The 7 year California journey comes to an end

“Time is our most valuable commodity. We can always earn back money, but we can never earn back our time. Stop worrying about the future, and treasure the present. Cherish the people we have around us and the time we spend with them,we don’t know when they might be gone someday.”

So finally my place did sell, (although the buyer came close to backing out for $1000 in repairs) but thankful to at least get 4% over asking for it.

Aside from that, I’ve said all my goodbyes to the few friends I have left in SF, gave away most of my furniture, and gave my company notice. I’m actually a little bit bitter about my company, because I thought I would have been able to work part time remote for them, just like previous co-workers have, and my direct manager thinks I’m valuable enough to keep, but the upper management rejected the request. For whatever reason I don’t know. Half of our team is remote, a lot of them are full time remote, and other than the front end team, which is me and 2 other people, the rest of the engineering team come into the office only twice a week. Front end team comes in 4 days a week, and I haven’t missed any days. I’ve been pretty loyal to my company the past 1.5 years, and they are probably just going to replace me with someone from India who works full time remote anyways. It doesn’t make any sense.

Plus, its not even about money. I’m asking for my salary to be cut in half here. So apparently they are willing to pay me full time salary just to be able to come into the office (where I don’t really talk to anyone anyways), rather than pay me part time and have me be remote. It’s unfair and it doesn’t make any sense to me.

In other news, crypto is still having the blues, and I’m still 90% down so its highly unlikely I’ll get anything more than 50% of my money back even if it recovers. ICOs have lost me at least $25k and Masternode scam coins have lost me another $25k. So that’s $50k (a years worth of savings) lost in scammy coins right there, neither of which will ever recover. At this point, I’m not sure what I will do. I will probably take most of the proceeds from my apartment sale as a downpayment for a future Canadian home (most likely in Vancouver), and invest the rest in Wealthfront. No more crypto currency / gambling for me. It’s way too risky. Can’t believe I lost 90% of my savings ($150k turned into $15k). Lesson learned, I guess.

I’ll definitely miss California/San Francisco, and I’ll definitely miss my apartment as I had many good memories there with my friends. I think more than just missing the scenery though, is missing the moments I shared with my friends and other people. That’s what I kind of regret. I regret not taking more pictures / videos with my friends, I regret not saving any of my Kakao chats from 2012/2013 (they were erased when I switched from my iPhone 4S to 5S in late 2013), because 2012-2014 were probably the best times of my life. 7 years of California memories, 2011-2018. I had so much fun meeting people (especially from San Francisco ESL group meetup), and traveling to places, just wish I had some way of remembering it better. I rarely took pictures/video back then compared to now. I never even took a selfie until I first went to Korea in Sept 2013. That was the first time I took selfies with anyone. As I grow older, I realize more and more that time really is the most valuable resource, and it’s not the scenery or the environment or the atmosphere I should cherish, but the people I shared it with.

As for where I’ll go next, I’ll probably head to Korea for a few months, meet all my Korean friends, and then go back to Canada. My grandpa is becoming senile, and my grandma has really bad dementia now, so this might be my last time seeing them, unfortunately. Of course, I also want to see my parents + my brother who I only see once a year. Sometimes I wish time would pass by slower, or even stop. I don’t really want to get older, I’m 30 already and felt like I wasted all of my 29 year old life and half of my 30 year old life due to my savings being annihilated and I haven’t really got anything from this year at all. I originally planned to take a trip to Singapore/Bangkok/HK/Shanghai/Osaka and go to Seoul/Busan early but that all changed because of crypto.
I’m glad I could hang out with Tony, my best friend here more, but everything has to come to an end. Since my work doesn’t want me remote, I’ll probably have to find a job in either Vancouver or Seattle but most likely I’ll try for Seattle first since the pay is much higher for engineers there, but its not guaranteed because this would be my 6th TN Visa, and knowing Trump and my horrible experiences applying for a TN last year, it’s probably not going to be easy to get another Visa again. If not, I’ll probably just have to settle working in Vancouver for roughly half the salary. Or maybe I’ll think about teaching programming in Korea, who knows… I need some time to think, and this would be the first time I’m unemployed since I graduated (I also haven’t taken any PTO this year since my company gives so little), so I need a well-deserved break from work for a while.

As for a gf or wife, I don’t know. (this is at a time when most of my friends are in stable long term relationships and/or married now). At the beginning of the year, I had a gf who was beautiful and sweet to me, and I thought I was going to marry her. Later on in the year, I found out that she was kind of crazy, and definitely not the type of girl to marry. We’ve been broken up for over 4 months now. I don’t know if I can find another Korean girl, because I can’t think of any good way aside from remote work (which I don’t want to do unless its on my own hours this time) to live in Korea long term again. Will I find a Korean girl in Vancouver or Seattle who isn’t a student and who is interested in me and won’t leave in the long term? Who knows. It’s all uncertainty in my life at this point, but I hope I find some answers soon.

Why do Chinese look down on Koreans but admire Japanese?

I don’t think this is true, and if it is, it doesn’t make sense.

Why would Chinese admire Japan, a country that has tried to invade them numerous times in history? A country that massacred millions of Chinese and took Chinese as sex slaves? That took Taiwan away from them? And to this day, dispute Chinese islands as theirs? I have no idea why Chinese would admire Japan for that.

Korea on the other hand, has never invaded China, has never started any war with them (The Korean War was more between communist China and USA). Tong Zou’s answer to Why do Koreans look down on the Chinese? in my answer here I talk about how not only do Koreans not look down on Chinese, but South Korea does more business with China than any other country. Doesn’t seem like a country that Chinese should hate.

Unfortunately a lot of answers here by Chinese netizens are hating on Koreans for irrational reasons.

  1. Koreans do not claim ___ (something related to Chinese culture) is theirs. There are so many false rumors online about it, but if you ask any Korean they know that their culture and language came from China originally. Confucius is Chinese etc. Don’t believe people who say otherwise because you can ask Koreans themselves, its not true.
  2. The THAAD was forced on Korea by the USA. Chinese people think Koreans are puppets of the USA. Koreans do not do the bidding of USA. Most Koreans actually want the US off of their soil. The problem is because of North Korea. Because of North Korea, they have to keep a US presence there. The belief that Korea is somehow conspiring with the USA for an eventual invasion of China is ridiculous nonsense.

Again, let me comment about the things Korea does for China.

-China is the #1 destination for Korea international students

-China is Korea’s #1 trading partner

-Chinese is the #2 most studied foreign language in Korea after English

-China is the #1 market for Korean pop and dramas

-A lot of Korean actors/actresses study Chinese to debut in China

-Chinese are the #1 race Koreans inter-marry with outside their own

-Koreans train their salespeople to speak Chinese

-Seoul subway speaks Chinese and stations are written in Chinese characters

No other country, including Japan, does all these things for China and Chinese people. I think Chinese should realize that South Korea is a friend not an enemy. They should take the time to visit South Korea instead of believing some fake lies on the internet or netizens. There is no reason to hate another race of people who hasn’t done anything to us. Love more, Hate less. That is how the world will know peace.

Things are not looking good so far

On Jan 1, 2018 it was hard to imagine things turning out the way that it has these days. At the beginning of the year, I had made over $50k on the crypto market, and I had the opportunity to make an additional 40% ($20k) by transferring it to my Korean gf’s crypto account that she made for me and selling it in Korea, since Korea was trading crypto at a 40% premium at the time. I was on pace to having the best financial year of my life, and I had a beautiful, sweet, loving Korean gf who was waiting for me in Korea. All I had to do was transfer it to Korea, sell everything, quit my job, move to Korea, and I was set.

Easy right? Well not so much. I was reluctant to sell my crypto assets because I was too greedy. All my friends had made more money in crypto and I was envious. I wanted to make more. I didn’t trust my gf fully enough because we had only dated for a few months at that time and I felt uneasy transferring such a large amount to her bank account. I wanted to make just a little bit more on the arbitrage before transferring it. I wanted to get a loan so I could dump more in it and take advantage of the arbitrage. I called my bank and they were unwilling to offer me anything. I tried another bank and they declined as well. Frustrated, I began looking online for anybody that would give me a loan. As luck would have it, I found three lenders, who were willing to lend me $85k in loans but the problem is – the loans came in too late. By the time the loans arrived, the South Korean justice minister announced a crackdown in crypto, slashing the premiums down by half. I was devastated. I decided to put the loans into crypto anyways, since the market was dipping, and wait for the premiums to go back up.

It never did. I watched in horror as the crypto market slide 30%, then 40%, then 50%, then all way down 70% – taking down more than $150k worth of my savings+loans with it. That’s where I am right now. I had the opportunity to be up $60k but now I’m down $150k. That’s a $210k swing. Crazy right? To make matters worse, the Chanel bag I bought for my gf, she didn’t like it so I sold it on eBay instead. I didn’t know mailing options that well – I chose first class instead of priority shipping. What I didn’t know was that first class mail does not offer tracking in Canada. So the bag inevitably became lost, the buyer asked for their money back and now I’m down a further $2300 because of my stupid mistakes. What’s more – because of the crypto downmarket and the loss of all this money, I had to work longer in the USA. I originally had planned to be out of the USA and back to Korea by April. The crypto downturn set me back 2 years worth of salary. But obviously I cannot work another 2 years, so I settled on working another 2 and a half months instead.

The tension of the long distance relationship got to my gf and she threatened to break up with me several times. Even now, our relationship is all but certain to fail. In addition she closed our crypto account in Korea. Even if the premium goes back up, I cannot take advantage of it anymore. Also alot of my money is now stuck in ICOs – because I took even more risk, all that money is basically tied up and lost at this point.

So I went from having potentially $230k in savings (yes my savings are only worth $20k now + the $210k I would have gotten), the opportunity to live in Korea without working and living with the girl that I loved – to having next to no savings anymore, no crypto account in Korea, no way to get funds to Korea, and an imminent breakup with my gf. How much can change in just 3 months right? Depressed doesn’t begin to describe me anymore.. it was my fault, lesson learned, don’t be too greedy, don’t take too much risk.