Dosh. Wedge. Coin. Bread. Bills. Bones. Greenbacks. Dead Presidents. Loot. Sawbucks. Scratch. Shekels. Loot. The folding stuff.
There are so many different terms for Money. I think we would all be richer without it. Cash is King here in Singapore and life is all about Money. It is the national religion and the collection and accumulation of it is worshipped. How much does that cost? How much do you earn? These are all opening gambits in everyday conversations. The Singaporean loves money and their worth is measured by it.
The pursuit of it here is relentless.
Now don’t get me wrong for I know that money is important. We all need it to get by. I like the sound of it jangling in my pocket and I like the feel of it. I always have some cash on me. Multiple currencies actually. I am looking in my worn leather wallet now and I have $100 or so in Singaporean currency, $75 in US notes, 1000 Nepalese Rupees and two Australian five dollar notes. I have a wad. I am a walking foreign exchange office.
Money does keep the wolves from the door. It puts a roof over my head and food on my table. Food and shelter - I like and need both. I certainly don’t work for free either but I am not obsessed by how much I earn or how much I spend. I guess that is easy to say because I don't really want for anything. I would probably be a bit more concerned and have a different perspective altogether if I didn't have any.
Or if I didn't earn any.
Money that is.
Money doesn’t buy happiness nor love though. I know this for a fact. I am acquaintances with many very wealthy people here in Singapore although I won’t claim them to be friends. They are often sad and are more often miserable. On the flip side some of the poorest people I know live in Nepal and these people are my friends – they are not just acquaintances. They have no money. Zip. Nilch. Nada. None at all. They are the happiest people I have ever met.
By a long shot in fact.
The whole money shemozzle is complicated further by the credit system. This is perpetuated and promoted by the Banks. I work for a Bank. I work for a very BIG one. I am a part of the machine, a money making machine. We banks make most of our money selling credit. We finance debt. We rake in billions.
Credit is a system whereby a person who can't pay gets another person who can't pay to guarantee that he can pay. Then he doesn't pay. He can't afford to and he never could - which is why he got credit in the first place. Then it all falls apart and we have a global financial crisis or two. Messy huh? Ridiculous.
I actually have enough money to last me the rest of my life. This is providing that I die tomorrow - or unless of course I buy something.
Then I am fucked.
There is a perception too that money can actually solve any problem - all problems - particularly here in Singapore. It obviously can't solve problems but it it can certainly create them. All money can really do is buy things or it can lease them. It can perhaps then free people up to pursue those things that can't actually be bought. Ironically these are more valuable things.
Does that make sense?
I don't know.
I should ask the Nepalese.
Money - it's a gas. It's a crime too apparently. So said Pink Floyd. I wouldn't argue with those boys. I wish you were here. I get the gas analogy because my money seems to evaporate. It disappears into thin air all the time. I am not so sure about the crime bit. I think it is only a crime if you steal it. Isn't it?
Abba sang "Money money money. Must be funny. in a rich man’s world."
Crazy fucker Swedes. I have no idea what they were trying to say.
I went to a barbecue hosted by a bunch of Swedes on Saturday night. They were a very strange group of blonde haired and blue eyed people with whom I couldn't really relate. They stood around the barbecue drinking schnapps and munching on meatballs and they were mostly talking about the joy of nudity. I ate their food, I told them that I thought that IKEA and Volvos were an abomination and then I left after only an hour. I left before they started to take their clothes off.
I think a rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.
It is very hot here again today in Singapore – in this land of plenty. Where money rules. It is always hot and steaming. I have been drinking a lot of water to keep myself hydrated so my bladder is full.
I must go now and spend a penny.