Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Our Large Donation Scam

I don’t know if you have noticed, but I don’t even bother posting most of these scam letters any more, because they all get to look alike. This one is a little different, and LOL, they mention the “only $153. fee” right up front for my $500,000 very large charitable sum that they want to send to me . . .

Peace Be Unto you

This is a personal email directed to you, Let me formally introduce myself
to you, my name is (Mr. Allen Large). I and my dear wife Violet won a
Jackpot Lottery of $11.3 million in July 2010 and have voluntarily
to donate the sum of $500,000.00 USD to you as part of our own charity
project to improve the lives of some individuals all over the world.

Kindly send your below details to Federal Express Ltd to
enable them effect the delivery of your valid Bank Draft of $500,000.00
USD to you immediately. The draft was deposited with Nigeria FedEx office
last week during my charity mission to Africa as i do not know when i return
to Canada as i am currently in Africa.

We have paid for the necessary delivery fee except that of the
Administrationand Handling charges which is $153 only. And this was
because we don’t know how soon you will be contacting FedEx.

Federal Express Ltd.
8201 Wuse Gariki Benin City, Nigeria NIGERIA
Dispatch Officer: Dr Peter Odigie
Direct E-mail:
Customer Service/Inquiries:
Phone: +2348051118515


*Your Full Names:
*Your Mobile Number:
*Your Delivery Address:

verify this by visiting the web pages below.

God bless you.
Kind Regards,
Mr/Mrs. Allen Violet Large.
Personal number: +1-425-409-0730

December 4, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Lies, Scams | | 2 Comments

Travel – No Longer Such a Great Adventure

I remember when I was a little girl, flying out of Alaska, PanAm, it was all so glamorous. We all dressed up, the stewardesses gave us wings to wear and we dreamed of growing up to live their adventurous life. The bathrooms were lounges, with a sitting area. Some of the seats faced others, like in a train. There was actually a lounge area, maybe where people would drink (I was too young to remember.)

That was long ago.

First, security took a lot of fun out of flying. Just having to take off your shoes is so degrading, so undignified, and when you are also taking out your computer and your little bag of liquids or make up or whatever, pulling off belts or jackets – it is just a big degrading drag. I totally get it. I don’t want to be sitting next to the underwear bomber, or the disgruntled hijacker, and at the same time, it is an annoyance.

Delta sent me a survey, how did I like my flight? What’s to like? I don’t pay the extra to fly business or first class when I am not flying from Qatar or Kuwait to Seattle – it’s a lot of money and for what? You don’t get more privacy, the food is still airplane food, and it’s just not a good value for the money.

I know about booking my seat when I book my flight, so I usually get a good selection, but now it is further back, now with the new “economy plus.” Economy plus doesn’t give you much, just maybe a few more inches between you and the seat in front of you. It doesn’t give you a wider seat, or more privacy, or more space in the overhead bin. It’s still cattle class, just at the front of the cattle car.

Since the airlines started charging for bags, more and more people are trundling their barely-meets-the-standard bags onto the plane, some people take TWO bags on the plane, I guess they are claiming one bag is their purse. I’ve been there; when I lived overseas and was checking two big bags through and still needed a carry-on (and once, when someone bumped me just outside the Starbucks and knocked my coffee all over my entire outfit, I was glad to be able to go into the restroom, clean off and change.)

But most of the time, all these bags just make getting through the airport more competitive and obstructive. People worry about getting space in the overhead bins; it makes them less nice. We are all competing for a scarce resource, and people can get nasty.

The restaurants in the airports are a minefield as you head for your table, dodging giant carry-ons and the glares of their owners. I can guess they are tired of schlepping those monstrosities; but get them out of the aisles! Entire families stride down the gateways, rolling their bags here and there, dropping their jackets and sweaters, holding up traffic as they stop to pick up or to console the whining child who can’t keep up, or is tired of wheeling their own oversized carry-on. It isn’t pretty.

And now, too, all the rental cars in Seattle have been consolidated to an offsite location with complimentary bus transportation. I am lucky, going to Seattle I can manage fine with one bag (checked) but going to an offsite location adds about half an hour to the time it takes to get out of the airport and on the way to my destination. I have no control over when the buses will come or go, and I imagine myself coming in from Kuwait or Qatar or Germany with my two big bags and a purse and how on earth does one manage? You have to take an escalator up or down when you pick up or drop off your car! How do you manage if you need to use the rest room? It used to be so easy – get one of those carts, truck your bags over to your rental car, deposit, run to the ladies room, depart. Not so, anymore.

So I told Delta the truth. There is no glamour. There is no adventure. It is grim. There is no graciousness; the flight attendants are harried, overworked, dealing with stressed and unhappy customers crowded, too crowded, onto flights which are flying totally full; we are packed together like sardines. We are not happy.

December 4, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Pet Peeves, Seattle, Travel | Leave a comment

Arnie’s in Edmonds

It’s not that I don’t like Arnies. The food is good, and Arnie’s offers a good variety. There is a lot of fresh seafood. Their seafood bisque is very good. Mom loves this place, where you can sit by the window and watch the Edmonds ferry come in and out of port.

It’s just not my favorite place. I like the liveliness of Anthony’s Beach Cafe, or Chanterelle’s, the little Pho 5 place up at 5 Corners. When I go to Arnie’s, most of the customers are – it seems to me – females in their 80’s. Well groomed and hanging in there, but older. Different tastes. It’s a generational thing.

But Mom likes Arnie’s, so I suggest we go there between bursts of rain, and she grins in agreement.

Lunch is pretty good. Mom has her favorite, soup and sandwich, and the soup is the Seafood Bisque and the sandwich is seafood melt:


I have the Seafood Bisque – it really is good – and the Seafood Louis. This Louis even has a small salmon steak topping it, and I love salmon. Pensacola has all the fresh seafood in the world, but you don’t see Crab or Shrimp Louis on the menu . . . LOL, maybe it is another one of those generational things.


It rained while we were there, but as we were readying to brave the rain, it stopped, just enough of a window to get back into the car and to get her back home. Did I mention it rained the entire time I was in Seattle? 😉

December 4, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Aging, Eating Out, Food, Pensacola, Seattle | , , | Leave a comment

“Do You Think You Would Move To Seattle?”

“If anything happened to me, do you think you would move to Seattle?” AdventureMan asked, knowing the heat and long humid summers in Pensacola are hard on me. What are the clues? Maybe my grumbling and complaining, maybe that I won’t walk in the garden with him because of the heat and humidity, the snakes, the mosquitoes, the red ants, LOL.

I really love Seattle. I love it that women of all ages can wear jeans and look comfortable in their own skin. So many of those stoic Scandinavian women don’t even bother with make-up anymore, so secure are they. They don’t color their hair. They are comfortable to be exactly who they are. They walk. They are like the French; they get their exercise in their daily life by walking and keeping active. They read books and discuss them. They make interesting political choices. Yes, I really like Seattle.

On the other hand . . . this is one of only two times I saw the sun when I was in Seattle:


It rained. Sometimes it rained more lightly, sometimes it drizzled, and now and then it poured. It rained particularly hard and cold one night as I was trying to get my Mom into a restaurant and we had to park far away. And here is the weather forecast for Seattle today from Weather Underground:

Weather Underground Forecast for Tuesday, December 04, 2012. Another strong Pacific storm will slam into the West Coast Tuesday, renewing rain and high elevation snow for areas that were hit hard by three storms in the past week. This storm will be slightly farther north than the previous storms, bringing areas of heavy rain and high elevation snow from Washington through the San Francisco Bay Area. The heaviest precipitation is expected to fall in Washington and Oregon, but heavy rain is possible in the far northern part of California.

Pensacola is truly lovely from October to March . . . yesterday was in the 70’s. It was wonderful to see the sun 🙂

December 4, 2012 Posted by | ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Seattle, Weather | 8 Comments