By Hans Ebert

THE DARK SIDE OF HONG KONG NIGHT LIFE 1

Simply Red once sang that “Money’s Too Tight To Mention”, and which can be the new theme song for anyone in Hong Kong playing with the fairies and thinking that a Daddy Warbucks or angel investor will come to their rescue by opening their cheque books and asking, “How much? Three million? Don’t be silly that’s chump change. Here, take twenty million.” It doesn’t work that way anymore.

Angel investors had their wings clipped some years ago and quietly disappeared into Sleepy Hollow where they’re walking down the boulevard of broken dreams wondering where it all went so horribly wrong. There might be some Good Samaritans offering to dig people out of self-made holes where greed got the better of them, but beware of strangers bearing gifts as nine times out of ten, they’re hucksters and charlatans from the sub-Continent or places like Gambia and South Africa- and more recently, France and Eastern Europe- talking about investing in gold and other bizarre schemes and dreams that have all the pitfalls of online dating. The Mainland Chinese hucksters stick to what they know best: Money laundering with Eastern European money launderers very quickly building up their own portfolio of clients in Hong Kong.

THE KARMA AFFECTING HONG KONG 1

It’s chaos and confusion out there and nothing and no one is who and what they seem. It’s like the current US Presidential Elections. Neither candidate is who they pretend to be, and this supposed super power refuses to even acknowledge that it has a civil war on its hands. Listening to a thug like the imbecilic Trump only fans the fires of hate with brother killing brother and no signs of gun laws changing. #Hate is trending.

THE KARMA AFFECTING HONG KONG 2

THE KARMA AFFECTING HONG KONG 3

At least in Hong Kong, we fight with umbrellas and the occasional banana, or use one’s boobs as a weapon, but the silent enemy is allowing in the shysters. Cold calls by scammers have become rampant. Those who pay millions for these bogeymen to go away have not been duped. They are oldsters who have been targeted because they have family secrets- and are happy to pay to keep these under lock and key.

THE KARMA AFFECTING HONG KONG 4

This is one of Hong Kong’s major problems: It’s preoccupation and obsession with money- and discussing money ad nauseum and gloating when businesses go under. It’s a tasteless mix of rampant jealousy and gaining some perverse sense of satisfaction in seeing someone else’s business go down the tubes and not yours. That’s bad karma. Of course, there are those who deserve to be brought down as everyone knows how they made their money. So when karma- and the lies- finally catches up with them, it’s cause for celebration. It’s about those who have been getting away with The Sting finally being stung.

THE KARMA AFFECTING HONG KONG 5

It’s like the very recent case of a high-flying restaurateur who’s made more comebacks than Jason Bourne. The problem with comebacks is that unlike a cat, there’s a quota on these. His story comes back to where this started: Money’s too tight to mention and no one is as cavalier as they once were with their money. Many who as recently as five years ago were singing, “Hey, Big Spender” while walking down Wyndham Street and ordering the most expensive wines and chomping on Cuban cigars, have gone into hiding. Why? They’re broke. Completely.

THE KARMA AFFECTING HONG KONG 6

Most of Hong Kong is broke, maybe even spirituality, but especially when it comes to the F&B industry. Old money and rich daddies are keeping a small handful of restaurant groups alive, but the rest? The rest are struggling to even stay open thrice a week. It’s dead out there. Walked past Wanchai recently? Business is so bad even the hookers have disappeared. Apart from some losers who have problems communicating with women of substance, the whole area is Le Rue Morgue. Sure, money laundering keeps some “popular” clubs going, but, overall, it’s all one big con.

THE KARMA AFFECTING HONG KONG 7

It’s like the aforementioned restaurateur who’s just seen his latest investor get smart before things got totally out of hand and slammed the door in his face. And about time, too. This was someone who had built up a larger-than-life persona through relentless self-promotion going for his third swing at bat and striking out. His demise- and he’s now history because Hong Kong- and the world, for that matter- isn’t as forgiving as it once was.

THE KARMA AFFECTING HONG KONG 8

This city has been taken for a ride for many decades by too many speaking with forked tongues. Today, it’s every man, woman and dog for themselves. Nothing is real and there’s everything to get hung up about because of the Nowhere People Hong Kong has let in. And unlike Trump’s wall, there’s an invisible wall, where bullshit and fools are no longer suffered gladly.

THE KARMA AFFECTING HONG KONG 9

The fact that money’s too tight to mention might be the best thing to happen to this city. It might lead to those with real talent and doing things for all the right reasons succeeding and building a new creative community that will have a positive impact on every industry and fabric of life in Hong Kong.

THE KARMA AFFECTING HONG KONG 10

To get back to the top, there’s a need for everything to bottom out and where one leaves the strays behind and focuses on only what matters. It’s all about priorities.

THE KARMA AFFECTING HONG KONG 11c

Somewhere along the way, Hong Kong lost its way and let in those who hitched onto the coat tails of others for a free ride with nothing to offer. And now, it’s time to call time on them and all those free lunches and tedious sob stories. Boo hoo, indeed. It’s time for them to take their negativity and cunning and just get the hell outta here. The free rides and free lunches are over. Instant karma has got them.