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Archive for July, 2009

I feel rich! It is so freeing not having to consider how much things cost.

July 25th, 2009 at 04:20 pm

I have been shopping with girlfriends for 12 hours straight today. Going from store to store to store. Stopping for a delicious lunch at a great restaurant, espresso at the pricey coffeehouse and dinner. We saw so many beautiful items it pricey boutiques, took 5 taxis (at 4 people average taxi ride cost 25cents per person).

I felt comfortable, completely content, and RICH. I could afford great stuff the boutiques. It was not always worth it, but if I truly wanted it, I could afford it. I did not care if traffic increased our fare by another 50cent. I did not care how much a delicious restaurant meal would cost us -- whether it would be $3 or $4 or $5 made no difference at all. It is so liberating to choose things based just on taste and interest with 0 thought for the price. We took chances and tried new dishes we are not sure we'd like because if we didn't like it we could just order another one without incurring any significant financial consequences. So we discovered new dishes ones easily.

We were so relaxed, and upbeat and confident and had a ton of fun today. I miss this life. It is a different feeling, mindset. Saving and buying based on need seems such a remote concept at the moment.
True, I still have to consider prices at the department stores and boutiques(it can be quite expensive, even by US standards), but not even caring to look at the supermarkets, restaurants, drink shops... considering taxis simply a matter of convenience with no financial implications... That affects ones perceptions and experiences and even attitude.

It does not feel wrong, it feels like this is what life could be like... I am not sure how to explain. I am not saying that I would spend every day like this if I could... but knowing that I could... that is a powerful thing. I had this life for 6 month once, and now another little taste of it is making me crave it again.

This may sound shallow... but this is not just about having fun morning to evening (which is quite amazing) it is about this sense of freedom that not having consider cost brings. I know this is completely opposite to the intent of our community, but I just had to post this different prospective. I am trying to sort out my feelings about this rare and interesting experience/feeling.

China, Day 18 and its expenses.

July 22nd, 2009 at 11:13 am

I'll list them in dollars this time.

My share for a chartered bus to go to Gao Chun $11 (charter of the entire bus and services of the driver from 6 am to 2 pm was $220), and we had 20 ppl.)

Special sunglasses to view the eclipse - $1.5

It was cloudy, so we could see it only at certain moments, when clouds passed. So I did not get to see it when eclipse was total. It was blocked by a cloud. But it got pitch dark -- that was amazing! I am glad I went. Here are my pics:

starting to twilight(it got totally dark for few final minutes) that was so werid.

Bottled teas on the way back $1

Private tutoring session for 2.5 hours $15 total

Coffee and tiramisu at the German bakery -- $5.6 (almost twice as expensive as that dinner)
But it was good, and the weather was nice. It was the first day it was not too hot to sit outside.
So I drank my coffee and people watched (and they watched me Smile ) My view:

It rained quite hard today, so the tiny street between the dorm and the cafe turned to this when I came back:

Right now it is raining again.

Supermarket shopping:
2 1.5L bottles of water, one small bottle, mechanical pencil, eraser, notebook, pack of hair bands, 2 packs of stick-on hooks, a pack of individually wrapped hand wipes.
Grand total... $3

These 3 dishes and 1.2 liters of beer were in total 60yuan:

Divided by 3 people, $3 (20 yuan) per person.
Why would anyone cook, really?

I think not a bad day for $40.

Hi from China!

July 20th, 2009 at 10:10 am

Hey guys,
I've been too busy to post during the trip (and did not have the discipline to keep up with my spending log). But I will start now. (after most of the spending is done Smile )

I am determined not to buy anymore stuff. I have spent a truckload of money in Hong Kong and Shanghai living large(over 2K I think Embarrassment ) Seriously... it is alarming how easy it is to spend money here.

Now I am going to concentrate on my classes.
So today's expenses(in RMB)

supermarket: water, towel, snacks 26
lunch: pork with spicy glass noodles 7
private tutoring, 2 hours 80
fresh squeezed juice 5

This is my cheapest day so far.
I am going out for dinner in an hour with my tutor(I'll pay for her) and a classmate.

I actually studied today(4 hours of class and 2 hours of tutoring) and have not shopped. (I feel guilty spending over 200USD on 4 items from my favorite clothing store in Suzhou this Saturday). But this clothing is pretty unique and I could not pass up an opportunity to get something I won't be able to get again for few years (this store only has locations in Chengdu, Suzhou and Shanghai, so, as you might imagine, going there is diffucult.
Nonetheless, it is expensive (especially for China). But this store does not negotiate and has unusual yet practical and high-quality clothing.
I am telling myself: "NO MORE SHOPPING FOR CLOTHING!"

Few hours left before leaving for the airport

July 4th, 2009 at 05:58 am

I am not packed yet. We won't get enough sleep today... but I am excited.

Another * Would you do it??? * post.

July 2nd, 2009 at 03:14 pm

I'll be in Macao, so I would have an opportunity to... jump of the Macao tower. It is in a Guiness book of records at the highest bungee jump.

Ever thought of stepping off the 61st floor?

btw, it cost close to $270 for the jump plus the DVD and the photo (If I jump, I am definitely getting the DVD).

Is it worth it?