Of alligators, ants, and generalisations.

Hi again. This evening, we went to the club lounge and I played a few tunes on the piano, much to everyone’s obvious delight. Our friend’s husband has promised to bring his saxophone over to our house one day, so that we can do some duets, which could be very interesting. I’ve played with a trumpeter and even a bagpiper before, but not a saxophonist. Maybe we can do a bit of jazz. Cool

His wife writes for the club magazine, and has asked me to do an article on the capturing of Mr Smiley the alligator last November. I’m sure some of you remember the story, but in case you missed it, we had a resident alligator in our lake, which used to sun itself on the bank opposite, and probably eat most of the fish population too. This is why the water birds became so scarce at one point. I guess he used to eat them too if they came too close.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, one of our neighbours reported seeing him, to the authorities and last November whilst our son was visiting us with the family, the trapper came to take Smiley away. He was rather large for one man to handle, and fortunately our son arrived back at the house just in time to give him a hand with pulling him out of the water, taping up his mouth and loading him into the truck.

All this was watched by our two small granddaughters who weren’t at all phased by it. Hubby and I missed the whole episode, much to our disappointment, but at least we saw the pics. So it looks as though I’ll be able to add another claim to fame here by getting an article published in the magazine.

Since my episode with Vinnie last Sunday evening, I’ve had so many more smiles and waves from people here, as well as comments about my performance. The Americans are very generous with their praise. In fact I would go so far as to say that they are the friendliest people I’ve ever met on my travels around the world. I can’t understand why some people denigrate them as a nation. I saw on someone’s blog the other day, comments generalising about and making fun of Americans, and of course everyone jumped on the bandwagon. Unless you’ve lived amongst them and experienced first hand what they’re all about, you can’t make assumptions. Just as one wouldn’t like someone to say that all South Africans are violent, or all Scotsmen are mean, or all Irishmen are stupid. One thing I can say though, is that the people who work in the shops and restaurants here are so friendly and helpful, that they put our lot to shame. People really take a pride in their jobs, and seem to genuinely enjoy serving the public and with a smile too. I shall be looking for the same kind of service and smiles in Pick’n Pay and Woolies when I get home later this month. Undecided

Well, I can’t believe that it’s the end of the week once again and in just over three weeks we’ll be on our way back home. I’m a bit worried about returning to our house. I saw that 68ghia was saying that the ants are particularly plentiful this summer, and she even has to strain the water out of her kettle. I was chatting to my mom on Skype today and she also complained of dozens of the nasty little critters in her kitchen every day. I now have visions of my house having been taken over by armies of ants over the six months that we’ve been away. I certainly hope not.

On that happy note, I’m off to bed. Hope you all slept well. Enjoy your weekend. Chat again soon.

Easy money?? ;)

Hi again everyone. I’m sure you will all be very excited to know that I am about to come into a very large amount of money, $8,700,000 in fact. This kind Mr Hassan, a banker from Ghana, has chosen me as the joint beneficiary of this vast sum. We are going to share his unfortunate late friend’s fixed deposit 50/50, simply because I have the same surname. Imagine that!

Here is the e-mail telling me of the plan. What do you think?  Should I go for it? Undecided

CONTACT ME STRICTLY WITH THIS EMAIL: ibrahas.hassan@yahoo.com

I have tried to reach you on Skype phone, but your line was busy, so I decided to write you this message. I have been in search of someone with your surname, so when I saw you on skype I was pushed to contact you and see how best we can assist each other. I am Mr.Ibrahim Hassan, a Banker here in GHANA. I believe it is the will of God for me to come across you now. I have an important business discussion I wish to share with you which I believe will interest you because, it is in connection with your last name and you are going to benefit from it.

One Late Paul Shaw, a citizen of your country had a fixed deposit with my bank in January 2006 for 36 calendar months, valued at US$8,700,000.00 (Eight Million, Seven Hundred Thousand US Dollars) the due date for this deposit contract was the 16th of January 2009. Sadly Paul was among the death victims in the May 26 2006 Earthquake disaster in Java, Indonesia that killed over 5,000 people. He was in Indonesia on a business trip and that was how he met his end. My bank management is yet to know about his death, I knew about it because he was my friend and I am his account officer. Paul did not mention any Next of Kin/ Heir when the account was opened, and he Paul was not married and no children. Last week my Bank Management requested that I should give instructions on what to do about his funds, if to renew the contract. I know this will happen and that is why I have been looking for a means to handle the situation, because if my Bank Directors happens to know that Paul is dead and do not have any Heir, they will take the funds for their personal use, so I don’t want such to happen. That was why when I saw your last name I was happy and I am now seeking your co-operation to present you as Next of Kin/ Heir to the account, since you have the same last name with him and my bank headquarters will release the account to you.

There is no risk involved; the transaction will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you and I from any breach of law. It is better that we claim the money, than allowing the Bank Directors to take it, they are rich already. I am not a greedy person, so I am suggesting we share the funds equal, 50%/50% to both parties, my share will assist me to start my own company which has been my dream.

Let me know your mind on this I have more to write you about the details once I receive your urgent response through my personal Email address: ibrahas.hassan@yahoo.com. Please let this Secret remain between the both of us only.
Have a nice day and God bless.

Anticipating your communication.

Mr. Ibrahim Hassan.

I can’t imagine anyone falling for this sort of scam, but clearly there must be gullible people out there, or these conmen wouldn’t waste their time sending out such e-mails. What type of person wakes up in the morning sits down at their computer and dreams up stories like this with the intention of scamming people out of their savings?

I was reading up on this, and apparently there are 3 types of people who are most likely to become victims of these scams;

The greedy person who takes no notice of common sense warnings that if something sounds too good to be true, it most probably is.

The ultra sympathetic person who just can’t ignore someone in need, so when they get an e-mail from some poor stranger who is struggling to make ends meet, they just can’t resist helping them.

The vulnerable and unsuspicious, most often an elderly person who believes everything they hear or read without question, and are likely to give out information to a stranger without checking them out first. These are probably the saddest cases of all, as some pensioners have been robbed of their life’s savings by such scoundrels.

Can you remember the first scam you ever saw, or became aware of? History is littered with conmen and scammers, and I guess they are here to stay, so we must always be on our guard.

Have a great day everyone. Chat again soon.