Perhaps we’re trying to get back to normality after too many years living second lives on places like Facebook and looking for fame in all the wrong places.

It’s a bit like being Rip Van Winkle and finally waking up from The Big Sleep and smelling the dim sum as opposed to the then some.

Whatever it is, there’s a need for reality checks these days while looking out for number one and avoiding taking in more strays who end up taking you for a ride where the wheels are in motion and it’s too late to jump off. This is when life becomes unbearable and you’re singing, Stop the world, I want to get off.

Especially in Hong Kong, there suddenly seems the realisation that one’s comfort zones are not only habit forming, but how stepping out of them and exercising the senses is a necessity. It’s breaking with tradition. It’s walking away from toxic relationships. And avoiding new levels of toxicity through mental reflexology. It’s about being smart enough not to be screwed.

Speaking with a friend the other day who had recently returned after a few weeks away in a retreat to help turn off his mind and float downstream and know he was not dying, he talked about his new lifestyle, but more about his new mindset- the need not to be impressed by smoke and mirrors and Ferraris and not to be so giving of one’s time thinking strangers are friends- a leftover from those social media days.

Owning a restaurant, he was telling me just how careful people are these days in Hong Kong about spending money and how much “research and homework” go into them deciding where to eat, and, more and more, how customers are demanding to be Oliver Twisted. They want more and more for less and less.

It made me think of my own lifestyle and just how much time I spend in the different venues of a particular five star hotel in Wanchai despite knowing that everything is vastly over-priced, that most are paying to be seen and keep up pretences and how quality is not just on a downward slope, it’s down the toilet.

If only the gaggle of hookers who sit at the hotel’s over priced and pretentious bar hoping to catch a big fish for the night realise that sitting there are only tadpoles and they’ll be leaving empty handed.

As for myself, because of the convenience of living next door, and whenever needing time alone, it’s just convenient to get down to the bar and spend time without realising that time is money while typical hotel music fare warbles in the background for the ears of tourists scanning the bar area in pursuit of company for the night.

By then the bill has been paid and you’ve been sucker punched (again) for a few hours of getting away from it all, but too lazy to change from being a creature of habit to someone far more adventurous.

My various exes would point out to this often- travelling overseas but always happiest watching television in the room and never leaving the hotel. I lost a wife and then two girlfriends this way.

Hong Kong has changed. It’s sadly become yet another example of the Peter Principle where mediocrity and incompetence are promoted because perhaps those in Beijing know that this once city of dreams is living on borrowed time and that Hong Kong is part of the #TimesUp movement.

Forget five star hotels managed by third rate executives with egos massaged by nauseating shoeshine staff. It’s about Hong Kong having lost its way and its mojo in the process and being a shadow of its former self.

The best days are gone. Hong Kong is no more. It’s mojo has left the building with Elvis. All that’s left is a two star cheeseburger at a five-star price.

#HongKong #Overpriced #Timesup