Noodles & Fish
Noodles & Fish
Goofing off since 2015

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 …

How to Retire Even Earlier by Traveling the World

Note: you should probably read the last post before this one – it will make more sense. One possibility of what an early retirement could look like is what I am doing right now: traveling the world. Since “traveling the world” is an activity often cited by many as something they would really like to do, it seems like a nice example. How much did I need to save up to support this life of traveling? The expenses I use actual numbers from my trip to New Zealand for this example. New Zealand is a pretty expensive place, there are plenty of much cheaper places to …

How to Retire Early on a Low Income

It is easy to retire early if you happen to make a high salary. But how do you do it if you don’t earn a lot? Let’s look at how to retire early on a low income. I’m assuming you already understand the mechanics of how passive income works. You need to set up something that pays you an income. You could buy property and live off of the rent. You could buy stocks. You could lend money and live off the interest. You could even theoretically own a business or a website, although those probably are not very passive. Any way (or …

Cost Per Day in Singapore

Here is a breakdown of the costs in Singapore for five nights. We were mostly there for the food, which shows in our expenses. As usual, all numbers are in US dollars. Food and beverage Food is sometimes very cheap in Singapore. They have many hawker centers, which are collections of different food stalls all under one roof. A good bowl of noodles is as little as $3, a simple but delicious rice meal starts at $5. Other times food is deliciously expensive, for a nice lunch or dinner the sky’s the limit. Well, skyscrapers are the limit. The fancy restaurants tend to be in …