Rain over Melaka - May 20th 2015

The philosopher in me is out of its box again and I feel compelled to relate to you another gem from Plato’s The Republic written nearly 2,500 years ago. It is a part of the discussion on wealth and its benefits and disadvantages.

Socrates asks Cephalus (a wealthy old man) if he inherited or made his own money and Cephalus replies that he had inherited most of his and Socrates reply is as follows verbatim

Socrates Speaking To Cephalus

“That was why I asked you the question,” I replied, “because I see that you are indifferent about money, which is a characteristic rather of those who have inherited their fortunes than of those who have acquired them; the makers of fortunes have a second love of money as a creation of their own, resembling the affection of authors for their own poems, or of parents for their children, besides that natural love of it for the sake of use and profit which is common to them and all men. And hence they are very bad company, for they can talk about nothing but the praises of wealth”. “That is true,” he said.  

The above highlighted / italicised text is from The Republic Book 1, written by Plato in the year 360BC.

Nothing has changed over those years as I can vouch for the veracity of his words today!

Obsession with one’s wealth is an unhealthy one. Living on Sydney’s Upper North Shore and running our retail businesses in the 1970’s gave us a real insight into the self-made “Wealth Worshippers” who abounded there.

Enough philosophy for the day.

An interesting article in The Star newspaper here by one of the country’s largest property developers. In it he says that sales of highest priced condominiums have slowed as there is too much stock. He also says that prices for all bar the very cheapest condominiums have stabilised. Numbers of properties with deposits taken is the same as last year for his company but the number of contracts being settled is down. He is predicting no rise in condominium prices until 2018.  Our opinion is that good quality condominiums will continue to sell well and give good capital gains in Malaysia. If we decide to settle in Melaka we would be doing more research on current one year leases and would be in a position get the best value.

Erica has been glued to her Galaxy Tab S this morning researching guest house and hotels in Chiang Mai. Although we are booked at The Baan Orapin for 5 nights on arrival we are searching for a “character” place for a longer stay at a cheaper price. She already has a couple bookmarked. Whilst being of part German ethnicity, she has a thrifty Scottish mind and I can always rely on her to find fabulous places to stay at that do not cost the earth. She has also been researching Galle in Sri Lanka as it is on our list to visit. Last night she found an Old Portuguese “character” place just down the road from the pricey Aman Resort Hotel in the Galle Fort area at a fraction of the price!

I may have said this before but I think the key to long lasting relationships is for partners to have differing roles.  As the relationship matures they become more clearly defined and this prevents petty “arguments” about who should do what. In the early part of a relationship finding these roles can be challenging and involves compromise on both sides. Many do not get past this point! I liken couples to jigsaw pieces.  If you get two perfect fitting pieces they are inseparable but two ill-fitting pieces have a poor prognosis in the Jigsaw Puzzle of life!

Another key thing in my opinion is to have common interests and goals. Just imagine if I wanted to play golf every day and drink with the lads and Erica wanted to travel! In truth there is no magic formula to a lasting relationship but I am sure it involves a lot of luck!

Storm Clouds are blanketing Melaka and as 3 people were killed in lightning strikes in Malaysia yesterday so we have prudently not yet ventured outside. Heavy rain is now falling in Melaka and our balcony view is shrouded.

Rain over Melaka

Rain over Melaka

Super low airfares

Super low airfares

Just spotted in The Star newspaper (that I purloined from The Swiss Garden Hotel Lobby), the Air Asia flight to Kaohsiung in Southern Taiwan (a new destination for them) for 88RM one way from July 19th. That is about $30 Australian for a four hour flight! Very tempting. Malaysia Airlines has an ad in the same paper offering Mid -Year Marvel flights with super low airfares. So much choice!

Erica however has her heart set on a month in Sri Lanka so Taiwan must wait.

Oyster fried noodles

Oyster fried noodles

Oyster omelette

Oyster omelette

Had a nice lunch of Oyster Omelette and Oyster Fried Noodles in our building costing 27RM or $9.50 Australian. Erica dropped in at The Shore Sales Gallery to let them know our curtain was off a couple of its hooks. The excellent staff there organised to have it fixed. Gunalan Arumugam the Shore Operations Manager came up with a staff member and promptly rectified the problem. We complimented him on the quality of the build and he told us his boss had insisted on only using the best trade’s people on The Shore.  He was very helpful and friendly and gave us his card so we could contact him directly if we have any problems.