Weekly Writing Challenge Mind the Gap: Let’s e-Mail

E-mails, the invention of the century, but which century and was it an invention? I think it was a development from something called ARPANet, but don’t ask me what, how or why. My name is not Mrs. Bill Gates and it just happened. We were one of the first in our little Swiss village to have an e-mail. Great, we waited a long while until a friend/colleague also had an e-mail address so that we could actually try it out.

Mr. Swiss and I were both working in an office and gradually e-mails took over.

I was even against this new system at the beginning, in my dark ages. We had a telephone and could write letters. How stupid can you be? With e-mail you can do everything as long as you do not get a virus sent in an attachment, which can transform your computer into a worthless piece of cyber machinery. Do not click on links, they might be infected, and if you are into online banking then buy a separate computer for it. Otherwise you might find your bank account has dwindled to 0 amount and all your passwords now belong to Igor Russkovitch somewhere in KGB land or Ali Patel in the depths of the Indian continent.

So, having outlined what not to do, here is what I do.

I have an e-mail to send and I start with “Hi”. Why? It is short, simple and for lack of another word and I can spell it. Not being Australian, I do not start with “Gidday”. The British might say “Good morning/afternoon/evening” according to the time of day. In Switzerland we say –“Gruetzi” or “Grussech” according to what part of Switzerland you originate and how well you know the person you are writing to. I do not know exactly how the remainders of Europe write their e-mails, but we all have our own way of doing things. In this case “Hi” is now internationally recognised as a greeting. It would be difficult to do a high 5 on an e-mail and I still do not know what ❤ means, so I do not use it.

I would advise writing real words that everyone can understand. Substituting “u” for “You” or “2” for too is not always advisable. Grandma may now have a computer and knows which button to press for “send”, but may not understand the modern terminology. Bear in mind who the receiver of your e-mail is. Writing 4594EAE to grandma might be showing your feelings (I love you for ever and ever for those not knowing the newspeak that arrive with e-mail and such), but I am sure that grandma will think she has won a prize and that is the code.

If I have an official e-mail to write, then I would probably do it by registered letter. I am still not sure if e-mails can be official. Would they stand up to being held as evidence at a murder trial “I am going to kill you this evening”. The next day the corpse is found with six gunshot wounds, perhaps six stabbing injuries and even strangulation may be the case. Will this e-mail stand up in court? The sender’s name is registered somewhere in the insides of the computer, the police have their own cyber department investigating the details and the trial arrives. The accused said I did not send this e-mail. True, it was sent in an internet café. So is he telling the truth? Did someone else send this e-mail? The judge and jury are confused. Can we send this citizen to imprisonment for murder and he is/might be innocent. All I can say is blame Bill Gates or the Ameican system that developed the e-mail system.

Being aware that my bank/credit card institute/tax department would never send me an e-mail, I would never send them an e-mail either, meaning I can remain with “Hi” in this case.

There are, of course, the things we order on Internet. It might be medicine, a book, an animal, food, a gun, etc. etc. Then I begin the e-mail with Dear ……and put an Attention in the heading just to make sure it arrives in the right place.

So now I have to close this blog. I have just received an e-mail from a Nigerian citizen that he has received money in a business transaction and needs a trustworthy person living in Europe with a European bank account. I have to confirm my bank details by e-mail to complete the deal.

Weekly Writing Challenge Mind the Gap: Let’s e-Mail

Blogger Creative Challenge 260: Under the ……spider’s web

Spider web in the sun

At last I am finished, now that was a tough job spinning all those threads, hanging in the air. Do they clap, do they praise me, is everyone happy. An unthankful bunch those humans. You would think they would appreciate the craftsmanship, the aesthetic reflection of the sun’s rays on my pièce de resistence. No, they do not. They just shriek and scream, running in all directions: “A spider! Get him”, looking for something to knock me off my balance. I have enough trouble with the rain and wind destroying my silky threads. Just a few drops of rain and I have to do repair work in my houseweb.

There I sit, having a munch on a flying object that happened to turn in the wrong direction in the right place for me and now nicely spun in a lunch parcel, preserved for dinner for one and I have to suffer from such disturbances, enough to give me indigestion.

There is one human that seems to know what she is doing. I always give her a nice spider grin when she gets ready with the camera. She does not always have an easy job. These super DSLR cameras register every quiver and shake. A web is a delicate piece of work. We spiders are the Picassos of the insect world. Unfortunately our artistic vein is not recognised by all, but that is a spider’s life.

So thank you Mrs. Human for the photo. That was a difficult job, balancing on the sun bed to catch me at a right angle. Mrs. Human even spruced me up a bit in her photo programme, chopping out all the unnecessary diversions surrounding my web. She knows what is important in a spider’s life.  I am famous. Thousands of people all over the world, at least the blogging world, have seen me. I might be the star of one of those nice nature films and win an Oscar. The first spider in the world with an Oscar, you all know where the idea of the Spiderman film originated, and no it was not Walt Disney.

And there she sits, Mrs. Human,  giving me an appreciative glance now and again, under the spider’s web. I gave her a wave with four of my legs just to show what a lovable type I am.

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Daily Prompt: Stranger in a Strange Land

What’s your favorite part about visiting a new place — the food? The architecture? The people watching?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us NEW.

Marrocan Dancing Girl

Dancer in Moroccan night club

Strange or not, I remember Mr. Swiss quite enjoyed that evening, He felt at home straight away.

In my younger active days, when I was a working woman and still ready to go, the fact that I visited another place in another time was enough. Just to get away and see something different. Luckily Mr. Swiss and I agree to the same sort of thing, so we went everywhere and saw everything we wanted to.

All countries have their own flavours, smells and style. Paris memories are the smell of Gitan cigarettes in the subway, in the restaurants or even on the streets. Of course I am talking of the time when cigarettes were suave, they were part of daily life (if you smoked). It was allowed and yes, it was part of the local colour. I can hear some of you coughing while I write this. I also no longer smoke, since fifteen years, but Paris was Gitan. Of course it was also good food. I remember a restaurant on the left bank that Mr. Swiss and I discovered. That was French food pure. The kitchen was just next to the door when you entered, two young men were looking after the meat and veg. There was an older man, probably the owner fetching cooked potatoes from the cellar. Upstairs they had a musician strumming his guitar and looking like something from a tango film. Just around the corner there was a seafood restaurant where Hemingway was a regular visitor when living in Paris, according to Mr. Swiss (a Hemingway expert). They also have three interesting cemeteries in Paris.

Architecture is the first thing that hits you when arriving somewhere new. Everything in mainland Europe (do not forget I am a child of the after-war time of London) seemed to be built solid, to last. There is architecture in Europe that is preserved on the streets as well as in museums. Of course, I cannot imagine the Empire state building collapsing through old age, but the States is a young country. Unfortunately I never got around to visiting the cemeteries.

American food is ok, but keep to the basics. A hamburger does it just as well, and it is 100% an American invention. One of my impressions of the States was “do not drink the water”. I am talking of New York, and the quality of New York water is very good, so really I am not complaining. You have ice cubes in your drink, then hope that the restaurant froze bottled water. I found a distinctly strong chloride taste to all water in New York. All part of the New York state of mind life; although memories of my arrival in Portugal and Spain were similar. Mr. Swiss and I wondered why everyone was walking around with five liter mega plastic bottles of water. Was this some sort of magical cure the natives drank? No, the water was not drinkable, it had a distinct “you will suffer if you drink me” taste: the next morning you could see Mr. and Mrs. Swiss both walking to the holiday village struggling whilst carrying two five liter bottles of water each, just to clean your teeth over the next two weeks.

Morocco was really something different. They even gave you toilet paper before you entered the toilet, just 2-3 pieces at the airport. I then realised that things were different in Moroccco. Toilets are basically no problem if you are a man. We women usually like to relax and sit down, but you can get used to everything. The food in Morocco is ok, just do not ask or think about how it was cooked, just eat it.  The street atmosphere was great. Do not look a native in the eye, he has the impression you want to buy what he is selling. Mr. Swiss made a mistake and showed interest. The seller was eventually even knocking on the window of the coach when we were departing.

“What is wrong with him” I asked.

“I was looking at something he was selling” was the answer.

Different countries, different sales tactics, but all part of the atmosphere.

So, basically, on my journeys around other countries, I learnt that we are all different, our ways and habits are different and this is correct. If we were all the same life would be boring. We discover other countries, other places to learn and not to criticise. Do not judge, but enjoy is the main thing. Now I am older and do not wander so much. I just take a trip to London once a year to visit my father. I lived twenty years in London, grew up in London, but today I feel like a foreigner when I am there. You get used to your own way of life and after forty-six years living in Switzerland, I even now wonder why the English put vinegar on their fries, and in Europe you would not dream of eating fish with French fries (chips). You eat fish with boiled potato, or even rice.

My favourite part is just being there and seeing it all and if possible, visiting the cemeteries.

Stranger in a Strange Land