@Solvent: thanks a lot
I have been extremely impacted by this post from bigato's journal
What I saw in that post is a person at peace with himself, perfectly comfortable in his own skin.
It got me thinking that this is, in short, the goal that I have been reaching for in my life, and I was wondering how close I may be to that.
It is obviously a condition that is constantly evolving (we have good and bad moments), but in a general sense I feel I'm getting close.
The reasons are in part contextual (I like my new job, my friends and family members are mostly happy and in good health), in part structural (my wife and I have a fantastic relationship) and in part a result of my personal evolution as a human being.
It is also now almost official: it looks like we will be moving to Hong Kong in the not so distant future. Exact timing TBC, I would guess somewhere at the beginning of next year. Both DW and I are extremely pumped about this opportunity to have another interesting life experience after our years in France and New York.
Overall, it's a fantastic place to be in. I am thankful every day for how lucky I am.
June was a fairly bad month financially, due to a combination of higher expenses and unforeseen taxes.
Higher expenses came from opportunities to buy something at an unusually low price.
A shop in LA was doing some clearance and had a 60% discount on all Arc'teryx "leaf" gear (the stuff they do for police/military).
I snagged a Leaf Gen 2 Jacket
for 60% off
Then on the forums I had an opportunity to purchase a couple Seiko watches for cheap by USA standards, which translates to "well below market value" here in Europe.
I expect to enjoy them for a year or so, then probably resell them for a small profit to pass along the great deal I had.
WRT to taxes, here in Italy the employer normally takes care of 100% of your payroll/income taxes in advance, so that the only taxes one has to pay during tax season are usually related to foreign profits and any real estate properties.
What happened though is that there was a (luckily minor) screwup when I changed employers, so had to pay an extra 2.5% of my net 2018 earnings.
I did not count these taxes as "expenses", but I took them off my monthly net salary instead.
All in all this brought my savings rate all the way down to 42%. YTD number is still at 81%, so all is good.
I just got back from a work trip that brought me to Japan (Osaka, Tokyo and Sendai), Taiwan and Hong Kong.
I only had the time to do a little visiting in the Kansai area (Osaka), and it was super cool.
Osaka can be charming and crazy, like most cities in Japan
One of the highlights of the city is the Kaiyukan
, the world's largest aquarium.
Seeing two 10 meters long whale sharks is pretty impressive
This is Japan's giant crab. Giant as in "one meter tall", so pretty giant.
Nara (40 minutes by train away from Osaka) is the old capital of feudal Japan, and is full of beautiful parks and historical buildings
In terms of weird food tasted, this is roasted tuna head:
In Taipei, I got to try this soup made with tripes and tongue, that combined with ginger, lemongrass and other spices led to one of the most incredible broths I have ever tasted in my lifetime.