當許冠傑的歌可以形容你的生活,你已經老了- you know you’re old when Samuel Hui describes your life

When Sing and I started dating, we both were still studying, living comfortable life with our parents worrying about bills, food and other ‘grown-up stuff’. 
I knew one day it will all change and the responsibilities of being adults will be passed onto me. Or me and my future husband in this case.

At that time, I got into Cantopop, especially old Cantopop as well as the old Hong Kong movies. Sam Hui (whose name by the way in Polish means dicks. Yes. Sam Hui = Lone Dick. LITERALLY.) was and still is one of my favorite artists.
I love Hui [sic!] brothers movies, make me laugh all the time.

What doesn’t make me laugh is the fact that Sam’s song I used to listen a lot are now describing our reality.
In the past it was just some guy singing ironic songs of Hong Kong working society back in the 70’s and 80’s.
Now it’s 30-40 years later and not that much has changed, at least not for the audience.

What changed is the fact, that he is now singing out us. We became the working class, paying off mortgages and worrying to what school our future child will go.

I chose few songs we listed to on our way to work and I will show you, how it ties back to your life.
Who knows – maybe after reading this post you will realize you can relate to them too?
[translated by Sing]

  •  我哋呢班打工仔 一生一世為錢幣做奴隸
    Poor workers like us, spending whole life slave for money

Everyone at some point is slave of money. At this point we have two mortgages that tie us closer than the marriage certificate. We signed contracts selling our time and hard work for four walls, roof and floor, and it’s valid for next 25 years. And another one for Irish flat for 15 years.
All the money goes to the bank in hope that one day we have our own place.

  • 香港地為生計,乜野都受人限制,睇報紙多多制度條例,
    There are so many rules and restrictions in Hong Kong.
    加差餉電費水費 D’食送’乜愈來愈貴,恩愛夫妻都頂心頂肺。
    Property tax and utility bills keeps going up. Why the food is so expensive? Lovely couples can’t live well like that.

The food is not that pricey, unless you go for the Western food in Hong Kong, but now both Ireland and Hong Kong how awfully high prices when it comes to housing and related taxes. You keep paying tax for something you already own. Add stamp duty, management fees, that’s all super costly. But you have to eat, you have to have access to water.
Free is never free, it has to come from somewhere.

  • 喂!咪太過閉翳,訓醫院更貴(太貴),養班馬騮仔,有苦暗啞抵,
    Hey, don’t get too upset because hospital bill is even more costly. Don’t tell me how much effort to raise the kids.
    仲要交足書簿費,一張張賣身契(賣身契),枕住咁累你一世(做到甩肺),
    Don’t forget to pay for their books and stationary! Those endless commitments trapped you for the rest of your life.

We plan to move to Hong Kong and I wanted to deliver there, but it all costs money. In Ireland it’s technically free/low cost as we have it covered by the taxes we pay, but the healthcare is not really good.
And so it is – the dilemma where to give birth. What school to chose – private or public. Abroad or in Hong Kong. Kindergarten fee, field trip money, lunch money. School books, notes, transportation, clothing.
It’s not really ‘cost of another pair of chopsticks’ as Momzilla described me and Sing moving in together.

We’re THIS close to create a ‘business plan’ for the next few years. So far we have job possibilities, living place and maternity hospital chosen.
We should be OK-ish. I hope!

  • 成日要錢多(錢錢錢錢 錢錢錢錢)
    You always need
    乾水乜都喎 (錢錢錢錢 錢錢錢錢)
    Can’t do anything without money
    借錢最折墮(錢錢錢錢 錢錢錢錢)
    It sucks to borrow money
    趴低翳契哥(錢錢錢錢 錢錢錢錢)
    Need to get your knees down and beg

Can someone explain to me how a bank in which you have few million HKD mortgage (sounds awfully expensive, it’s not as bad as it seems!) can refuse you a credit card with only $5,000 HKD limit on it?
Our bank borrowed us so much money and was OK with our income, but adding that 5k on top was apparently too much.
It felt awful to beg for it for like 3 times. And got rejected every single time!

I could go on and on and on with this…

I know we don’t work in Hong Kong, but we work in a Taiwanese owned company. Most of our coworkers in the other branches are from Taiwan, Hong Kong or China. Our bosses are Taiwanese and they expect us to work up to that standard. So even thought some of you may say ‘You live in Ireland, you don’t know how it is to work for an Asian company’ we know the pain first hand!

Bit stingy, loving my charity work – FOC OT [free of charge over time]. 
Our Irish colleagues leave exactly on time, regardless if the work is finished or not – internally our colleagues in the US and China sometimes complain ‘How come they already left?’.

I don’t mind working hard, I like to do things in the best way I can or not do them at all. I hate mediocrity when it comes to myself. I always give 100% from myself. I know it’s seen as ‘stupid and naive’ here as I don’t even get paid for all the effort I put into my work, but I hope working in such environment in this company will benefit me in future, when we move to Hong Kong.

Life is tough if you don’t have money, regardless where you live. One day we all have to grow up, face grown up problems and responsibilities. It’s going to be annoying, sometimes difficult, but it’s part of growing up.
I wonder what songs I will relate to in 10-15 years…

Can you relate to any of the songs? If none of the ones I mentioned, what would be the song describing your life at the moment?
We would love to read your opinions!

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18 thoughts on “當許冠傑的歌可以形容你的生活,你已經老了- you know you’re old when Samuel Hui describes your life

      1. technically, but in real life the line is so long to see the doctor (I’m not talking about emergency situation) that most of the people still visit doctors privately. I could wait a month, or pay 50 EUR for the visit and go the same day. But yes – comparing to the US we have it good!

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  1. Re banks….. 3 years ago we bought a car. Prearranged with the bank to use my debit card. Worked perfectly. Drive to the car park to go to lunch and tried to use the card to pay £3.80 for parking. Rejected. Over your limit for the day. So it was ok to blow £30k on a car but not £3 on parking. Silly silly HSBC.

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  2. The bank grants you a mortgage based on what they think you can afford every month. So obviously monthly repayment + other expenses + a bit extra (varies with the bank). So of course if you ask for a credit card it implies you are not managing with the monthly expenses. Also it suggests your intention is to spent more than you have in the future, which is not a good habit to show to the mortgage lender.

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    1. I just need it for some transactions in HK that require local card… 😀 in the past we had CC debt, but that was when I moved to the US and Sing just started his job right after graduation. As of today we have no CC debt, we just use them for bigger expenses like airplane tickets or local purchases. Our favorite is Capital One – we still have it even though we moved 🙂

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  3. Enjoy not having social pressures to constantly work overtime. I realize one day you both will go back to HK and shouldn’t get out of that mode. Otherwise it will be a shock.

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    1. Well, to be honest we’re working for Taiwanese company in Ireland – it’s chilled only if you’re Irish and decide not to do ‘charity work’. Sing and I spend nearly 48h at work (instead of contracted 40) every week so OT is not our biggest worry 😀

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