Belgium, Business & Creativity, Numbers

Savings Interest Reduction

Yesterday, I received a notification from my bank announcing yet another savings account interest rate reduction, effective the first of September. I do understand that this has much to do with the upcoming recession and the overall slowdown of the world’s economies. But mind you, this is the same bank that have emailed me several times in the past, encouraging me to open an investment account with them.

I have been shown graphs and projections of how my money will almost certainly grow in the investment account, and how sorry my savings account balance will be in comparison. If the investment department of this financial institution is so confident, why is it not using my savings to invest in things that pay better returns, thus making money for both of us? Instead, I was prompted with all sorts of marketing tricks, and lured with small cash gifts. There has been quite some efforts on their part to make me move my money from savings to investment.

Again, why can they not just use my savings (or part of it), invest and make profit, charge a small commission, and then pay me better interests?! I am not smarter than a financial institution, so there is no way I am sticking my head out into the chaotic free markets. So…what the heck?

Business & Creativity, Food & Drinks, Numbers

Three Ninety Nine

I started using Too Good To Go a week ago. Yesterday, I bought my second surprise bag of grocery. The economical advantage is obvious because I am paying only a third of the cost of food I receive. The environmentally aware part of me is proud to be saving some food from being toss away. Admittedly, there is a teeny tiny part of my brain that is telling me that this is not a perfect deal. I am quite aware that I am consuming more, and of things that I usually do not have on my grocery list. I am eating more because I do not want to waste any of the expiring food.

So yeah, I know that the €3.99 I pay is the thin line separating me from a true dumpster diver!

Flashbacks, Numbers

At 22

It was the year 1993…

A cousin, my younger sister and I will be spending the year in college, completing the first half of a US twinning program to Western Michigan University. The days in lively Petaling Jaya were filled with interesting college lessons, friends and many fun experiences. By the end of the year, my cousin and I flew off to Kalamazoo, Michigan to start a new semester in January of 1994.

At 22, I experienced my first long-distance flight crossing the Pacific Ocean. This will be my first time in America. Encountering my first Michigan winter. I shall not see my country, my parents and my two younger brothers till after graduation.

At 22, we live, learn, explore and achieve things in this world of ours! Sadly, life (and death) do not usually come with a fixed schedule. To the 22 year-old cyclist Bjorg, ride in peace, Matchbox…

Business & Creativity, Numbers

Economics Of Currencies

The Chinese Yuan was purposely allowed to devalue to its lowest level since a decade ago. All this because of a stupid and ongoing American Chinese trade war…

Twenty-four hours ago, the EUR/USD exchange was at 1.1096 and today this particular exchange rate is at the 1.1210 point.

Big economies which depend on each other, should not be getting themselves into ridiculous quarrels.

Belgium, Flashbacks, Numbers

Warm Mattress

I have survived yesterday’s dry heat which hit 40°C by mid afternoon. At bedtime, I only managed to fall asleep with the fan blowing over me. I woke up at 2.30am and moved myself and the fan to the guestroom. With the window wide opened (at this point, I did not care about mosquitoes), I slept till 5am. Belgian news keep calling this tropical heat, believe me, it is not. This is more like the desert heat which I have experienced in Las Vegas.

Today’s maximum temperature is 30°C. On top of that, it is a bit humid. Now, that is tropical heat. Am I crazy to be looking forward to this weekend’s rainstorms and plummeting temperatures?!

Also, I now know the average price of a decent mobile air-conditioning.


Interests & Exchanges

$1000 * 2.30% = $23.00

At exchange rate EUR to USD 1.12:

€892.86 * 0.25% = €2.23 = $2.50

Mutual fund option of 3% delivers:

€892.86 * 3.00% = €26.76 = $30.00

At exchange rate USD to MYR 4.1142:

RM4114.24 * 2.90% = RM119.31 = $29.00

Jibber Jabber, Numbers


That is the record breaking temperature in a French city today! Boy, I hope to God that I shall never have to endure anything near that here in my own home. I do not think this house is capable of dealing with that kind of heat. Everything is rather exposed here. There is no basement to hide in, no air-conditioning to cool things down, no bath, no pond, no big shady tree. At this moment, my only backup plan is De Gavers.

Belgium, Numbers

Sudoku Winner

For several months now, I have been happily solving the Sudoku puzzles one may find in the city’s monthly magazine. I did the puzzles for fun. And for a laugh, I submitted these solutions to enter the monthly Sudoku competition held by the city’s administration.

Imagine my surprise when I received an email from the city on Monday afternoon, informing me that I am the winner of April’s Sudoku competition. I was told to go by the city hall to collect my prize. How cool is that?!

At around eleven this morning, I took a lovely walk to the city hall to collect my €10 gift card. This, I was informed, can be spent at the many businesses in Harelbeke. How blissful it is to have received a small reward and becoming one of the winners. Furthermore, my name will appear on May’s edition of the city magazine. Awesomeness!

Flashbacks, Numbers

Math Progress

In the period of two weeks, I have moved from basic arithmetic to algebra II. I could not help feeling a bit proud of myself when I discovered that I was still able to solve semi-complicated mathematical problems. Who would have thought that I have retained so much from my school days, more than 25 years ago!

My objective is to progress to the point where I can understand and solve calculus problems. That was my mathematical level (limit) before I went to business school in the 90s. Business mathematics and case studies only required easy statistical analysis which were mostly solved with the help of computers.

Yep, calculus, the final challenge.