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Everything posted by oscar

  1. As of yesterday any updates on the coronavirus has to be approved and released by the Whitehouse. This reminds me of living in South Africa with the censorship of the press. I remember the days when those yellow police vans pulled up to cafe's and confiscated the newspapers and sometimes Scope magazine. So do your own research as its all fake news!
  2. (COVID-19) The virus in on the cusp, US warns that the nation will see severe disruption to Daily Life, and the virus could become pandemic. Americans warned to be prepared for an outbreak here. Here is a link to the CDC web site: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/related-stigma.html Not that the CDC is its former self. When Trump took over he cut a lot of jobs and millions of dollars. News Break: Trump is going on National TV tonight at 6: pm to discuss this issue.
  3. The new Public Charge rule came into effect on Friday. This mainly affects lower-income people with Green Cards who have not become citizens yet. that have fallen on hard times and claimed benefits from the Government for assistance or food stamps. Here is the link https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/27/supreme-court-allows-trumps-public-charge-immigration-rule.html
  4. oscar

    Land Reform

    interesting article. Mike Pompeo standing up against South Africa's land reform. Angela Merkel from Germany has also expressed concern and will consider closing the BMW Mercedes Benz car plants. https://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Pompeo-South-Africa-land-reform-plan-would-be-15066762.php#photo-19054452
  5. Hi, it's some gas stations in NYC but not all. In New Jersy, there is no self-service. They do not expect tips and its not mandatory to tip them. But its quite nice to get your windshield washed.
  6. Actually, in New York, you are not allowed to pump your own gas. They do it for you. (Probably worried about fires)
  7. https://www.yahoo.com/news/im-south-africa-spent-2-172420068.html
  8. Telkom is in the process of replacing the old Telkom Landline phones with the new 3G FLLA WI-FI Phone. I called family in Cape Town last week, the quality of these phones is terrible. They are very loud and have a lot of distortion and echo on the line. Telkom's advice is to turn the volume down on both ends it helps a bit, but really the quality standards in South Africa are deteriorating. They are rolling out these new phones to all neighborhoods as Telkom says it will be less maintenance for them. Just be aware when calling family in SA that the phone service is going downhill.
  9. Just a Heads up! South African Airways will be having a massive strike this coming weekend scheduled for Friday 15 and Saturday 16 November. SAA has canceled all its domestic, regional and international flights scheduled for Friday, 15 November and Saturday, 16 November 2019 to minimize the impact of disruptions for its customers. https://www.eturbonews.com/418590/south-african-airways-union-strike-could-spell-the-end-for-airline/ https://simpleflying.com/saa-strike-bankrupt/
  10. oscar


    I have learned over time no matter how fancy the Hotel is always run the shower in the bathroom before you unpack, often the bath is blocked up with hair and other matter that the water builds up before draining out. So you could be standing in all sorts of fecal matter. If the shower/bath does not drain. Ask for another room or get housekeeping to fix it immediately. Another tip is to unplug the phone at night. We once got a call at 2:00 am in the morning saying we were making too much noise, but we were actually fast asleep. I gave the manager quite a dressing down the next morning, they gave us a $150.00 discount and $50,000 point credit but we would never stay there again. This was in an upmarket Hilton. So there are no guarantees with any of the hotels.
  11. oscar


    Motel 6 is generally not the greatest place to stay. - Often hear about murders and a place for guys to stay when their wives have kicked them out of the house. As you stayed at a Clarion they have loyalty points register and ask for your rewards number. There is a nice Clarion at Ocean City Maryland, right on the beach and the also have a dog floor for guests that are traveling with dogs. Really a nice place to stay for a few days in the summer.
  12. South Africa played England in Japan this morning and won the Rugby World Cup by 32 points to 12 ...... Well done to the Springboks! https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/02/sports/rugby/england-south-africa-rugby-world-cup.html
  13. Part-time jobs for Census takers in 2020 for about 8 weeks from March 2020. But you can apply now for positions for next year. Recruiting in earnest will start in January 2020 Must be a US Citizen, age over 18, have a car and prepared to work part-time. The pay is up to $25.00 an hour Search Census taker jobs in your area https://www.census.gov/about/census-careers/opportunities/location/regional-office-careers.html
  14. Congratulations on securing your Citizenship. I don't blame you for not doing the dual citizenship route. It's a nightmare to renew SA Passports. Good to have you back!
  15. oscar


    Ours took just over four weeks to arrive which was in 2005. I believe they are much quicker now. The Green cards took about 6 weeks. This was around Thanksgiving time. So we only initially stayed in the US for a week and then went back to SA for three months. For newer folks, the process is a bit quicker. I know as someone used our address and their SSN Cards arrived within a week of their arrival.
  16. Just in! Trump's plan to enforce health insurance has been blocked by the courts for now. The ruling was by a New York Judge but it applies countrywide.
  17. The upload is working well. My remaining family in SA got new photographs taken today and have successfully uploaded their information and received the confirmation email from the Department of state. It took them a while to find their passports as they had them hidden away somewhere in the house and took a few hours to find. Good luck everyone!
  18. State Department Web site for the 2021 Diversity Visa Program (DV-2021) is now open. The entry submission period for DV-2021 is from 12:00PM EDT (GMT -4) on October 2, 2019 to 12:00PM EST (GMT -5) on November 5, 2019. The entry form will only be available for submission during this period and this period only. Here is the link : https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/
  19. Interesting news on Health insurance, Trump issued a proclamation effective in 30 days' time that immigrants will not be granted future visas leading to resident green cards issued if they cannot obtain health insurance. it's not clear if this is just for H1B visas or for all immigrants. Here is a link to the news item: https://www.yahoo.com/huffpost/immigrant-visas-health-insurance-health-care-costs-030252647.html
  20. oscar


    My work colleague just got back from Molokai - Had a good time but says the internet was very poor on the island. When they returned the rental car, the internet was down. Then at the airport, the internet was down again so they could not print boarding passes for the passengers. The Captain was not very happy about that. Looks like they may buy some land for $100,000
  21. oscar


    SAA and Hawaiian Airlines use Terminal 5 at JFK. You should be able to do it in three hours. I have not arrived internationally at JFK for the past few years always been through Dulles Airport at Washington DC which usually takes about an hour. You should be ok but just a little frazzled from the runaround.
  22. Thanks, Malamute I will start the process rolling in the next few days and probably also go through Rand Rescue. I have family in Cape Town, but this sounds like going through quite a few hoops and balances. Thank you, so much for explaining the whole process!
  23. Thanks, Malamute for the pearls of wisdom. I agree with your suggestion of cashing it out one time. I will leave it for my 2020 tax year. To arrange for a financial emigration with the bank how long does that process take?(I still have FICA clearance and Credit Card at Nedbank) with a Retirement Annuity can I cash the whole amount out. Again thanks for the advice. I really appreciate it.
  24. I took out a Retirement Annuity in 1980, paid the premiums for quite a few years and then maid the policy paid up. I received a letter from Momentum that the policy has matured. It actually matured 10 years ago but they continued to invest it but, they cannot go beyond the 10 year period which will be in January 2010. The cash value is around ZAR 160,000.00 I don't really need the money now and would like to reinvest it for another 20 years. What are my options here? I am a dual citizen. What sort of paperwork is required by the IRS? For SARS I have to get a tax clearance certificate. My plan was to invest the lump sum with Allan Grey in SA until I really need the money- obviously, pay the IRS their slice of the investment and SARS their share. Does anyone have any experience with maturing Retirement annuities and what the tax and paperwork requirements are?
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