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December 2008
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Economic woes

I think I’ve complained a lot, both here and on Facebook, that I seem to spend money as if it is Monopoly money. I read today on the Telegraph website that Nagoya is the 4th most expensive city in the world for an expat, just behind Yokohama, then Tokyo, then Luanda in Angola. Yup, an African city tops the list, somewhat anomalously due to unavailability of western products used in the index calculation. I think one picture spells it out best (snapshot from the IHT business section).

The dollar versus yen, YTD

The yen is strong, the dollar is weak. The article quotes Lee Quane, general manager Asia at ECA International, “Global economic events mean that throughout the world exchange rates are fluctuating and, in many cases, dramatically. Depending on their salary calculation methodology, many companies will have to pay particularly close attention to these movements in order to apply appropriate cost of living indices to the remuneration packages of their international assignees.” I am fortunate that my remuneration (remuneration: money paid for work or a service) indeed accounts for goods and services differentials. So don’t feel bad for me. The prices I pay for things continue to shock me (although I numb pretty quickly) but I am not losing money. I am lucky that my company treats their expats fairly.

The world economy is pretty scary. I think I worry more now about job stability than I ever did in the past. It must be a sign of the times. Or of my age.

Beautiful juices from the body

I forgot I had this wonderful example of Engrish in iPhoto.

Wonderful body juices

Don’t you want to drink beautiful juices from the body? I know I do! What I find interesting is that in Japanese, it basically says, ‘beautiful juice from the body.” That’s an accurate translation. I am guessing that 体の内, which translates to inside the body, might mean inside the body of the FRUIT instead of, well, the human body. My dictionary doesn’t confirm that, but language can be subtle.