cut its forecast for global economic growth this year and warned that the malaise could extend into 2009.

“The problems in the U.S. are being transmitted to Europe,” said Michael Ball, professor of urban and property economics at the University of Reading in Britain, who studies housing prices. “What’s happening now is an awful lot more grief than we expected.”

You can read the entire story HERE

Yes, some banks made loans to a few people who really couldn’t afford the housing, and yes, a small percentage have been foreclosed. Is the entire downturn in the housing market caused by the sub-prime loan debacle?

In the USA, there is a HUGE demographic, the baby boomers, who have already started retiring. As they retire, many are downsizing, looking for a simpler way of life. Could it be that there is more than one factor acting here? Could housing demand be dropping? Wasn’t there a similar post World War II baby boom in Europe? How will the boomers’ retirement effect the US economy?

Kuwait has one long continuous baby boom – seems to me the housing prices here continue to go up!

April 15, 2008 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Living Conditions, Social Issues | 12 Comments

Hit the Road Running

Both AdventureMan and I have a lot on our plates today, so we hit the road running a little early. I was actually up when the sun rose – 5:25 a.m. and bring you this morning’s sunrise:

I am afraid to say ‘it looks like a glorious day.’ Friday also dawned a glorious day, and ended in wreckage, lives lost and enormous property damage as a fifteen minute wind, sand, hail, thunder and lightning storm struck Kuwait. One forecaster said more is on the way – and I wonder, still? Can we still expect the possibility of another freak storm?

It’s 64°F / 18°C at 0600 with a forecast of 100°F / 38°C forecast for today.

April 15, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions | 6 Comments