Sunday, October 11, 2009

Amazing Praha with great Czechs

I wrote this when i was in Praha 2 weeks ago during my eurotrip but for got to post it.

The reason for for my euro trip was to get know the country's culture and i got the with 35 km bike to karlsten castle from prague. My ride was hard. Changes in slope, losing my way, running out water, friends with cramps; i face every issue imaginable. I even had flat tire on one bike. But i fixed it.

Anyways, the post is about the czechs. They helped my friends and i every time we were in trouble. Like a fellow cyclist who helped us get to a different to find part of the route. Like the lady in the middle of no where came out of her house to get us back on the right route when she saw that we were lost. Like the bartender who directed me to the next town because he did not have what we wanted. Like the restaurant owner and worker who helped us with some multivitamin drinks and a smile :-)

All these czech people live outside of prague. They were so courteous. Always smiling. even if we did not speak the same language they understood me and helped me.

I have come to like the czechs very fondly after my ride today. Cannot wait to experience even more of Prague and Ceska Republika tomorrow.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Just a cab driver; but an amazing human being!

It is funny how "not so well off" people end up giving so much and touch your help when you least expect them to.

I was returning to the airport from my hotel in Denver last week. My hotel had called a super shuttle for me. It was bang on time. A normal looking black d00d came out and took my luggage. After placing in the booth of his van, he opened the rear door for me and i sat there in one of the seats. He silently then started driving to other hotels around downtown Denver to pick other passengers. He did not seem to find any. At his last pick up point, there were a lot of people and traffic but non for his van. I knew my hotel was fully booked for the weekend and this one seemed the same. I proceeded to ask him if there was a big event in Denver over the weekend and he told me there were several. This was start of a nice conversation with him.

To make our conversation easier, he invited me to take the passenger seat next to him. I politely obliged as i love to ride shotgun. He told me he was originally from Ethiopia and his family had moved to the US sometime ago. I told him i had been to Ethiopia on my way to Mozambique to see my dad in 2001. He then telling me about his story about how he studied in Pune, India in the mid 1990s. I first thought he was bullshitting but certain details he told me about Pune only person who has been there can know. There is also a possibility that he could be well read. He accurattely mentioned exchange rates, cost of food and transport and places in Pune. He seemed a real nice guy but i saw what an amzing human being he was when we reached the airport. As we entered the airport, one women came to ask him how much it was to go downtown. He said 19$ per person. She said they were 4 people and instantly he told her that they should take a limousine cab instead since it will be cheaper for them. He lost $80 business on a slow day like Saturday. I thought he would expect nore tip from me but when i gave him a 3$ tip he gave me back 2$ saying 1$ was enough tip. Who in today,s world does that? He touched my heart with this gesture.

I hope he gets all goodluck in the world and has a blessed life. I recommend anyone coming to denver use him if u need a ride from the airport and back. His name is Ben and email is bentess4@yahoo.com.

Thanks Ben for showing me that the world still has great people like you. In fact my whole trip to Denver has shown me what a group of people with a big heart can do to help the under priviledged in the world.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

iwillteachyoutoberich.com

My friend Sonal recently recommended to me this blog about personal finance for young people. It is called http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com. Sounds like a scam, doesn't it? At first i was skeptical too. Reading the blog and researching it over the web made me realise - this guy can really help me.

The blog is written by a recent Stanford guy, Ramit Sethi. Yes, he is of Indian decent. I think for me, this fact strengthened his genuineness :-)He also recently realised a book under the same name - I will teach you to be rich. I have bought that book.

Personally, i think i am ok with personal finance. I am risk taker by nature.and I have been putting a lot of time into reading about it and learning. I have also taken some advice from a financial advisor for my investments. But I was having problems managing simple things. I needed a method to manage the zillions of accounts that i have currently. Yah, I have managed to do that like most young guys just out of schools. Most of these accounts are credit cards :-(.

So, what i liked about his blog and book( i have partially read), are the tactics. The tactics are very helpful in making things easier to manage - Like automating my payments and transfers. It helped me change my focus from the small things that do nothing to improve my knowledge to things that i will help me enhance my financial and technical knowledge.

I personally, think every young person should read the book at least once. I am sure everyone will get something out of it. There are some chapters of his book online, people can check that out too before buying it.

I do not see book as be all end all of personal finance. As it says "personal finance", it is a personal thing. It depends on What do YOU want achieve in your life? I read many books, websites and listen to people and try to make an educated call and hope that i make the right decision.