Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

Asian Cognitive Elite

If Singapore is the darling of us Law and Order types, Hong Kong is the darling of libertarians. A hot and smelly piece of rock in the fringe of China, a poor fishing village whose wretched people weren’t allowed to step on the ground, thanks to the power of laissez-faire and low taxes become a cultural and economic powerhouse.

As different as Singapore and Hong Kong are, they both are an excellent example of the power of low taxes. They basically live off the money that people deposit there to avoid taxes elsewhere. So they need banks. Lots of banks. Not surprisingly banks in Hong Kong are pretty efficient. They also give you credit without asking many questions. Of course it helps that they have a healthy Triad ecosystem to collect outstanding debts when necessary.

Anyway, I sent an email to my bank in Hong Kong, for some minor matter. They replied very promptly, and solved the problem. Very nice. Then I saw the signature of the clerk who processed my question.

Best regards,
Chanel Lau.

Yes, that’s right. Her name was ‘Chanel’. Chinese people often take English names, which in many cases they choose themselves. This chick (I hope she is female) chose for her the name ‘Chanel’. Soon enough we’ll see little Pradas and Guccis. I predict in 2 years I’ll stumble upon Lacoste Fong. Or Dior Chen. Zara will be a prole name.


8 responses to “Asian Cognitive Elite

  1. John January 13, 2013 at 23:54

    We see this in the United States as well, abeit in a form that is less jarring. Jackson, which is commonly somebody’s last name, is often used as a first names by Asians. Or they pick names that no one has used for the last century or two, like Anson or Coco

    • spandrell January 14, 2013 at 07:46

      Yeah I want to punch Anson Chan too.

      I wonder if we’ll see that in Chinese eventually. How long until there’s a wave of 李香奈 and 张古驰? It’s the logical conclusion after all those 国华s and 建军s of the 60s.

  2. asdf January 15, 2013 at 05:22

    The scene in TED where Mark Wahlberg starts naming off white trash names is hilarious.

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