Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pulling a Gun At a Schwarma Stand

So here I am in Tel Aviv, and I am about to ingest the holy grail of middle eastern street food, shwarma.   Actually, I am in Lod, a small, mixed Arab/Jewish village near the airport where I am staying.   Just as I order my food, the guy next to me pulls out a hand gun, and starts saying something to me in Arabic.

While true, the story is not quite as dramatic as it sounds.   He was smiling and was actually trying to hand me the gun to hold for some reason.   My wife suggested what I was already thinking, "don't touch that."    Needless to say, had that scene played out at a restaurant in Denver, people would have screamed, hit the deck, and called the cops.  In Tel Aviv, it didn't seem to draw any reaction at all.

Eventually this character decided to put his gun away and went back to his business of being a weirdo hanging out at a schwarma stand.     Later, he seemed to be showing off his handgun to all sorts of people who walked by.   Upon closer inspection, the guy really seemed to be mentally challenged in some way.    My wife remarked, "I can't believe they gave this guy a gun permit" and we decided to take our meal to go.   

In a country where automatic weaponry is as common as umbrellas in Seattle, you still need a permit to carry a gun, unlike in the US.   Of course, in the US you still need a permit to drive a car, but that doesn't seem to limit the number of cars there.   Fortunately, most of the heavy weaponry is in the hands of soldiers, which brings to mind the picture below, titled, "Why nobody robs a 7-11 in Israel"

Friday, December 4, 2009

Super Cheap First Class

I know that I have not been posting much to this blog lately.    It is not that I have stopped writing, it is just that I have been keeping busy over at the AskMrCreditCard Blog where I write an extensive post almost every day.

There, I am finding and sharing some really great frequent flier mile earning and redeeming strategies.   The latest one I have found is a little promotion with US Airways that can get you First Class award to ticket  to Europe on any Star Alliance airline for about $1,000, less than the price of a coach ticket most of the year.

I am not talking about business class, which is pretty cool by itself., but an international First Class ticket on an airline like Lufthansa or Swiss.    For reference, most domestic airlines like Delta and Continental don't even have an International First Class.     Check out this article about Lufthansa First Class.

So How Do I Do It?

Read my article at AskMrCreditCard.    I have to say, that this type of award earning strategy has a big drawback, capacity controls.   A lot of awards, like first class seats, may only be obtainable if you are flexible, and can book far in advance.    Ideally, you really need to book 11 months out, at the moment the seats are released.     If you can, the rewards are tremendous!

Stay tuned for more great travel savings.