There is a Chinese expression written about me,  姜还是老的辣 (jiāng háishì lăo de là.) The literal translation is Aged Ginger is more pungent. Does that mean I stink more in China? Probably. Most Chinese say that Americans smell sour due to the amount of dairy we eat.

But the saying is supposed to mean, the older the wiser, which is why I’ve been trying to live up to my name and aggressively save money working in China after a divorce that wrapped around the world.

I pondered selling a kidney to pay for some of the legal fees (which, I can easily do this side of the world).

After some consideration, I decided to keep my body parts and just add more into my school pension fund.

Your firm might have a similar program, whether in Asia, the USA or Timbuktu. They put in a few bucks, you do, too and off it goes into some mutual fund. 

Well this year, the majority of my pay check went into my pension fund, meaning, I live on a about the same each day as  some of you spend at Starbucks for  your specialty drink and morning scone.

I’m not complaining. A few RMB goes a long way in China.  

But here’s the deal. I had the finance department take out so much money that I didn’t have to pay taxes.  It’s not that China takes out as Mr. FICA or Uncle Sam:, it’s just that they just noticed it.  So now that it’s time to transfer the money into my old folks Depends fund from my Chinese Bank? 

I’m getting stopped at the Border Control.

In other words, the Chinese government is not allowing me to transfer the money.

Just my stinking luck.

So, all of the money I’ve been saving for a rainy day at Hickory Hills is staying here a while.  

And as for being pungent?

I’ll shower after my run.


Unknown Tourist, I have Sinned.


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