Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Can savers and spenders stay married?

This is one of the life's toughest question. Just like water and oil, spenders and savers seems in nature do not meant for each other.

But love is also blind. So the question is if both spender and saver meet and fall in love to each other and willing to take the path down the aisle will their marriage last forever?

So the answer- according to Reader's Digest is YES (hooray!!)

According to experts though disagreements over money are leading cause of divorce it does not mean that it will be the end of their marriage. However expect lots of work because you are married to someone who has opposite philosophy towards money than you.

Always talk in terms of "ours" instead of "mine" or "yours" and work to your strength.
The saver should draft the budget and the spender gets to be in charge of holidays and celebrations.

Anyway, just wondering in this testing time of economic turmoil will there be any spenders left?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Who is the most obscenely and grossly overpaid Gorilla in the world?

An American Jew by the name of Richard S Fuld, Jr nicknamed "The Gorilla" for its penchant in weightlifting was the last CEO of the infamous Lehman Brothers and directly responsible for its collapse in September 2008.

CNN named him as #9 in the most wanted culprit for the recent financial collapse (My guess for #1 is Alan Greenspan the previous Fed Chairman for letting the banking sector expand without regulation).

Do you want to know how much this Gorilla worth?
Over USD 500 million even by causing a 158 years old legacy to fall and cost USD 700 billion to the taxpayers.

Solo trip to Egypt (May 08)

I missed sphinx and the pyramids as my trip encompassed for 4 days but I will go there for sure ( I hope the drop in fuel price will further catalyze for cheaper flight ticket :D )

Cairo is an extremely busy city (2nd most populous in the African region and the biggest city in the Arab world) with the population of about 20 million people. Cairo from the Citadel
a religious festival
The Citadel Nile River
Part of Cairo

I would like to express my gratitude towards Farizan and Fadhil for being informative and really great tour guides. I was so lucky to stumble upon them when i was browsing around the Citadel.

Special thanks to Mama Steffi and Anne Deike for nice accommodation and food and great hospitality. I would love to visit Cairo again. Maybe next year ;)

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Bear market already on his way

What is more depressing than the realm of possibility that there will be no more innovation after ps3, Nintendo wii and xbox?
Or the nightmare of there will be no more flashy concerts in town?

This seems far-fetched but amid the current stormy weather of global economic such extreme cases might possibly happen.
The deflation, as the economist coined it is the opposite of inflation. Sounds like a good thing isn't it but bear in mind that deflation has its downside just like inflation as well. Deflation cause reduction in money supply and with little amount of money chasing a lot of products will lower the consumer prices thus reduce demand. This in long term will cause productivity to decline and factories have to lay off workers to avoid loss. At worst case factories may have to shut down. This will be the end of the invention of new products and services, if the situation gets worse but lets remain hopeful.

The intricate knowledge within the banking sector may become the things for city slickers only but the general public love to gossip about what has come from beneath the surface especially during times like these. Aside from a lively coffee house debate others already affected may seek for comfort and direction. It is likely that more people will turn up to God in times of harsh condition. The future as predicted from yesterday global stock price plummet seems bleak but this is a painful lesson again to human that the immortal world offers no system invulnerable from defects and mistakes.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Never attempt to speak English in Egypt

You have been warned. Unless you have a reliable tour guide with you who can speak excellent arabic you are exposing yourself to the peril of being "robbed" in the broad daylight.
Well, I don't mean it directly but according to my experience a lot of street hawkers and taxi drivers tend to put obscenely high price for english-speaking tourist. Some people also charged you for photo-snapping ,keeping your shoes when entering mosque and even the tiniest bit of work-finding a place to park your transport.
Typical scene in Nasr City, Cairo

There are still a lot of good samaritan offering an honest service but what I meant here is for you to be aware of the condition there. If the person looks terribly in the need of financial support dont hesitate to offer tips. Be considerate.

Don't blame the people on the streets because they have minimal power to change the situation. I would blame the corrupted government.

So before you head to the land of the Pharaohs learn arabic or hire a reliable tour guide ;)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

How to get a free train ride across Niederrhein


The writer intends to share his experience travelling in Germany with the readers, though the post title may incite temptation to commit similar action, the writer hopes that the readers will have good judgment to pay the ticket either at the station or on the train.

However if any of the readers decide to commit similar action on their trip on the Bahn the writer is not responsible for any misfortune experience by the readers upon getting caught by the officials.

This is the sample of the student rail pass within the Niederrhein region, Germany. It is so easy to be replicated that it needs only a simple photo-editing software, a plain white paper and a common student printer to make one like this. I got the chance to test the validity of what my friend told me earlier "You don't need even a cent to pay for train ride to Düsseldorf".

So a budget traveler like me will always welcome an occasion like this- by using the fake student pass I traveled from Krefeld to Düsseldorf before heading to Koln-Bonn airport to catch flight to Cairo. I was at Krefeld the morning earlier after arrived from Weeze airport.

Destination A is Weeze airport at the Germany-Netherland border to destination B (Koln-Bonn airport)

I was a bit nervous because usually the train conductor will check the ticket or pass of every passenger on the train. By looking at the information on the fake student pass I should be on my 4th term of study means that my command of German language should reach at least conversational level.

With my basic command of Deutsche Sprache and the rucksack on my back the locals would find it easy to spot me as a tourist. However I decided to up the ante and put all the stake in this trip- just for the pure fun of it.

Stealing time for a nap on the train.

The journey brought me across the glimmering river Rhein under the summer sun and finally to the Düsseldorf Hauptbahnhof. I sighed a relief when no one comes to check. It was a hot summer and the Deutsche loves to develop suntan while drinking beer at the roadside.

I ordered for myself a banana split.

(Thanks to Herr S.A. for making the trip possible)

Düsseldorf, city by the river Rhein in the summer of 2008.