Covid19 is bullshit

Discussion in 'Off Topic International' started by Mcloud, May 2, 2021.

  1. OldUncles

    OldUncles Well-Known Member

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    Here we have to show a driver's license to buy beer in many stores. There's some state agency that dictates which stores can be trusted enough to require or not require proper identification. And I don't look like I'm 21 years old these days, of course. And I like to joke about and point out that my driver's license is extra special and legitimate and fully verified, because it is, but clerks don't understand or care. It's weird, but I am really the person that my documents claim that I am ;)

    But to the point of your post. Governments are really messed up, decrepit and gone past their their "best by" freshness dates when they penalize native citizens for minor violations, yet allow anyone else to violate our laws with impunity. Governments/systems in decline excel at enforcing the trivial laws against normal citizens, but cannot or choose not to enforce laws against non law-abiding residents (note distinction between citizens and residents). The former case is easy -- everyone's following the rules -- while the latter is ignored. It's a wonderful petri dish for organized crime. This is seen all over the West these days.

    Will law and societal rules be applied fairly, evenly and impartially? Or will laws be applied selectively, subject to the whims of some politician or powerful broker? Pro tip: we really want the laws to be applied objectively.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2021
  2. OldUncles

    OldUncles Well-Known Member

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    BTW, goats have become popular in the States now as well. What do they do with goats around here? They're used as fancy landscapers, eating grass where some rich guy would normally use a poor chap riding a lawn mower. But the most pathetic is so-called goat yoga, which I likely mentioned before. Rich ladies -- and some rich, weird men -- actually pay to have goats walk on their backs. Crazy. I'm friends with some yoga ladies so I hear stuff.

    Frankly I wonder if they don't give the goats drugs, to make them more docile, but who knows.

    How much money would a retired expat need to live an OK life in RO?
     
  3. Mcloud

    Mcloud Well-Known Member

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  4. vasco

    vasco Well-Known Member

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    A docile goat kid is something of a wonder, indeed.
    If given food choices, goats are the worst landscapers, for they are very whimsical eaters. They eat a grass here and another there, cutting only the tops.
    I don't keep a lawn, but I think a goat grazed lawn would look like a forest after a shelling. That's how my pasture looks anyway.

    The minimum wage here just above $300. The average wage is just above $800. Most people here own their homes, but there are many young families who have to rent before they can afford a mortgage. There are also poor families who can only afford to rent a room or two in someone's house.

    As an american living here, I have no idea how much you need. If you like to buy clothes or to eat out often, that's already another lifestyle. Only professionals working in the big cities can afford to do that here.
    To be honest, I don't even know how much my family is spending. It's not much, maybe a few hundred dollars a month on food and utilities. Then about $200 on gas, since we commute. We don't pay rents nor mortgages.

    I'm sure there are many americans living in Bucharest. Maybe you can find info on expats' sites. But I wouldn't want to encourage you, for it's not worth. You know, many people here want out. There should be finer societies.
     
  5. Mcloud

    Mcloud Well-Known Member

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  6. OldUncles

    OldUncles Well-Known Member

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    That's a good post, thanks. But two bullet points in response to your excellent post:

    * $200 per month on gasoline is crazy! Wow, I pay ~$30 per month because I don't need to drive much

    * Most of the expat American types in RO are probably insufferable assholes :)
     
  7. vasco

    vasco Well-Known Member

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    It seems gas in US is 2/3 of the price here. We have higher taxes on gas I guess.
    In fact my car is a diesel, which is a bit cheaper fuel, but diesel have lower consumption.
    They're popular here, many buy second hand from the West. Mine had a short life as a rental car in Spain and I bought it in Germany. Funny, right?
     
  8. Mcloud

    Mcloud Well-Known Member

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  9. OldUncles

    OldUncles Well-Known Member

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    Vasco, that is not as funny as you may think ;) In the USA, it's very common for rental cars to be sold as "used" cars. It's a giant economy: auto manufacturers like Ford, GM, etc., sell cars to corporate fleet programs, lease them to simple persons such as us, and then resell the autos back to dealerships as used cars. The COVID-19 stuff has caused this economy to suffer some "problems."

    Fuel prices is also an interesting subject. Watch what the EU, the United States, and the West in general are doing in terms of energy strategies. COVID-19 and "green energy" stuff are joining together to create very interesting problems around the world.

    Some energy plants in Germany, Lebanon cannot generate electricity because of coal shortages. Europe is increasingly dependent on Russia for natural gas. There's a shitload of coal in Germany, Poland, etc. And they have many intelligent persons who can devise new ways of creating energy with cleaner methods.

    And in the USA.

    It's really just the French -- who are by nature crazy -- who understand nuclear energy. The rest of so-called enlightened Europe is going to have a fun winter ;) We shall see.
     
  10. Mcloud

    Mcloud Well-Known Member

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  11. vasco

    vasco Well-Known Member

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  12. hezzey

    hezzey Well-Known Member

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    Vasco wrote:
    “You do realise this is like sticking notes to your own fridge, right?”

    Indeed!
     
  13. Mcloud

    Mcloud Well-Known Member

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  14. -frog-

    -frog- Well-Known Member

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    Totalled a diesel (VW Golf Sportsvan 1.6 TDI) in August (5 years, bought new, only 92,000kms clocked), first and the last I ever owned, will never buy one again.
    Couldn't find a car for 6 weeks, ended up buying an old banger (8-year old Opel Zafira).
    One of the preconditions (apart from the AT, which was a "must" for my dearest one) was (at least for me) that it won't be a diesel anymore.

    Come on - fuel economy is one thing, but there are downsides too - they take ages to warm in winter - got 13 kms of commute to work - at -20 centigrade outside the temperature indicator was below the middle line when I reached work last winter. The noise, albeit far from the past "click-clacks" is also worse. Add the VW DSG transmission to the picture, and the image becomes repulsive.
     
  15. vasco

    vasco Well-Known Member

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    : ))

    I have a Ford Focus II. Bought it in 2008 with 23k kms. I've got it for 13 years now and I didn't spend that much on its maintenance. For long distance, it's much more economical. It takes a lot to heat the interior, because diesel is much more efficient than gasoline - it produces less heat and more power. And to warm the engine, well I don't bother too much with that. If it goes, it goes and that's it!

    The noise, well, I've just lowered my expectations a lot :D
     
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  16. -frog-

    -frog- Well-Known Member

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    Drove Focuses (I, II, III and IV) as rentals - great compact cars with great suspension.
    Wherever I went (and had to get a rental) I went for a Focus.
    Affordable, and yet great to drive.

    Got the same with the Zafira I bought last week - it's a slightly larger a car (but not something I would call "large" - drove far bigger cars in the past), but the Watt's linkage rear suspension, the 17'' tires and all that also make it a great ride. I am still shocked that GM decided to drop it in favour of the crap SUVs they make. They made the best "family mover" I ever drove, only do discontinue it...
     
  17. OldUncles

    OldUncles Well-Known Member

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    You had trouble with your VW DSG transmission, -Frog-? I've had my German-made VW with DSG for 10 years and it's been fine. Admittedly, I drive relatively little and I've always treated my vehicles like they are precious babies. But the official DSG maintenance is kind of expensive (~$400 at 40K to change the fluid and some filter and gaskets? Really? Crazy.).

    BTW, I bought a new bicycle. And I didn't know when I purchased it, but it's designed and mostly assembled in Poland. I would love to discover that this bike was 100% made in Poland, but this is 2021, and I understand that that is simply not possible. But I love this bike! This weekend my friends and I are going on a ride and I'll be proud to show and ride this bike. This video makes the guys seem like hipsters, but it's a very good quality bicycle for the price. And I do know bicycles (trust me):
     
  18. -frog-

    -frog- Well-Known Member

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    It's not the maintenance that I did not like in my DSG, but its operation (since the 1.6 Diesel only delivered 81 kW of power and 250 Nm of torque I had the "dry clutch" version, which is clearly cheaper to maintain).
    Overtaking with a gearbox that took ages to shift down wasn't fun.
    Almost no engine breaking too... it just disengages the clutches when on idle.
    Also - try a dynamic start when in "Normal" (and not "Sports") mode - mine tended to shift down to "1" in an erratic (ever noticed that it usually starts from "2nd" in the "normal" mode?), and rather uncivilized fashion (although there was nothing like that in the Sports mode).

    I had gear paddles equipped, which were part of a set of extras included (I did not want to order them at first, but they came as part of a package). Only after using them could I overtake in a dynamic, safe manner. So what do I need an AT, when it forces me to shift manually during the most demanding road maneuver?

    As far bicycles are concerned I cycle a lot, but I didn't know much about that Cracow-based company, until now.
    I also have no use for a gravel bike, I do have an MTB for fun and a trekking bike for commuting/longer trips.
    The MTB is a Schwinn Sidewinder, that is almost 30 years old now (I replaced most of the parts over all these years, but the frame and fork are still original) - and I simply love that bike, we've been just everywhere, and I have great memories connected therewith. I guess my son will get it, once he's tall enough to ride it.
    The trekking bike is a Polish KROSS, which I bought last year, because I started to cycle to work on a more regular basis, and wearing a rucksack with my laptop and documents wasn't exactly the best solution. It's heavy, sturdy, relatively fast, and comes with all extras I need for road cycling (lights, bell, etc.). As far as I know KROSS is the sole brand in Poland to make most of the main components themselves (of course they still buy e.g. derailleurs from external suppliers). They are also one of the few companies to manufacture carbon frames in Europe.
    My bike is "mid-range" (it comes with a Deore derailleur, but rest of the equipment is mid-range), so for example the frame (aluminium) comes from Poland, so do the solid pedals, wheels (but not the hubs - these are Japanese), steering support, etc. But the seat is from Italy (Selle Royal), the shocks from Japan (SunTour), the tires from Germany (Schwalbe)... and so on.
     
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  19. OldUncles

    OldUncles Well-Known Member

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    Understood. My car is very different, and so perhaps it's -- as we say -- comparing apples to oranges. I'm not sure of the numbers, but my 8-year-old GTI is a(n) ~2 liter gasoline engine that produces more energy than a diesel. So the DSG experience in my car is no doubt very different from yours (not to mention the cars' differences in size, body types, and suspension systems. My car is too fast for me, really. It's a late-life quick decision I made because it was cool. My previous car was a pick-up truck (which I bought to carry my off-road motorcycles, but as I grew older, didn't need that so much. People over 50 years old no longer expect to become observed trials or ISDE champions. Although we can dream.).

    Ah, is the company based in Krakow or Gdansk? Thought some web site had mentioned Gdansk (But to me that's no big difference. The company seems a smart and modern concern, even if the details seem to me a bit obscure. I like the bike :)

    Over the weekend I went riding with an old racing comrade over some very difficult terrain. City streets, dirt, grass, gravel and finally woods filled with stones and rocks so bad that we could not continue further. But his bicycle cost $6000, and my Rondo cost me ~$2400. It was so fun; felt like a teenager again. Honestly, I've never ridden a bicycle over terrain like that -- only with trials or enduro motorcycles. And we had no flat tires, I can't believe it ;) My friend had $2000 carbon fiber wheels. I rode the stock Rondo aluminum wheels and that was fun as hell, haha :)
     
  20. -frog-

    -frog- Well-Known Member

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    I had very different cars.
    Went from tiny Ford Fiesta Mk 2 to an old BMW X5 at some moment.
    Did my driving license in a Fiat 126p (Google it - you will laugh).
    Even drove a lorry (or rather helped re-parking it, when no-one else wanted).

    And - with just 103 kW of power that banger I bought is anything but fast.
    But the transmission (6-speed Aisin AT) is as smooth as the 5-Speed ZF AT was in my bimmers (had one of my two E36 "dolphins", and that E53 X5 with 5-speed ZF automatic transmissions).
    And that Golf Sportsvan was a great car, but the transmission was crap.
     
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