Tag Archives: americans

half of americans have no savings.

24 Apr

london 9.43am

47% of americans could not pay $400 emergency bill. it was from a survey. it surprises me. almost half  have no savings at all. one of them gave his story .

he is a writer. he made a series of bad mistakes ( he gave up a rent controlled flat in new york to buy another one… and then find he could not sell it later because the co-op management kept refusing his buyers).and choices that turned out to be trying to keep up with the jones. he said he don’t keep up with the jones, and then in the next breath says he wants his children to be like the others, and not feel left out… in other words, keeping up with the jones.

 he got two girls. they drained him of money.(firstly by making his wife give up her work and her income, and then pay for their private schooling,his choice… and later their university costs,  paid for by the parents but that means no inheritance from them when the parents died. ) and those girls turned out to be bad investments. they  didn’t earn enough later to pay him back. or never been told that they need to earn money to pay him back, because   he never told them he needed their money. and how would they ever know he is struggling, when he always gave them that impression; and  everything comes so easily to them. to the children their parents must be loaded. in his article he never mentioned asking the children to help pay his costs. why? nor do the children give him any money when they started earning… children wont give money to the parents if the parents give them the impression they are well off and dont need it. he said he had to borrow money from his daughters… why borrow? ask them to give him the money, for gawd’s sake!!

i think this viewpoint by another blogger practicalfrugaliving has a point. if he had a frugal mindset he would not be making all those choices that make him dig a deep hole of debt for himself.  to have half of the americans having no savings, and living like that writer , is astonishing to me.

i wonder whether here in uk, half dont have savings too. though we have the nhs, so any life sickness wont make us bankrupt as it can do in america. and most of us dont need to pay for private education. and university is not too expensive yet. 

Digital StillCamera

Digital StillCamera

found this pen in the library. rather nice looking pen.

knife and fork

19 Oct

london 11.39pm monday

i have not noticed that americans do this, knife in the left hand, fork in the right. it is something that left handed people do, isn’t it? i do the other way round, because i am right handed and so it is easier for me to cut with the knife in the right hand. this article says it is the british way. hmm, i didnot know that. it seems to me the people who make the etiquette rules are right handed. 

but it seems americans do another weird thing, they cut with the knife in the right hand, then they shift the fork to the right hand to eat. that means they put the knife on the table, to free the right hand,  or do they move the knife to the left hand? what a cumbersome way of eating, but then maybe it appeals to someone who likes to fidget when they eat and want to keep the hands busy, rather than be still.

or perhaps they are rigidly right handed, and cannot do anything with their left hand.

but then i have come to expect weird things of americans. i have a american friend who cuts his spaghetti into small pieces with a knife , and does it very forcefully too, so that the knife makes a scraping sound on the plate. he is totally unaware of it, nor of the people sharply looking round to stare at him making this really scratchy sound like a finger nail on a blackboard.

i wonder if americans also say ‘fork and knife’,(sounds like forking knife) instead of ‘knife and fork’, ah well, it wont surprise me if they do.

i have been known to use a chopstick and spoon. will that catch on i wonder. haha.

so chopstick in the right hand, and it is a fact that u cannot shift the chopstick from one hand to the other , at least i find i cannot use it with my left hand. the chopstick takes the place of the fork, to pick up food, whilst the spoon is used for liquids. so i use this method when i am eating soup noodles. but i use it for other foods too. for eg with rice. you need a spoon for picking up rice.

if i eat steak with rice, (i bet the english must be puttingup their hands in horror, but i bet it will become the next craze.)i have to have all three instruments with me, knife, fork, spoon. and here i am like an american dancing with all three… 

a surprise phone call from florida

9 Nov

I just had a call from a friend in fort Lauderdale, florida. it is 8.14 pm here and I googled it and found it is 3.14 pm for him. It was a surprise that call, as my friends don’t call me. We usually email each other.

We have been friends when he came to live in London so many years ago. Like so many who come to London attracted to its cosmopolitan life; but he has advanced in his career, as one of the vice presidents in a huge international hotel chain.

Now he is based in fort Lauderdale, and have bought a house there, with his partner. He tells me the americans are very willing to spend, and on organic food and luxury items. He was based in germany once upon a time, and he tells me the germans are not so willing to try new things.

I said maybe the germans are not so susceptible to the marketing hype. It sounds like the americans are influenced by the advertising, and pressure from their peers, willing to take on 3 jobs just so they can spend.
After all it says it all when people will buy coffee at a star bucks at 10times the cost of making it at home. I wonder if there are also that many of those types of people in London as well.

Those customers must be a dream to have. And it seems americans are like that.

Being in the hotel trade he is able to say it is doing well. People are willing to indulge themselves and treat themselves.

Well, even though I am thrifty I can see the economy loves people who buy and spend, and I am all for those people doing it. Haha. It gives the place a buzz and makes things busy and companies are able to keep in business. Lots of people buying and spending means the place is providing jobs and services and they feed on each other.

I have been to fort Lauderdale, and it is a lovely place, rather similar to south beach in miami, (though not many art décor buildings like south beach and south beach might be more vibrant). But the ambience is the same, with a beach culture.

It is difficult to keep away from the beach, as it is the centre of things. Not such a good thing for those of us who don’t like the sun, like my friend, and I. I told him just slap on factor 50 sun screen. Haha.

There are a lot of cruises depart from fort Lauderdale. I think Americans are mad about ship cruises. There are cruises catering to gays. I went on one once. it was a gay cruise to the caribbean.

My friend says there are lots of Cubans there who provide the cheap labour and make things cheap for the rest. We all know food, eating out , fresh produce etc are cheaper in usa than in uk or Europe. And of course their junk food is cheaper than in uk or Europe.

Though I still prefer living in London. Haha. Maybe I am biased, but I like the tv here. My friend says the tv there is dire. He gets the news on internet and use kindle to read the economist and other papers.

I don’t know if he read novels on his kindle. I told him I love being able to borrow new and latest books from the library. I don’t think they have that in the states.

Ah well, the usa is up and coming now, he says. Everyone ones to invest there. And when I read that china , asia , India , are all going through a potential downturn, it is not surprising usa is attractive to park your money. That might explain why twitter can be valued so high, even though it is not making a profit.

Even the eurozone is not so good it seems. Though we hope uk is still good.

I am glad to be living in London. It might rain here and we might panic over the odd hurricane, but it is nothing like what is happening in phillipines now.

Our rain only dampens the odd procession, like today, when it rained on the lord mayor’s parade. Haha.

I went to the library, to read the Saturday papers. Returned 3 books, Saw the new style independent(newspaper) with the title all down the left hand side; and noticed the size of the words in the main body of the paper is so small, I gave up reading it. They will have to do something about that I should think.

Then I went swimming and the pool water temperature is so warm, quite lovely even though it is not very good for serious swimming. I left my swim trunks in the shower area and only realised I don’t have it when I came back and have to walk all the way back there. I figured no one will take my swim trunks, they are size small, and they will be wet and I was right . Haha. They were still there when I went back about 1hr later. The place is heaving with people so I am glad I had my swim earlier.

I started my swim at about 11am, finished swimming at 11.30, showered , came out and stayed in the cafe (croissant/ bagel /cereal plus tea/coffee for £2.99. buy them if u can to give them some business; fortunately they did not mind me waiting in there till the rain eased up.) because it was raining heavily. I forgot my raincoat. It was hanging to dry at home. When the rain lessened , walked back and returned around 12.30pm. So u can judge from this that I live very nearby.

After that, I went home and stayed in. didn’t feel like going out in the rain. I do think the rain must affect custom, there must be less customers if it rains.

It’s a nice life. Even though reading this u might not think so. Haha.

BT(British Telecoms) used to be a telephone company but today it has gone big time. it has bought for $1billion over 3years the broadcasting rights for live football beating Itv and sky… it doubled sky’s $500million bid. Since BT started giving away free sports coverage with its broadband package, it is wanting such a deal, and it being so rich, $14 billion turnover, compared to sky at half that, it can easily out bid both. So does it mean no more live football matches on tv? hooray…haha.

the clubs in uk share this jackpot with the uefa. when chelsea won the champion league in 2012, they got 60million euros. and each country has its own jackpot. no wonder no club wants to upset uefa. the winning money will double now.

(i know it is about $900million, but it just goes to show how blase i have become about these big numbers, so that  it being out by $100million i can ignore. haha.

Digital StillCameramy speedos.

i have often wondered why no one had bought the FA matches. maybe they do not belong to  uefa. yet FA matches are more thrilling because more liable to upsets. like wigan beating manchester united. in this year’s FA cup final. i only know of it because i was reading the comments on the BT buy. maybe that is why the big football clubs dont like the FA cup. haha. the winner of the FA cup gets about £2million.

Correction. it seems BT allready has the right to broadcast FA cup for 2013/14. by buying ESPN.