Tuesday, March 01, 2005

I. hate. money.

Here's reason #45668

apparently a friend thinks that I don't expect money back because I think he's poor.

Good God. Said that way, it almost sounds like a sin.

I don't expect money back because I never do. If I give someone something, it's a gift. Who the hell expects gifts back?

I do this across the board. Everyone who knows me knows this. If they ask, I usually tell them that one day, I'll need their help and then they can do me a favour for whatever I've done for them.

To presume I'm looking down on them, the very notion of friendship is shattered. Friendship is among equals. I'd take mentorship if I wanted to look down my nose and tell people what to do.

I know he's not poor. He's studying in Australia for one thing. That's enough said. His dad works in Dubai. Non-taxable income? Hello!

He works for his own money, just like I do. I make the money, I spend my money and I save what I can.

He also happens to be out of a job right now. And he's complaining he's broke.

I know when he says that he's not exactly stressing about next month's rent. Fair enough. I'd say the same thing if I was out of a job and I was using my parent's money. There's a sense of responsibility that you don't want to use their money as much as possible. Especially when you are in the capacity to earn.

But when you say that, then catch a taxi back home from the supermarket, or decide on an expensive lifestyle change, isn't that at odds?

If you were a self-proclaimed refuse-to-work kid, and you did that, I'd be like, ok.

I guess to me, it's all about being consistent.

I'll admit to several wrongs here.

I gave him crap about his lifestyle change because I am morally opposed to the products. I believe the same ends can be achieved through much cheaper and simpler methods.

That was bad of me.

And he took the words I said wrongly. Which led to this whole debacle.

But to say that I think he is poor makes me sound like some bourgeois, uppity nincompoop spoilt princess who hasn't touched a chopping board or used a washing machine in her life. It also makes me sound snotty, and elitist.

An oxymoron considering my previous lives. Before university. Before Australia. Before Singapore.

Each and every one of those previous manifestations held something that keeps me grounded.

I don't even pity the destitute often anymore. I admire their tenacity instead. After Cambodia, after listening to all their stories. After listening to stories of war, genocide and hatred from Sudan, Malawi, Palestine, Israel, South Africa.

I weep not for pity of these people. I weep for the fact that man can actually do such atrocities to any other living thing. I weep at their strength, that despite hobbling around on crutches, toothless, legless, skeletal figures, they are still alive after all these years. I weep that the children obviously so bright are wasting their time feting tourists instead of going to school, helping to rebuild their country. I weep for their loss that they will never know. I weep that $5 U.S dollar can feed a family of four for a week. That we spend so much more than that on a single coffee. I weep at how selfish I am, when I see these people. I weep that the government spends more of its expenditure in expanding the tourism industry than feeding its people because in the long term, it will make the country richer, and that it has to resort to such means to make ends meet....eventually. I weep that we as rich countries sit round and have to wait till a tsunami hits before we even think to decide to wipe out debt from countries that will never ever be able to repay it.

I do not weep in pity.

I got so angry for those few minutes when he accused me that I felt tears welling up in my eyes. I don't give a shit about the car you drive or if you walk 30 miles to school. I don't give a flying fuck where the hell you come from. I don't care whether you came from some shitty backwater Changkat Changi (or shock horror, the rest of Southeast Asia) high school or some private school that charges $30 000 a year just on tuition fees. I don't even frigging care if you're 3ft tall.

But obviously I was underestimated for a shallow bitch. The bitch bit I don't mind. It's the shallow bit I do. From a friend, perhaps that's one of the things I do care about.


Anonymous said...

*big big big hug*

sway said...

I swear, I've never been called materialistic in my life. Even my parents have never accused me of that!

You won't believe how pissed I was. Few things piss me off. Telling me I'm enamoured with money when I've spent my entire life coming to grips with how unfair it is is a huge big fat slap in the face.

Anonymous said...

baby? this has nothing to do with your post. but guess what?... it's over.

sway said...