Archive for the ‘tax’ Category

Vacations to go

by thysbe @ 2007-06-23 – 04:23:10 pm

This morning I’ve been musing about vacations. I don’t know where I’ve been for the past five years or so but is it just me or have the prices on travel suddenly tripled while I wasn’t looking? In Canada here our money is only good for papering the walls or playing Monopoly and buys you nothing very much, especially in other countries – in fact, even our own merchants insist on payment in ‘real dollars’ – which for your information are those tatty American ones that are all the same colour so that if you don’t watch it you can pay for your taxi with a two dollar bill – which can provoke outraged curses in Arabic and fumblings under the seat for the baseball bat. If we should so desire to take our annual hols in Italy or heaven forbid, England, the exchange rate is practically 3 to 1 – and not in our favor; which means that everything is three times the price for the hapless Canadian tourist tootling off to visit Hampton Court or Stonehenge or the Tower. Even a vile McDonald’s hamburger translates to about 20 bucks a Happy Meal but at least you still get the same amount of fat and grease, beef tallow and coronary artery disease that you can here [there should be warning labels on each wrapper, “after imbibing this burger please proceed directly to your cardiologist”].

The situation has improved somewhat in the past year or so after the Blair and Bush comedy team over-ran someone else’s country and found only sand spiders, scorpions and suicide bombers under the rocks – oh yeah, and oil of course, not that that has anything to do with it… What the hell are we doing in Iraq? Or Afghanistan? Can someone explain this to me? Anyway – nowadays the Canadian dollar is almost on a par with the American dollar, which means that the government must take immediate steps to dampen our enthusiasm at finally being able to afford tickets to Disneyworld by raising interest rates, putting out frequent warnings of imminent doom and financial collapse and announcing that since the sky is falling, please bend over and kiss your ass goodbye. Thank you, and have a nice day.

I do hear that there are some countries in the world where our money is actually worth more than theirs! New Zealand for example and probably Zimbabwe but I can’t be sure. Of course getting there costs you as much as the national debt but there you are – can’t have everything.

I don’t know about you but our family income has not increased very much in the past five years – and as soon as it does go up a bit a sensor down at the income tax department lets out a warning beep and they run over to collect it. They just live for the day when they can dispense with all those untidy forms and costly collectors and just have your employer send over all of your salary by fax. So much more efficient and cuts out the middle-man – you.

We were back in Portsmouth for a week a couple of years ago. Fortunately I still have relatives over there that we could land on because we would have been staying in the local seaman’s ‘hostel’ or kipping on the beach if not [not a great prospect in February but then they seldom have seven foot snow-drifts in Portsmouth and temperatures that drop below absolute zero of an evening]. We took a couple of thousand dollars so that we could have a good time or even a pint or two at the Still and West and a pickled onion but it was not to be. Once the bank-teller had got through laughing and dispensing the 500 pounds or so that our money finally translated to we had enough left over to share a bag of chips and a glass of water.

Excuse me while I go back to my brochures. Hmm – Spirit Airlines has a deal to Gatwick for only three hundred bucks in July. Oh but wait – taxes are 400 bucks each and that price is only one way plus you have to leave at 3am on a Tuesday from Gander. It’s a right kerfuffle.


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