Once more Alex has earned a medal, and again at a running match. He likes to run and it helps that there are a lot of runs especially for kids where everybody gets a medal.
More then a year ago we went to a tryout of Taekwondo with little Alex. The gym was very close by so it could have been perfect, but sadly Alex didn’t like it one bit. If fact after the first time just looking it was difficult to get his inside the building without protest.
Now, more than a year later the tables have turned. This time it was Alex who requested that we take him on a test class a the same Taekwondo gym we went last time. We were quite amazed by this turnaround, and we suspect it is because Alex’ friend Miguel also goes to Taekwondo and he already earned his yellow-white belt. Miguel was so positive about this sport that he somehow convinced Alex to give it a try. What could be better than a couple of hours of sports and discipline each week.
Someone found 25 million dollars somewhere in a tent in a terrorist camp. The money was hidden in a box, and after some debate it was decided the money should go to the red cross. Instead of just handing it over a much more complex plan was devised. The red cross would secretly transport the box with the cash to me, using the diplomatic post or a deceased soldier.
The box with money needs to be send to a trustworthy person, and for some reason the person who found the money (and seems to not know my name), has decided that I am this trustworthy person. For my troubles I get to keep a past of the cash (30%, around 8 million) and the rest I should hand over to the red cross.
Maybe I am just being paranoid, but something smells fishy here.
I want to trust you with this confidential proposal. Before I continue, let me introduce myself to you, I am Col. SPARKIE H WHITE the commander of the Special N.A.T.O coalition force with the United Nation troops in Afghanistan, on war against terrorism. I was working with General S McChrystal, the former commander of U.S and NATO forces in Afghanistan before he was replaced by another General. I am serving currently in a Taliban territory; a remote Village in Bamyan province to the bustling capital Kabul (CBC’s Doc Zone).
Because of series of killing of England/United States troops in Afghanistan especially the shot down of UN helicopter that killed 30 American soldiers and 12 England Soldiers on the 5th of August 2013 and the five American soldiers who were killed by a bomb in Afghanistan. After this series of killing I and my colleague decided to share the money we recovered on our raids on terrorist’s camp in Afghanistan. I have now in my possession the sum of $25M (Twenty Five million US Dollars).
I have carefully packaged the money in a box; I have made contact with a friend who is working with the UNITED NATIONS RED CROSS here in Kabul. He will assist me move the consignment out of the trouble area down to your country, which is the only safer means of moving it out of this hell hole, he will deposit it with the United Nations Red Cross as a diplomatic luggage as I have told him that the luggage belongs to one of our soldier that died during the attack but before giving up he told me to make sure the luggage get to his family. He will deposit the consignment for safe keep and to make contacts for its proper use.
So I need someone I can work with on trust and that is why I contacted you. So if you accept, I will put you forward as the beneficiary/owner of the funds and then the box shall be deposited on your name as the beneficiary and the Red Cross Agent will transfer the box to you anywhere in your city. I just need your acceptance and all is done. I have 100% assurance that you will surely receive the box without any hitch through United Nations, every arrangement will be made to proceed to your country.
Once I confirm your interest to my proposal, and your positive reply I will proceed with the arrangement to move the consignment out of the trouble area and register your name as the beneficiary then move the consignment to your country Red Cross office. I am willing to give you 30% of the total sum when the money is delivered to you. I wait for your response so we can proceed immediately. In less than 7days the money should be in your safe custody.
The only telephone access we have here is radio message which is for our general use and is being monitored; therefore all communication will be via email till we finish our assignment. Please keep it to yourself even if you are not interested.
It arrived! A big box was delivered to my home. I am very happy because I know what is inside. Do you know? The kids will be happy for sure, even though Alan will need to be a bit patient. He is still a little small for this box. Alex will be very happy, as it fits perfectly with the small collection he already has.
My problem now? How do I get a huge box (47cm x 55cm x 40cm) with number 75192, weighing about 15 kilos safely to Spain.
Alan visited a running event last week. He himself did not run, but his big brother did. Alex ran a nice round for the “pequeno valiente” organization. An organization that helps little kids with cancer. At this event I shot this nice picture of a naughty Alan.
The interest rates have dropped again. Right now we get 0.05% percent interest on our savings. Combined with an inflation of about 1.5% it means we are getting poorer every month. An example:
Savings: 100 EUR
After 1 year we will have 100.05 EUR, but everything we can buy just got 1.5% more expensive. A product that used to cost 100 EUR will, after a year, cost 101.50 EUR, and will not no longer be able to buy it. Even though we got 0.05 cents of interest we actually lost 1.45 EUR in value. Losing so little money is not so bad, but if you have 10.000 EUR in savings you will be losing 145 EUR, which is quite a lot of money.
The solution seems simple, buy stuff now, spend your money and use all those euros. Leave only a little bit on your account at the bank. Only for real emergencies it is worth keeping your money in your account. Another good thing about spending (and maybe even the reason behind the low interests) is that the economy will get a nice boost by the increased spending.
Something I quickly noticed in the Nederlands was that a lot of people were walking around with a Dopper. A very typical water bottle with a cup integrated in the bottle design. At my work I noticed that the bottle was present on almost half the desks. I decided I would also give it a try, and bought myself a bottle. This way I could join the trend and see if it was really all worth it, of if it just was another thrill of the moment.
I was happily surprised. It was quite a handy bottle, with a handy cup, a nice and firm design and a really good size. This was clearly something that someone had given quite some thought. Satisfied I returned home, to Spain, with my bottle. Once I was home it was obvious that also in Spain the people could appreciate the Dopper. In fact, I immediately lost my little blue dopper. This one was reallocated to Alex to take to school. Oh well.
At Alex’ school things quickly escalated. Alex was the man of the day, the first carrying a new trendy object. The actual trendsetter. Within days we received numerous requests for more bottles, and this time I’ll be bringing home 8 bottles.
One week ago we went to the center of the island and we collected almost 10 kilos of walnuts. They were early this year and we arrived before the rush, so we could collect quite a lot of nuts. The ground was covered and just a little movement of the branches made lots of nuts fall down from the tree.
The big advantage is that we will have plenty of nuts for the rest of the year. The disadvantage I noticed a bit later. It seems there is something in the nuts that is also used for those self tanning cremes. Some stuff that makes your skin nice and brown. The disadvantage of picking up all those nuts was that some needed to be peeled and taken out of their skin, and I used my thumb to do this. Now, one week later, after cleaning a big part of 10 kilos I still have a dark brown thumb.
I for one have never done it before. On the local fair there was an attraction where you need to hit a small iron thing with a big hammer. It is called “De kop van Jut”. If you hit it correctly a small piece of iron goes flying up, and the higher it reaches, the better you have hit it. The concept of this game has never quite appealed to me.
When Alex and I were checking out the fairground, a day before the opening, it was exactly this attraction that called for Alex’ attention. The attraction was still covered in some plastic, but after explaining how it worked Alex instantly knew he wanted to give it a go and it went first on his list of things to try. The concept of taking a big hammer and hitting something as hard as possible (or even harder) was something his fell in love with at the spot.
Eventually Alex took his first massive hit, the machine barely survived and all alarms went off and Alex loved every moment of it.