Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

“Yes Ma’am, That Was For a Bus Ticket to Mexico”

“We see it all the time.”

As long as we lived overseas, AdventureMan and I never had a problem with our credit cards. I used ATM’s all over Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait to make cash withdrawals when I needed what my Mom calls “jingle money,” you know, walking-around money for lunch out, for fabrics in the souks, for whatever we needed cash for. It was easy, and it must have been safe. We never once had a problem.

 

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Now, we’ve had to change our numbers several times.

This one was particularly odd, though. I got a second notice on a card I call my “hurricane” card. When you live in Florida, massive calamity can happen literally overnight. You may have to suddenly evacuate to a strange city and need funds for emergency housing, and housing the pets. No running to the bank for a withdrawal when an area has been destroyed by a tornado; it can take months for infrastructure to be back up and running normally.

The charge was made just after we returned from traveling, so my first instinct was to check my wallet, and the card was not there. Oddly, while it was my account, it was AdventureMan’s card, which has a different number. He assures me he never made the change. I believe him; I find both cards safely tucked away, unused, in a safe place.

I call the bank. I explain that we had been traveling, but neither of us think we made this charge, the only charge on this card, the card we not only never use, but don’t even keep in our wallets. The bank lady takes a look and laughs and says “Oh yes. That was a bus ticket to Mexico. We’ve seen that before.”

Long story short, this kind of fraud has become so routine that they have routine practices that go immediately into effect to protect us, to protect their other customers and to restore our hurricane card.

But when she said it was for a bus ticket to Mexico, I burst out laughing, and all my anxiety disappeared in a heartbeat. No. I did not charge a bus ticket to Mexico, and neither did AdventureMan.

It’s just so odd, to me. These are cards that have never even been in our wallets. They never leave their safe place. How was someone able to use them?

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December 8, 2016 Posted by | Adventure, Bureaucracy, Crime, Customer Service, Doha, ExPat Life, Financial Issues, fraud, Kuwait, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Saudi Arabia, Scams, Survival, Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Kuwait has Highest BMI in the World

From the Daily Mail (UK)

The countries which contain the heaviest and lightest citizens can be revealed today.

This extraordinary graphic shows the average body mass index values for adults around the globe – with some surprising results.

With its wealthy society and love of fast food outlets, many would place the U.S. at the top of the list.
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But it is pipped to first place in the body mass index chart by Kuwait. The Arab state has an average body mass index of 27.5 for men and 31.4 for women.

This beats America in second place which averages 26.5 for men and 29 for women.

From UPI:

Mexico is world fattest nation, United States No. 2

UNITED NATIONS, July 10 (UPI) — Officials at the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization say Mexico with a 32.8 percent adult obesity rate is the most overweight of the industrialized nations.

Previously, the United States with an adult obesity rate of 31.8 percent was the world’s fattest nation. Last year, the percentage of U.S. adults overweight went down slightly.

A report by the FAO said Mexico’s widely available inexpensive junk food and penetration of U.S. fast-food chains combined with a more sedentary lifestyle all contributed to Mexico’s bulging waistline.

About 70 percent of Mexican adults are overweight, while childhood obesity tripled in a decade and about a third of teenagers are overweight as well, the Global Post said.

Weight-related diabetes claims 1-of-6 one of Mexican adults — or 70,000 people a year — suffering from the disease each year, the report said.

July 10, 2013 Posted by | Cross Cultural, Cultural, Eating Out, Food, Health Issues, Kuwait | , , , | Leave a comment