Wow, there is a new record …

That’s the one …

… and that’s the offer!

UNBELIEVABLE! I report from time to time the development of the value of hotel luggage labels. So far US$ 1000 was a unsurmountable barrier – as an asking price! I was never aware that any collector bought at this price. But today (March 9, 2019) a very trustworthy dealer in Berlin, offering the best labels which are on the market worldwide, broke the barrier: Wirth the label of the Hotel „Gonnet“ in Cannes (France) – asking for 1889.00 Euro! Well, it’s a beauty from the first half of the 20th century, the hotel had a telephone number with 3 digits only (!), but the label is by no means especially rare or from the 19th century, the age of the truly valuable luggage labels. I wonder if the dealer will be successful – and I deeply regret, that this expensive label is not in my collection (so far) …

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Beautiful Books by the Kilo …?

Look at the yellow sign, hanging from the ceiling …

IT LOOKS LIKE IT! My good friend Jürgen just sent me this picture from Delhi, capital of India. He did there what he likes best – browsing the many fabulous bookstores. And than, one morning, he saw this yellow, red and black announcement, hanging from the ceiling and advertising Coffee Table Books for 250 Rupees per K – K meaning Kilo or roughly two pounds. 250 Rupees are circa US$ 3,50 or 3 Euros. But Coffee Table Books are heavy, one can easily weigh 1 kilo. Therefore the offer sounds too good to be true, but is a refined literary trick: If you happen to pick a volume of 3 kilos, the dealer will charge US$ 10,50 or 9 Euros! But nevertheless, it’s an interesting development: Books sold from the scale …

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I discovered the most expensive banknote!

The front …

The offer on eBay

… and the back

YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME? Have a look at the pictures: The front and the back of the 10 Dollar in the paper money of Mongolia! Printed in 1920 in the short-lived dictatorship of the German-Russian nobleman Roman Ungern-von Sternberg, called „The Bloody White Baron“. That’s why the 14 750 banknotes which were produced (only) on simple machines with blocks of rough woodcuts, were called „Barons“. Not even 10 of the 10 Dollar notes have survived, and that’s why a dealer in Los Angeles asks for US$ 200 000 or 176 655 Euros for the only one which has so far not disappeared in any collection (plus a couple of hundred dollars for shipping). I know that there are banknotes of US$ 10 000 or even US$ 100 000, but they are still „real“ money, worth the face value; but the Mongolian money is worthless, just a piece of printed paper – but a extremely rare collectors item. Still, I doubt very much, that the guy in L.A. will be able to sell the piece …

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Ever seen the rarest car plate?

A car of a happy man …

… having one of those!

I SAW IT YESTERDAY, on the Spanish island of Mallorca! A huge black Porsche Convertible had it, parked in the harbor town of Portocolom: The license very very rare plate of the PRINCIPAT D’ANDORRA. A tiny but independent state between France and Spain, high up in the Pyrenees mountains. A country a bit larger than Barbados, with 78 000 inhabitants only. But one of the most sought after tax havens, a true paradise for the brutally rich, and no passport is harder to get than the Andorran one (more or less impossible, if you don’t bring at least 20 million in cash). The dwarf republic ist ruled jointly by France and the Spanish bishop of Urgel, a town in Catalonia, and is plastered with banks, hotels and shopping centers. And if you see somebody with the license plates I show you here, you know that you see the car of a member of the most exclusive club of the very few happy ones …

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A cocktail to hear the angels sing …

Wodka …

… Champagne foam …

... Rose liqueur …

… Cardamom …

… and Pomegranate

IT’S CALLED „THE SCENT OF THE GODS“, probably after the novel by Singapore-born writer Fiona Cheong with the same title, first published in 1991. It’s a rare drink, not offered in many bars and unknown to 99 % of the barmen. And I can’t give you the recipe because it’s secret. But I will name the five ingredients and than you have to experiment an bit on a Wodka base. Four ingredients are unusual and they make „The Scent of the Gods“ unique in two ways: the taste and that it has never been mixed before! They are Rose liqueur, Pomegranate, Cardamom and Champagne foam. The cocktail is a creation of the 21st century and it tastes like … – what shall I say: The emotional kiss of a Burmese virgin, or the Nirwana garden, brought to earth! A hint: These four unusual ingredients are so strong, that you mustn’t hold back with the Wodka!

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FITNESS for the HIGH SOCIETY …

… JUST FOLLOW THE EXERCISES IN THE ILLUSTRATION. Do you recognize it? A person doing three movements, easy to execute and possible wherever you are without any machine. But is it really a person? Look closer – no, it’s an old fashioned corkscrew, stretching and lifting its arms! What a great idea of an unknown designer. And so useful: You follow the three routines, at least a dozen times, and you will be fit like a sneaker. And loose some more calories by laughing heartily about the illustration …

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Isn’t that funny …

The speeding ticket …

... and „my“ street

… I THINK SO! Just imagine: A – by the way, incredibly attractive – friend of mine has sent my a traffic ticket because she was flashed for speeding in a village south of Munich in Bavaria (Germany). I was tempted to pay the fine for her – and you know why? She was caught in a street bearing my name!!! In the Thorerstraße!!! Named after my family since we once owned the beautiful castle in this village, Eurasburg, lived there from the 12th to the 19th century and then my great-grandfather sold it. The friend wrote: „What a beginning of 2019! Having an encounter with the police in a street with your name!“ Happy New Year, beautiful Christiane!

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Not Just Arabian Oil & Gas …

Some pieces of porcelain …

… and the surprise!

I SAT IN A RESTAU- RANT ON THE IS- LAND OF MAJORCA, turned my (empty) plate and got a surprise: It came from U. A. E. and said: „Make sure it’s RAK“. Good heavens, could it really by, that this china originated in the United Arab Emirates? And what is RAK? It’s the tiny sheikdom Ras al-Khaimah, the northernmost part of the U. A. E., which has no oil, nor gas. It has nothing except vast stretches of sand dunes, a bit of beach along the Arabian Gulf and a dynasty of dictators who rules the country for the last 310 years (!). And the present ruler, Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al-Qasimi, had an idea: We produce the china for the Arabic/Islamic world! And he succeeded so much, that an restaurant on the island of Majorca served my lunch on his plates and the coffee in his cups! Salam aleikum …

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Christmas is over, but …

… I WANT TO SHOW YOU, WHAT I DISCOVERED IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE OLD YEAR: The largest, most precious Christmas collection outside a museum! A German has assembled these thousands of up to 250 years old Santa Clauses, market shops, miniature trees and toys. Just look at the almost man-sized, heavily populated tower with its ventilator, propelled by the heat of real candles! And the very old crib from Naples with a phantastic landscape of Jerusalem! Most are from Germany and Austria, and every Christmas he takes all those things from his climatized store and decorates them around his rooms – following for years detailed photographs of the desired positions. I reckon that at an auction in the USA his collection can fetch up to a million dollar – and I don’t even show his more than 300 antique Christmas tree decorations, some so expensive that they remain in their boxes every year: It’s too risky to use them. This collector lives in the vicinity of Munich and has never shown his treasures publicly, and small children are only allowed entry on the arms of their parents.

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Stay In A Cave Hotel!

                                                         Von außen sieht’s eigentlich ganz normal aus …

… aber das Innenleben hat’s in sich …

THE AMAZING FACT IS: There are so many caves in the Guadix and Altiplano de Granada region, (some say, there are more than 5000), that some bold entrepreneurs came up with the idea to transform them into luxurious underground villas – and spectacular hotels! In the moment there are more than 60 guesthouses, not one looks even faintly like the other, and there no two rooms the same. Sometimes one can’t see anything from the distance but a chimney protruding from the hillside. The thick walls of the hotels guarantee silence, shade and a stable temperature of ca. 20° all year round, therefore air condition is unknown. But all the necessary amenities are there (toilette, bath, kitchen, maisonette arrangement). And just look at the cosiness of the room, I show you here – no 90° angles and sharp corners! To book, just look for „cave hotel al jatib“ and you are on the theme. And by the way: These caves were used as apartments for thousands of years …

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