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Bills bills bills

Ok. I don't have much to share today, but felt this was worthy of showing. This is my utility bill from last month.

Seriously. For those not able to do the conversion in their head that's about $15USD. That's my power and water bill combined for a month. I'm actually allocated $136.36USD per month, so what I don't use I keep.

It underscores what I'm seeing in cost of living here. Transportation, food, utilities. It's all much much less than living in the states. I've got a restaurant that I order from at least once a week. I always order extra portions of rice. They cost 3 RMB each. That about 0.50USD. I've thought about buying a rice cooker, but ordering it just so convenient and cheap, why bother? I store it in my fridge and have a portion with each dinner during a week.

In other news I had to lead a meeting for ninth grade parents tonight. I'll be leading the crew taking 50 ninth graders to the Yunnan province for a week. I have six other adults going, but I'm the guy in charge. So far I've been good at making decisions and owning them, as well as stepping aside at times and letting others take over when they show a passion for a task. We depart May 29. That date is creeping closer.

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So, what I'm hearing is a country can create a lower cost of living by simply controlling nearly all aspects of an economy? They are not operating on a supply and demand model, at least not that I'm aware of. To what extent are the prices controlled versus being subsidized? Really interested in how their whole economic system works.

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