Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The miserable rich

There is a subtype of American idiot according to the NY Times. The Silicon Valley geek who has become a millionaire but, poor thing, he is toiling harder than ever and feeling poor. These guys and girls look at the other guy's Ferrari or Cessna private plane and they feel trapped, they feel they don't have enough. They feel impoverished.
If I didn't want to wring their necks on the spot, I'd feel really sorry for them.
They spend a million dollars buying a home that they gut out and spend another million dollars rebuilding from scratch because they want their "dream home". This "dream home" concept has always given me a rash. People spend money they don't have to pursue a useless dream of a humongous home that looks just like all the other homes and whose furniture and trash will survive way after the owners have bitten the dust and turned into fine dust themselves.
But luckily for us, hell is a place of our own devising, so I really couldn't be happier for them. They have worked so hard and been lucky enough to cash out so much and they can't enjoy it.
I guess you can't teach an American to stop and smell the roses. It's just not in their system.
Where I come from, in the land of the Enchilada, it is exactly the opposite. Here time is money.
There, time is far more valuable than money.
Now, don't get me wrong. For those of us who have had to deal with the surreal and byzantine everyday workings of not so developed countries, where time is actually an abstract, fluid, wholly subjective entity entirely dependent on the mind and mood of the beholder, the American standard of punctuality, professionalism and efficiency is something short of a miracle. What boggles the mind is the inability to enjoy the flip side. There is something to be said about Latin countries, for all their backwardness in certain aspects, they certainly know how to enjoy life.

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