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They were just showing off their wealth!

Monday, July 1, 2013

I was out the whole Sunday. I left home at 9am to meet a friend for breakfast. Then, I went to the gym before meeting another friend for lunch. After that, I went shopping before taking a break at UOB, reading all the periodicals I bought the night before.

In the evening, I went to Vivo City where I had dinner at the food court before doing a bit more shopping. I hardly do any shopping usually but I was looking for some things. Well, I found the stuff I was looking for in MUJI and Franc Franc. Yup, they were household items.

It is good to spend a whole day outside once in a while because I spend too much time cooped up at home. My Taiwanese friends call me a 宅男 which is not a compliment as I discovered. Anyway, being me, I couldn't help observing people and overhearing the kind of things they said.

While walking past the front of Hilton Hotel, a youngish couple drove into the driveway and parked their car alongside the Jaguars, Mercedes Benzs and BMWs. They were driving a bright red Ferrari with three exhaust pipes. Very impressive looking.

A little boy and his dad saw this too and as they walked past me, I heard the boy saying something about the car being nice. The dad told the boy, "They are just showing off."

Although I think that a Ferrari is not a very practical car for Singapore's roads, there are people who have lots of money and which car they drive is a matter of personal choice. I don't think it was appropriate for the dad to say what he said to the boy. In fact, it sounded a bit sour to me.

Perhaps, he could have responded by saying that it was indeed a nice car but it wasn't very practical to have cars like that in Singapore. He could go on to explain why. 

Would not such a response be more educational?

Related post:
Change to become richer: need or want?


sgdigital said...

An interesting observation from you :)... so I'll post this comment but please don't take it too seriously. Once a friend told me this is very "typical Singaporean"... we get "red eye" when we see people who are richer than us and hence tend to be sour / jealous. Same friend told me in HK, a similar situation you observed, ppl there will wonder how this guy made his millions and we admire and strive to do the same. And in China, they will be thinking how to get connected to the Ferrari driver to get his cash..haha

Unknown said...


AK71 said...

Hi sgdigital,

Well, there is a bit of stereotyping in what you have said, of course. ;p

AK71 said...

Hi Matthew,

A fellow insomniac? ;)

Patty said...

Glass ceilings erected earlier...

Cory said...

I know AK can afford ;)
But ... i am red eye.

AK71 said...

Hi Patty,

If I understand you correctly, I agree that our attitudes will determine how far we can go in life, everything else remaining equal.

Some of us consciously limit how far we want to go for our own reasons (e.g. to have time for spiritual development). There will be opportunity costs, for sure.

Those who unconsciously limit their own development (i.e. due to ignorance) will be sour and, eventually, bitter. :(

AK71 said...

Hi Cory,

There is no way I can afford a $1m car. However, I am not red eyed either.

I could make a lot more money but I would have to work a lot harder.
I am a lazy guy.

People who have the brains and the drive to make more money deserve their big toys, don't they?

coconut said...

if i'm the father, i'll say this,

"son, that fricking showing off! but again, who's not? and why you think i bring you to shopping, spending my hard earned money? hope one day you can show me a even nicer one!"

la papillion said...

Hi AK,

The hardest part is to look at the world and see all the riches yet not covet after them because you know what you want and what you don't.


Different things bring people happiness. Maybe a flashy car works for them, but a bowl of oatmeal works for you :)

AK71 said...

Hi coconut,

This reminds me of my childhood when my grandmother and my mother would both ask me how much of my salary would I give them when I grew up. Stress!!!

AK71 said...

Hi LP,

Oh, incidentally, I am having my oatmeal now. Today, it is mixed with barley and winter melon strips. Om Amitabha. ;)

coconut said...

i think thats about everyone face the same question!

but i never ask that question to my kids, they already stress out and going to face an uncertain future. both my kids are in arts and music, you know what happen to artist when they under stress? they can't perform! (same for traders too)

AK71 said...

Hi coconut,

I don't know since I don't have a child of my own... I think. ;p

So, trader = artist. Hmmm...

coconut said...

no no no, a trader must be an artist but an artist may not be a trader!?

my defination of artist means a person whos job is to create, can be a scientist or sportman.

INVS 2.0 said...

A ferrari with 3 pipes is a Ferrari Italia F458. The photo you posted is a Ferrari California, costs only $750k, the cheapest model in the line-up. :)

But ppl driving this kind of cars is indeed showing off, nothing else. Somehow ppl perceive showing off as a negative externality because it creates sour feelings on others. :D

But I would get a BMW M3 and change the pipes into something louder so that I can have 4 doors and 5-seater car but able to match Ferrari's speed and loudness, and at a cheaper price (M3 is only $500k)! :P

hyom said...

Actually, there is really nothing to envy or feel jealous about. On the other hand, I felt a sense of pity. The Ferrari owner could have used the money to buy something that yields an income. Instead, he spent the money on an expensive liability because the Ferrari has high maintenance cost (road tax, insurance, petrol, interest payment etc). A cheaper car could have done the same job of taking a person from point A to point B.

If my son were around, I will advise him to spend his money wisely. This is not a good model to follow.

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

Only $750K? Wow! We are definitely not in the same league. :(

Anyway, Ferraris all have the same look to me. I can't tell them apart. What look? The expensive look. ;p

As for loud cars, I cannot stand them! Where I used to stay, there was this neighbour who would come home past midnight and his Lambo was so noisy!

Why do people want noisy cars anyway? It's noise pollution.

AK71 said...

Hi hyom hyom,

Oh, I agree. However, perhaps this guy and his female partner are rolling in a few million dollars a year in income. Then, buying a Ferrari to them is like buying a Mazda2 to me.

It is still mind boggling for me to imagine anyone with that kind of money. Well, I am a frog in a well. :(

INVS 2.0 said...

To car lovers, the lambo's V10 engine is a beautiful sound note and no other cars can attain or copy. :)

Just do a read on wikipedia and you will know ferrari models don't look the same. There are many design clues that distinguish the higher and lower end models.

INVS 2.0 said...

Watch this F458 in SG, someone recorded a video in the cockpit. :)

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

You are definitely a car enthusiast. Hahaha...

The questions I ask before I buy a car are quite different from yours, I would imagine. I definitely do not think of engine noise as music. ;p

INVS 2.0 said...

Sort of... but no money to buy a car, and so I turned to bicycles for commuting. Much less headache on costs of ownership since I only need to replace the chain and tyres every 5k for less than $100. Hehe.

INVS 2.0 said...

When buying a car, I will ask the price first, then look at the engine, transmission, size, fuel consumption, design, etc.

So far, korean cars and some cheaper europeans like Renault top my list. :)

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

Cost of maintaining a bicycle at the workshop is about $100 every 5,000 km? Really? I didn't know this. This is similar to an average Japanese car's maintenance cost at the workshop in the first 10,000 km of its life.

Korean cars? It seems that you are very practical when it comes to cars after all. haha.. ;)

SnOOpy168 said...

if it is performance that is needed, it will be more sensible to get a 170+ hp Suzuki Hayabusa GSX1300R (motorcycle) and a top speed of almost 300kmh. If anything pops, neither driver will survive too.

AK71 said...

Hi SnOOpy168,

Hayabusa! I like the sound of it. Sounds really gung-ho!

Haya! Sounds like we are shouting out a challenge to an opponent. ;)

INVS 2.0 said...

I am using racing tyres that cost $80 per pair and another $20 to replace the chain. The tyres are factory tested to last until 10000km but I prefer to change it at 5000km given that our roads and park connectors are not that smooth. :)

Yes, $100, but consider this: How fast do I reach 5000km as compared with a car? I only clock about 100km per month. A 5000km may take a few years to arrive! In other words, it is practically cost-free in the short to medium term. :) :)

INVS 2.0 said...

Hayabusa's sound? I thought that is noise pollution too? :P

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

Aiyah, I was referring to the sound of the name, Hayabusa. -.-"


AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

Actually, since my bicycle only costs me $119.00, after 5,000 km, assuming that I do hit 5,000 km, it makes more sense for me to throw it away and buy a new bicycle. ;p

INVS 2.0 said...

My bicycle is $1k. It is a racing bicycle but I used it for recreational purposes. :)

But I figured out 7000km to breakeven?

AK71 said...

Hi INVS 2.0,

So, I need to cycle 700km to break even? I don't think I will even come close. Haha... ;)

Wealth Journey said...

I would tell my kid "Nice right? Can you make more money next time so you can buy one for daddy! Thanks! :)"


Wealth Journey said...

I'll tell my kid
"Nice car right? It costs alot, so study hard and be a govt scholar and earn lotsa money! Then you can buy your daddy one! :) "

AK71 said...

Hi WJ,

Wah! Long time no see! Good of you to drop in. :)

You are so rich already. No need to give the little guy so much stress lah. ;p

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