A day in my life: Georgia edition

Date Time Coordinates: 12 Aug 2018 CE (Common Era), Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, Earth, Sol System.

I go to sleep around 0430 after a couple hours of reading A Clash of Kings (Book 2 in the A Song of Ice and Fire Series; or some know it by the name of the first book A Game of Thrones). I suppose it’s technically the day in question though really….

I awaken around 1300 and head for the bathroom. I reach for the toilet paper to clean up the mess I made of the porcelain, and am greeted with an empty roll. WTF?! There was half a roll there last night. What did my roommates do; eat it? This is particularly disturbing since I’m the one that bought that roll last week. Not that it’s that expensive; it’s just the principle. If you use the last of someone’s TP, you should replace it. It’s common courtesy, right?

I wander back to my room, and notice someone’s hung their laundry from my cloths line. That’s fine. I’m not using it at this particular moment, and I did hang it in a common area. As many times as the roommates have been subjected to my drying underwear, it’s only fair if someone else does the same. I grab my phones and head for the kitchen.

The Indian couple are making lunch. The kitchen’s not large enough for two people to use the stove at the same time so I figure out what I can do while they’re at it. Let’s see…grab cutting board, chop an apple, start the electric kettle making some hot water…. I finish a good deal before they’re done with the stove.

I’ll check my social feeds while I wait. Oh look, a picture of the girls we met yesterday at Bauhaus (a popular bar). When was this posted…oh, midnight. So that’s an hour after she DMed me to ask if I was there. I’d told her I could run down there and meet them, but she’d waved me off. Did she not want me there? Was she just trying to be considerate since they didn’t get there until an hour later, and it was latish? I’m putting way too much thought into this. It’s not like I want to date one of them or anything. They’re travelers, and will be somewhere else in a couple days.

Anyway, the Indian couple’s done with the stove so…time to finish making my oatmeal (or porridge for Brits). Now where’s the small pan? I can’t find it anywhere. Someone must have it in their room. I guess I’ll have to make it in a skillet. That’s a little more difficult, but…do what you have to do I guess.

Throw the sliced apples into the skillet, add oats when the water’s boiling, go for the butter, and…. Where’s my butter? There’s a specific place I leave it every time so I’ll know which one’s mine (because everyone’s bars look the same, and there are about 4 of them in there). The Swedish guy must have borrowed it. It’s cool, I told him he could use some if he desperately needed it, but now I don’t know which bar to use. I don’t want to use someone else’s, because…you know, rude. I send him a quick message explaining the situation. Maybe it won’t happen again. Though, who am I kidding? It probably will.

It’s rather annoying since I need the butter right now, but I guess I’ll just have to go without. Should I add the egg? It’s so much more work to stir it into the oats when they’re in a skillet. Fuck it; I’m already butter-less. What’s no egg going to hurt? I’m such a lazy bitch…. Except…. With no butter, the oats are sticking to the pan. Ugh, I want my oats lubed! Oh well, not the end of the world.

I sit down, enjoy my apple oats with tea, and continue browsing my social feeds without incident. And now I have to take a dump. Except someone used up all my toilet paper, and didn’t replace it. I guess my first stop is going to be to the grocery store a block down the street.

I hit up the grocery store, grab toilet paper and some other sundries while I’m there…. Oh, my typical cashier is working. I’ve developed something of a…I guess you could call it a working relationship with her? “Hello” she says (because she knows English is my primary language). “Hello, გამარჯობა” I respond (I’ve been attempting to learn some ქართული [Georgian]). She finishes bagging my things, I pay…. “მადლობა” I say. She says something as I walk out. She says the same thing every time, but I haven’t been able to figure out what it is. I know it’s something you say as someone’s leaving, but that could be several things. I’m pretty sure I’m not hearing all the sounds she makes when she says it, because I never get an appropriate translation from Google Translate when I punch in the Georgian sounds (in the Georgian script). Someday….

I get back and unpack the groceries. I put a roll of paper in the small bathroom, I go to place one in the large one…damn it! There’s water all over the floor (as usual). I’m pretty sure one of the roommates is used to the bathrooms where the whole room is a shower. I don’t know if it’s the Indians or the Georgian. In any case, this bathroom is not like that. There’s no drain in the floor, and there’s clearly a shower curtain. This bathroom is not supposed to look like a hurricane just came through, but since I’m too lazy to try explaining that…. Reason number 743,956,872,707 why I always wear flip-flops in the house.

Anyway, I take my dump now that I have toilet paper. Sweet, sweet comfort. And since I bought the paper, it’s not the cheap, sand-paper kind that makes your ass feel like it’s on fire after use.

Now it’s time to pay some bills. The combined electric and water bill arrived a couple days ago so let’s have a look. Hmm…this is much more expensive than the last one. I wonder what made it that way. I take the bill and head for the kiosk that’s half a block away. Georgians use these things for everything. They’re linked to the local banks, phone carriers, utility companies, car insurance providers, and I’m sure I’m missing something. These would be so amazing if they were everywhere, but alas, only in Georgia.

I go through the prompts, input the correct information, and…. Oh cool, it breaks it down and says what’s due for which part of the bill. Let’s see…water, normal…’cleaning’ (that must mean water line cleaning), normal…electric, ouch!

It seems most Georgians don’t believe in central temperature control systems. Only one of the rooms in the house has a wall unit so we’ve been using it to attempt to cool the whole house. It’s obviously far more than the system was meant to handle, but it can get the house (minus the kitchen with the gas burning stove) to a reasonable temperature. Since the highs have been over 30C (86F) every day of last month, and most of them have been over 35C (95F), we’ve been running the AC pretty much non-stop. While that makes the house a tolerable temperature (again, minus the previously mentioned kitchen), it also makes for a rather unpleasant electric bill. It’s a good thing it’s August and summer is on its death bed (at least for this year).

I pay the bill, divide it by 5, and send out the group message informing the other roommates of how much they owe me. They’re not going to be pleased, but it has to be done. At least splitting it between all of us brings the cost down to a reasonable level.

I return home, and the landlord starts group messaging us. “Good morning Happy Family. First full night at our beautiful home.” She has some funny ideas. While the last room was signed for last night, I don’t think any of us have seen the new guy yet, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t stay here last night. Also, the Indian couple will be moving out in a couple weeks at the latest. When that happens, we’ll be finding new ‘family’ members for their room.

She did manage to find us someone to clean the house. That’s fantastic since everyone staying here has a different idea of what exactly ‘clean’ means. Yes, I will gladly pay a small fee for someone to make this place look presentable. There’s far too much “I didn’t make that mess so I’m not going to clean it” going around, and it’s resulted in the common areas accumulating a few not so pleasant patches.

I poke around on the internet a little to amuse myself. The WiFi we were promised over a month ago still hasn’t materialized so I have to tether my phone whenever I want to get online. So, no streaming videos, music, or other bandwidth intensive activities. Writing blog articles is fine though, and I start writing this one after a little while.

In the middle, I see a Snap come in. I have an 83 day streak with a friend in the States so we ‘have to’ send something to each other every day. I snap a quick picture of my computer screen with this article being written. Send it off, download the pic, go to Instagram to add it to my story….oh, wait.

That chick I talked about earlier in the article is following me on Instagram. Okay, I guess I won’t add that pic to my story. I hope she doesn’t look at my bio, find a link to my blog, and read this article. Well, if she does…. Hi! This is…umm…awkward…. Moving on….

A little later in the article writing, I’m interrupted by the ‘new guy’. Oh, hi! Nice to finally meet you. He wants to get the key to the yard so he can put his bicycle back there. You ride a bike; in Tbilisi? Brave man. This city was not designed for bikes, and the drivers sure as hell don’t respect them. Pedestrians are usually okay, but bikes…not so much. Anyway, the Swedish guy (who has the key) isn’t here so he has to take his bike through the house. I go back to writing this article. He interrupts me one more time to ask for the WiFi password. Sorry dude; no WiFi. Oh how I wish there was….

And that brings me to here. Like, literally right here where I’m writing these words right now! Queue The Twilight Zone theme music.

I’ll probably poke around online a bit more, maybe play some games, and do some more book reading before going to sleep tonight. For all practical purposes, though, the day’s pretty much over (or at least the entertaining parts).

I hope someone (other than me, of course) has been entertained by this. If not, well…. Comment down below about what you’d like me to write about. If it’s reasonable, you’ll have won yourself a brand new article written just for you! Anyway, time to do something unproductive. Later….

Financial Friday 26

Location: Tbilisi [Republic of Georgia]

Week 26; that’s officially half a year! (Or at least it will be this week). Things were all over the place so…it’s time to do some spreadsheet explaining.

Transportation

On Saturday, I took the metro to a hostel I used to stay at to hang out with the manager: $0.20. While there, I met up with a friend, and we met someone else that was staying at the hostel (yay, new friends). We went out and showed her a little of the city; part of which involved taking the cable car up to the castle / ‘mother of Georgia’ statue: $1.02.

On Monday, I hit up the metro again, because…well…getting around is so much easier that way: $0.20.

Quick travel hack: If the metro car is full and you’re not in a hurry, just wait 5 minutes. Metros tend to go in waves, and the trains on either end of a busy one are usually pretty open.

Accommodation

You guys, I have a confession to make. The previously reported numbers for rent were based on a 30 day month. There are actually 31 days in July. So the new (though actually old, and should have been this for all of this month) number for rent is $5.67 per day. I blame that annoying Julius Caesar guy for this nonsense. He just had to make his month longer…. Jerk.

Also on Friday, I payed the utility bill. 2 months of payments (one of which was before we moved in) divided by 2 (because I had 1 roommate) came out to a whopping $3.28. That’s for water, gas, electricity, everything. I imagine the next bill will be a little higher, but next time it’ll be split 4 ways as more people moved in. I love this country!

Food

So yeah, I went a little crazy when we were showing the new friend the city. We went to a bar, and I spent ‘a lot’ (ok…a lot by Georgian standards) on a bottle of wine and food.

As you can see by a lot of the zero spending days, I spent most of the week preparing groceries I’d previously purchased. This is the reward for ‘settling in’ to a place.

Other

The obligatory travel insurance: $8.64 per day.

On Friday, my old roommate (before the others moved in) and I went out and bought a few things we needed for cooking: $13.10. The landlord provided a lot of things, but not all. They included things like a few pieces of tupperware, a garlic press, some other sundries I’m forgetting about….

Also on Friday, I bought the first 5 books in the Song of Ice and Fire series (or you may know them better by the title of the first book: A Game of Thrones): $42.79. Amazon then informed me that I had a $3.00 credit on certain books for the next couple days. So I bought a book called The Elven: $2.13 after the discount. Because cheap books are awesome!

On Sunday, I topped up the data on my ‘travel carrier’: $25.00. Why would I do that when I have a nice, cheap Georgian SIM now? Because my WhatsApp is still on my ‘travel phone’, and I’m scared to migrate it to my Georgian one. I’m sure everything would be fine if I did it, but…well…ok, it’s an irrational fear. Just let me have this one.

On Wednesday, my roommate bought a blender which was also a kitchen item that was sorely lacking. My half of that came out to $11.26. I’m pretty sure there’s no way we would have found a blender for double that price in the West. Thanks again, Georgia!

Summary

Week 26
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Total
Travel 0 1.22 0 0.2 0 0 0 1.42
Lodging 8.73 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 5.48 41.61
Food 4.34 18.45 4.95 0 0 3.36 0 31.1
Other 66.66 8.64 23.64 8.64 8.64 19.9 8.64 144.76
Total 79.73 33.79 34.07 14.32 14.12 28.74 14.12 218.89

So…not too bad. There were a couple large expenditures, but they were made up for by spending almost nothing on a few of the days. Seriously, less than $15.00 for 3 of the days? That’s insane!

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s post. I’ll see you all next Friday for another installment of ‘where the fuck did I spend all my money’. Later….

Book Review: Nomad Capitalist

Followers of my blog will know that I’ve recently spent a lot of time on ferries. While this could be considered ‘boring’, it gave me time to read…which is something I’ve been neglecting a lot recently. Making my way though Andrew Henderson’s new book (Nomad Capitalist: how to reclaim your freedom with offshore bank accounts, dual citizenship, foreign companies, and overseas investments) is just what I needed. It was both informative and entertaining (I know, I’m such a nerd).

So first, who is this book for? I would say everyone that’s doing better than breaking even. That’s right; anyone that’s making money can benefit from a little globalization (not just large companies). Or if you’ve saved money and want a better return on it, chances are pretty good that you can find a better investment option overseas (even if that’s just a bank account). People that will get the most benefit are ones that have location-independent businesses, and are currently paying a shitload of money in taxes.

Fair warning though: you will have to do more than just read the book (unless your plan is just to be entertained). The entire premise is to “go where you’re treated best”. Whether that be you personally, your money, your business, or even your dating life.

In this book, you will learn how to enhance your personal freedom via a location independent lifestyle, second passports, romance and children, and healthcare. You’ll learn how to keep more of your money via offshore banking, offshore companies, and foreign asset storage. You’ll learn how to grow your money via overseas investments, frontier market entrepreneurship, and conquering dogma.

It’s not so much a step by step guide, but more like a story of how the author did things. After all, he runs a consulting business so he has to leave some reason for people to schedule his company’s assistance. If you want to save time and money on research, this is exactly what I’d recommend you do: contact his company and schedule a consultation.

For the rest of us though, it’s a fantastic base. After reading the book, you should know how to continue researching the options you’d like to pursue. In my case, that means going to some of the countries mentioned, and scoping things out. I’m a perpetual traveler now so that should be easy enough. I’m sure I’ll make plenty of mistakes along the way, but I now have a much better idea of what to look for.

And that is the summary I would give this book: a fantastic base. If you’ve never considered leaving your home country, I would recommend this book. If you’ve started internationalizing your life and would like more ideas, I would recommend this book. However, I would not recommend it for anyone that doesn’t plan on doing something with new information. If you’re just going to sit on knowledge, what’s the point?

I hope you’ve found this review useful. Until next time, happy travels.