Friday, December 17, 2010

Blissfully miserable

We Hong Kong people like to think we are rich.  We do have one of the highest GDPs.  We have the highest concentration of luxury cars.  We drink a lot of red wine, even though most of us cannot tell whether the wine we drink is any good.  We certainly have some of the most expensive apartments, and some of the richest people in the world.   But we do not realize that the obscenely rich are skewing the statistics.  When those outliers are taken out of the picture, we are much less well-off, even on paper.  

We do not seem to be aware that Americans live in 2000+ square feet houses with front and back yards while we live in puny little apartments.  Even mainlanders find our apartments small.  We have to measure our tiny apartments in terms of “construction area” to make them sound bigger.  Even our Filipino maids have houses back home that are larger than ours here.

Europeans work 30+ hours a week while we work 50+ and even 60+ hours.  Europeans take month-long vacations each year while we have perhaps 10 days.  We have more money, on paper, than people in many other places.  Yet we have no time to enjoy spending that money.  We take pride in being able to flying away to Thailand for the weekend.   As if spending half of the time travelling back and forth is enjoyable. 

While people elsewhere enjoy green trees and open spaces in their parks, we languish in karaokes and ice-cold, sterile shopping malls.  Or rub shoulders with smelly people in Mongkok. 

Canadians never have to worry about their food. While we have to be constantly on alert for fake eggs and soya source, poisoned vegetables, and bad meat from China.  But cannot afford to buy safer American or Australian beef.

We are miserable, yet we do not even realize it.  How pathetic we are. 

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