Get a job

I saw this tableau on my way home last night… nobody around it.

I believe it is now widely accepted that telling a homeless person to “get a job” is unhelpful and inappropriate.

Is it more or less hateful to throw down a textbook on multivariate data analysis?

Death and Taxes

death and taxes

Another awesome thing about NZ… annual taxes. My taxes are automatically taken out of my paycheck. My savings account, which by the way earns about 3.5%, also automatically deducts taxes.

Then, without any intervention from me, the government reconciles everything at the end of the year and either sends a bill or a credit. No tax return, no adding extra deductions to account for multiple wage earners, no TurboTax.

Now, all I have to do is figure out how to spend my huge windfall!

Into every life a little rain must fall*

Suddenly, it started to rain! Hard!

Even the rickshaw guys took refuge.

Within minutes, the poncho vendors appeared. And it works, the micro-economy works efficiently. Yay!

But we are seasoned travelers because we had already bought ponchos in a Bali downpour– and left them behind. So we knew how to ride out the storm…

* the post title is actually a quote from Longfellow, but to me it’s the slogan of a mortuary in LA that advertised on bus benches when I was in high school.

Good consumers

Besides the olde towne attractions, Hoi An is about buying stuff. So we did.

That attractive jacket, cotton and linen with a mandarin collar I’m going to regret, was $65, ready in the three days instead of two because they had to fix that vent that poked out funny.

Lee got a new pair of glasses for about half what she would have paid in NZ. We each got a pair of bespoke shoes. I nearly left mine on the boat today, but all’s well that ends well.

One of the themes of the failed Trump-Kim summit in Da Nang was the idea that North Korea could be just like Vietnam if they’d only embrace a more Western economy. I have no idea how people live in North Korea, but in the heavily touristy parts of Vietnam I’ve seen I can say that people are highly motivated by money and work really hard to get more of it.

It’s not always pleasant. Are their lives better? Are their leaders better off?

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