Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Years Eve in Istanbul

Hey all - I just wanted to post this in case anyone was reading about Istanbul and things to do. One of these is a great deal, the other is a super-posh club that'll still be pretty fun to go to for New Years in Istanbul. Celebrating the change from 2010 to 2011 can be done in style and cheap, if you're like my expat friends. If you're in Istanbul for New Years, come join me at Romeo & Juliet, or if you want a super-swanky night check out 360 or one of the other mega-clubs, because it'll be a great time.

Here's the information for the parties:
A Dog Day Afternoon Presents....2010: Good to the Last Drop

Celebrating New Years Eve in Istanbul, Turkey

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

5 Cheap European Vacation Spots

I read an article on Forbes.com recently about the <a href="http://www.forbes.com/2010/10/29/countries-where-dollar-goes-furthest-exchange-rates-personal-finance-cheap-travel.html?feed=rss_finance"&gt;Eight Countries Where the Dollar Goes Furthest</a&gt;, which got me thinking of the cheapest places to visit in Europe. Of course, it's much cheaper to visit Eastern Europe than Europe proper - and that's reflected heavily in the list. Although Portugal didn't make the list of absolutely dirt cheap European vacation spots, it is on Forbes's list as the only affordable Western European country to visit.

Without further ado, the 5 cheapest vacation spots in Europe are:

1. Turkey
While Istanbul remains expensive compared to the rest of the country, even Istanbul is cheap compared to most American, Canadian and European cities. It's quite possible to live and survive on 30 lira a day, including going out for drinks.

2. Hungary
Budapest remains a favorite of frugal travelers worldwide. With an amazing historical distriction, a vibrant clubbing and bar scene, and cheap alcohol, it's a particularly good location for travelers who want to save money.

3. Montenegro
Although I have not been here, every person I have ever met who has is deeply in love with Montenegro. It is supposed to have some of the most stunning landscape possible - and, despite being on the Euro, is supposed to be extremely affordable.

4. Slovenia
Another cheap European spot, Slovenia is nested between Italy, Croatia, Hungary and Austria and as such is an excellent country to go to if you want to visit multiple countries. Like Montenegro, Ljubljana has beautiful natural landscaping including mountains, caves and lakes, along with a lively nightlife. Of course, it's not as cheap as it used to be before adopting the Euro, but it's still an affordable European vacation destination.

5. Poland
If you don't want to go to Southeastern or Eastern Europe, why not try Poland in Central Europe? Krakow has some amazing tourist destinations. Some, like Auschwitz, focus on the horrors of the holocaust. Warsaw, too, has a large population and a number of tourist destinations. Not surprisingly, hard liquor is quite cheap here.

Picture by Jon

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thanksgiving Lemon-Pepper Peas and Onions Recipe

Surprisingly, I was unable to find this recipe on the internet, so wanted to note it down. It's a cheap, tasty side dish that has an interesting and different flavor from normal pea dishes.

1 medium bag frozen peas
1 jar baby onions (these may be in the vegetable aisle, or may be near the alcohol)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons salted butter

Take frozen peas and fry using only a few Tablespoons of butter. When peas are nearly ready (only a few minutes of cooking), add onions, lemon juice, pepper, and butter, and stir. Cook until peas are ready.

As with most Thanksgiving foods, these taste delicious when mixed in with mashed potatoes!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Not completely finance related, but great nonetheless

I was reading one of the legal blogs in my Google Reader (Above the Law), and came across an article about why BigLaw (top firms) should get rid of their summer associate programs. For those of you not in the know, these are positions after the second year of law school that almost always translate into a job after the third year of law school. Mentioned in the article is the following sentence:
"Summering law students just had to avoid doing something epically stupid like jumping naked into the Hudson River."
The article then links to another article which details a bit more of the story.
I interned in New York in 2006 at a corporation, and let me tell you, this girl was the talk of the town. I'm not going to say every student working in the city heard about her, but I'd wager a large proportion of them did. What a great thing to be known for!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nigerian fraudsters

Things that annoy me:
Nigerian fraudsters.

I lost my Blackberry while in the US taking the bar (oh dear blog, how long it has been since I have written in you!). I bought one at the store because I felt terrible for losing it, but upon return my boss informed me she would just buy a new one, so I'm up one Blackberry (and down a few hundred bucks). I put it for sale on Craigslist to try to recoup the cost, and have gotten some wonderful responses.

Things I have learned:
Nigerians say "make research", much like Turks.
"my son is in west africa making a research his birthday is coming up
soon and i want it to be shipped down to him
his name is Ekpunobi Fortune and his address is no 13 Egbonnaji
street achara layout,Enugu.Enugu state,Nigeria.and also please send me
your paypal account so i can make the payment as soon as possible"

An astounding number of members of the global commuity have sons/nephews working off the "West Coast" of Africa.

It is easy to fool Nigerian fraudsters into giving you their address and getting their hopes really high up.

Me: Yes Inquirer I do Still have This Item for Sale. Which Item was It that You wanted. Also I prefer Pay by Paypal if That works For you? (note the not so subtle sarcasm at their referencing me "seller", the phone as an "item" and, when I reply "which item", responding: "i mean the item you want to sell." That came from Janet Brown, who helpfully provided her address:
Name: janet brown
Address: Alpha photos building, apata
City: Ibadan
State: Oyo
Zip code: 23402
Country: Nigeria
Phone#: +2347037893102
so i will be waiting to hear from u


Sadly, when I informed Janet Brown that I also wanted a notarized copy of her passport before shipping, she stopped responding.)

And finally, there was the offer I received today, which was just spiteful (email chain below). As a note, it's generally not a good bargaining tactic to offer 100 euro and then agree to 1000 euro - totally not the sign of a scam at all!


it is ok by me i just want to get it for my cousine and the adress is

Felix Odiatu
D'Rovans Hotel Ring Road,

--- On Wed, 3/10/10, I wrote:

From: Me
Subject: Re: Brand New Blackberry Curve 8900 - TRL700 (Taksim)
To: "Caco Collinz"
Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 3:04 PM
- Hide quoted text -

What your cousine adress is wonders I is? Also 1000 Euro I want phone for you to have, ok? is? D o y o u t h i n k t h a t i s o k i w o n d e r ? ? ? : o )
What Pya a pal for? I want pay you me not your pay friend a.

On Wed, Mar 10, 2010 at 4:59 PM, Caco Collinz wrote:

From: Me
Subject: Re: Brand New Blackberry Curve 8900 - TRL700 (Taksim)
To: "Caco Collinz"
Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 2:53 PM

Thanks for the mail i said that i what i ant to offer you including shipping and handling abroad to my cousine scholling in Nigeria .
so get back to me with your paypal.email.so i can remmit the fund

are you joking? do you have any idea what the exchange rate is or did you just puke out a number you thought would be close? i said "FIRM PRICE" and you offered 100 euro?? good luck in life bro.

On Wed, Mar 10, 2010 at 4:50 PM, Caco Collinz wrote:

ok i will give you 100 euro because i di deal with euro and i want you to send me your paypal email so i can proceed with the payment or if you don't have one you can register at www.paypal.com , immidiatelly you sign up just send me you email for paymenr
Looking to read fro you soon

--- On Wed, 3/10/10, I wrote:

From: Me
Subject: Re: Brand New Blackberry Curve 8900 - TRL700 (Taksim)
To: "Caco Collinz"
Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 2:36 PM

It is for sale and the price is final.