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Been looking for a part-time job in Edmonton in the off season from flying helicopters on fires. Just saw a video on YouTube where these guys are renting themselves out in China to meet the girl's parents. Girls are getting hammered by parents regarding getting too old and not having a boyfriend so they go online to find a young man to pose as a boyfriend and meet the parents. Seems to me like putting a band-aid on a fat stomach but if they're dumb enough to pay and the guy wants money, why not?
It gave me an idea for Edmonton. There must be a lot of grown children who are worried about their old mother whose husband died of a heart attack early and now the mother is all alone in that 5,500 sq ft mansion every day. I was thinking I could rent myself out to these old peacocks to meet their nosy, worry-wart children and get them off her back for a short while anyway. I could play the part of the younger gold digger to get them all excited, or I could do the humble, well-educated nobleman who is absolutely perfect for the old girl and get their hopes up only to be dashed to pieces when I disappear from the scene. But if I play my cards right I might be able to get the old peacock to fund a Formula 1 career for me. My reactions are still good.
What do you think I should charge? I have no idea what the market will bear.
When I worked in the Middle East I met many many many foreigners, usually from UK, USA, Germany, and a few from Canada who had decided to pull the plug on The West and make Asia, along with an Asian wife, their future home. Most went to Thailand and the Philippines. These two countries most resemble what they were used to and were the easiest to assimilate to. I must have gone through Thailand 60 times in my travels to distant lands for work reasons. I also went to Vietnam 7 times on holiday too so I have a vague idea of what these places are like.
What I found about Thailand was that prices can be very high there if you are anywhere you might want to be. The influx of tourists have driven the prices sky high so if you're going there because it's cheaper you'll need to look in the jungle for a plot of land. Secondly, I found too many men who had changed themselves into women for my liking. What is wrong with a country where half of the men are now women? That could be a warning sign. They had all become prostitutes and many couldn't be differentiated from the real women. The prostitution is too much in your face in that country all the time. Made me wonder if there were any Thai women that were not hookers.
The other thing I noticed there was that the other half of the male population all seemed to be con men. There was always someone trying to scam you on the street into coming to his house to show his wife how a VISA card worked because the daughter was going to college in Edmonton. What was really going on was a gambling scam they would try to get you involved in that would take all your money when they switched the cards that they put in the safe while you went to get more money. If it wasn't scammers it was taxis drivers with meters that ran twice as fast as normal and only picked up foreigners at 5 star hotels. I just got sick of the place after a while.
In the time I spent in Vietnam, I found it to be a high crime area. In Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, as it's called now, it wasn't uncommon to see a dead naked body lying in the street downtown. Heroine overdose. Young men will try to pull gold necklaces or earrings off you as they ride by or try to rip your wallet pouch off your waist. You can't wear any jewellery when you go out. One night, I had a guy come right in my hotel window when I was lying in bed with the lights out. Police appear to be a lazy bunch and not much help.
Many guys in the Middle East married Filipino women and went there. I never elected to travel to the Philippines because it is so big with so many islands it is difficult to travel in, you don't know where to go, and the terrorists still pose a real threat to some places in the south. It was just a feeling that I had which came from seeing so many Filipinos in Dubai that I thought things must not be very good there. For example, if you don't see many Swiss or Norwegians in the UAE, then you might surmise that life in those two countries is good. So I guess you could say that I regarded some SE Asian countries as half baked. Have you ever had a half baked cake? When you take a bike, you need to spit it out because it just isn't right. Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines all fit into that category for me. You need to choose carefully if you are a foreigner with a bit of money going to a half baked country, because the law may not be on your side there for whatever may happen to you and some people have a habit of getting their tit caught in a wringer very easily.
I decided to go to China, partly because I had met and liked Chinese women better than those from other countries. China is a huge country so how do you decide where to go? I began by going online and I found a website that listed all the Chinese provinces and beside each one it gave the average temperature and humidity for each month of the year. In addition to this I considered real estate prices. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know to stay away from Shanghai or Beijing unless you were born into money.
Ideally you might want two places in China. One for the summer in the north and one for the winter in the south. I narrowed my search down to two places. Yunnan Province, against the Burmese border and Hainan Island in the South China Sea. Finally after much deliberation I settled on Hainan Island because the temperature in winter is better. Overnight lowest would be 11-12C and the sea water never goes below 22C on the south side of the island. Yunnan would get significantly cooler with winter lows around -2C but it has a very short winter and lovely mountains in all directions.
I booked a flight and headed to Hainan with the first and only stop in Sanya. Sanya is not the capital but it has much better weather than Haikou, on the north side. The downside of Sanya, if there is one, is humidity in the summers, being beside the sea. Never-the-less, I bought a place there in my wife's name and started going there between Middle East contracts. No one else I knew bought a place in China until 15 years later. The property values sky rocketed on Hainan and now it is very difficult to get a cheap place there.
In order for a foreigner to buy, first the place that is selling must be approved to sell to foreigners. Next there is a law that says foreigners who want to buy must have lived in China already for 2 years. What I can tell you for sure about China is that in China there is a way around everything. You can take it from there. If I were wanting to get a cheap place now in China, I wouldn't look on Hainan but instead I'd either go to Yunnan Province or to Sichuan Province. I'd look northwest of Chengdu where there are many beautiful villages tucked away in the hills. Winters will be very mild and the living very cheap. Another place I might look in is Xinjiang Province in the northwest. This is the place that HAD the trouble with the Uyghurs but that seems to have all been cleared up now from what I see on the media. They have great summers there for growing cotton and grapes and have the deserts and mountains nearby for nature lovers too. I expect prices there would be very low and there might be many things for an English speaking foreigner to get involved with there.
I started out on 30-day stay visas and would go out to Hong Kong on the train and back in that same evening. As time went by they gave me 3-month, then 6-month stays on my visit visas. As no one will give you a working visa if over 60 in China I never bothered with trying to get a resident visa. Even Chinese doctors can't practise anymore once they hit 60. I think they just want to give the jobs to youngsters as there are so many of them. I am 66 now and live in Edmonton because I can still work here for many years. Although I have a house there, China may just be a winter vacation place for me until I turn 100.
I've said right from day one it was the pilot. This was not the first time a pilot has decided to kill everyone on board his plane. EgyptAir 990 in Oct 1999 went down shortly after taking off from New York. The captain was going to be sacked immediately upon return to Cairo. He decided to not let that happen. he was supposed to fly a later leg in the journey but convinced the junior co-pilot to get out of his seat and let him fly as soon as he saw the captain leave the cockpit to go to the washroom. Once he was alone in the cockpit, he disconnected the autopilot and pointed the control yolk at the sea below. When the other pilot realized what was happening they barged back into the cockpit and began trying to take over the controls. The cockpit recorder voices were heard saying PULL WITH ME. The controls on the left side were fully opposite from the controls on the right side. Not surprisingly no one survived.
When MH370 was handed over to Saigon radar, it was the perfect time to go missing because Saigon wouldn't start asking questions for 20 minutes and by that time MH370 was long gone. Military radars saw the aircraft climb quickly to 40,000' when it was level at 31,000'. It is likely that the pilot turned off cabin compression air system so that all of the passengers lost consciousness within minutes. No one ever woke up after that. The pilot would have more oxygen than anyone in the back. The junior co-pilot may have just been sent into the rear to get coffee and was locked out when he left.
The pilot then descended to an altitude that would mask the aircraft from primary radars as he crossed the Malaysian Peninsula westbound. He then turned the aircraft Northwest to avoid any land until it was in the Indian Ocean. Now he turned Southwest until finally running out of fuel 2000 miles west of Perth. The pilot had turned the radar transponder off but what he didn't think of was that there was a maintenance system on board that sent engine data to a satellite which then relayed that signal to a land base in Perth. These hourly data pings were leaving a clear trajectory of which direction the plane was heading. When the plane crossed the Malaysian Peninsula, a ping was detected from the copilot's mobile phone. He may have been trying to make a call to someone before passing out from hypoxia.
From the very beginning, it was decided by the top people in the Malaysian gov't that this was a murder suicide by the pilot. They were embarrassed and did not dare say that to the public but told the Australian Prime Minister and even praised Capt Zaharie publicly. Zaharie had a flight simulator at home and had many flights in the hard drive memory of his simulator that ended in the Southern Indian Ocean. He knew it would run out of fuel in the deepest parts of that ocean.
Zaharie was a practising Muslim but with no ties to terrorism. The question of how he did it is quite simple. The question of why he did it is more complex but still for those of us interested in psychology an even more interesting one. I try to put myself in his shoes as I am a pilot and see if I could feel what he was feeling. Zaharie's wife and family moved out of their home in Kuala Lampur the day before the plane went missing. There is also a report of him having some kind of trouble with a mistress two days before his wife moved out. Now a Muslim is allowed to have four wives if he can afford them, but we all know that means four times the trouble of having one. Even if it was allowed in the western world, who in his right mind would want to do it? Could his wife and mistress have both dumped him in the same week? She might have wanted to take everything from him. He'd be disgraced forever and at the twilight of his career unable to begin over again. He'd be so angry at the world, he'd surly want his sweet revenge. In his mind, the world could never prove, although some might wonder, what he had done.
There are two theories of how it hit the water. One is that Zuharie could have turned his oxygen off so that he'd drift off to sleep and be dead when it hit the water at 1000 kph. The other theory is that he stayed alive and ditched the aircraft out side the search area so that it would not break up on impact creating a lot of floating debris, which could be found by ships. From 40,000' the 777 could glide another 130 kms without engines running. The Australian Navy searched too far north. They didn't listen to the suggestions of the Transport Safety Board pilots for where to search.
I think some one will find it before too long and then we'll know all his secrets with certainty.
Everywhere in the world people have been locked down or out of work and many have been putting on weight. I put n 10 kilograms from one year ago but now I am back to the weight I was previously. To do this you need to monitor your weight to notice if it is creeping up and do something about it. Over the years, I've tried all kinds of things. Vegetarian, vegan, carnivore, Keto, IF, WARRIOR, and OMAD. Here are the results.
Have you tried an extended fast before? As you may already know, the intermittent fasting trend is sweeping the globe almost as fast as COVID 19. Intermittent fasting was developed as a way for people to lose weight. It works on almost any kind of diet, because what it does is it unlocks the doors of fat cells so that that fat can be used to power all the body's cells. Normally when three meals a day are eaten, those fat cells can not be accessed because the blood stream still has nutrients in it and the body accesses those first. The minimum requirement for IF is 16 hours no eating and 8 hours eating. 16+8=24. Some people do a warrior style IF which is 20/4. Others do an OMAD style, ONE MEAL A DAY, which is roughly 23/1. They all result in the same thing although the longer the fasting period, the more fat is consumed.
Another method used in conjunction with IF is the Keto style of eating. In the Keto diet, carbohydrates are avoided or reduced to an absolute minimum. There are many substitutes out there for the standard carbs that many people crave and so in effect, there diet never really changes except that they can't just go out and but low carb muffins at Tim Horton's. You have to bake your own at home.
The carbs we have normally been eating in excess every year since 1955 enter our blood stream as GLUCOSE. This raises our blood sugar and spikes our insulin levels. Insulin's job is to get that glucose out of the blood to lower the sugar level. Very little can be stored in the muscles and liver. The rest has to go into fat cells and gets locked there. The carbs are found in everyday foods like flour, bread, potatoes, carrots, bananas, mangoes, grapes, alcohol, cereals, rice, pasta, etc. A glycemic chart will show you how slowly or fast each food will raise your blood sugar levels.
The second problem with carbs is addiction. People get addicted to carbs just like they do to alcohol, or drugs. Carbs cause the release of feel good hormones like dopamine. One study even goes so far as to suggest a common link drawn between eating, psychosis and mid-brain dopaminergic reward, logically, suggests that psychosis may be improved, by modifying carbohydrate consumption.
Carbohydrate Reward and Psychosis: An Explanation For Neuroleptic Induced Weight Gain and Path to Improved Mental Health?Simon Thornley,1,* Bruce Russell,2 and Rob Kydd3
Our blood has a normal baseline level for insulin. When you eat carbs the blood sugar spikes and as a result, the insulin spikes to counteract it, kind of in a way that looks like a stock going vertical followed by the inevitable crash. This crash of both blood sugar and insulin goes down below the baseline level and causes and intense hunger and this the process starts all over again. By beginning a Keto diet, you avoid this spike and crash and the "hangry" behaviours and mood swings that go with these highs and lows. What you also do is get you body fat adapted, which means it automatically looks for fat as a fuel and not glucose.
One final way of fasting is extended fasts.I just completed a 21 day fast. Last fall I did a 10 day fast and on day 6, I bicycled 140 kilometres on only coffee and water. When people hear that they think it impossible due to lack of energy. You have energy. It is coming from consuming fat cells, no nutrition in the blood stream. Extended fasts can be used for a couple of reasons. I am a pilot and need to keep my weight, my blood sugar, and my blood pressure in normal regions for obvious reasons, otherwise I won't be able to get a medical to fly. An extended fast will lower my wt, my blood pressure and my blood sugar in a short period of time. In this recent fast my weight went from 97 kilograms to 86.9 kg and blood pressure on day one went from 156/101 and 73 heart rate to 124/78 and heart rate 60 this morning. I check every morning when I get up.
But this is not the biggest gain that can be achieved from an extended fast. AUTOPHAGY. This is the replacement of cells in our body. It is going on constantly but at a very slow rate. When we don't eat anything for a minimum of 48 hours it really begins to ramp up and after that point is when we begin to see the benefits. Broken down to simple terms, Autophagy does two things. It dissolves and distributes nutrition from cells which are foreign to the body and don't belong, like cancer and it dissolves and distributes cells which are not needed, like sagging skin or neuro-tangles in the brain, which lead to dementia. So to prevent these two disasters from taking hold, do an extended fast twice a year. You don't need to go 21 days like I did unless you have a definite problem already occurring.
But isn't it difficult? The longer you go without food, the less you want it because hunger is caused by the release of Ghrelin by the brain. The Ghrelin goes to your stomach to prepare for the incoming food that it knows is coming. It knows from memory of when you ate in the last 4 days. This part of your brain can only remember about 4 days so if you don't eat for 4 days no more Ghrelin will go to your stomach and your hunger will cease to exist. The rest is mental. Just do something, anything at all to keep you away from the fridge. Ride a bike, motorcycle, go for a long walk, swim, take pictures, plan a train trip to rural China or Vietnam.
Have you tried an extended fast? If so what were your results? Let us know below so others can benefit.
Martin Sinclair Edmonton Alberta Hainan China