MONEY 1 The Old Man’s Useless Banknotes …

How Robert Mugabe invented Zimbabwe's „Monopoly Money“ ...

Zimbabwe

A very big lie all over the country ...

Zimbabwe

… and the new money without value

I TOLD YOU IN MY BLOG, REMEMBER: In some parts of Zimbabwe (in the capital Harare and the mining districts) the Chinese currency Yüan is the accepted money.  Because the Chinese are slowly taking over the devastated country of the senile dictator Robert Mugabe, 94, and the Yüan is an internationally accepted financing tool. The original Zim-$, once strong money, had to be printed with more and more zeros behind any digit, 1 US$ became about 20 000 000 000 ZIM-$, the way His Excellency has ruined Zimbabwe, and a have in my possession a 500 000 000 ZIM-$ banknote (value in the moment, April 2017: 0,01 Cent). And in this situation the hero of the liberation war had a splendid idea: He invented money, called „Bond Note“ and decreed that it got the same value as the US$! All over his country Mugabe posted huge signs (see photo), advertising this blatant lie, and tried to force his subjects to prefer his money to the capitalistic currency. Even using power: Zimbabweans are not allowed to change more than 50 US$ per day. That’s lot for a taxi driver but not for a businessman! The „Bond Notes“ look serious (see photo), printed on good paper, look exactly like the good old ZIM-$ of yesterday – and everybody tries to avoid them!

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MONEY 2 Only Clean Dollar Bills, please!

The strange monetary rules in some countries ...

Dirty Dollars

I couldn't pay with these bills ...

I’VE JUST BEEN TO SOUTHERN AFRICA, with a pocket full of US-Dollars (well, as much as I could afford). But I wasn’t able to use all of them, in Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa they would not accept all the banknotes I offered. As readers of my Blog you are informed about the strange behavior in Zambia, where I failed to use $ of age – they insisted on the new notes with the big-headed presidents. In the three other countries they refused the two one-dollar-bills I’m showing here: The first had a number scribbled on (2301), the second was too dirty and wrinkled! My argument that all over the world a green dollar is a green dollar is a green dollar, didn’t hit. And I was lucky, I had some clean bills. So next time you change money before you fly to Southern Africa (and most likely a lot of other parts of the earth) look carefully at the state of your dollars …

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FRAUD The Ugly Trick of an Refugee …

After the money scam, they try it with „stranded“ women!

Flüchtling

That's the original Email from Ouagadougou ...

LOOK, WHAT A SILLY EMAIL I GOT! I have no idea were these criminals got my correct contact. And isn’t it amazing that an allegedly poor refugee, allegedly stranded in Ouagadougou (Republic of Burkina Faso) has her own email address? And the money to run it? Hissa Razeen seems to be her name, but it might be as false as everything else. Nevertheless, when I promise her to be a loving husband, she is going to marry me. How utterly stupid! Who is she, how does she look, what are her circumstances, not to speak of the open questions on my side (I’m old and happily married). She/they must have sent hundreds of these fake mails, therefore I didn’t answer her and use her message in my blog only, to warn others of similar efforts – and to point at the creatures who misuse the refugee situation to squeeze money out of allegedly well meaning Europeans …

P. S.: As I write this, two more „refugee women“ are offering themselves via email, this time from Mali!

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FASHION The „Bilum“ Miracle …

How a shopping net from New Guinea became a desired object!

Bilum

A nice original one ...

Bilum

… and a Papu lady, using a huge one!

IF YOU LOOK UP „BILUM“ in the Internet, you will be rewarded with hundreds of posts, showing  colorful woven pouches in all sizes. And I tell you: They have almost nothing to do with the „Bilum“ I know, the traditional transportation pouch of the tribes in Papua-New Guinea. Only the name was adopted. It’s a piece of traditional art, made by hand, dyed with natural colors, extracted from plants, and woven knot by knot for (sometimes) many weeks. The „Bilum“ of the West, the fashionable ones, are machine-knit, dyed with chemical colors and cheap. The original „Bilum“ is extravagantly expensive, on my last visit to PNG, I confess, I couldn’t afford one, a real one from the villages, because the asking price of the cheapest I was offered showed three digits in US-dollar: at lest 100! But I saw bigger ones for 250 dollar – for a simple looking net, made of wool threads or palm fiber. Well, they explained, it takes so long to knit one and many days to dye them. And they last life-long, being practically indestructible. I saw antique ones in a market in Port Moresby, advertised as „century old museum pieces“, for 800 US-dollar! Folks, I kept my things in a plastic bag, a give-away of the „Bird of Paradise“ brewery …

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R.I.P. They Killed Tristan …

Folks, what's going on right in the centre of Kenya? Are they crazy?

Voorspuy

That's how we came to respect Tristan ...

TRISTAN VOORSPUY was a real warhorse! A British South-African, a great guy and friend, one of our best in the wilderness, an excellent horseman, fit with all available weapons and one of the bravest I event met. Excerpt from his biography: „Young Tristan Voorspuy drove a motorbike from London to Cape Town. Thus began his love of Africa. He also learnt to fly, and arranged to travel alone to Kenya from England in a single-engine aeroplane, using only a schoolboy atlas.“ Wow, that’s how I knew him! And now he is dead, murdered in what they call „a tribal battleground“. It’s a region called Laikipia, inhabited by the Pokot – who invaded Voorspuy’s ranch „Sosian“ recently with their herds of cattle. Marauders, robbers, killers if necessary. Voorspuy managed to come to an agreement with them, but then something happened which cost his live. Excerpt from a police report:Last weekend, they (the tribal warriors) burnt out the house of one of Tristan’s business partners. He got on his little white stallion Loita and rode off alone to investigate. The horse was found injured. Tristan was later found dead. He had been shot.“ Imagine: The whole region of Laikipia is in uproar, more or less uncontrollable by police and government. Tribes are warring, killing white farmers, burning properties, blocking roads, robbing cars and their passengers. A lawless country, and unfortunately the „Heimat“ of our wonderful Tristan. I’m mourning with all the others …

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SCAMS … And Now Gaddafi’s Daughters!

How to squeeze money out of stupid earthlings, Chapter x

Gaddafi

That's Aisha Gaddafi ...

Gaddafi

… they say it's Hana ...

Gaddafi

… and these are the emails ...

Gaddafi

… I got from the daughters ...

Gaddafi

… or so they claim!

WE HAD THE „NIGERIAN CONNECTION“, showering the world with fake emails, we had so far unknown uncles who died in car crashes (in Spain, in the USA, in Guinea and South Africa) and left us millions and millions (which never existed). Bold scams they were, banking on inborn greed and promising riches after paying considerable sums (some nitwits paid up to US$ 1,2 million) to enable the transfer of the „heritage“. And now we learn about the most stupid, by far the boldest scam: Muammar Gaddafi’s daughters looking for help to save the fortune of the executed dictator and robber baron of Libya! Just look at the email I got yesterday – pure fakes! Or is there anyone out there who thinks these ladies need the assistance of christian unbelievers, unknown to them, being in the company of their clever brothers? And have a closer look: The daughter Aisha, born in 1976 and having been granted political asylum in Oman, doubled!!! Or let’s say: Her name or person was used twice by criminals, not coordinating each others. Ooops!!! And the daughter Hana? She was supposed dead, a one year old baby, in 1986, killed in the revolution which toppled her adoptive father. Later a mysterious source claimed that she was found alive, but where and how? She says she lives under poor circumstances in Burkina Faso, a refugee. Even a picture of the/a 20 year old girl popped up, in a doctor’s or nurse’s white-coat. The greed of the email recipients is fed with enormous sums: Aisha I offers US$ 87,5 million, Aisha II US$ 27,5 million and Hana the poor refugee in Fada N’Gourma, has US$ 5,5 million in her coffers. All three business suggestions are bullshit, naturally. But fun to read …

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BOOKS This One Is Unbelievable …

If you are wise, order „Explorer's Sketchbook“ immediately!

Explorer

That's the book ...

Explorer

… that's one of the pages ...

Esplorer

… and that's an example of the illustrations

I HAVEN’T SEEN A NICER BOOK, published in our days (2016)! 320 pages filled with over 400 illustrations, some never seen before. Taken from the sketchbook of the most famous explorers, adventurers and travel writers of the last 400 years! Title: „Explorer’s Sketchbook“. A large volume, measuring 19,2 x 27 cm or ca, 8 x 10 inches. I browsed it 20 times – and hadn’t really seen all the details. Scott’s last drawing at the Southpole, Miss Merians watercolors of rare birds, astronaut Bean’s space paintings, pages from Chatwin’s diary, Wally Herbert’s arctic scenery in oil … – amazing how talented – and tender – these tough women and men, the explorers of our globe, were with pencil, pen, brush and quill. I this field I never came across anything as beautiful, entertaining and informative. 29.95 pounds are not too much, and there is a equally fabulous German edition.

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WEAPONS Look What a „Harmonica“ …

If you have this pistol, you seem invincible ...

Pistole

Beautiful, deadly and nice to have ...

I FOUND IT IN AN AUCTION CATALOGUE, an „Eight Shooter“, the smallest machine pistol ever produced. The asking price was US$ 2800 or ca. 2500 Euro. Not an unique weapon, the French weapon  smith J. Jarre in Paris manufactured a couple of those strange mini-guns (more like a Derringer) between 1859 and 1870, and the explanation goes like this: „A very rare eight-shot-harmonica-pistol. Unlike the other variations this has a 4 1/2″ barrel with inscribed name. The serial #195 is under the barrel and on the harmonica. The caliber: 7mm pin fore. As fashionable at the time, the iron parts are kept in white. Blackstrap, barrel lug and butt cap engraved, plain ebony grips. The extended trigger is to move the harmonica and cock the hammer.“ The length of the pistol: 12,1 cm or ca. 5 inches. That’s small but nevertheless deadly – and easy to hide! It works but you need a license and you won’t get one …

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HIDEAWAYS There Is One in Arizona …

It's very romantic and not too expensive ...

Hacienda

The Hacienda – looking like a painting ...

Hacienda

… and the romantic evening atmosphere

THE „HACIENDA DEL SOL“ was once – secretly – very popular with Hollywood stars. Katherine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy (both married otherwise) spent amorous week(end)s there and after a certain downslide, this historical hotel was restored and renovated recently and seems now much better than before. The „Hacienda“ was founded in 1929, got 10 rooms/suites only, and from Tucson Airport it takes you 25 minutes by car. It’s part of the surrounding desert, but a subtropical, botanical, blossoming paradise  (just look at the pictures), with a climate only dune landscapes can provide and with room rates, beginning at US$ 279 (my actual enquiry), which are reasonably priced. Email: fdesk@haciandadelsol.com – Phone: 001 520 29 91 501.

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DRINKS What The Hell Is A „Abu Hamed“?

Well, it might be a stupid joke of Jack London, the famous author ...

Abu Hamed

That's the book of Jack London ...

Abu Hamed

… and that's the discussion in an old text

YEAH, MANY PEOPLE KNOW what Abu Hamed is: a dusty town in the Sudan. But how to you mix a drink which is called „Abu Hamed“? What’s the recipe? And what has the town Abu Hamed to do with the drink „Abu Hamed“? Questions over questions, and scores of erudite people have tried to solve the mystery. They found it, like me, in Jack London’s „Southsea Tales“, the drink is served there three times – without any reference or information. Battles were fought in Abu Hamed, in Gordon’s and Kitchener’s times the town had a certain military importance (for the British). But why does an American author export this name of an African town to the islands of the Pacific? London might, as some expert hint, by chance come across a veteran of one of the Abu Hamed battles who became a barkeeper in Apia (Samoa) or Suva (Fiji) in his later days. And who wanted to immortalize his bloody memory by inventing a cocktail for himself and his Southsea customers. Isn’t there any British Methusalem of long forgotten battles, boring himself to death in some pensioners home near Greenwich, who could master his last energy by presenting a recipe for the „Abu Hamed“?

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