Checking back in again on my monthly status report here.. not much has changed, SF is boring as usual. But there is no shortage of things I have to do.
1) I can’t get a home equity loan due to not being a US permanent resident (strangely I was able to get a mortgage tho?) so I have to rely on making a deposit for my Canadian home using cash instead. I have about $30k CAD in my bank there already so I need roughly $100k CAD ($75k USD) more saved up to get enough deposit for a $600k home in Vancouver. That means I need to save up quite a bit well into next year.
2) My company said I’m performing quite well enough to transition into full time, but while I think being a contractor means I lose out on PTO and stocks, I find the hassle of getting a visa very annoying. It took me 3(!) tries to get my visa last time when I crossed the border. such a hassle… not sure if its worth it.
3) I have to get the insurance company to reimburse me for my rental car accident which I got while driving to the DMV to get my license renewed.. its another big hassle
4) I have to get Walmart to reimburse me for the corporate credit card charges that I filed an expense report for back in January… Citibank keeps calling me, and yes its another hassle.
5) Everytime I take time off work as a contractor it hurts me. But I’ve been having breathing problems recently and had to go see the doctor and again.. its a hassle
6) I cancelled my chase rewards trip which I booked using points because I wanted to transfer the points somewhere else so that I could get a better deal on the trip – it cost me $100 to cancel and the rewards wont be refunded for 2 months. in the meantime I need to book a trip to Korea still so I had to pay that in cash since I’m not going to get the points back in time. So yes.. another hassle
7) I realized that Comcast has been charging me $10 a month to use their modem(!) for 3 years I’ve had to pay that insane fee thats $120 a year. So I have to get a new modem and send theirs back and make sure they dont bill me anymore for that! another hassle
8) I have to get my Google Pixel fixed because I dropped it and cracked the glass on the screen and it interferes with my camera – now you see refractions on the camera so thats another thing to do.
9) I tried transferring some Bitcoin into Bovada to be able to bet on the NBA games that I wanted but it seems that my transfer made it through but they still haven’t deposited that money into my account yet. So thats something else I have to talk to them about to make sure they get my money on time so that I can bet. Another hassle.
10) I have to transfer my webdomain over to a google domain so that I can host my website (this one) on my synology DS instead of using SiteGround so that I can save $100 a year on that.
11) Of course I still have to find a Korean girlfriend to marry, and right now I have only 2 weeks of vacation to go back to Korea. If I can’t find a girl to bring back during that 2 weeks, I’ll have to see who I can find when I move to Vancouver. This is easily the hardest thing to achieve on this list.
In other news.. Bitcoin / Ethereum are at all time highs and I have a little bit of each as hedges. Stock market is also at all time high so I’m a little wary. I am bullish on TSLA, AMZN, NFLX, NVDA, BABA and FB though. But waiting for good time to get in. Trump’s ongoing antics have been crazy and I think its just a matter of time before he gets impeached. Its been 5 months in and he’s already had a ton of scandals. And finally.. I went on a little bit of a spending / selling spree, sold my Gretsch White Penguin and my old drone and bought my friends Macbook Pro (2016) and the new Phantom 4 Advanced. The camera lens is amazing! see below:
and the Nintendo Switch as well… (was finally able to get my hands on it)
Oh and watch me assemble my guitar in fast time its pretty cool
One month left until I leave Korea. How time flies. Over the last 2 months I’ve been traveling around Korea for my last trip and farewell tour… going to Daegu, Busan, Gyeongju, Ulsan and Jeju island.
It was a really good time, even though I traveled alone (and theres tons of couples in Korea like always), I’m used to doing things by myself, so it was alright. Jeju was probably the best, lots of beautiful scenery there, especially in Udo island.
These days, I’ve been so homesick about my home in San Francisco, its driving me crazy… I keep looking at old pics of my home, even reconstructed my home in The Sims 3 just to get the feeling of being back… but its not the same. I’m tired of living in Korea now. Turns out, working at night, sleeping in the daytime, and eating instant ramen and fast food everyday for 2 years can take its toll on my body. I’ve traveled everywhere, done everything, and now I just want to say goodbye to my friends, sell all my Korea stuff, and go back.
I’m a little bittersweet about leaving Korea though… I am leaving in one month, almost exactly one year after I arrived in Korea in Dec 2014. Can’t believe its been 2 years already. My feelings about Korea have changed obviously since I first arrived here.
When I first came here, I was excited at the prospect of living somewhere new in Asia, experiencing the nightlife, meeting lots of pretty girls, all while making American salary. That sounds good on paper – but in truth, Korea turned out to be much better for traveling than for living. When you come to Korea for the first time, everything is amazing. Everything is open late. Everything is done very fast and efficiently. The subway is one of the best in the world. The women are super feminine and gorgeous. The service is awesome. You can drink alcohol in public. There’s no shady drugs or gangs roaming around, its a very safe country. But then once you start living there, things become different.
The nightlife got tiring after a few months. The girls were much harder to get than I expected. Friends become busy and cannot hang out often anymore. And doing things in Korea became very difficult because they prevent foreigners from doing a lot of things. For example, getting internet, buying a phone, getting a phone contract, buying things online etc all those things require Korean citizen ID or a Foreigner resident ID (which I don’t have since I work remotely). All these things made it very hard for me to live in Korea.
And Korea is really a place where being alone is kind of boring. Because of how Korean culture is, most people you see in Korea are in a relationship, and when they are in a relationship, they don’t usually hang out with their friends anymore and focus all their time on their partner. That’s just how Korean culture is.
1) Most people in Korea meet their partner through introductions from their friends, which you can imagine is geared towards native Koreans. As a foreigner the only methods I could meet someone is through going to meetups or language exchange websites/apps. But as I learned, a lot of other guys (even Korean guys) use those methods to meet girls, and most Korean girls are very loyal to their race and prefer to date Korean guys. Furthermore, the majority of girls I am meeting are only there for language exchange, not interested in a relationship, or simply too busy or not interested to continue contacting with me.
2) In Korea, work is like hell, and office workers, teachers, etc almost all workers work very long hours and are often very busy as a result. So most of my close friends are too busy to hang out with me. In addition, some of my friends are getting or got married, and so obviously don’t have time to meet either. So, the difficulty in getting a girlfriend / getting close to girls compounded with my friends being busy, and seeing couples all the time on the street and tons of beautiful girls outside that I will never have a chance with, led to a very depressing and lonely 2 years for me. I am disappointed, though I don’t regret coming to Korea since I learned a lot here and matured a lot, especially with regards to relationships and knowledge about Korean culture.
3) This also combined with the fact that working the night shift is slowly ruining my health and sleeping patterns. I noticed that I don’t have as much energy as before, not as productive at work as before, getting sick easily, and not sleeping very well either. Getting a job in Korea would be worse because I would still be working until very late, but not making much money and working more hours and not having enough time.
4) The fourth reason is not being able to do what I want (like buying things online, or having a real cellphone number), eat the food that I want (only Korean food and instantfood in supermarkets here), is what led me to become very homesick and sick of Korea these past 3 months.
These four reasons are the main reasons why I cannot stay in Korea for the long term. Its a great place to travel, great place to party, great place for nightlife, and the girls are absolutely stunning. I do have a bias towards Korean girls, but I hands down think they are the best girls in the world. They care so much more about their appearance compared to other girls (makeup, fashion, etc everything), they are extremely feminine (never saw any tomboys here) and they also care about their boyfriends and husbands a lot (trust me I’ve seen so many Korean girls being lovey dovey with their bfs everyday). They make great girlfriends (had experience with this) and wives (they often do cooking/cleaning/housework and take care of kids well), and they are loyal, nice and polite. The girls will be the main thing I miss about living in Korea, but I realized something when I thought more deeply about moving back to USA and Canada.
I can always find Korean girls back in USA and Canada (albeit there’s less of them and more competition, but there is still).. but I cannot enjoy my US/Canada life in Korea. Finding a Korean girl to bring back to America has also been difficult. I thought it would be easy since Koreans live such a hard life, and I had a good job and apartment in San Francisco, already, but I discovered that most Korean girls were very conservative about changing their life patterns… they didn’t want to quit their job or move abroad even if I promised them I would take care of them. They don’t like to take risks in general. That’s a difference in thinking, I believe. So I thought maybe the more open minded girls were back where I came from… the ones who were already abroad. It would be easier to convince them. I had been looking in the wrong place the whole time. And although I will have more competition from both Western men and other Asian men chasing them, I have matured somewhat during my stay in Korea. After having several Korean gfs here, I learned a lot about Korean girls, their thinking, their culture, a lot about how relationships work in Korea. I also found there was a massive difference between Korean girls and Chinese girls, both in looks and in personality. Since I grew up in a Western country, I have to be more open minded to look for girls that are the best for me, everywhere in the world. Not just my own race, not just in my own country. And having traveled to China, Europe, Taiwan, Japan, etc I still maintain a firm belief that Korean girls are 100% undoubtedly the best girls for me and in my opinion the most perfect women on earth. They are special and unique (I already explained this in previous posts), and I will keep trying to achieve that goal of finding a good Korean girlfriend and marrying her.
Last year, I had the worst luck with Korean women, but this year was better. The past 3 months I’ve met at least 5 girls that were willing to date me – as long as I were to stay in Korea. Where were they last year?? I cannot stay longer this year, even if I have a really beautiful sweet girl by my side here… the longer I stay, the more I ruin my health, and plus I have a lot of things to take care of back home in the US. I also have to prepare for my plan to move somewhere else next year. Its just unfortunate that I met all these good girls way too late. Bad timing, as always. Anyways, I hope that experience can help me find a Korean gf eventually back home.
So.. where is home now? The next step of my life is coming up. I will not stay in San Francisco, and the next place that I will move to will be Vancouver, Canada. Why Vancouver? It seems random, but there’s several reasons why Vancouver is the place I want to settle down:
1) Vancouver is about half the price of San Francisco, despite Vancouver being the most expensive place in Canada. This speaks a lot about how expensive SF is. I will have to pay more tax in Canada though, but that will be ok. It is also cheaper than living in Seattle or San Diego, two other places I considered, after factoring in the exchange rate.
2) Vancouver has West Coast climate and its the warmest city in Canada. I don’t like snow or cold weather so I ruled out New York and Toronto.
3) Vancouver has the second highest concentration of Koreans in Canada, after Toronto. Since Toronto is a much bigger city, I should be able to find Koreans more easily in Vancouver. I’ve spent a lot of time explaining why I prefer Korean girls over other girls (Asian or Western) so it makes sense that I would choose a place with a high concentration of Koreans.
4) Canadian food. Boy did I miss my Canadian sausages, flavored chips, Pizza pockets, Swiss Chalet, Timbits and Poutine…
So now my plan is to get my SF apartment rented out again, get my mortgage down to a level where I can borrow enough money to buy a place in Vancouver. That’s four reasons for leaving Korea, and four reasons for moving to Vancouver. I wouldn’t say I “wasted” the last 2 years in Korea, but definitely it was disappointing. The one thing I can say is I matured a lot and learned a lot about Korean culture, and handling Korean women (I’ve had 2 official relationships while I was in Korea). And its something I can use for my advantage in the future. Am I disappointed that I couldn’t find the girl of my dreams and bring her back? of course, but that’s how life is. Nothing comes easy. Everything is step by step. You have to wait for the right person, the right opportunity, especially for a guy like me who is very serious about relationships and don’t want to waste my time with short term flings. Patience is a virtue. I will come back to Korea in the future, but only for traveling, as it still is my favorite country in Asia and one of my favorite countries in the world, and I still have lots of friends there.
I want to talk about several recent topics that have occured recently. In my video blogs I’ve already talked about stuff like why I think Hollywood discriminates against Asians, why I don’t like present day feminism, why I like Korean girls more than Chinese girls, why I support banning guns, why the media is biased towards Westerners, etc
Today I have a few topics I want to talk about…
—————————————————————————————— Why Appearance matters in Korea
Firstly, I’ve lived in Korea almost 2 years now, and I will leave Korea end of this year. At that time I will talk about my experiences here and why I decided to leave, but I want to talk about something I hinted at in my video of what makes Korea so special and unique. Its not just Korea seems to have a lot more couples on the street than other countries, probably the first thing a foreigner notices when they visit Korea is how everyone is always dressed up. The girls more so than the guys usually, but Koreans are known for caring a lot about appearance much more than any other Asian or other nationality in general. How did it come to be this way? Why don’t Americans or Chinese care about appearance as much?
This is more speculation than actual research because I’m not writing a thesis here, but I think the reason is because Korea is a really small and competitive country. When everyone graduates university at a high level, and everyone is Korean, one of the only ways to differentiate yourself is appearance. And that has lead to present day Korea where Korean girls get pressure to get plastic surgery, just to find a boyfriend or get a job, or anything. Because Korea doesn’t have any laws against a company discriminating based on appearance, this has led to competition to become prettier and prettier. And when everyone else is pretty, its a peer pressure affect that causes other people to feel that they should become pretty as well.
China has not gone through the same thing because its a bigger country, more diverse, and was totally communist at one point. Because of those reasons, Chinese people have become more accepting of different appearances, and its not as important because one of the good things that came out of communism is that old Confucian society where women were treated far below men, was erased and replaced by a society where the women worked, dressed the same as men, and treated exactly the same as men. This is the gender equality that all the progressives talk about these days, its essentially done by communism.
As for America, appearance used to be important back in the 1940s and 1950s when men were definitely higher than women and everyone wore suits, dresses, hats, etc for going outside. In those days everyone was dressed up outside. The counter culture revolution of the 1960s basically changed the US into a society where everyone dresses differently and people became more accepting of different appearances. That’s why you hardly ever see people dress up when they go outside in the USA anymore.
In Korea now, its still a patriarchal society, the men still have power (despite the fact that the Korean president is a woman it doesn’t mean sexism is gone), they have the highest gender wage gap out of all OECD countries, and its not uncommon to see the average Korean girl holding onto her boyfriends arms wearing a nice dress or skirt, high heels and fully dressed up while the guy is only wearing casual jeans or shorts. There’s a huge gender disparity here.
Now I actually think caring about appearance is important. I’m not saying people should go out and get plastic surgery, but when people care about the aesthetics of everything in their world from their phones (oh its slimmer!), their computers (wow rose gold!), architecture (eiffel tower, chrysler building, golden gate bridge), paintings (Mona Lisa), etc how can everyone care about aesthetics of everything in the world BUT when people care about other people’s appearance in the Western world, it is considered “shallow”?? In Korea, its totally normal to say oh you should put on more makeup, or you should dress a little better, which in our Western world would be considered sexist comments. But its the total opposite in our world, where even calling someone pretty can be considered offensive, and people are told not to care about others appearance because it is “shallow”? But why? I realize that personality is important, it definitely is, but humans have eyes, and we care about how everything else looks, why is it so bad to care about how other humans look as well? I think that caring about your own looks or other people’s looks is totally normal, as long as its not the ONLY thing you care about. If it is, then that can be considered shallow or superficial but like me, I care about both appearance and personality and I think both are really important in our daily lives. This is one of the things I like about Korea, is that they care about appearance, and I feel that every other country doesn’t care about appearance enough because they want to pretend that somehow we have eyes for everything else but not for other humans. Makes no sense.
—————————————————————————————— Yao Ming, Shaq and Iverson get into the Hall of Fame
This years NBA hall of fame class is headlined by Yao Ming, Shaq and Iverson. A lot of people have expressed that Yao Ming, didn’t belong in the Hall of fame, but they don’t realize that Yao Ming caused 1.3b people to get involved in basketball, that its the BASKETBALL hall of fame not the NBA hall of fame (the same reason why Arvydas Sabonis got in), and that he was actually a decent player that was All NBA 2nd team a bunch of times. He averaged 19/9/1.5/2 over his career, and if you compare to Alonzo Mourning who people agree is a HOFer, he averaged 17/8.5/1/3 over his career, so Yao’s stats are comparable to Mournings.
I think Shaq is definitely a top 5 center of all time, but people overrate his dominance. The thing is Shaq never had an equal during his time. His prime is around 2000-2005 and around that time, the best centers, Ewing, Hakeem and Robinson were all retiring or past their primes. The second best center of the 2000s, Dwight Howard and maybe Yao Ming, weren’t even in their primes yet. I would say Shaq got lucky that his era wasn’t that competitive at the center position. Kareem for example, had to deal with Wilt, Moses, Willis, Cowens, Unseld, Thurmond, Gilmore, Lanier, Walton, Parish, and later in his career Hakeem and Ewing as well. If people want to ding Wilt’s career for weak competition, they should ding Shaq’s career for weak competition.
As for Iverson, yeah I think he’s overrated, but I can understand why he’s so popular. He’s definitely one of them most inefficient shooting guards, only 42% FG which is worse than Kobe’s at 45% or John Havlicek at 44% and both of those guys shot a lot as well. So by stats you can say wow Iverson was terrible and missed a lot. But because people related to his style, his swagger, his attitude, his height, and his heart they really supported him because he was a small dude and that always makes him an underdog. That’s why even though ESPN rated him #48 best player of all time, I put him a bit higher at #30, because I can understand why he missed a lot of his shots, but that doesn’t make him necessarily a terrible player, it just means he’s not the greatest shooter.
—————————————————————————————— I don’t like 4K and high resolution displays
Why are people obsessed with the ppi of a display when 20 years ago they had a 640×480 screen on a CRT monitor and nobody was complaining back then? Wasn’t DVD considered good picture quality back then? Its only 480p now. People’s eyes didn’t get any better as time goes on.
Now because of Apple introducing the iPhone 4 with Retina display, (and Macbook with Retina) everything has super high resolution now. And now I have to read reviews where they give laptops a “minus” because they “only” have a 1080p display, a display that was basically high definition TV before is now “low resolution”. Incredible.
The larger the display the more battery it sucks up. now you might think this is offset by the bigger battery but that is in reality not the case. Thats why smaller phones get better battery life. try comparing the iPhone SE to iPhone 6 for example.
Most of the media that we have, Facebook pictures, and YouTube video, are always compressed. on a 4K screen on high res screen you would have to either get 4K stream or get the original pictures from a friend somehow, else the resulting quality on a high res screen is going to look like crap.
Why don’t people care about audio as much? so everyone is a videophile but being an audiophile is a small part of the audience? why? if people can tell the difference between a Full HD TV and a 4K TV why can’t they tell the difference between mp3s and flacs? Why give your eyes such good treatment but not your ears? thats why I care so much about my headphones, speakers, portable amps, DACs, high res audio files and stuff, but not many people seem to care about it.
This leads to my next topic….
—————————————————————————————— Apple got rid of the headphone jack in the iPhone 7. All chaos ensues.
There are two camps divided on this issue, one side supports Apple’s decision and says that wireless is the future and the 3.5mm is an old legacy standard,and the other side says 3.5mm can never be replaced.
What do you think my decision would be, knowing that I’m an audiophile and musician? Well of course I’m gonna say the 3.5mm headphone or AUX jack should not go away, at least not right now.
There are several reasons why wireless cannot replace the headphone jack:
1. Wireless has inherent latency issues, and anyone who’s used Ethernet over Wifi knows that wired is always faster and transmits data much faster than wireless. Because of this inherent advantage and the fact that we listen to digital music, wireless can never sound as good as wired. So wired headphones will always sound better than a wireless headphone at the same price point.
2. Wireless headphones have to be recharged. The Apple Airpods last 5 hours. That’s actually not a lot of you go on a lot of trips and travel a lot. That might be the time it takes on a train from one city to another. I actually spend 11 hours in a bus going from Bosnia to Serbia so I know thats not enough. Having to always charge something is a hassle. And wired has infinite battery life obviously.
3. Because its wireless, they cannot add any external headphone amplifier or DAC or noise cancellation to the audio chain unless they build it onto the headphone itself, which will decrease the battery life. I know lightning headphones or USB-C headphones can have these things built in as well, but those don’t have the same wide compatibility as a traditional headphone with a 3.5mm connection. Also, I still have not seen a wireless planar magnetic headphones or high impedance headphone, if that is possible to make one wireless at all.
4. Musicians, Engineers, Audiophiles etc we have too many legacy audio or musical equipment like a hifi stereo system, mixers, record players etc that just don’t work with wireless or even old laptops and devices. Because of this huge incompatibility issue, Bluetooth will never be as widespread as wired. Furthermore, people in 3rd world countries are not going to give up their cheap wired headphones for wireless ones anytime soon.
You cannot compare the removal of the headphone jack to the floppy disk drive or cassette drive and optical drive because those are storage formats and newer formats can always replace old formats and the newer formats were always strictly better than the older ones its replacing. The headphone jack is a way of enjoying audio, so removing that jack and saying you have to go wireless, is akin to removing the speakers from a phone, and saying, hey you have to use Bluetooth speakers now because having mono or stereo speakers is old and legacy.
And Yes I realize you can use a dongle with the new iPhone 7, but you can’t charge your phone at the same time, and you have to make sure not to lose the dongle on a trip else you’re screwed.