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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Money is the root of modern problems

I've come to realize that my blog is more active when finals are near. Perhaps it's because I'm so insistent to put off studying that I'd find more things to do, hence, I have more things to blog about. And usually, posts like these come out to be a huge jumble of incoherent thoughts.

I got my first job at around 15, but that job was pretty much an administrative/office job at a relative's office, so I didn't have to worry about the resume, the ass-kissing, all that. I always got my salary on time, which - at that time - was like a bonus to me, because it was more money during my school holidays.

My next job was when I just graduated high school, and was waiting for my exam results to be released. Instead of enrolling in a course ahead of time, then risk having to go through all the paper work to change courses because of qualification complications, I found a job at a cafe/restaurant 5 minutes away from home. It was the job that really challenged my patience and tolerance, and it was the (only) job that provided me with the satisfaction that comes at the end of a day of long and tedious work; and the job that showed me that earning money isn't easy.

I'll continue to say that I'm still on a monthly allowance, with gas and toll fees paid for. So to say that I'm financially independent would be blatant lying. I've always had an extra allowance while I worked every job (except for my internship, where I survived on partial charity, meager savings, and a stop on cigarette purchases).

For all the work that was done, and the little earnings I got that went straight into the bank... well, let's say I think for ages before spending on anything, even food.

I went for dinner and coffee at Mont Kiara earlier, and for those who don't know, Mont Kiara could be considered one of the places where the rich people hang out, because ... it's the place where many expatriates live, and all the expensive condos that are bigger than my own double-storey are pretty much there.

After coffee at LewisGene (I'd only commend the ambiance - too expensive for mediocre coffee), we headed back to the parking lot, not forgetting a trip to the loo. Within the tiny, dark-tiled room that they call a washroom, I encountered a group of four girls - dolled up for the night, and by the looks of it, are rich enough to afford regular visits to beauty salons.

Now, I see these girls often enough on campus, and they don't bother me. I was in my tattered denim shorts and a tee, with my hair pulled back into a high ponytail. My fringe isn't long enough, so after a while, hairs will start falling to my face. In other words, I looked like a mess.

When I was done with my business and proceeded to the sink, I felt four pairs of eyes scrutinize me, and I felt sneers and scoffs. I was so self-conscious because I suddenly realized that I didn't fit into this part of society. As much as I want to be rich and recognized, my casual attitude toward dressing up didn't fit.

Well, I'd dare say that all girls want to be pretty - who in the world doesn't want to look their best? Sure, I'd love regular visits to nail parlors, spas, hair salons, and pretty boutiques. I'd love to spend my weekends throwing my money away on food that has been jacked-up 500%. I'd want my appearance to be perfect, and all my photos and check-ins to be at the hip places in town.

But I know how hard it is to earn money. I know how much hard work, frustration, and putting up with bullshit goes into that little bit of money that isn't even enough to pay for daily meals, let alone luxuries. Sure, I could just stick my palm at my mother and ask for money to pay for something that I don't need, but that is just wrong.

A lot of us are too pampered now - we get basically everything we want, because our parents grew up with almost nothing because their parents couldn't afford it, and now they want to give us the life that they never had.

At the drop of a hat, cash is handed over, then spent within seconds, on things that end up vanishing as quickly as it was bought. Few youngsters now are exposed to actually having to work for their money, and thus, the perception on the value of money has vanished.

While I spent most of my childhood and adolescence going through several hand-me-downs, and DIY-ing practically everything; a lot of other girls and guys had brand new items on request. Sure, I'd want that Michael Kors bag as much as you do, but I have a fake Longchamp that works well enough for me.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that too many people are so spoiled that money means nothing to them - it grows on trees for them. I'd have to argue with myself for a week to decide on whether I should get some Starbucks, or heck, even Chatime, but others can pay for a cup of MYR30 coffee just to check-in at the location.

I'm slowly losing faith in humanity...

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