Delhi

We took an overnight sleeping train from Mumbai to Delhi. The train was not very clean and it stinked. And cities are not very clean and smell badly, too. There is few public toilet, which is one cause of the uncleanness and the bad smell.  What is the government in this country doing? I mean, it’s about our basic demand. We all need to go to a toilet, don’t we?

 

Everything I see here surprises me. I cannot write them all now. I need some time and need to think. I need to figure out how I am really feeling now. Too much information coming inside my brain. But I will write something in Japanese about this country later when I am back in Japan.

 

Tomorrow, we will go visit Taj Mahal. We came to India to see this!

 

I am staying at

http://www.hotelnanak.com/

Mumbai

I arrived at Mumbari early in this morning. Dubai was amazingly developed. But not Mumbai. It is too different, although it is only 3hours flight between these two cities. I saw no beggar in Dubai, but in Mumbai, I see some. I can sense already that I will get a lot of learnings from this country.

 

By the way, the time difference between Japan and India is 3:30. Little by litte, the time difference between Japan adn where we visit is diminishing, which means that our honeymoon is coming near to end.

 

We are staying at

http://www.chateauwindsor.com/booking/hr_index.php

 

Dubai

I am now in Dubai. It’s quite unbelievable that they made this city in the middle of a dessert. It is so developed. But if you really want to enjoy in Dubai, you need a lot of money. Since we have already used a lot so far in our honeymoon, we must try not to use much money here….

 

Like NY, there is a huge income gap. Almost all taxi drivers are from countries such as India, Bangladesh, Egypt, and so on. I bet all those high buildings that you see in TV are made by these low-wage workers. But without these people working with (probably) pretty low wages, I suppose there is no Dubai today. At the same time, I think the leaders here in Dubai is controlling this place very well. They know what should be done to make a county rich. Dubai  is an interesting place to analyze using Economics.

 

Anyways, I will enjoy my honeymoon.

 

Oh by the way, | went to visit Petra in Jordan yesterday. Petra is famous for setting of Indiana Jones. The whole area was really awesome!!!

 

(Updated)

I am staying at

http://www.countryclubdubai.com/happenings_dubai.html

USD and Japanese Yen

Some economics.

 

http://finance.yahoo.com/currency/convert?amt=1&from=USD&to=JPY&submit=Convert

 

When I left Japan about 2 months ago, Yen was getting appreciated against USD. It even once hit under 100 yen. I was surprised to know that now, it is about 1USD=108Yen. When I was in USA about 2months ago, I noticed that prices have gone up a lot compared to the period I visited USA in 2003. Meanwhile, the price level in Japan remained about the same in the last five years. Actually, we suffered from deflation, but to make things simple, let us assume that the price level in Japan remained exactly the same. Now, suppose that a 350ml Coca-cola costed 1 dollar in USA five years ago, but now costs 1.20 dollar, because of inflation. But in Japan, its price was 120yen and still 120yen now.

 

Everything is set now. If the same product ( we call it ”goods” in Economics) has only one price, the exchange market should be determined as follows in these two periods.

 

*Five years ago

1dollar=120yen

 

*Now

1dollar=100yen

 

An attempt to explain exchange market based on price levels is called PPP(Purchage Parity Power) theory in Economics. The theory is just saying that there should be one price for one goods.

 

There wasn’t and isn’t (and probably will not be for another couple of years ) an inflation in Japan, I think it is natural that there has been an Yen appreciation trend. I think this trend will continue for another couple of years. I am not sure, but I think this year or next year, it will hit under 100yen again, and reach to about 90yen within 3 years.

 

But you should understand that this is not because Yen is appreciated; it is because Dollar is deppreciated (i.e, the value of  one dollar is decreasing because of inflation).

 

I dont know why it went back to 108 yen from 100yen in the past one or one and an half month, because i am currently not reading any japanese news. But I suppose there should be some financial news that led to this result.

 

If I were somebody in charge of finance at exporting company (like Toyota), I would probably move to hedge this yen appreciation risk.

 

 

Bethlehem

Jesus was born in Bethlehem. We actually saw the very place where he was said to be given birth to. This place is very famous and it is called the church of nativity. At 2002, Bethlehem was surrounded by Israel, and some Palestinians evaculated to this church. This is the famous 2002 seige. Some were killed. (for detail see here).

 

After this event, the number of tourists decreased and the economy of Bethlehem went bad, since the main industry of this city was tourlism. Guess what? The umemployment rate is now 65%!!! Not 6.5%. I am saying that it is 65%. Ridiculous, isn’t it?

 

Many taxi drivers walked up to us and gave me a one-day tour offer. I guess they have no work. I saw few tourist in the city, although this place is very important religiously. Somebody has got to do something about this situation.

 

Amman -> Jerusalem

Jerusalem, I finally reached to this holly city.

 

We came to this city by car and bus. At the border, there is a bridge called “Alleby bridge.” And the security check was really really really tight. I had to show my pasport 11 times in total to cross this bridge and get into Israel from Jordan. I’ve never been through such a tight serutiy. But no wonder. All those stuffs that we studied at history class back in high school came back to me. Yes, this is the world’s trouble area. By the way, I saw the breaking news on CNN just a couple hours ago about Hamas and Israel reaching cease-fire deal at Gaza. I hope things will get better soon.

 

Alleby bridge was supported (partly? I think) financially by Japanese ODA on construction. We should know this fact.

 

Oh, I almost forgot to write this! On our way to the bridge from Amman, we stopped by at the Dead Sea. Amazing experience. I did float. You really can read a book on the sea floating. (But you don’t want to do that beacause you will get burned.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aswan -> Luxor -> Cairo

Hey, now I am back to Cairo. During my stay in Egypt this time, there were a lot of learnings. I think I should write what I have felt here in Japanese later, because I think Japanese people should now what is going on here. Seriously, I have many things that I must write about this country. Unfortunately, some of them are negative.

But since I dont have time, and I cannot figure out how to type japanese in this pc, i will write it when i am back to my home in Japan.

Tomorrow, we will fly to Amman. Our purpose is to visit Jerusalem. This is the world trouble spot. I must see it.

Aswan

Yesterday, we took a sleeping train from Ciaro to Aswan. We are staying at

 

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g294204-d940810-Reviews-Nuba_Nile_Hotel-Aswan_Nile_River_Valley.html

 

just for tonight. Aswan dam was really really huge, and Isis temple was really really cool. It was beautiful and mysterious. We loved the temple.

 

Oh, by the way, i forgot to write yesterday but we saw the PYRAMIDS yesterday. HUGE!

 

Tomorrow, at night we will move to Luxor. I really want to visit Luxor, beacaus 4 years ago I missed it.

 

 

Professional Beggars

Right now, I have some time. There are so many things that I have felt during my around-the-world journey. I will just pick up one thing for now and write.

In the world, did you know that there are professional beggars? I met so many beggars in so many places. And I found out that some of them are professional. In other words, they do begging and have a non-beggar life. I was shocked to know the fact.

I don’t know who is a professional beggar and who is not. I cant tell the difference. If one really needs some money to buy a food, I do wish to give him some money. I don’t want to see somebody starving. But if he is a professional beggar, and if he is really not having trouble buying a food, I don’t want to give him money. If many people think that they don’t want to give money at all to any beggar, because they don’t want to give money who don’t really need to beg for a money to buy some foods, what do you think would happen? A beggar who really needs some money to buy a food will starve to death. As a result, “Bad money drives out good (Gresham’s law).”

I saw so many beggars begging in different ways around the world. They are trying to maximize the probability to receive money from the pedestrians. Seriously, beggars do anything to receive money. I will write one example. She/He comes up to you and say “can you speak english?” If you say “yes” she/he will show you a piece of paper, which says like this: “I am from Africa, I am poor, my mother is dead, I have a disabled brother, I need some money to buy food for him. Please give me some money”

The whole point of this entry, is to remind you that Japan is so rich and safe.

Cairo

Cairo, Egypt. This is my second  visiting here. My first time was four years ago. I was shocked to see how it was in a developing country then. I am shocked again. Four years ago, I thought that I was so lucky that I was born in Japan. The exact same thought came up to me again.

In Egypt, there is no concept such as “normal price.” If you walk around the city, you will see no price table. If you take a taxi, you see no price meter. So you have to ask and negotiate each time you want to buy. If the consumer is Egyptian, they offer a cheap price. If the consumer is a tourist, they offer an expensive price. If the consumer is a Japanese tourist,they offer a super expensive price.

The price is not fixed! So markets here are generally not fair, in sense of  Prof. Yano. But I start to think if this sense of fairness really fair. Egyptian people think that it is natural that rich foreigners pay a lot and the poor Egyptian pay less. This is their sense of fairness. Maybe, we should not use the concept of Yano-fairness to analyze the markets in developing counties, like Egypt.

By the way, we are staying at this place.

http://gotouregypt.com/canadian_hostel_egypt_cairo_accommodation_travel.htm

This youth hostel is great. They helped us organize the whole trip in Egypt. The staffs are really kind. And by the way, you can see some information about our journey at the following URL

http://www.hostelworld.com/myaccount/index.php?MemberID=5157897