I've finally been granted a break from my 4-screened toils, for an entire blessed week. It might come as a shock to you that I will spend the whole week in Hong Kong. Why? Well, firstly I have punched quite a hole in my bank balance with my home-bound remittances, clothes, books, food and booze spending. Secondly, I find international travel on my passport so stressful and humiliating that it rather defeats the purpose. Lastly, my definition of de-stressing is sitting in a quiet cafe with a great book and a sickly sweet cuppa.
Besides acting like a retired old white man, I have also been wandering around the movie theatres and shopping malls of Hong Kong trying to burn some time. In the process, I have proved to myself a seemingly biased piece of ancient wisdom: "having a wife and kids is fucking expensive". I used to think that fathers made too much of a fuss about the ball and chain and her progeny. Until I saw IFC Mall on a Monday afternoon. As their men were being tossed about by the waves of incomprenhensible stagflationary markets worldwide and being drenched in red ink, women and children were taking safe refuge in this giant Ark of consumerism, full of designer clothing, sensual perfume and ever-tackier sunglasses. As the cash machines rang, I realised the inevitability of the "shirts sleeves to shirts sleeves" rule. It might take three or five generations, but as long as you give your woman a credit card, it WILL happen.
It occured to me: when men finally get their permanent vacation, would they be able to afford the same retail therapy? I hope that our wives atleast buy us a book and some skinny lattes.