Latest Posts

Surviving the Chiang Mai Air Pollution

Basically the best action is to leave town and return once the burning season is over. That is probably not what you came here to read so I have a few tips that will help but they won’t keep you as safe as leaving the area will.

• We brought with us a multipack of high quality N95 rated face masks from our home country.
• We went to Tesco and purchased several packs of M3 Filtrete filters & followed this youtube vide to install them in our rented room AC unit.

• Wear the face masks religiously

• Looked around for an air purifier but they were outside our budget, in hindsight we should have ignored the budget, respiratory diseases are no laughing matter..

• Keeping doors and windows firmly shut, wiping the floor with a wet towel regularly, placing a wet towels at the door to block the polluted air flow into the room, rinsing in the shower frequently as we bring in pollution on our clothing and body.

That’s all I have for now, do you have any additional tips?

Places to look for N95 rated face masks: Pharmacies, Tesco, M3 shop on Wulai Road

Places to look for air purifiers: Siam TV, Power Buy, Home Depot style store next to Airport Plaza (unmissable, they kind of share a huge open air car park). You can try Big C and Tesco but I didn’t find anything promising in Tesco and hence didn’t take the trip to Big C.

Last but not least:

You will find EVERYTHING on Lazada, you may need a Thai person to help you place an order. There is a good chance that masks and air purifiers will be out of stock for the next couple of weeks. In fact we tried ordering an air purifier a few days ago and it would take 2 weeks to get it delivered. Lazada is a site similar to Amazon and you’ll find just about anything you may need on there. Keep an eye on shipping times. I selected ‘Local’ for the product location to have a better chance of keeping shipping times low.

Here is a link straight to HEPA Air Purifiers: www.lazada.co.th It could be that at some point in the future the link won’t work perfectly but as of March 30th 2019 it works.

PLAN AHEAD! Your lungs are kind of essential and the pm 2.5 particles enter your blood stream and do NOT ever leave it again. 

 

Breakfast in Chiang Mai – a growing list of where to get breakfast

In short:

Blue Diamond, 7am – 8.30pm (Closed Sunday)

Bird Nest cafe 8.30am – 6pm (closed Tuesdays)

Kanya Vegetarian Restaurant 7am – afternoon

Pun Pun, 9am – 4pm

• Thanin Market (Siri Wattana market), 6am – 8pm

Imm Aim 10am – 8pm

Now are you ready for the pictures and the longer version? I am. This part will take me a moment longer than the list above but I thought I share the list with you, hit google maps and it will take you right to my recommendations. I do have things to say about each of the places that I listed and that will be worth returning to this same URL address for. Please come back for the metaphorical meat on the bone that is going to be a short article on food in Chiang Mai. Helping you find safe to eat foods, healthy foods and distinguish some to be a little cautious of.

I will be back in the next couple of days. You can spur me on by leaving a friendly comment or just hitting all the like buttons that you can find, in case you are feeling economical with friendly comments.

 

From My Daily Journal

Hey kids, I have decided that it is time that I just share a few thoughts with you more often, it is too quiet here on this Blog!

First news: I am in Thailand.

Second news: The air is awfully polluted in Chiang Mai, which is where I am. And I am mainly stuck indoors to avoid the pollution. It’s not just a little bit, the air is currently qualified as hazardous. Maybe we should leave?

Third news: I am going to take Thai Language lessons on italki! Do you know about this platform? It’s a language learning website that hosts language teachers, trained & untrained community teachers, from around the world. I have booked lessons with 2 teachers and am going to try out another 5 that I have bookmarked. I’ll write more about my experience after the first lessons. For now here is a link so you can check it out yourself, in case you are curious.

 (Italki a website for language learning.)

Now it is 9:30am and I have been waiting for Jason to wake up for the last 2 hours. It’s time to put our breathing masks on and take a scooter ride to the organic JJ Market.. The irony: we are risking the hazardous air to go get healthy food..

over7seas_Birgit_Deubner_Chiang_Mai_Thailand_JJ_Market_DSC_6437-2_s

And here he is with a drawing that he commissioned an Artist to make of us last week at JJ market.

over7seas_Birgit_Deubner_Chiang_Mai_Thailand_JJ_Market_DSC_6447_s
The main reason that we need to get to the market today is that I need to get a few provisions that are otherwise not easily available in Chiang Mai (at least not all in one place as JJ Market offers) as I am avoiding MSG because I had a health scare related to it the other day, we ended up in hospital, but in the end all was ok and I worked out that it is the MSG causing the warming symptoms. As soon as I stopped eating food with MSG the symptoms cleared within 24 hours.

But more about all of that later.. It’s time to get ready and get out there before the best stuff is sold! They have been open for 3 hours already! (But my excuse is also that the air pollution is worst in the mornings, so I let J sleep in, while I am getting on it with this blog post & a job application, too….. More story than time..)

Our side hustle & extra income (petsitting)

I can’t write much right now but let me try and briefly sum up this easy side-hustle, that helped me out financially, in a nutshell:

In 2018 we earned about $2500 just with occasional petsitting & pet visiting. We hardly do any dog walking, but I occasionally say yes to a dog walk, after all, that’s a way to stay fit and healthy! Doesn’t that sound like an awesome way to buffer one’s finances? This is something that suits fitting in alongside an existing job, maybe to help you save some money for a need or a want or to take control of life and pay down some debts.

IMG_8812

I keep meaning to write a longer article about how to build a successful side business with petsitting, please nudge me if I still haven’t shared my tips with you when summer hits town. 

If you would like to build a successful profile on the booking site that I use then here is the link for you to sign up. I get a small perk for your signing up, but it doesn’t cost you anything at all, instead I am here to guide you to a little bit of extra financial security!

If you want to become a petsitter and get paid to share some love with dogs and cats then please use our Profile Link to sign up:

https://www.rover.com/sit/birgit 

IMG_4798

And remember to remind me to share my tips with you.

How to put together a string profile that will get you hired on Rover.

How to stand out from the other sitters. How to adjust your settings to get the clients that you want. How to pick good clients, and more!

If you use this link to sign up to Rover and hire a Rover sitter then I have a brilliant bonus perk for you! You can use this code: BIRGITANDJASON20 to get $20 off your first booking! That’s amazing isn’t it!?

 

 

 

Project German – American Citizenship / Projekt Deutsch – Amerikanische Staatsangehörigkeit

Ahoi, ich bin die Birgit und ich lebe zweisprachig.

Hey, my name is Birgit and I live a bilingual life.

Ich wohne zur Zeit in Amerika aber fühle mich gleichzeitig Deutsch, das wird sich niemals ändern. Dennoch habe ich durch meine Beziehung auch eine starke Verbindung zu den Staaten.

I currently live in America but I simultaneously identity as German and that won’t ever change. However through my relationship I have developed an important bond with the States.

 

Das Jahr eilt jetzt schon wieder so schnell voran. Es ist Mitte Februar und die Winterzeit sollte sich ja eigentlich super dazu eignen endlich wichtige Bürokratien in Angriff zu nehmen, aber irgendwie liegt noch immer alles unbearbeitet auf dem Tisch.

The year is flying by faster than I can keep up with, a blink of an eye ago it was the beginning of January and now we are already passing the mid-February mark. You would think that winter is an excellent time to tackle important bureaucratic paperwork but somehow it remains untouched on the table.

Die Bürokratie, die ich einfach nicht schaffe in Angriff zu nehmen ist die allerwichtigste überhaupt! Ich möchte mich für die Erlaubnis bewerben meine Deutsche Staatsbürgerschaft zu behalten und gleichzeitig die Amerikanische zu beantragen.

The bureaucracy that I have just not managed to tackle is by far the most important one in my life. I am going to apply for permission to keep my German citizenship while applying for American naturalisation.

Das bedeutet, daß ich zwei Pässe haben werde, wenn alles gut geht und mir Deutschland diese Freiheit erlauben wird..

That means that I would have two passports, if all goes well and Germany permits me this freedom.

Daher habe ich mich entschieden hier und jetzt in’s tiefe Ende des Beckens zu springen. Sagt man das überhaupt so? Ich bin schon lange aus Deutschland weg und manchmal erfinde ich ganz neue Wege etwas auszudrücken. Das sah ich vor langer Zeit einmal als Schwäche derer die in Deutschland Ausländer sind. Heute finde ich es lyrisch und interessant. Jedenfalls hier mein Projekt: Ich werde den Prozess öffentlich mit Euch teilen.

Therefor I am going to take the plunge, I am going to share my process and progress (and lack thereof) publicly with you! This is step one. Acknowledging my slowness and formidable procrastination skills.

Falls irgendjemand dies hier liest, dann würde ich mich wirklich so sehr über Eure Unterstützung freuen. Könnte Ihr mir über die Kommentare schreiben, ein kurzes hallo und vielleicht stellt Ihr Euch kurz vor? Geht es Euch auch so, daß Ihr zwischen zwei Ländern lebt und Ihr nach einem Weg sucht Eure Zukunft abzusichern? Es muß auch garnicht Amerika sein.

If anybody is reading this at all, please let me know in the comments, maybe you could say a quick hello and introduce yourself. Are you perhaps in a similar situation, between two countries and looking at ways to secure your future? or send any sign of life via the comments form, and support is so very much appreciated. Because this is a daunting journey to me. Brrr. All hands on deck.

Die Übersetzungen hier sind nicht Wort für Wort und weichen ganz leicht auch ab und an vom Sinn ab. Ich schreibe wie ich gerade denke und das ist jeweils auf Englisch und auf Deutsch etwas anders.

The translations here are not absolutely exact, and the individual paragraph meaning can vary a little, it is all depending on what thoughts come to mind as I type. And what I think and how I think changes a little depending on which of my two languages I think and write in.

Anyhow. I would appreciate your support so much. If you would like to help me find my way you can click like, leave a comment, send a good karma point. It’s free and quick and makes the world of difference.

Wie beantragt man die Beibehaltungsgenehmigung wenn man schon recht lange nichtmehr in Deutschland wohnt und nur noch eine ganz kleine Familie und wenige Freunde hat?

How to apply for permission to keep my German passport when applying for American citizenship, too.

What I am loving in October

I used to write journals all the time and I recently noticed how the absence of journalling left me with a scrambled brain that is trying to hold way too many thoughts, emotions, information, strategies and more.. I have toyed with the idea of trying out a bullet journal for years, pretty much since they first became ‘famous’. So I am finally going to jump on the bandwagon with all you out there for whom this is old news and are already doing it. I followed this video and started my first bullet journal and even so it’s only been a few days my brain is already relaxing, little by little, as I transfer my brain overflow back onto analogue paper. ahhhhh, relief.

It was actually Sorelle who reminded me of bullet journals. When even this digital content creating nomad dedicated a whole video to bullet journaling I didn’t even watch it to the end before starting mine. (I finished Sorelle’s video once I’d gotten my journal started.) Sorelle is a fun, upbeat Youtube Content Creator, creating positive tips for photography and life hacking. (Excuse me, I just used life-hacking….I am not sure I like that term, but let’s leave it here as I am typing between other tasks and maybe it’s not that offensive a term to you anyway.)

This is just such an inspiringly creative music video. I couldn’t look away, and once again regret not having learned French.

On another note, a more self improvement, life optimising one: these two videos below really helped me see the world a little bit differently this month. Don’t judge them before watching. I think both contain valuable insights into our human struggles and how to be more in control of our life.

This 5 second rule has really helped me this month, I had a few days on which I felt like a low, sloth like, slumping, gloopy thing and focusing on Mel Robinson’s 5 second rule actually helped. Really. Of course it won’t fix chronically depression, but pause a moment (!) I do believe it can help. Because even when in a slump sometimes we have the ability to override the brain and just do something. Little things are more than no things. Run with that when life seems too hard to anything at all. If your accomplishment is to do the dishes and clear the table then that’s a great start.
Maybe you are a step ahead and your accomplishment is to grab the keys and go out for a 10 minute walk despite the unwashed hair (or maybe you washed your hair first as well, wow, double score!).. Or if things are even better you put all digital distraction at arm’s length (out of reach) and sat down to write the Epic list of all things that need or want to be done this month! That’s amazing. And now you can use the 5 second rule and every time you do start one of those epic list items!
Tidy those bills, arrange them in chronological order, tackle the topmost one. Make a call.. Do that stuff. Do the coursework, one task at a time.

OOPS, that got out of hand fast. Well, as you can tell, I am a fan of the 5 second rule as well as of the bullet journal. What life changing stuff in such small steps.

What I loved in September

1
Because laughing is medicinal:

I came across this on one of the last days of September, it is a little corny but I was just reminiscing about the Acupuncturist who gave me my first series of Acupuncture treatments and was able to affect me so much, at a time when I felt needles couldn’t possibly make a difference to my situation. I often think back to that time and recall our conversations. As I recalled the troubles that caused my emotions and equilibrium to flutter he would always say “Sit with it.”

That advice, as simple as it sounds, was always the hardest to follow. But he was always so right! As I am now facing a whole shopping list of troubles I wish I could revisit those acupuncture appointments, those conversations that would always end with the same advice, always being good advice: “Sit with it.”

2 “I have a problem” … “Sit with It.”

I am actually receiving acupuncture from a highly qualified Chinese Medicine doctor, and have been since the first month of the year. His work has been astonishing, but he never listens and then tells me “Sit with it.” So now I need to remind myself to reign in my emotions, my life flutters, and be still, allowing it all to be and stop trying to fix it. It appears unfixable, it has to fix itself. Life, time, health.. (Yes, I know I have power to influence change, but I also know that too much trying affects the outcome negatively. Some peace, acceptance and stillness is needed.)

I will later (maybe today, maybe in a few days) add a few other items to this ‘favourite things in September’ post, unless I forget, which might happen.

3 Work Life Balance is serious business.

This video by Matti Haapoja might at first glance not exactly relate to me or to you but then again I think it does. I seem to lack an ‘off’ button, I am always worrying, nonstop, always trying to better myself, and if I am not actively ‘doing’I am engaged in telling myself off for lack of ‘doing’. In effect I never have time off. Always trying, hustling, planning, solving & preempting problems.

4 Learning from other people’s experiences:

Most of these 29 tips that Sorelle gives are relevant to most people. And if not to you then to somebody you know. Simple life insights, worth taking note of.

I realise this is a little unusual for me to reference Youtubers who are younger than I and are kind of in the business of ‘lifestyle’. But wisdom and meaning can be found everywhere, it doesn’t matter if they re 10 years younger or older than I am.

5 More humorous medicinal content:
And because Ylvis made me laugh SO much, here is a second video by the Norwegian brothers.

6 Keeping Age at Bay: 
I seem to be at the age where I just ‘by chance’ find content like this: Face Yoga..

7 Learning about Passive Income is never wrong! 
I might take Roberto Blake with a pinch of salt, BUT there is value in his videos, of course you will still have to take action, but he is good at inspiring and helping along on the journey to independent income alongside or entirely without a traditional job. But it’s work, don’t be mistaken to think that there are any quick shortcuts.

(NONE of the links on this post are affiliate marketing by the way, I am just sharing my September favourites with you. Let me know if one or some of these resonated with you, too.)

This was my favourite web content this July (great to read, hear, watch any month of the year)

I discovered Roads and Kingdoms as I was looking up Anthony Bourdain’s body of work left behind. I was trying to find out who edited the intro to Parts Unknown, his travel & food series. The introduction is so multilayered and absolutely amazing, if you haven’t seen it ever and are interested in seeing a great (really great) video edit then click. (The intro sequence that I am referring to always starts about 60 seconds into the beginning of each episode.)

But back to Roads and Kingdoms, we can talk about Anthony Bourdain again soon.

Roads and Kingdoms in their own words: “Roads & Kingdoms is dedicated to a simple idea: the more you know, the better you travel. We use talented local journalists, deep storytelling, and the good things in life—food, music, booze—to inform and inspire about destinations around the globe. R&K won the 2017 James Beard Publication of the Year award and is a winner of SATW’s Best Travel Journalism Site award. We focus on useful information for armchair and aisle-seat travelers alike.

The late Anthony Bourdain was our first and only investor, our spirit animal, our guide to so many things. continue reading

DO click right through to Roads and Kingdoms, you will not regret it but thank me! They have some of the best content that I have seen online in so long and where have I been to not know of them sooner! And: Where have you been? Let’s know interesting things.

Dispatched by Anthony Bourdain:

Roads and Kingdoms front Page:

<><><><><><><><><><><><><>

 

What I loved about this documentary: Well it’s informative and nothing snazzy but information doesn’t need to always be snazzy, does it? I enjoyed learning about the history of this building.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><>

Music I discovered: Paris Combo

Here is the first music video that I saw of theirs and it is so wonderfully lively and enlivening, quirky, happy sounding, but I admit I don’t speak a word of French, so I don’t know what it is about.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><>

ALMOND MILK (seriously do it! d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s when you use it how I do anyway. I suppose I better add my full morning ritual breakfast recipe some time soon! So that you can actually taste the amazingness that I am tasting daily!)

I enjoyed learning how to make your own Almond milk. This was the shortest video that I could find. It is super easy:

Turns our fresh almond milk is AMAZING. I make enough for 3 days worth of breakfast porridge for 2 with about 1 cup worth of almonds (? I need to double check that). We can’t stop making mmmmmmmmmm sounds when we have our breakfast now. YUM!

This is what I do:
1 part almonds that have been soaked overnight (!) + about 4-5 parts room temperature or cold water, more, less water it really is up to YOU. Blend finely. Pour through a cotton cloth that rests in a strainer into a bowl (squeeze). Transfer to a glass jar and put into the fridge until needed. My gosh is this stuff tasty when used in place of milk. What to do with the leftover, dryish almond ground? Press into a storage container and keep in the fridge. Make anything edible with this, add 2 teaspoons or more to your porridge. You’ll tank me later. DELICIOUS!

<><><><><><><><><><><><><>

This documentary about families in China. The cost of providing for one’s children, the cost of our global economy, too? It is food for thought. I recommend looking up more documentaries about this theme. I have seen some very strong ones in the past (better than this one, more comprehensive) but this one makes a thought provoking start. Do watch it and tell me what went through your mind as you did in the comments?

NOT a perfect documentary but a good thinking prompt. We found it left many questions unanswered for us, some information felt incomplete and could also at times be misleading. BUT what can one fit into a short documentary? To answer all the aspects that were left short would require our attention span for a whole day and who has so much time. Just use your mind when watching anything anywhere anyway. And look up the gaps as needed. (I probably say something similar to this about most information that I find in the world: it is always going to be incomplete as completeness requires ALL the time in the world.)

Fear of letting go, digital storage space & Freedom

I am not sure where all the things in my life come from, somehow I manage to accumulate additional suitcases filled with more stuff than I use, but which I also have a hard time letting go of. I tell myself that I am frugal. But this doesn’t really work in my favour.

This tendency to hold onto.. isn’t this really a form of hoarding? Even if I still have space to breathe and my hoarding doesn’t quite manifest in the true crazy person hoarding, I still feel that I have a problem letting go of things.

If belongings stop me from being free to follow opportunities or new ideas then surely I do actually have a real problem. So what’s going on? Why this fear of letting go? I always come up with great reasons why I need to hold onto this and that, and often the reasons are really solid, make great sense and are difficult to argue against.

However, in my heart I know that no matter how good the reason for holding on, the reason for letting go is better, letting go allows something to happen in my life that fear of letting go doesn’t.

All this wisdom is of little use unless I implement it, too. I’ll ponder on what is holding me back another time but next up is the issue of digital stuff.

My digital life is about as bloated, if not more so, than the life of my physical possessions. I seem to forever struggle to clear my laptop hard drive. Today I again had a warning from my mac that its storage is almost full. Oh, no, not again. I actually ran out of storage space on my external hard drives, too.

I will once more give in, purchase a couple of new hard drives. I always buy 2 external hard drives to be able to set up a mirrored backup system, I can explain why I do this and why you should, too, another time. Keeping onto digital files and storing them on external hard drives isn’t so bad, but now that digital files are larger and larger it is becoming an expensive habit. I estimate that I will need about 12TB storage space a year total from now on (double that for the mirrored backing up system). That sounds like a crazy amount! But I deal with a lot of images and video files and as I mentioned above I have a serious problem with letting go of things. So I hold onto most digital files, when really I should make it a regular habit to delete what is of no use to me.

It made more sense 10 years ago to hold onto each photo, I took fewer and my memories were more remarkable than they currently are. Or maybe that, too, is just a perception.

I like 4TB Western Digital for hard drives, they seem like a decent price point and a reliable brand. That doesn’t mean they are never going to fail, all hard drives may one day fail (or may not). Actually this brings me back once more to why I use a mirrored backing up system.. Ok I’ll leave this standing as is, but here is the hard drive that I will buy. I am planning on getting 2x 4TB red hard drives this time, as I already have 2 identical black Western Digital hard drives . I recommend these drives to all of my friends. I used to use the rugged Lacie drives, but in America they seem much more expensive than they were back in the UK, which is why I now use Western Digital (WD).

 

You can also just click on the picture of the hard drive that you would like and it will take you straight to Amazon, sometimes the red drive is a little bit more expensive than the black, which for me is worth it because I have multiple drives that are identical and it makes it easier for me to be able to just grab the right one in a rush, without even needing to read a label. If you want to save about $10 then you can click on the black drive and usually those are cheaper. For hard drive labelling I just use masking tape or anything else that is sticky and can be written onto with a permanent marker.

 

If you use the link to the hard drive that I am getting and purchase one for yourself, then I should let you know that this link is an affiliate link. It will NOT cost you anything extra to use the link, yet I gain a small percentage reward for bringing you to Amazon today. There is no catch and the recommendation is genuine: I use WD drives and am feeling confident that they are a good product.

We are petsitting again

After a several month long break from everything caused by an intrusive health issue that sent me to a Chinese Medicine Doctor while I waited to eventually to have surgery we are back! Petsitting was never really meant to be a career move, but here in San Francisco it really is a sort of low hanging fruit of income options when life allows the flexibility with regards to taking the time out to visit or stay with somebody else’s pets.
We are starting to build up repeat clients, who will give us a call before asking anybody else to look after their pets.

Over7Seas_Petsitting_cats_SF

Petsitting through Rover & by word of mouth.

To get started with petsitting as a ‘side-hustle’ we recommend using Yahoo Groups, neighbourhood message boards & Rover. Build repeat clients over time. If you would like to start petsitting using the booking agent Rover then you can follow this link to become a petsitter: https://refer.rover.com/s/Birgit5

I will get a bonus from Rover if you sign up AND book your first petsitting appointment within 90 days of signing up. Do read about the way Rover works, they take 20% of your fee and the host also pays a small booking fee to Rover. But despite this I still really value the platform. It has helped us earn $1000 over Christmas and New Year, a time when it is common to spend more than we earn. I think it is a great way to spend the holidays when one hasn’t got many family commitments. But petsitters are needed all year round. We get calls when people take a spontaneous weekend trip, visit family for a wedding or for other personal family reason, sometimes people have work trips or had a last minute cancellation from a friend who was going to look after their home and pets.

Over7Seas_Petsitting_SanFrancisco

A picture of our current petsitting engagement. We document playtime & feeding of the pets and send daily pictures to the pet owners to let them know everything is going well during their absence from their home.

We use Rover exclusively for housesitting petsitting & pet-visiting. We don’t take the pets to our home but stay at theirs. We don’t participate in the Rover Dogwalking at all, we don’t want to get too involved with dog walking. Ultimately Jason and I have careers that we are trying to build but our Rover experiences have been positive and welcome cash injections.

It is important to state that petsitting in somebody else’s home is a REAL job. We take on a lot of responsibility and we conduct our service very professionally. We don’t short change the animal or their owner. We now charge $60 per day/night stay but to start with we initially charged only $30-$35 for a regular night stay. Yes, of course $35 for a 24 hour period is not good money, but if, like us, you have a flexible work schedule, then it makes sense to take the $35, work from home if I was going to do that anyway, and take the dog for a walk 2-3 times. We only accept what works for us. This means: usually only medium sized dogs not large ones, but sometimes we say yes to a big labrador, it always depends on our schedule and how we get on with the pet owner, too.

Over_7_Seas_Petsitting_San_Francisco

We try to captures attractive pictures of the pets that we petsit, I think of it as added value for the pet and home owner. I recommend presenting pet updates nicely.

 

This is definitely a big tip: ONLY accept booking requests that work for you. If you are not feeling comfortable with the owner, turn this opportunity down. This ensures that your Rover petsitting experiences will be predominately positive.
Above I created lots of links to the referral link, every link in this document opens the referral window. If you sign up and also use Rover I will get a bonus (an Amazon gift card). You can then in the future also recommend Rover, but please only do it if it works for you. We really benefitted from being part of Rover, I would not recommend it otherwise. If you create an amazing profile, with great pictures showing you, you with somebody’s pets and with a strong write up answering the questions pet owners might have before feeling comfortable to request you to take care of their home & pets. Create an ambience of trust. And then BE trustworthy and professional. Don’t say yes to everything, take it slow. And over time you will build a good portfolio and make a nice little extra income, which might help you take a holiday or see the dentist or create a savings buffer for a small emergency in the future. I highly recommend it!

 

My letter to Bloglovin’ about their inadvertently facilitating human trafficking

Dear Bloglovin’ team,

I have 2 people ‘following’ me on Bloglovin’ who clearly advertise the sale of females for sex in their Profile description.

This is one of the two ‘followers’ that I have on my profile with Bloglovin’ :               “Ashley Bartel
http://www.sеху.xxxxx (URL address altered by me)  rеmаrкаblе уоung wоmеn livе аds соmраrаtivе sех аnd sех in thе аbsеnсе оf оbligаtiоn is lоокing оut fоr уоu thеn.”

I sent you another email about the other person.

What shocks me is that I noticed the person, whom I am reporting in this message, starting following me maybe a week or two ago and I didn’t have time to figure out how to report this. I hoped and actually assumed that Bloglovin’ checks their content often enough to find and ban profiles like this. I thought hopefully somebody else will report this issue.

It is shocking that maybe 2 weeks later NOBODY else has reported this. And I think it is largely due to the absence of a report this user function on your platform. By omitting this (maybe you re short of staff and hope the problem will go away by itself?) you are giving a free advertising platform for human traffickers, the users of their services and the crime of forces sex, abuse and use of women as objects. Not offering an easier way of reporting this makes you inadvertently complicit. Yes I would go as far as that. Not because I think you express any personal support for the crime but you are facilitating the advertisement of it.

Could you please make it easier to report crime, every other platform at least has a repot hate speech / spam option. Spam doesn’t describe the magnitude of the problem but is a start. At least the content gets removed.

In your ‘what can we help with’ scroll menu you should have a ‘report abuse / spam / harrassemend / crime’ option.

Thank you for taking this seriously.
I will finish my message here and leave you with a couple of URL addresses about trafficking and sex trade. Since the adverts that I am seeing on Bloglovin’ specify ‘young women / girls’ I will focus at least one link on this target group.

Please take more action than only deleting these two accounts.:

https://polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/sex-trafficking

https://technologyandtrafficking.usc.edu/report/human-trafficking-online-cases-patterns/

https://biometrica.com/sex-trafficking-america-children/

http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/20/us/sex-trafficking/index.html

hotline for help: https://humantraffickinghotline.org/states

https://www.freedomunited.org/freedom-university/

https://www.americanbar.org/publications/judges_journal/2013/winter/human_trafficking_and_internet_and_other_technologies_too.html

“The internet facilitates access to victims and is being used to facilitate the sale of sex.”
http://www.nhregister.com/connecticut/article/Sex-trafficking-moves-to-social-media-to-find-11330629.php

70 Percent Of Child Sex Trafficking Victims Are Sold Online: Study
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/25/sex-trafficking-in-the-us_n_5621481.html

****

I would like to also add that I DO really enjoy using Bloglovin’ , my concern about the lack of reporting options isn’t intended to beat down the entire platform. They are amazing. I follow my favourite blogs through this one platform, not needing to click on multiple open tabs or entre lots of URL addresses nor do I need to clog my email inbox, everything is right there in one view on Bloglovin’ . I recommend it. I just wish they took their responsibilities serious enough to not require prompting to create a report function of the obvious lack of misuse of the platform ..

Wildfires close to San Francisco : information resources (fire locations, air quality, health prevention tips)

List of information sources about the California fires, air quality & preventative actions for your health. :

The air quality in the Bay Area (San Francisco) and North Bay Area (Sonoma, Napa) today is in the red and deep red zone:

https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.local_city&zipcode=94110&submit=Go

From an official government page in case the air quality declines further, preventative actions to take:
https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=aqibasics.pmhilevels

Here something about breathing masks, it is recommendable to use them, the smoke particles are microparticles that are harmful to lungs and health:
https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/Pubs/334-353.pdf

Where you can buy breathing masks (check the link about breathing masks above before buying): This is a link to masks on Amazon, select the quickest delivery option in case the fires will continue to burn for a while longer. Protect your lungs.

Here updates directly from Sonoma:
https://www.facebook.com/CityOfSonoma/

The active wildfire map, where you can check where there are active wildfires in America, updated frequently:
https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=df8bcc10430f48878b01c96e907a1fc3

 

 

The air quality in San Francisco is already in the RED zone. This means that it already can cause noticeable health reactions. However don’t panic: keep physical activity to a minimum, stay indoors as much as possible. As a tourist: these are the days for museum visits and spending time in cafes and aquariums.

In the North Bay the air quality is in the DEEP RED zone = very bad, it is strongly advisable to not expose yourself unnecessarily. Many people will notice negative effects on their health at those levels. Use the first link in this post to enter the postcode of where you re to check your aibquality and read all the links to thorough information.

RED::
AQI: Unhealthy (151 – 200)
Everyone may begin to experience health effects members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.

DEEP RED:
AQI: Very Unhealthy (201 – 300)
Health alert: everyone may experience more serious health effects.