Monday, July 23, 2012

Stalking The Wild Tax Return

See you in prison.

Laissez-Faire Tax Approach: Noninvolvement of a company in the income tax obligations of its expatriate employees.

Laissez-Faire Tax Approach: If no one tells you, do you really owe it?

Laissez-Faire Tax Approach: Let them try to find you. Be ready for a greeting committee at the airport.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bark, Unbark, Embark

Honey, can you peel off some of my bark?

Port of Embarkation: The port from where the shipment of your household goods leaves.

Port of Embarkation: The port from which you leave.

Port of Embarkation: Your escape hatch.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Going Home

Where is that again?

When you've lived abroad for a few years, you may start thinking about what it's like "back home". You may even halfway decide to go back, or "repatriate". Some do.

Some don't.

There are reasons. Everyone has their own person reasons for doing this or that, or not, but they do fall into broad categories.

Learning the language

You may think that because you're from a place, you can just go back and pick up where you left off.

But if, like so many of us who have spent time in prison, you find that things are really different, and you don't understand people anymore. And they don't understand you.

For example, take "cell phone". On the inside you use a common phone bolted to a wall. No phones in the cells, except for Dominic, and he was special. You didn't ask to use his phone. Or even look at him.

Outside, "cell phone" is something else entirely. There you are.

And if you're coming back from abroad, your whole day is like this.

People have funny habits

Again, you grew up here, so, you know, you think you ought to understand how life works.

But you don't, anymore.

You're used to getting up a little later, going to bed a little earlier, doing more walking, and having time for your family and friends. If you see someone on the street, you go out of your way to stop and chat.

Over there.

Back "home" you rush. If you try to slow down you get run over. And that's on the sidewalk.

"Hey", and "Bye", are considered complete conversations. Everyone moves in a blur.

What happens on television is considered important. Friends are people you can make money from, or sell things to.

When people smile, their eyes don't. Instead you see rictus ringed with teeth.

Owning a car, and then sitting in traffic for hours a day is considered high status. As if.

Some days it seems like that crinkling sound is the only one there is. People buy things, tear layers of wrapping off, and then wad it all up, throw it out, and start over. How is that supposed to be a life?


Employment falls in there too. A job is who you are, where you've been, and where you're going.

It is your worth.

The more you manage to take from everyone else, the more you have, the bigger your pile, the more important you are.

Well, maybe you've been living where your job is the role you fill to support society. It still is, in a sense, who you are, but it's because you actually do something and not because you are a walking spreadsheet displaying your numbers and flexing your dollar signs every whichway.

Frozen time

Despite everything being different from what you remember, the most important things are all the same.

It's exactly like growing up and moving away, then coming back for a visit to your home town, and all your former best friends.

You find out pretty fast that they have all barely changed. They still have all the same failings and stunted outlooks that they had when you were all 16, but you aren't any more. But they are.

Even the best and the brightest seem like caterpillars happy to stay put in a little backyard garden, blithely unaware that there may be a mountains and forests and oceans over the horizon, or that, if they really grew up, they could sprout real wings and fly away.

And this is another reason you can't ever go back. It isn't there anymore anyway.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I Greet You With Smiling Teeth

We provide great service job.

Carlos Rutabaga, CEO, CIO, MVP, OBE
CSB Financial Services
Friday, May 13, 2101Dear CSB Client:

We at CSB Financial Services thank you for your interest ,

We have a coorporation. Is so sound in the financials. Because I tell you this is why I am trusted investment counselor.

I would like to inform you of some special "Deals" which we have in our in-box especially for expats this very day.

Number One is CSB Palatinum Club Account; of a long term commitment nature, being 24 months, this is our highest yielding account and pays out interest earnings on a monthly basis, depending on shipment schedules and possible interceptions. Average yield 18.50%. This count is preferring for those clients that want a monthly cash flow or a high yield investment vista account. The emphasis to noate is high yield. Very high yield which we guaranteer 100% safe, depending on interceptions, etc., etc.

Number Two is CSB Club Convenient Account; is a 90 day plus interest bearing account, that CSB clients use to bear interests for holding your funds while in the buying process, or while waiting to receive the ransom note. We are associated with all the Colombian, Mexican, Peruvian, etc. Trusts that pay out as each phase is completed, or during hostage negotiations, insuring you are getting the interest you are hoping for. This account pay out 7.35% except on death, in which case no refund is possible of course.

CSB GOLD & SILVER Club Account; Special this week only if you are interested in precocious metal the Ecuador is a place to buy and store your Gold and Silver. We purchase your order issue you a certificate and store your metal in a cozy facility very near my personal home though security is hardly needed as country is 100% safe for now.

CSB can also assist you in the formation of a corporation, cartel, syndicate, and getting "body guarders" just tell us how many, we even provide the arms so you don't have to. The banking institutions we affiliate with are located in 7 different countries and backed by Billion Dollars. None of these banks are obligated to report transactions to the U.S. so you are double safe.

Again, we appreciate your interest and look forward to assisting you with your financial needs. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have not too many we hope.


Carlos The President

P.S. Open Thursday evenings by appointment. Ask for Mike.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Self Outsourcing

Going with the flow monster.

Sure, I was bitter.

Worked there 23 years. Loyal. Always showed up on time. Had great performance reviews.

Then the ax fell.

Downsizing. Rightsizing. Market adaptation. Streamlining. Meanlining. All different ways of saying the same thing.

I was out. That was it. That was all.

I spent a lot of time in my apartment. Went for a lot of walks. Looked for work. You know how it is.

No one was hiring. Not me anyway.

Then I got an idea. Here's how it works.

Say you lose your job to someone in the Philippines who's making one tenth of what you did. With me so far? Probably.

You can't compete, right? So you have to do something else. Now this "something else" could be a lot of things, but chances are good that no matter what, you'll never make more than one tenth of what you did before. If you are lucky.

So the other part is that there are lots of companies looking for cheap contract labor, and they don't care who you are, where you are, or really how good you are. You need only three things.

One is being cheap. The second is being available. The third is being foreign.

So I started a summer camp. I call it a "computer camp".

I hook up with parents who have kids they need to get rid of for a few weeks, and I offer to train them.

I collect $1000 a week per kid, give each a computer and a headset, and teach the kids how to do phone work, computer support, give astrological readings, buy and sell stocks, read x-rays. You name it.

The first half day is spent covering the basics, but these are bright kids so they catch on fast.

The hard part is getting the kids to carry out a full transaction using only one accent. It doesn't matter which one it is, as long as they can stick with it for five minutes. Some of them start giggling. Some forget who they are supposed to be and slid all over the globe, verbally.

But overall it works.

I give the kids 10% of what their parents pay me, plus $5 an hour. That's pretty good money for a 14-year-old. Some kids beg their parents to leave them at my camp all summer. Not many can make it work but they try.

I've found that almost any semi-intelligent teenager can handle almost anything. And let's get real here - how good is the service anywhere else?

Sure, you can say that a medical diagnosis is a pretty big deal, but on average we do about as well as any other outsourced medical services company. We've got Wikipedia, Google, and a few other online resources, plus a lot of info on DVDs, and some military training materials I was able to get at a discount from a couple of guys.

You'd be amazed and what they're willing to sell. You know, the Department of Veterans Affairs just doesn't help that much, so in a way these guys are just doing what I am, but with optional laser sights if you need them.

Anyway, I stay out of the freaky end. I live a nice, quiet life "offshore", and will actually be able to retire in a couple of years.

I've always wanted to travel, and I may just visit the country where my offices are supposed to be.

Or not.

No one cares anymore, least of all me.

Life. There are still sweet spots to be found.