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Old 06-19-2008, 03:01 PM   #1
bilbo-san
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Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

For those of you who missed it, part
1 is here
and part
2 is here
.

Quote:
OK, so as some of you know, I'm old. I'm not, really, but guys that
are like, 19, and spend most of their time at school and hanging out
on the internet don't get much exposure to people over 25, so you tend
to think that you all live in some version of a Logan's Run universe
where people over 30 are killed off. That in itself is a cultural
reference that y'all are probably too young to get, so here's the link.
By the way, if you check that out and are really confused as to why
that movie has some kind of cult status, trust me, it's not a
generation gap thing. Pretty bad movie. I got no clue. Maybe
in 30 years no one will have any clue why we liked Superbad either.

Anyway, there's a bunch of **** I wish I had done when I was younger
but didn't because no one told me to.

Oh, WAIT, snap, a bunch of people told me to do this **** ALL THE
****ING TIME. The real reason I didn't do it is because I was, like,
18, and I was pretty sure that everyone over 30 had been killed off,
so whatever old dude was telling me these things was obviously some
criminal on the run from the law that I dare not pay attention to.

I made a Pooh-Bah post once but don't remember ever making a Carpal
Tunnel one. And in the cheese thread a while ago, someone said that I was
like the crazy uncle that knew a bunch of random ****, so, in the hope that
some of you are more willing to trust me than your aunts and uncles and
parents and stuff (I am, after all, way cooler), I've got a list of some ****
that all of you really need to start doing now. I'll even try to prove it in
some EV terms.
Part 3: Get your ass out of the country. And, I don't mean for, like, 2 weeks.

This should really be a post about going to live anywhere, not just in
Europe, but my experiences are European, because I lived there for
13 years, so I can't speak about Asia/Africa because I've never been,
or South America because I have never lived there. I presume that the
general principle of what I am saying applies, though.

This applies especially to all of you that a) are not married and b)
play poker exclusively for a living. You are in an incredibly unique
and awesome position -- you can ply your trade anywhere in the world
with an internet connection. What this means is that you can live
anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

So...do it. Move to another country. If you are in school, do a
year-long exchange program. If you aren't, just go play poker
somewhere else.

Some great reasons to leave the country:

1) Your opportunity cost is at its lowest right now, while you are
young. You don't own a ton of stuff (yet) that you'll need to sell,
store, or pay money to move, you aren't approaching getting to partner
at your law firm, you aren't just around the corner from a promotion
to the vice presidency of your company, etc.

2) There are many countries (e.g. the UK) where poker winnings are
tax-free. Balla.

3) You can get back on PartyPoker.

4) It will make you really cool. You remember the opening scene of
Pulp Fiction? Spend a year or two in Europe, and you're like Vincent,
telling everyone about Hamburger Royales and ****.

-- Did you know that in Bavaria, there are places you can order a
5-litre glass of beer that's in the shape of the boot, and that
there are VERY strict rules about how you drink them in groups?
Like, for example, if you an air bubble from the toe of the boot
pops and causes beer to splash on your face, you must buy the
next boot.

-- Did you know that in Germany, it is impolite to drink without
toasting first, and further, that when you toast, it is impolite
not to look the person you are clinking with in the eye?

-- Did you know that beer and wine are cheaper than soda in most
bars and restaurants in Europe? Can you guess why (hint: has to
do with who owns the bars)?

-- Did you know that there are "Eco-farms" in the middle of Austria
where you can sit at a table on the farmer's porch in the middle
of a bunch of mountains, and the farmer's wife will serve you
wine from their own vinyards, along with cheese from their own
cows, bread from their own oven, and pork and beef from their own
animals? They'll even serve you schnapps distilled from their
own fruits.

5) When your "home base" is not the US, you can travel with a much greater bang-for-your-buck and see a lot cultures. Practically everywhere in Europe is just a few hours away from 5 or 6 neighbors that speak 5 or 6 different languages and have totally different cultures. Asia is similar. When you live in the US, though, aside from Mexico, you are a 5-6+ hour plan ride away from experiencing a different culture. That means that if you live in Europe or Asia, you will be exposed to much more diversity in your travel options.

You learn a lot of random **** travelling. And you learn a lot about
yourself, and a lot about how people and other countries perceive your
country, some of it justified, some of it bull****. Mostly, you learn
to completely demolish a lot of myths, preconceptions, stereotypes,
and other lies, both about yourself and about the rest of the world.

But, mostly, living on your own in another country will force you to
discover, plan and do a bunch of stuff that you'll never do at home.
When I lived in Regensburg, I rode a bike 8 miles to work each way, on
protected bike paths. Man, I miss that. I drive everywhere now. And
I learned to really appreciate beer. I mean, you all drink beer, some
of you like beer, but you don't know beer until you visit
Germany. In Germany, they actually have a university that gives out a
degree in Brewmeistering (it's the only one in the world)! How
****ing cool is that?!? It's like what UNLV is for Hotel Mgmt.

If you lived in France, you'd learn a lot about wine, and you'd
quickly get to know what "Cabernet" really means, and what the
difference between Champaigne and Prosecco really is. In Spain, you'd
learn a lot about history (did you know they were basically ruled by
Arabs in the past?) and you'd learn what it's like to live a schedule
around taking siestas (either that, or you will collapse from
exhaustion, trust me, because at 1 A.M. the people are just starting
to trickle into the bars...)

And everywhere you go you will learn a ****ton about geography and
politics that people in America are completely ignorant of. Did you
know that in Germany, Austria, and, I believe, France and Italy, there is an actual church tithe tax? The government takes a tax out of your paycheck and gives it to the church of your religion. The only way to avoid it is
to officially excommunicate yourself from the church (I did this) -- a
letter gets sent to your Bishop (insert non-catholic equivalent here)
and everything. So why doesn't everyone ex-communicate themselves?
The simplest reason is that there are no state-run Kindergartens.
They are all run by churches. And you won't get a spot in one for your
kid(s) if you are ex-communicated.

This is just a minor example, but you'll learn stuff like this every
day if you just live somewhere and hang out with the locals and get to
know people. And the internet is making it really easy. With the
advent of the internet, it is incredibly easy to hook up with other
americans abroad
. There are Yahoo/Facebook/Google/etc Groups in
almost every major city in the world, and trust me, hooking up with a
bunch of American expats is a lot of fun.

Furthermore, it's easy to meet the locals. Most European countries have
sports clubs. Pick a sport you like and look up a club, find out when
they meet, and show up for practice. If you are lucky, they'll even
be a sports club in something that is common for you but is "exotic"
for the locals, like American Football or Baseball. Being good at one
of those is your ticket to instant cameraderie -- one team in
Regensburg actually offered me money to play baseball. And I was like
a .250 hitter in high school on my good days and am useless outside
the infield.

Another easy way to meet people is to take a language class. There
are actually studies that learning a second language opens up neural
pathways in the brain. I don't know if that makes me any smarter, but
it sure as **** sounds cool. And I love being able to speak a second
language. It's very cool when you are watching a movie like Saving
Private Ryan, and that scene where the wall collapses, and you're the
only guy in the theatre who understands what everyone is saying

So pack up that laptop, get yourself a student visa (even if you've
already graduated it isn't hard to get admitted to a college in
europe, and tuition is very very low in many countries) to the country
you'd most like to visit, and go live there! Do it! Hell, you can
probably find someone on 2+2 to help you with the paperwork and
everything!

This might be one of those things that you are going to have to trust
the old dude on: one year is NOTHING. At first you might get lonely,
but you won't believe how fast it will pass.
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:02 PM   #2
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

whens the book coming out?

very nice posts thus far
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:11 PM   #3
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

Quote:
2) There are many countries (e.g. the UK) where poker winnings are
tax-free. Balla.
If you are a US Citizen, you still have to pay taxes on income, even if you are living in another country.
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:14 PM   #4
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

I enjoy these.
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:18 PM   #5
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ikestoys View Post
If you are a US Citizen, you still have to pay taxes on income, even if you are living in another country.
yeah nice point ike

nice post bilbo but in general you all should back off giving professional advice (legal, accounting, etc.)
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:21 PM   #6
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ikestoys View Post
If you are a US Citizen, you still have to pay taxes on income, even if you are living in another country.
Only for income > about 85k, and after that you can take all kinds of deductions. I know, I did it for many years.
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:21 PM   #7
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Exclamation Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bilbo-san View Post

-- Did you know that beer and wine are cheaper than soda in most
bars and restaurants in Europe? Can you guess why (hint: has to
do with who owns the bars)?

.
If the soda costs about 15$/glass in USA, this statement is true also for Sweden.
If the soda costs about 22$/glass, this is also true for Norway...

Anything else in the list that you just made up?!

Last edited by JHRoman; 06-19-2008 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Instaedited some typos
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:24 PM   #8
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

This is so right on you guys have no idea.

GO LIVE SOMEWHERE FURRIN' -- absolute must for you kids.

Signed,
One of the other old farts here....
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:48 PM   #9
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

This thread makes me want to quit my job, god damn you
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:49 PM   #10
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

This is a nice post. I talked about this with my girlfriend a few weeks ago and told her that I just HAD to do this while I'm in this situation and we needed a break. I'm planning to go over very very soon, tentative plan is something like

Thailand -> Japan -> Europe (lots of it)-> New york -> Vegas

I can't wait!
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:53 PM   #11
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

Anyone thinking of heading to Japan drop me a pm someday.

I spent 7 years there, and 2 in Europe.

2+2 community for the life win...
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Old 06-19-2008, 03:59 PM   #12
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasane View Post
Anyone thinking of heading to Japan drop me a pm someday.

I spent 7 years there, and 2 in Europe.

2+2 community for the life win...
I read a bunch of Japanese food blogs last night and got genuinely depressed about not being there now. The standard there seems to be just ridiculous.
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:01 PM   #13
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

ssnl house somewhere cool?
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:04 PM   #14
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

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Originally Posted by rsxpunk View Post
ssnl house somewhere cool?
Mandatory daily Smash Bros. sesh
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:15 PM   #15
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

cool post, i agree that those of you who just graduated should go out and go somewhere. i have a year and a half to decide.
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:29 PM   #16
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

yea i'm heading into my jr year of college and i regret not going abroad the past 2 years. i'm not sure when i will have time since i'm planning to get one of those retarted 40hr / week jobs in NY when i come out of college that i don't know when i will even have time to travel.

shrugs
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:34 PM   #17
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHRoman View Post
If the soda costs about 15$/glass in USA, this statement is true also for Sweden.
If the soda costs about 22$/glass, this is also true for Norway...

Anything else in the list that you just made up?!
Uh, Wat?

Sorry I never went to Skandinavia, where liquor taxes are so exhoribitant that many of them drive for hours to Germany to load up on ****.

But saying that I just "made stuff up" because something isn't true in, like, 2 of the countries in Europe just kind of makes you sound like a prick.
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:42 PM   #18
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHRoman View Post
If the soda costs about 15$/glass in USA, this statement is true also for Sweden.
If the soda costs about 22$/glass, this is also true for Norway...

Anything else in the list that you just made up?!
I have to further ask, what the **** does the price of soda in the USA have to do with this? Reading comprehension FTW? Do you need to re-read my part 2?

I said that in many bars, beer or wine is cheaper than soda.

I did not say that beer or wine was cheaper than soda is in the US.

Clearly neither is true in Norway or Sweden (where I've never been). But it's true in just about every bar I've been in in Amsterdam, Paris, Munich, Regensburg, Hamburg, Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, Budapest, Frankfurt, and Venice.

I'd say it's hit-or-miss, but I've encountered the phenomenon in London, Dublin, Belfast, Rome, and Barcelona too.

In fact, I would wager that it is true in any drinking establishment owned by a brewery (which is most of them...DUCY this matters?), except, of course, in Scandanavia, because liquor taxes are so high there that it would be practically and politically impossible for a brewery/pub to set soda prices this way.
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:44 PM   #19
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TPTK77 View Post
yea i'm heading into my jr year of college and i regret not going abroad the past 2 years. i'm not sure when i will have time since i'm planning to get one of those retarted 40hr / week jobs in NY when i come out of college that i don't know when i will even have time to travel.

shrugs
Why can't the job wait one more year?

Are you not one of those SSNLers making more than the job will pay you anyway?
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:44 PM   #20
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

Better still, get a TESOL/TEFL degree, it costs 2.5k and 1 month, and teach English as a foreign language . Either a corporation or a university will pay for your entire trip, stay and salary, and you'll still have a lot of time for traveling/poker.

Never regretted teaching English in Russia/Ukraine for 2 years, you don't even need a college degree, just a certificate.

Oh, and Eastern European women are suckers for Western Men
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:46 PM   #21
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsxpunk View Post
ssnl house somewhere cool?
Wish 2+2 had existed 10 years ago...would have been sweet to get some mansion on the mediterranean.
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:47 PM   #22
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

i spent over a month in europe and loved it, I think this is a cool idea and could prob move over there for awhile next year, if anyone wants to we should get a few ppl together and get a place somewhere, would be sweet.
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:49 PM   #23
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by breathweapon View Post
Better still, get a TESOL/TEFL degree, it costs 2.5k and 1 month, and teach English as a foreign language . Either a corporation or a university will pay for your entire trip, stay and salary, and you'll still have a lot of time for traveling/poker.

Never regretted teaching English in Russia/Ukraine for 2 years, you don't even need a college degree, just a certificate.

Oh, and Eastern European women are suckers for Western Men
Yeah, I debated going to Japan to coach basketball for 2 years in 2002, but it would have paid $50k and I was earning $90k at Amazon, plus I anticipated that $50k will be just enough to afford renting a broom closet in Japan. so I didn't go.

Man was I ******ed. I should have gone.

There are tons of ways you can leverage a skill or something to get a Visa abroad.
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:50 PM   #24
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by breathweapon View Post
Oh, and Eastern European women are suckers for Western Men
Not all of us have a breathweapons though
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Old 06-19-2008, 04:55 PM   #25
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Re: Bilbo's Advice from Old Dudes. Part 3: Get the **** Outta here!

Man I wish I wasn't starting my job just yet. I'm strongly considering taking a year or so off after my 10 month contract is over and doing just what you advocate in this post.

Also I lived and work in Oxford, England just doing some easy desk temp job that I found and that was an awesome experience..work abroad ftw.
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