Big Question Marks

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Viva la Kevolution!

Today we were reminded of just how entertaining Australia is-- check out this news story about the prime minister:

"Rudd not sorry for F-bomb tirade". Viva la Kevolution!

And then there was yesterday's dust storm, which blacked out the town of Broken Hill for 40 seconds. Amazing! We have fond memories of Broken Hill and its searing-hot Outback sun (no crazy dust storms for us though). And then we found a contest celebrating the worst art around. The longer we're away from Oz, it seems the more we miss it. Though there are a few things better on this side of the pond: the spiders here are nowhere close to as terrifying Aussie breeds, and when it hasn't rained in weeks, there's no panic-- hooray for the Great Lakes! Too bad Canadian politicians are so dull.

Since plunging into the Toronto apartment search full-on last week, it's sort of started to sink in: the trip is truly over. We probably won't make it back to Oz, or Asia for that matter, for a really long time. The honeymoon period of meeting friends and family for dinner is winding down too-- it's reality check time. We've looked at a lot of apartments and have found everything from slumlord basements to overpriced bachelors being passed off as one-bedrooms, to a few places with old-world charm and some squeaky-clean high-rise apartments. We know that when we find "the one", it'll jump out at us. We've decided however, that to fully appreciate the Toronto experience, we're going to try living in a totally new area from where we usually lived-- ie. west of Yonge!! While hunting in Little Portugal (Dundas/Ossington area) on Sunday, we stumbled upon Dalat Cafe, little nondescript cafe with Vietnamese singers playing on TV and heavenly cafe sua da (iced coffee with milk) and were brought right back to our fun days in Vietnam. Today we hunted around the LCBO for a little nostalgia and came across some Coopers beer (from South Australia). Awesome! So it's these little discoveries that should keep things new and exciting as we settle back into our old stomping ground.

But so far, the most entertaining part of apartment hunting off Craigslist (a very popular free classifieds listing site) is when we stumble upon the ever-popular Nigerian money scams. Today we encountered our third scam listing in our week of searching! Our first before that was while apartment hunting in Melbourne and we come across an ad for a remarkably reasonably-priced condo apartment in a gorgeous high-rise in the CBD of Melbourne. Of course, we inquired. The response we received? Same old one we always receive, something along the lines of: "Thank you for your email. I am Rev. Tom Bowman and I would like to rent my apartment to a responsible person. Unfortunately I had to leave the country for work/missionary/family reasons and I am currently in Africa/West Africa/Nigeria. My wife has the keys and she is in New Jersey. Send $200/$500/$700 as a deposit and we will mail you the keys to see the place. Please note I am a very kind and honest man..."

Adrian's made a sport of emailing them a nasty email and flagging the listing on Craigslist to be removed. Turns out he's one of a whole community of 'scambaiters' who have a little fun with the scammers, having them take pictures posing with bread on their heads or silly signs... all in the name of seeing how far they'll go to get someone's cash.

Check out 419 Eater for some of the funniest email exchanges and photos; or try Scamorama or 419 Baiter for more laughs. And wish us luck on the apartment hunt while you're at it!