“Hire some bloke from Spain or Greece or any other bankrupt country in Europe, give him a chef’s hat and customers will be falling over themselves to pay double for the food as this is simply how Hong Kong is and has always been: If it’s white, it must be alright.”

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This was the uncomfortable and inconvenient truth being told to me by a group of restaurateurs- all, non white, of course- about Hong Kong and how, despite the mask of being “International” and “pro-Chinese”- it has never ever been pro-Asian or pro-Middle Eastern or pro-African- this city is, simply put, bedazzled by bullshit from a white face- and, if in music, a black face ‘cos “every black person can play basketball, dance, run and, of course, sing.”

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These are prejudices that have existed in Hong Kong along with “Chinese and dogs not allowed” signs during the colonial days to what is meant to be a more enlightened generation.

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Many are far from being “enlightened” as many in this “enlightened generation” still rely on financial handouts from mummy and daddy from that “unenlightened generation” which is why there is a laundry list of hairstylists, restaurateurs, advertising executives, music company executives, expat musicians with made-up CVs- all very average- but who have parlayed their wares to a Hong Kong that gets as weak in the knees as a Kardashian does in front of a black basketball story when it comes to the white color and a good yarn.

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It’s not the fault of these people: They see an opportunity, there’s nothing happening for them back wherever home is, and so they do cartwheels to “seize the day” and milk it dry.

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To be fair, these prejudices happen throughout Asia as few Asians actually like other Asians and which was the reason MTV Asia did not work trying to be everything to all of Asia and why, today, the channel plods along with three different beams, one for the Philippines/Singapore/Indonesia/Malaysia, one for Greater China and another for, I guess China.

Who watches MTV these days, anyway? Who, today, “wants my MTV”? That ended with Dire Straits and Money For Nothing.

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Meanwhile, look at the fat cat privileged expat lifestyles in Singapore, where so many businessmen suffer from acute yellow fever the moment they set foot in the Lion City and meet their first sarong party girl.

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What happens next is that the wife is numbed to enjoy her new, privileged social life with her credit card, membership to private clubs, the house, the pool, the chauffeur, the domestic helpers and keeping company with others from The Old Wives Club as payment for the husband living la vida loca for the first time in a city outside of where they’d come from in the North of England or the end of the Northern Line.

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In Hong Kong, the secret life of many high-profile expat businessmen takes place in Wanchai- or under their own roofs with the latest Filipina/Thai/Indonesian domestic helper who many eventually leave the wife for, marry and move to the Philippines or Bangkok and live a very different type of expat life.

What is even more sad- though nothing is sadder than living a lie and, eventually ending up at Alcoholics Anonymous and “sharing”- is seeing the mediocrity being hired by so many businesses.

Many of these hires are based on the color of someone’s skin and gift of the gab and then wondering why and how nothing is working out.

Either that, OR it’s being stupid enough to take in strays, feed them, support and build them up only for them to create their own networks, manufacture their own brands with any background story they care to make up, and leave for the next highest bidder or, more than likely, sweet-talk their way into having “angel investors” set them up for life in Hong Kong.

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Doing business in Hong Kong, we’ve seen it all, we know them all, we know the scam artists, we all know the shiftiness of every single executive involved in the M1NT ponzie scheme led by Alistair Paton plus all the air-kissers and ass lickers around who move from one sucker to the next after draining their piggy banks.

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Still, despite all the talk about these people, they have their Get Out Of Jail Free cards, new con men- and women- are welcomed in and the beat goes on.

Why? Because many in Hong Kong are groupies who know everything about everybody- but know nothing about anything- and with a neediness to “belong”, to buy friendships, and a weird sense of needing the “respect” of their peers by being, well, in a nutshell, the white man’s bitch.

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