Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Taxes & Thomas Friedman

'It's income tax time again, Americans: time to gather up those receipts, get out those tax forms, sharpen up that pencil, and stab yourself in the aorta.' ~Dave Barry

16 June 2009 - Beirut, Lebanon. Smoke-free Starbucks in Hamra.

So, let's recap...I quit my job last October to escape reality. I chilled out in London, Scotland and Houston for a while, sailed from Phuket to India and the Maldives, flew to Egypt, sailed to Lebanon and Cyprus, flew back to Lebanon...and what awaits me here? My freaking taxes. Ugh.

As Jen, my personal trainer in Houston just commented to me on Facebook, " it's harder being a bum than you thought :)" So true.
But at least the prospect of doing my taxes has inspired me to read/reply to emails and post to the blog (and of course play on Facebook despite Megha's observation that it's pathetic to be on Facebook while on holiday...I contend hiatus is different).

Meanwhile, Nupur sent me this great article in the NY Times where Thomas Friedman talks about being in Beirut last week for the elections. Turns out he was at a coffee shop in Hamra hanging with Kemal Salibi, one of Lebanon’s greatest historians. Even cooler, he got to watch the election results in the Beirut home of Saad Hariri.

I wish I'd seen Friedman in a coffee shop...but I bet he was at one of the cool local places, whereas I usually choose Starbucks for the smoke-free environment, though sadly it is still often ruined by people's fragrances, to which I am deathly allergic. My yoga teacher tells me there's an organic coffee shop around here that's smoke-free...maybe those organic people know fragrance products are toxic.

I need to get back to my taxes, which are coming along nicely but I have about 45 outstanding questions to discuss with my US PWC rep...and then I look forward to going through a very similar drill with my UK PWC rep, not to mention having my dad sift through mail in search of 1099s. Fun fun. Listening to some Texas blues to get me through it:

Whatever it takes you best now surrender
Whatever you know, you gotta tell them quick
Scratchin' the wall with some old barbed wire
Whatever it takes to make the dirt stick
-Chris Whitley


Anonymous said...

assie x