November 21st, 2003

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Long Time, No Update

So it's been a long time since I have updated. I am now back in the USA. Just got back on 20 November. Today I need to travel to New Orleans to be a part of Maha's wedding, so I will have to go to the airport in the next 90 minutes so that I can make my flights. I managed to sleep 2.5 hours today, so that was a good thing. Tonight in New Orleans, after the rehersal dinner, I will probably find myself at some bar in the French Quarter. Preferably at the place that serves hand grenades.

To give you an indication of the type of vacation this is going to be, when I first got home, I immediately dropped off my things at the house. Then I went to get my haircut (it looks nice actually), and then I went to the storage facility to pick up some more things to bring to Sweden (my LV weekend luggage and some computer software). I then did some minor shopping and then came home and watched some TV and chatted with my sister. For dinner I was naughty and had some KFC because you can't get that in Sweden. Now I just need a caramel macchiato and a trip to the Cheesecake Factory, and both are in plan!

Work on the house is going along so well. It's fantastic in fact.

So I have a lot to do this holiday season. But it will be good. I needed to get all of this done anyway. And besides, being busy with the stuff that I want to do is better than being busy with the stuff that works wants to do on vacation, so I can't complain.

Ciao for now!
  • Current Music
    "Thrill Me" by Junior Jack
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The Flight Experience / The Home Experience / The Phone Experience

So just a quick update.

First, I apologise for not reading people's journals and responding in them. I promise that I will be looking over them in the next few days and responding to everyone. It's just been hectic :-(

So anyway, my flight experience on American was quite nice actually. I got a coach seat, upgraded to business with miles, and got bumped to first thanks to a couple that was arguing over who was going to get the one complimentary first class seat being offer to them (in the end, since they couldn't decide, I piped in and said I would take it jokingly, but they actually gave me the first class seat). I had forgotten what it was like to fly first class because it had been so long. The flight was mostly OK...some sleeping, some working, some plotting and planning :-) And for those of you in Boston who fly internationally, Terminal E kicks so much ass! I am impressed.

My experience from there gets a bit better. I get to te Hertz lot and they are out the styles of volvo and jag that I usually get them to upgrade me to for free. I was bitterly disappointed and shared my views with the Gold Counter manager, who then let me pick from a choice of Ford Mustangs. There was a blue one, a black one, and a yellow one. I went for the yellow -- The Speedy Lemon as I called it. Quite a nice car. I told them I would be back on Sunday and expected a volvo, since Jags are too much of a high right item to be driving to New York with (if I go).

Finally, fed up with my US phone (a crappy motorola from 3 years ago), I called T-Mobile and reminded them that I had been a customer since they were Omnipoint (the first digital wireless provider in Boston back in 1997 when they had offices at Copley Square). So they offered me a choice of a free Nokia phone (they had two styles available), but none of them suited me. So I told them that I wanted a SonyEricsson T610 so that my SonyEricsson T68i (which I use for work in Sweden) "had a friend". They laughed and offered to me for $249. I reminded them of my length of time with them, so they dropped it down to $199.00. I told him he could better and that since 24 November is right around the corner (the date when in the US, you can take your wireless number with you if you change service providers), perhaps we could focus on how we could deliver service with customer retention in mind. That brought the price down to $149.00 + tax wth free express shipping and a $50 mail-in rebate. I should have my new phone on Monday, but I told him I didn't see any reason why he couldn't organise Saturday. He said he's try his best.

So today has been good overall and I lack the ability -- actually the right -- to complain too loudly.

OK, as much fun as this is, I need to scram if I am going to make my flights and get down to New Orleans to attend Maha's wedding.

Ciao everyone!
  • Current Music
    "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gayner
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Friends and Money (do they go together?)

As I sit on the American Airlines plane to go to Maha's wedding in New Orleans, I have had to do a couple of things which force me to wonder whether friends and money really go together?

My perspective on letting people borrow money is that I will always let a friend in need borrow money. And I think that I have done that without question, because when you friends need you, I believe that you need to be there to support them. Just like I would with my family.

So I have some friends in Sweden whom I have let borrow money. And then I have some to realise that this year, I have lent out a total of SEK 18.000 to various friends (it's the equivalent of US$2,300 in constant currency). And unfortunately, it's too large of an amount to forgive and since I won't forgive it for one person, I can't really forgive it for anyone. One friend borrowed SEK 10.000, one borrowed SEK 3.000, one borrowed SEK 1.000, one borrowed SEK 500, and one borrowed the remainder of SEK 3.500. The good news is that the person who borrowed the SEK 3.500 has initiated a transfer into my bank account, so they are all sorted. Now I need to sort out the remaining SEK 14.500.

Having given it some thought, when I get back to Sweden, I am going to have to create legally-binding paperwork for the person who borrowed SEK 10.000. I don't think he'll pay it back unless there is legal force behind it. And although we didn't sign paperwork at the time, all of our mutual friends are aware that he borrowed the funds from me. And he owes our mutual friends money as well. The difference is that I think that I am the only one willing to do what it takes to collect.

The experience hasn't soured me on letting friends borrow money, because I truly believe that you can't let the actions of a few spoil it for everyone else. But I think that in the future, for my friends in Sweden, depending on the person, I will limit what I let them borrow and we'll have to get it in writing, so that I protect my overall net worth.

I do feel kind of bitchy, because I don't have an absolute need for the cash right now. But left unchecked, they have no incentive to repay. But ultimately, it is not about how much money I have, rather, it's about people living up to and completing their obligations. Between my friends who I have let borrow money, escalating this issue with them is nothing personal. We can still be friends -- good friends in fact. I think it's just the right thing for me to do. Am I wrong?

Anyway, what are your thoughts and opinions on letting friends borrow money? What rules do or don't you follow and how much leeway and time do you typically give people, consider the variety of circumstances that develop?
  • Current Music
    "Hey Ya" by Outkast