Friday, April 30, 2010
Or you could just move to Alberta
Yes. It's clever, I suppose. But really, I just don't get why people insist on living in places like Hong Kong. Or Toronto, for that matter.
I realise in some cases (damn commies) lots of people aren't given a choice, and sometimes if you want certain things (like success in some kind of fancy-schmancy job like, ummm...something financial I guess) you have to go where those things are, like Toronto or New York, or Hong Kong. But in most cases in our industrialised western world, people have a lot of choices. They can decide what their priorities are. You can decide that you want to be a futures broker (or whatever they call it) and that limits your choices. If you decide that this kind of job is the only thing for you, that the climb up the wealth ladder is what life is all about, off you go and say Hi to the muggers and smog for me. Hope you enjoy your psychotherapy.
When I saw the pictures of those tenements in Hong Kong, something in my soul recoiled. It gives you a kind of strange nausea, and images of Terry Gilliamesque dystopias come to mind. People dehumanised, stacked up like crates of tins in a warehouse.
Maybe it's where I was raised, and when and by whom, but I've always thought it was very strange that people would buy an apartment. You don't buy apartments. You buy houses. You only live in an apartment if you can't afford a real place to live; a house.
I think I've remarked before that I suspect the people who are always banging on about reducing the surplus population, are people who live in cramped apartments in cities. Who jam themselves every day onto a bus, line up at Starbucks for a five dollar cup of coffee, who hang on a strap on the subway to get to their little offices.
I've found that I like people a lot better now that I don't have to get on a Toronto street car every day.