Out trying to shop

When I was a kid, financial institutions gave children free plastic piggy banks. The idea was to nurture the all-important habit of saving – thus steering us little ones onto the path to economic security and happiness in adulthood. It worked. Perhaps it worked too well. Somewhere along the way, they changed their mind.

For years (until they apparently slunk away in a silent huff) HSBC sales staff badgered me to upgrade my credit card to a special Exciting Exclusive Plutonium version that comes with an incomprehensible points system, free espresso machines and Privileges. I regularly receive letters urging and almost begging me to borrow money that my Personal Relationship Manager can see from my account I have no use for. But the global economy is now teetering on the brink of recession, and humanity’s only hope is for selfish people like me to play my part and buy crap that I do not need. They have actually set me a monthly spending target…


While I am trying to work out how to obey this directive – Tesco Midget Gems on special offer at Vanguard sound tempting – here’s the story of Edward Snowden crashing out with nonplussed refugees in Hong Kong slums during the 12 days he went into hiding in 2013.


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16 Responses to Out trying to shop

  1. The big story about Edward Snowden was how he showed up the SCMP. The biggest story in the world and they could not locate him. When they did, he didn’t want to speak to them. Obviously he had read NTSCMP. We in Hong Kong were reliant on updates and quotes from the Guardian.

    I think there should be at least one folding bike available in he SCMP lobby. And a guide dog of course. SCMP couldn’t scoop ice cream in a Dryers factory.

  2. Walter De Havilland says:

    I see convicted con man Cosmo Beatson gets a mention in the Snowden article. The integrity of the reporting is somewhat compromised by his presence.

  3. Your Personal Spending Associate says:

    It’s okay Hem-person. Just allocate the money to my account, I will gladly help alleviate you of this headache. Plowing through 7100 HKD in a place like Hong Kong is sadly child’s play. Rest assured, we can meet any spending target HSBC sets for you.

    Shoot us a mail anytime.


  4. Joe Blow says:

    I also noticed the Cosmo Beatson bit. Cosmo sez that the HK Government hates refugees. Cosmo loves refugees: as head of something called Vision First he has made a comfortable living for himself off the back of the ‘refugee problem’. He has come a long way since he modeled in TV commercials for HK Land and such.

    @Walter: can you elaborate on the ‘convicted con man’ part ?

  5. Pierce Lam says:

    Great!! No Democrazy story analysis today!! Just accept the status quo and we’ll ALL be harmonious…

  6. LRE says:

    And Hemlock doesn’t even have to suffer the bombardment of calls from banks offering to lend money that cantonese speakers are subjected to. There’s a special sick desperation to their siren song. I wonder when the pay day loan will kick off out here?

    @Joe Blow
    Page 10 should tell you what you need to know.

  7. nathanlaw says:

    @Today’s NTSCMP link name:

    Snowden gave an interview to the SCMP, they spoke with him in the hotel while he was holed up here (before he went hiding with refugees), one of the only newspapers apart from the Guardian to speak with him at the time.

    I don’t know how you missed that, they boast about it constantly.

  8. Knownot says:

    How to spend money in HK

    I remember seeing an advertisement in England, before I came here. A good-looking young couple walked out of a bank together, and she affectionately put her arm through his. Together with the bank, they had a future of love, confidence, financial security, and success.

    Soon after coming here, I saw that scene in real life. They were just as young and good-looking, and she put her arm through his. They were coming out of a Jockey Club betting centre.

  9. Nathanlaw alias SCMP

    Your interview came two weeks after the story broke and only when a large cash payment had been made to the struggling Guardian. You were completely confused, out of touch and derivative during the presence of Snowdrn just down the road.

    The biggest journalistic failure imaginable.

  10. Joe Blow says:

    Read Page 10. Wow. So, in a nutshell, Cosmo Beatson, executive director of Vision First, used to be a second-hand car dealer (always a good sign) who was also convicted of fraud.

    Strangely enough, there is no mention of that in his bio on the Vision First website.

    By the way, do not confuse this outfit with World Vision, which is a well-established and bona fide charity.

  11. Wayne Fontana says:

    Today I saw a Mercedes-Benz driving in CWB with the license plate GAMBINO.

    Gambino is 1 of the 5 crime families who make up the organized crime syndicate (mafia) of NYC.

  12. Knownot says:

    I add some lines to those I posted on July 8th.

    “A publisher has disappeared.”
    (Now he says he volunteered.)
    When I heard the news
    One winter night
    I thought
    It can’t get worse
    It’s all right.

    “An investigator has been removed
    Because Beijing has not approved.”
    When I heard the news
    One summer day
    I thought
    It won’t get worse than this

    Meeting in a nice hotel,
    Threatened plainly to his face,
    An ordinary fellow, scared as hell.
    “I’m withdrawing from the race.”
    When I heard of it
    From Mr Chow
    I thought
    We’re in the pit
    Much deeper now.

  13. Walter De Havilland says:

    @Joe Blow. Here are the details.


  14. Walter De Havilland says:

    In fact just noticed someone has posted the details of Cosmo’s background. He’s a slippery fish, who is now trying his best to garner public money for his so-called charity. Treat with extreme caution.

  15. Boredcaster says:

    In fairness to Cosmo, the judge did have this to say in his summing up:
    “Essentially, … you are honest brokers, respected in business … You are each of clear record and have never been in this type of trouble before and I am sure that you will never be in this position again…”

  16. Old Bailey says:

    More legal humble pie from the Cosmo vault.
    Refugee groups reach out-of-court deal to settle defamation case

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