Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The Good Life

Let's face it for generations ethnic Chinese - even those who have immigrated - have always been stereotyped as slick cutthroat businessmen who would sooner sell their aging mother to make a fast buck. With the Chinese diaspora frequently dubbed the Jews of Asia, there is a notion that the Chinese tend to gravitate towards trading and finance. Though I'm sure there are exceptions, it is hard to blame the rest of the world for holding to such a skewed, prejudiced opinion of the much maligned race.

Even I have inadvertently added to this erroneous perception by betraying my mercantile roots with a careless comment.

Nurse : The female attendant upstairs sells the boiled eggs for only fifty cents.
Paul : We should sell ours for forty-five cents each to undercut her and steal her regular customers.
Nurse : Good grief!
Paul : And offer little complimentary packets of soy sauce and pepper!
Nurse : OMG You're so Chinese!

So perhaps it's a bit hard to deny that Chinese brains are uniquely wired for business.

How about a noodle shop?

Although there are a few exceptions like I said. My cousin in Bangkok to name one. The slick snake-oil salesman I once mentioned. Desperate to taste the good life yet not desperate enough to work hard at it. Hence the many, many... many failed business enterprises.

Always in search of the next get-rich-quick scheme, this time around Snake has decided to invest in a noodle shack.

Snake : Yes, a noodle shack.
Paul : But you can't cook!
Snake : I just learnt to cook six months back.
Paul : And you're now a master chef?
Snake : This is my dream! To open a chain of noodle shacks!
Paul : Didn't you dream of trading cellphones a year back?
Snake : Ah, but that was last year!
Paul : The airport taxi scheme before that?
Snake : All terribly unworthy of my new dream!

All in search of the good life. Fortunately he hasn't dared hit me up to provide seed money for one of his hare-brained experiments.

Short of peddling from a wildly arrayed tuk tuk to attract tourists ( nothing like cute gimmicks! ), I doubt this dubious venture is going to succeed. I foresee some minor stumbling block that would force the vacillating Snake to throw his hands up in frustration and surrender.

Obviously not all Chinese are meant for the trade.


Tempus said...

haha then why do you see so many chinese got chased down by loan sharks and multiple parang slashes at their back?

Mark said...


"You are so Chinese"! I love it.

You are very funny too :D

Life for Beginners | Kenny Mah said...

Eeks. I must be terribly disloyal to my Chinese roots then. Haven't even thought of a get-rich-scheme yet... Fail lah me! :P

savante said...

Hence the unlucky exceptions I mentioned, tempus :P

I know! So very chinese, mark!

But I'm sure you've calculated down to the very cent how much something costs at the mall, kenny!