This year isn’t getting any better…

So another update so far. I’m in the middle of my Korea trip. Met a lot of my Korean friends which was good, but most of them were in Seoul. I spent 6 weeks in Seoul, and now I got 3 weeks in Busan before I head out to Osaka/Shanghai/HongKong for a nice 2 week trip before returning back to Toronto to see my parents for Christmas.

Busan is a nice city. Weather and air is much better than Seoul. I haven’t been able to enjoy it much though, the past week I’ve been sick with the flu. Some guy gave it to me on my last day in Seoul staying at my dorm. So I haven’t been really able to go outside that much. In addition, my Google Pixel 2 that I was using Project Fi to get data for, suddenly died on me about the same time. So I have no phone to use for data anymore. I ordered a replacement Pixel 1 (since I can’t send back the Pixel 2 for warranty in Korea, gotta wait until I’m back in California for that) and that takes 2 weeks to arrive from the US. I don’t want any international data plans or roaming plans so I guess I’ll just have to wait. I also don’t have many Busan friends anyways, so I am not meeting many people these days either.

Update: The Google Pixel 1 replacement I got sent, arrived 2 weeks later but IT DIED AS WELL, unbelievable. As soon as I started charging it, it died. I drained the battery fully then charged it again and then it started working, but I promptly then lost it 3 days later in a taxi while I was drunk from clubbing. FML. That’s gotta be a new record for shortest amount of time with a phone. Now I’ve got no phone number or data abroad anymore…

In addition to all this, QuadrigaCX, the Canadian Bitcoin exchange I’m using to transfer my money back to Canada, apparently has withdrawal problems that will take 3-4 months to resolve. Yeah, I had no idea either. So most of my money (over $500k CAD) is stuck in that account well into next year it seems. Just my luck.. I really hope they are trustworthy else God really has it in for me this year. As if losing $250k (1/3rd of my net worth) this year from the crypto crash wasn’t enough! I really hope the rest of my money will be ok! Oh – and ofc I invested in the stock market at the all time high on Oct 3 and everything has gone down since then – AND the crypto market is at its lowest point this year! Investments really hate me this year. Oh yeah and my Google Authenticator codes were all on my dead Google Pixel 2 -I don’t have the backup keys so I have to manually contact all the exchanges just to disable the 2FA so I can access my money again! Dammit…

Also.. finding another Korean girl? Yeah I am beginning to lose hope. I thought about my ex a lot these days. Most of my Korean friends don’t have anyone to introduce to me because at my age (30 years old) they are all already married or in long term relationships. I don’t have enough time in Korea to really meet someone anyways. Tinder as I already mentioned has a bug for me. MEEF/HelloTalk/Conversation Exchange seems to be full of girls who ignore my messages. And I don’t like to go to bars/clubs. Korean matchmakers and dating sites explicitly ban foreigners from using it. Korean girls abroad in Canada/USA are mostly students who will go back to Korea anyways. And even if they find someone, they will want a white dude. So yeah, its almost hopeless for me. I’m going to be lonely for a while, it seems…

Nothing else to really say. I need a miracle to save me now. Next year just has to be better than this year right?

Where should I settle next?

As some people know, I am currently taking a break from work and this is the first time I’ve been unemployed since 2011. This was by my own choice – I needed break and some time off from work to think and reflect on what I want to do with my life and where I want to go next.

Right now I’m in Korea and will be traveling Asia while I relax and think about things and meeting my Korean friends again. There is some choices I have to make – I think I will continue doing programming as my main career since it is one of the best jobs you can get right now – salary wise and flexibility wise. I am fortunate that I am a career programmer and one of the few people I know that have done this since I was young. It is one of the few jobs in the world that can give me good pay and good flexibility on location – I can work almost anywhere in the world since software engineers are popular worldwide.

But even then there are some choices I have to make – now that I’ve sold my San Francisco home, I don’t have a real ‘residence’ anymore and am free to choose where I should settle next. So I have a few choices on where to go but they all have pros and cons, and I’m still deciding between them. I have to take into consideration salary differences, location, do I have friends there or not, how easy is it to meet friends, (and for my personal future) how likely am I to meet the right Korean girl to marry?

Option 1: Seoul, Korea – the best choice if I want to get married soon

Pros:
-Awesome atmosphere. Lots of things to do. Lots of people to meet. With population of 10 million, easily the biggest city out of my choices
-Obviously lots of single Korean women, easiest to meet the right person
-Lots of Korean friends here
-Rent is cheap – can get decent studio for around $600 a month

Cons:
-Low salary for engineers, around $40k USD/yr
-Work/Life balance is difficult – probably have to work overtime regularly
-Probably won’t get much opportunity to meet those Korean friends because Koreans are usually busy bodies. Even close friends I only met once a month here.
-Take home pay: roughly $2700 USD a month after rent/taxes

Option 2: Vancouver, Canada – the best choice if I want to be closer to family

Pros:
-Most convenient for me, don’t need a visa to get a job
-family and friends can visit me easily
-Lots of Korean women, probably #3 in North America after LA and Toronto

Cons:
-Rainy weather
-Salary is relatively low – $80k CAD on average for engineers which is roughly $61k USD and taxes is similar to California so it’s roughly $40k/yr after taxes, so basically same salary as Korea (without the overwork though).
-Cost of living is high, around $1400 USD/mo for studio
-Take home pay: roughly $2000 USD a month after rent/taxes

Option 3: San Francisco, California – the best choice for the best tech companies

Pros:
-Very familiar with the city, still have some friends left there (including one really good friend)
-High salaries and lots of jobs – around $130k/yr average for engineers
-Very nice temperate climate and scenery

Cons:
-Cost of living is very high, around $2500/mo for studio
-Not a lot of women in general let alone Korean women, probably the worst place to meet girls on my list of choices
-High taxes, so take home salary (net income) would be about $84k/yr
-Take home pay: roughly $4500 USD a month after rent/taxes

Option 4: Seattle, Washington – the best choice for earning and saving money

Pros:
-High salaries, lots of jobs – around $130k/yr average for engineers, but even higher than San Francisco due to no income tax which means net income is around 7% higher, around $94k/yr the highest out of any city on my list

Cons:
-Not many friends in Seattle, I have maybe one or two
-Not as many Korean women as LA/Seoul/Vancouver
-Cost of living is also expensive like Vancouver, around $1400/mo for studio
-Rainy weather
-Take home pay: roughly $6400 USD a month after rent/taxes

Option 5: Los Angeles, California – the balanced choice

Pros:
-Sunny warm weather all year round
-the most Koreans outside of Korea
-Have a few close friends there
-Nightlife better than other American cities. second biggest city on my list after Seoul

Cons:
-Not as many tech jobs as Seattle/SF. Average salary is around $110k/yr for engineers, and after CA taxes would be around $72k/yr, firmly in the middle of my list
-Cost of living is expensive, around $1500/mo for studio
-Take home pay: roughly $4500 USD a month after rent/taxes
-I would probably need a car (which is a hassle), which is something I cannot say for the other cities on my list…

So… where should I go? decisions, decisions.

Worst Financial year ever

Everything I touch turned to dust this year. I’m still on my anti-depressant medication because otherwise I would have killed myself by now. Seriously. Let’s count the ways.

-in Jan, Korea had the crypto premium at 40%. I didn’t make use of the crypto account my gf made for me, and the premium is now completely gone.
-In Jan, I had a gain of 50k on my crypto. I didn’t sell or take profits. Now I’m down 170k. That’s a swing of 220k. +50 to -170.
-In Feb, the only ICO I invested in last year at $1.10 each debuted at $4 each. I could have sold right then and there and took $30k profit but of course I didn’t. I kept holding, and now this month I sold it at $0.90 each. Yup, I lost $2k when I could have been up $30k.
-In Jan/Feb I invested in a lot of stupid risky ICOs – over 20 of them. I thought if even ONE of them did a 10x I could make up for the other ones. Nope, turned out ALL of them except two went down 80-90% and the two that made me money only went up 50%. That hardly makes up for my losses. I’m down 37 ETH on that.
-In Jan/Feb I took out 3 loans to average down for a total of 85k + 5k in origination fees/interest. And… the market went down 70% since then. So yeah, that was stupid as well.
-I sold off all my stocks at the beginning of the year to put all into crypto. The AMZN/TSLA/NVDA stocks I sold subsequently went up 50%+ and crypto went down 70%. FML.
-In Apr/May I got scammed 1.5ETH by people pretending to be admins on telegram.
-In Apr I lost $2300 shipping a package because I didn’t use the USPS Priority mail and it didn’t have tracking to Canada. Buyer complained, I had to pay it back since I had no way of proving it was delivered.
-Worst timing ever. I sell EOS and ETC, a few days later it goes up 20%. I sell BITG literally the next day it jumps up by 50%. Why? why does this happen to me?
-In June I put a lot of my money into masternode coins to try and stabilize. I sold off a lot of coins at the bottom because I wanted to make some stable income. Well guess what, those coins are up 30-40% now, and my masternode coins are down 70%. Of course. One of them even went down 90%. I lost over 2 BTC on those. Even when I am trying to stabilize I end up losing money.
-In June when I was trying to get my place renovated, the movers lost my $1000 camera. Seriously, wtf? I can’t even get something as simple as moving my items done without losing money???

So yeah (and don’t forget my gf broke up with me early in the year, my job gets more and more tedious and I’m on meds now) this is easily the most horrible year I’ve had in recent memory. Please, please let this year end soon. Last year was boring but I was at least steadily gaining money. This year, 1/3rd of my net worth is gone, and everything I try to do to get it back only loses me more money. What is happening to me? I must be the anti-Midas touch. I even lost my friends money as I got them into the same masternode coins. My only saving grace is I really hope my apartment sells for above market value to at least make back for some of my losses…