Categories
Asia

What do people who are not a K-pop fan think about South Korea?

South Korea is an amazing place to be as a foreigner.

Everything is so convenient and easy to access. Convenience stores are literally everywhere, sometimes even 10 seconds walk from each other.

Seoul is truly is a 24 hour city. If you go to Itaewon at 4 or 5am in the morning, it’s full of people, partying and clubbing etc Gigantic 2 or 3 story cafes and great Korean restaurants are everywhere, and most of them are open until 5am or 24 hours. Clubs are open until 6am and it is literally full of people until then.

Subways are very convenient, and so are buses and taxis, which are not that expensive.

Most Koreans eat out – because the food is not that expensive. Conversely, the supermarkets tend to be much smaller and more expensive than in the West.

Korea is incredibly safe, I mean you see girls wearing the shortest of shorts or skirts walking on the street at 3 or 4am in the morning without a care in the world. If this was the USA…

Attention to appearance and fashion sense – I LOVE that everyone is so well dressed and almost every girl wears makeup and dresses very feminine. So different than in the West where everyone dresses so casually all the time.

Cosmetic stores are everywhere and often very good quality. There’s literally surgery to fix everything. Too fat? too much acne? Eyes are too small? Nose is too wide? going bald? want to never have to shave again? any kind of cosmetic issue can be easily fixed in Korea for a reasonable price.

Service is amazing. I always wait to cut my hair in Korea’s hair salons because you get your hair cut and styled by one (or two) beautiful hair stylists, they give you a great head massage and you get escorted out to the door. No tip required or expected. And price is reasonable.

Lots of couples on the street. (This can also be a bad thing if you are single – it makes you feel more lonely)

You can go to Korean spas at anytime of day and they are almost everywhere. I would usually go there at around 4am or 5am and just soak in the saunas and hot and cold springs. You can even sleep there for an extra fee. I don’t believe you can do this anywhere else.

Most Korean franchises and stores are actually using English names and their menus will be in english. the only websites that are restricted are porn websites. You can use your Visa/Mastercards everywhere. These are especially convenient to a foreigner in comparison to traveling in China.

and just the number of people outside at all times. Coming back to Vancouver or San Francisco, it was like a night and day difference. by midnight in a Western city, the streets are completely dead and all the shops are closed. In Seoul, people are everywhere, in the shops, bars, cafes, alleys etc up until the early morning. I remember taking a midnight bus from Seoul university to Gangnam, its full of people, and seeing 4 girls on the bus that looked like they came out of a model magazine, no one else is paying attention to them, this is just a usual bus in Seoul at midnight and thinking ‘this could never happen anywhere else in the world’.

for traveling of course, Seoul / Korea is amazing. For living – well the work and school conditions are not so great.

Categories
General

If you won 1 billion in the lottery, what would you do?

Interesting question, I heard that there was a single winner of the $1.6 billion Mega Million lottery today. After taxes and taking the lump sum that’s roughly $600 million dollars. That won’t get you into the $1 billion club but that’s a lot of money.

Now what I would do is actually very similar to what I did a few weeks ago. You see – due to some bad financial losses I had this year and some loans I had to pay back, I was forced to sell my San Francisco apartment. Luckily for me, my SF apartment had appreciated in value about 40% since I bought it back in 2013. So I more than made up for my bad financial losses – I actually came out with an overall profit. So basically I had lump sum of cash after I sold my apartment – not exactly $600 million, more like 0.1% of that ( $600k ish) – but that’s still a lot of cash, and here’s what I did with it:

roughly 2/3rds of it (66%~) – I converted to Canadian dollars to take advantage of the roughly 30%~ gain in Canadian currency you can get right now. Canadian currency is very low right now in comparison to USD so I decided to take advantage of that. Most of that money will be going towards purchasing a residence in Canada (I’m still going to take out a mortgage because Toronto/Vancouver prices aint cheap!)

another 1/6th (16%~) went to an online investment tool I use which is Wealthfront (www.wealthfront.com) which automatically diversifies that money into a pool of stocks/bonds/natural resources/minerals/dividends

another 1/12th (8%~) went to cryptocurrencies (yeah I know cause I’m a millenial and all, and I believe it will recover) but its pretty high risk

the remaining 1/12th (8%~) is sitting in cash to pay off my credit cards right now for my current spending. I am also taking a break to travel a few countries in Asia I didn’t get to travel to before using some of that cash.

If I had a $600m windfall, I don’t think I would use my money that much differently, although I would probably allocate a lower amount to real estate (oh I would buy a few places in Canada/USA/Korea but not that much because it would get hard to manage), I would give away a couple million to my good friends and family, and I would probably shift more money to stocks and dividends so I can generate more passive income off of those. I would also probably travel a bit more and grow my (already admittedly large) computer/phone/guitar collection.

But that’s about it. On the Mazlow hierarchy of needs, Money definitely solves the lower level problems like healthcare, food and survival, but for higher level needs like love and companionship it doesn’t really help solve it. Good relationships are hard to find, and those are priceless in a sense, you can’t really buy a really good friend or the love of your life.. you have to find that yourself. Really, the higher level keys to your happiness in life are not obtainable by any amount of money whether it be $600k or $600m. That’s what I realized, anyways but as far as money is concerned thats how I would use it.

Categories
Politics

Is the USA truly the best country to live in? If not what country is? (In terms of most advanced)

This answer might be a bit biased but in my opinion, CANADA is.

-Canada is one of the safest countries in the world

-Canada has universal healthcare and relatively affordable education

-As long as you avoid Vancouver and Toronto, the housing is relatively affordable as well

-Canadians are very polite and friendly people

-Canada is home to a diverse mix of cultures. Canada is a bilingual country but accepts immigrants more readily than many other countries so it ends up being quite cosmopolitan especially the big cities

-You don’t have to worry about slaving away for 80 hours a week for little pay like you do in Asia

The downsides: Vancouver is probably the warmest city we got, and its rainy half the time. The USA definitely has got us beat in terms of good weather locations. The taxes are higher than USA but not as high as Europe. The goods are usually more expensive as well. You can’t make as high salary as in the USA. America is probably the best country for rich people, but IMO Canada is better for middle class.

In general there is no country in the world which is “perfect” but I think Canada is a good middle ground between the busy all-work environment of Asia and high tax environment of Europe. It is also considerably safer than the US and healthcare and education are also more affordable than the US, though we lose out in terms of high income, cost of goods and weather. If you can take that tradeoff I think Canada is the best balanced country to live in.