Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Mind Games

(Above): Montaza Palace at night.

VB is in Alexandria for Eid, so the Funkengroovin post will be a day or two late, that is, if VB survives another taxi ride through town. The drivers here apparently think we Americans are suicidal fools. Well, we did take their taxi now didn't we? It's been a blood curdling / harrowing frolic through a wonderful city.

On the more positive side (after last week), VB did discover a way to get through the rest of the election cycle, without going out of her mind. Vanity Fair is presenting numerous libations, to drink yourself through this damn ordeal!

Some interesting drinks thus far:

Lipstick on a Pig
A Drink to Nowhere (Gravina Island Iced Tea)
On the Baracks
Cuppa Joe Biden
Pom Pom Palin
McCandy Cane
Obama Mama
Baked Alaska
Swing Voter
Dirty Delegate
Ward Eight
The Economic Boost

According to Vanity Fair: "Put the party into politics with VF Daily’s Capital Cocktails. Come November, we’re all going to need a stiff drink!"

Go to the 5 O'CLOCK BEAT for your daily dose of recipes.

And, if the election alone isn't enough to drive you to drink, for us American Expats there's more. According to Esquire's, The American Diaspora:

"Nobody knows how many Americans live permanently abroad...The U. S. is the only advanced country that makes no formal attempt to count its emigrant citizens."

"On top of what Americans living and working abroad owe their adopted countries, they also have to pay U. S. taxes. As a result, Sundberg says that both American and foreign companies often have to pay overseas Americans 30 to 40 percent more to compensate. (The U. S. is the only major trading nation that double-taxes its nonresident citizens.)"

"Having the overseas constituency formally counted could help lead to political influence and even representation in Congress. Then expats could start solving the list of problems they face: heavy taxation, U. S. and foreign banks' aversion to overseas clientele; Social Security payment without Medicare benefits; convoluted voter-registration rules. "Most other countries put a premium on encouraging their citizens to live and work abroad," says Sundberg. "They see it as an asset rather than a liability."'


(Below): Taxi driver thinks he can fool us into thinking his Lada is really a VW.

(Below): Alexandria taxi drivers use smoke and mirrors into trying to make you think you're "safer" in their cab. Here's the mirror effect.

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