The Theory

Moving to a new country often involves adjusting to a new currency. As much as my mind can't intuitively wrap itself around miles, I have a hard time with the feeling of Rupees here in India. Thankfully, the current economic situation provides us with some easy answers.

The present economy helpfully provides us North Americans with a nearly-round conversion rate:

$1 CAD / USD : Rs. 39.1

We can exploit this fact by rounding up to Rs. 40 per dollar and taking other factors into consideration. The economy of India is significantly different than that of North America. Housing is much more expensive. Food is much cheaper. Compared to the cost of living in your average Canadian or American city, the cost of living ratio is approximately:

1 : 4

You see where we're going with this, ya? To get a feel for prices in India, all you need to do is apply this ratio:

1 : 10

Canadians/Americans: That is to say, for every dollar you would spend in the US or Canada, you should prepare to spend Rs. 10 in India. This obviously won't be the case. I've spent Rs. 2000 (which feels like $200) on a bad bottle of wine. I've spent Rs. 5 (which feels like $0.50) on a sandwich. But you get the idea.

Indians: Conveniently, the inverse is true. If you move to the US on a US salary, imagine every dollar you spend is Rs. 10. A $50 bottle of wine should taste as good (probably better) than an Rs. 500 bottle of wine. $400 for an iPhone? That should hurt as much as spending Rs. 4000.


The difficulty here is that India's economy is a great deal more interesting than North America's. Some people in India live on Rs. 500/month. Could you live in Denver for $50/month? On the other end of the scale, we have inflated prices driven by foreign currency, which complicates the conversion even further. For now, let's assume you're a member of the youthful middle class in either country and examine some sample costs.

Cleaning Lady
Rs. 1000 /mo => $100 / mo

$50,000 => Rs. 500,000

Rickshaw / Cab ride
Rs. 50 => $5

Cheap meal
$4 (McDonald's) => Rs. 40 (delicious)

Expensive meal
$200 (delicious) => Rs. 2000 (Meh.)

Imported iPod stereo
Rs. 16,000 => $1600 (in India)
$400 => Rs. 4000 (in Canada)

Delicious street-side masala chai / disgusting Starbucks coffee
Rs. 2.5 => $0.25 (in India)
$4.25 => Rs. 42.5

Those last two items are intended to illustrate the sliding scale. You would never pay $1600 for an off-the-shelf iPod stereo (one hopes), nor would you ever find a coffee shop willing to serve you a cup for $0.25.

In general, "the high life" is better lived in Western countries... or in India on a Western salary, if you have such a luxury. Otherwise, you'll find the cost of living comparable in India, with regular expenses such as food or tea accounting for very little of your budget.

Is there an easy conversion rate for two countries you've lived in?

A new theme.

In the past I've applied "don't think, just do" only when I felt like doing. No more! If you aggregate this thing, you'll probably want to stop. A scratchpad will all facets of my life become.


        Bees.  Swarming buzzing bees.  Tickling temperamental bees.  Bees with
pointy painful stingers.

The boy poured honey down his back and shook his buttocks left to right.
The naked crazy boy. He passed by the beehives, jogging not running. Taking
his sweet innocent time, through the grass, toward the white perfumy clover
field. The bees rose in a fuzzy brown boil, filtered out their hive, cleaved
the air like an arrow aiming for honey-dripping bare-bummed Johnny. Little
Johnny boy smiled broad and white, his feet advancing toward the clover, tossing
his hips from side to side, breathless voice issuing forth, "Beeeeez.

Little Johnny boy slipped a finger between his perspiring crack, taking
away honey as if from the stale edges of a white bread sandwich. Johnny loved
the bees, almost as much as the sticky sweet clinging of honey that formed and
hung like stalactites from his perineum, dripped dripping drops.

The bees closed in. Thousands of bees, their murmuring buzzing chorus
titillating little Johnny boy, stingers angry and shining in the sun, quivering
mad. Johnny jogged toward the clover field, licking his finger of the sweet
sweaty honey. Honeybuns, Johnny thought, and laughed until he fell rolling over
the start of clover. Honeybuns, thought Johnny, and he laughed, giggled, a
smile playing over his bare freckled puss. "Beeeeeeez!" Johnny exclaimed, as a
fuzzy buzzing cloud converged on little Johnny's honey sticky ass.

The sun rolled in golden fury, and hours later, when it had turned a dark
red, and sunset swollen, little Johnny boy lay stiff and puffy, pink and happy,
dead stinking sweet.

- superbad.com (this one you have to find yourself)

The Mystery of Monster Mountain (and captain America)

Once upon a time there was an ugly man. He lived in the Jungle.

He was half man half monster. He ate green gorillas. When he was 3 he was very nice. Then when he was 12 he turned into a monster! His name is the purple graveyard monster.

His planet was called oookkyy. He has a space ship. It can go 8,000,000 miles a day. On thursday 1980 he went to earth that very day.

Then he saw another planet. It was called earth.

Then he landed in the Mississippi river.

Then the monster saw something. It was captan America!

Captan America fainted. He was hypnotized. Then he got unhypnotized. For that he shot a laser at him. Captan America took his shield out

and Palaaka! It reflected back to the monster!

- superbad.com

Next Christmas?

Hell yes. (Video after the jump.)

Not Getting Things Done.

Some lessons I learned before reading this article Rohan showed me today (ironically filed under GTD):
  • Get rid of your car.
  • Own less. And less. And less.
  • If you have to own something, own something good.
  • Don't watch TV. Ever.
  • Do things you love with other people.
  • Do things you hate with other people.
The article, unfortunately, suggests moderation. If you, like me, are incapable of moderation, you almost certainly consume food, alcohol, sleep, and friendship with reckless abandon. You overwork. You underwork. You overthink and underact in the moments preceding underthinking overreaction. For you, blindly following the absolute rules listed above is as much a part of Not Getting Things Done as the behaviour they reflect.