Day V2: Getting Organized - Caucasian - CycleBlaze

July 2, 2024

Day V2: Getting Organized

As expected, jet lag was a real beast.  There was also the need to adjust to new market hours.  The trading day now begins at 6:30am here and finishes at 1pm.  So I figure that going forward it makes more sense to get my orders done at market close, and thus take advantage of what is not possible on Asia time zones.  This is quite a good thing as towards the end of the trading day is typically when stocks begin knocking it out of the park.  I sold some shares at the right time and also bought new call options

There were several main tasks that needed to be done today.  After the initial bout of getting organized, I got on the bike and headed downtown to pick up my bags.  The route took me past a couple interesting spots.  One was a very neat little coffee shop which I took mental note of for next time.  The other was a group fitness gym unlike others I saw before.  So I dropped in and chatted to the owner.  He explained that this is mainly strength training, not the cardio or HIIT I'm used to and he recommended trying it out for a change of pace.  Three class pack for $40, it sounds worth it.  They have much heaver equipment than what I'm used to.

Next, my cousin had mentioned at the family reunion last night that you can go to the public library downtown and make use of the free scanners.   Well it sure beats Staples!  Curious as to how exactly this works, I opened with, "Do you guys have scanners for rent?"  He looked at me funny and so I said, "I mean for use?"  He laughed and said, "Yes, we have them for use."  This was another classic case of reverse culture shock.  In socialist China there is nothing you get for free, and so you assume you'll have to pay for whatever you use.  The idea that anyone can just walk into a public space and use shared facilities that we all pay taxes for is, dare I say it, socialism.  The irony is not lost here.

The public library facility
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So he said, "Just go on up to the third floor and ask the staff for any assistance."  That I did and the lady explained in detail how to use the machines.  I was pretty clueless and it showed, but she was patient and showed me the ropes.  Eventually I figured out how to scan and email a whole bunch of papers and then dumped them into the recycling.

While this was going on, some random guy started yelling and screaming for no reason.  Then security escorted him out of the building.  I was stunned and then someone else told me, "Don't worry about this, it happens all the time."  Another case of culture shock.

Things must have changed a ton in Vancouver all these years, since the library used to be in a prosperous part of downtown.  My best guess is the poverty is now moving over from the downtown eastside after covid  (that neighborhood is only less than a kilometer away actually).  It must be that more and more people cannot afford the insane cost of living due to inflation.  Combine the fact you have a lot more desperate people with easy to access drugs, he had to have been high on something.

There are more than a few sketchy characters here. Homelessness and drug use is out of control as talking to friends about it. Still every problem presents an opportunity
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This was a very successful task, although just a trial.  Now I know how this process is done, next  I will scan and offload half a bag full of junk over the next few days.

On that note, the next errand was to pick up my bags from the coffee shop they had been dropped off yesterday with the luggage storage service company.  It was at that point they began treating me like shit.  They wanted a text message to confirm that the bags were dropped off despite me already giving them a luggage tag.  Then they wanted to see receipts. I showed them one and she said, "How do I know that's not you just buying a coffee here?"  (the bags are stored inside the coffee shop) then dumped all the bags on the ground.  Ok, you have a nice day too bitch.

I wrote detailed feedback on what happened and named names too.  In the complaint I wanted to be fair to the first guy who helped me check in as he was super nice but not this woman here.  And I couched the language to focus on the main problem being the app not working on my phone well.

Anyways.  I didn't want to let this ruin my positive momentum so then tackled the next items on my list.  There was a nearby drugstore which had great deals on all manner of personal items you couldn't find easily in China.  I loaded up.  Some of the sizes of the items were massive.  A Chinese friend had earlier told me that I should start an import and export business doing this kind of thing.  It's a good idea in theory, but I'm just afraid of getting caught at the airport if, for example, they discover that I'm bringing a whole suitcase full of XYZ items from abroad that turn out to be restricted.  As China becomes more closed off to the world, there are more and more things that are harder to bring into the country and so I just don't bother.

It was then time to update my budget at Starbucks and afterwards put in stock trading orders before the market closed.  What can I say, I was on a roll here.  Up $800 for the day.

Next up was doing the rounds by checking on more group fitness gyms, and the one of choice was Barry's Bootcamp.  Everything they said did not disappoint, and so it was a no brainer to buy their three-class starter pack for less than $40.

With all that done it was then another couple more hours sorting and resorting my bags.  The end result was that I could now see everything starting to fit into two panniers.  This is way ahead of schedule and exactly what I want to have happen before the real biking of this trips starts in Armenia and Georgia.

Today's ride: 18 km (11 miles)
Total: 72 km (45 miles)

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