Noodles & Fish

Noodles & Fish

Goofing off since 2015

Tear Up Your Guidebook

I don’t like guidebooks. I don’t want to go to the same place that every other tourist is going to see, the sights don’t interest me after a point. The world is a beautiful and fascinating place just about everywhere. I’ll have just as much fun – if not more – exploring a random alley over going to see a sight. If you want to have a better adventure you need to tear up your guidebook. Most of the good stuff about traveling isn’t in that book. For that you have to look elsewhere. Sure, guidebooks are useful sometimes. They tell you where to catch …

Nepal trip cost

As per usual I’ve tracked my expenditures and will share my Nepal trip cost here. Nepal is usually a very cheap place to travel. But there are a few places and things that can snag tourists, adding to the overall cost. Kathmandu is generally more expensive than other towns. Trekking is generally more expensive than hanging out in the cities. And the touristy areas are definitely way more expensive than places off the beaten path. Yay, it’s time for some numbers! All prices are converted to US dollars. Total Nepal trip cost In total we spent $3689.27 while in Nepal for …

Another Way To Think About Saving For Retirement

To come up with a future retirement budget most people look at current expenses and then add a chunk for anticipated increases later in life. They calculate needed savings based on that number. It is easy to come up with a number that way, but it is not a useful number for early retirees. I’ve potentially got 70 or more years of retirement planned. My life is going to change a lot over that time horizon. My expenses will change as well. If I had solely looked at my expenses when I was working  to come up with my number …

Nepal Elections 2017

On May 14 Nepal held its first local level elections in twenty years. Its an important step in the right direction for this struggling republic, Nepal has long suffered from political turmoil. A civil war from 1996 to 2006, the royal massacre in 2001, and a significant politically driven economic crisis in 2015 are just a few of the recent examples. It’s really hard as a foreigner to fully understand the politics, but I’ll try to take a stab at the processes involved in voting and the overall mood of the country. We were lucky enough to witness some of the process, …

Calculate Your Real Hourly Wage

What is your real hourly wage? If you get paid by the hour you could just take that number. Or, if you are on a salary, divide your wage by the total hours you work. Those numbers are an answer, but not a good answer. Those are not meaningful numbers. Most people don’t think about hidden costs and the unpaid time they spend working. Taxes eat a lot as well. It is a common trap people fall into. If you don’t know your real wage you won’t make good financial decisions. Account for all of your time You dump lots of time and energy …

How To Buy A House

Recently a friend asked me advice on how to buy his first house. My initial response was Ug, don’t do it. Invest the money somewhere else and rent for life. It’s a lot easier in the long run. My friend listened to my argument and decided to buy a house anyway. I offered him the best advice I could, wanting to help him avoid the long list of costly mistakes I made as a first time buyer. I want to share that advice here as well. Real estate transactions are complicated and confusing, and in the end everyone involved in …

Elections in Nepal

In a few days Nepal will hold an election to elect local level officials – the first local level election in 20 years. Decorated trucks and taxis roam the streets blasting slogans from huge loudspeakers. Banners and flags hang from most buildings in support of candidates. Some parties even have catchy theme songs. School is canceled for the week. 75,000 temporary police have been hired and deployed across the country on top of the normal police force and branches of the military. In total, about 200,000 security personal will be deployed on election day. Nepal is plagued with political instability – a civil war from …

Trekking Annapurna Base Camp

For the last month or so we’ve been trekking in and around Annapurna Base Camp. Also known as ABC or Annapurna Sanctuary, it is an out and back trek that gets pretty close to the base of some big mountains. Because of the proximity, the trail sees a lot of tourists. We managed to sign ourselves up to go trekking on one of the most popular routes in the world during busy tourist season. What were we thinking? We were thinking we’d be good friends and join two buddies from back home who invited us to Nepal in the first …

Peak Time

As a chef I always worked weird hours. I was working when every normal person wasn’t. And when everyone else was working I was off. It was great. I would run errands and go shopping during the middle of the day with nobody else around. Getting in and out of the grocery store was a flash. Rush hour traffic was never a problem, I had no reason to drive during the busy time. I always worked weekends, so I never saw crowded ski slopes or busy biking trails. No standing in line for me, no jockeying for position. I worked …

The 4 Percent Rule

There is a good back of the envelope method you can use to calculate how much you will need to save known as the 4 percent rule. It’s a good way to ballpark a safe amount of savings needed to support your retirement. How do you calculate a “safe” amount that you can withdraw in retirement and not run out of money? This is an especially important question for someone like me who intends to live off of savings for a very long time. I’m planing on paying for 70 or more years of retirement. How much do I actually …

Nepal After the Earthquake

Nepal after the earthquake In April of 2015 a massive earthquake hit Nepal and caused a lot of damage. Kathmandu has a lot of rubble and semi-erect buildings as a result. Rebuilding is a slow process, especially in a country without many resources. The air in Kathmandu was already disgusting before the earthquake, all of this new construction and torn up road dust is only compounding the problem. It’s a pretty horrible city to walk around in. It’s hard to breath, my snot is black with dust and soot. Even inside you can still feel the pollution, it creeps in through …

Mad Money

When I was a kid we used to play the Mad Magazine Board Game where the object was to lose all of your money. You start the game with each player receiving $10,000 from the bank, it is sorta like Monopoly, only backwards, the first person to run out wins. There are strange rules in the game-play, many cards and spaces don’t really make sense. For example there is a card that states ‘this card can only be played on Friday’ – with no other instructions. We were never really sure what to do with that one. There is another rule that …