Friday, December 08, 2006

洗錢 \ Wasting Money

好几年前,父母親移民來加拿大不久,一日和他們逛亍,父親行過一間商店,突然止步,指著門口的招牌,以奇異的眼光对我說:「我相信加拿大人都是喜欢洗錢的罷。」我想想,不是呀,加拿大人,通常都不会將錢財揮霍浪費,我的朋友中,有那個人的手袋,價値是可以養活非洲一村人一個月的伙食呢?,「老竇」呀,您這話從何說起?正想回答之際,卻再細看那招牌,不覺啞囗無言,父親一點也沒有看錯, 廣告是明顯的說:『COIN WASH』

Several years ago, shortly after my parents had immigrated to Canada, we were window-shopping on the street one day when, all of a sudden, my father stopped in front of a shop, pointed at the front-door sign, and made a strange comment: "Canadians, they sure like to waste money." My immediate reaction was: "No, Canadians are generally frugal and I don't know anyone who owns a handbag that would cost enough money to feed a whole village in a developing country in Africa for a month. Where are you coming from, Dad?" But then, just as I was about to give him my two cents worth, I took a closer look at the sign, and was completely speechless. Sure enough, my father was right. The sign clearly said: "COIN WASH" which in Cantonese is the same pronunciation as "WASTING MONEY"


vicky said...

Yes, canadian don't spend big/fast money, they always consider, my friends from Canada, they calculated clear before purchase, if there is a chance will buy cheaper in other place, they will search.

Actually this is quite good habbit, not wasting.

微豆 said...

Vicky: Good observation, thanks !! Many Canadians are immigrants from other countries where they had a harder life. So, the parents would also teach the children to be frugal. As you said, frugality is good and should not be confused with being a "cheap skate" (吝嗇鬼).

Ruth Tam said...

I lived in Vancouver a couple of years. The average local Canadians are not fugal. If you watched the TV ads about buying funitures with financing and you will understand that. They don't buy expensive just because they are out of their reach. If they have the money, or ways to buy them, they will.

微豆 said...

Hi Ruth: I am sure in big cities such as Vancouver and Toronto, there are rich people and folks who are less frugal. I am from a less well off background and a different sector of the society. As one close friend used to tease me: You are Chinese, how come you are not rich ??

Kineyi said...

COIN WASH:hahah, cultural difference。No harm to buy expensive stuff if they can afford it. personally, i like pretty but not expensive things

微豆 said...

Hi Kineyi: Whenever I pass by a laundry mat with a COIN WASH sign, I always remember that day when two cultures crossed path.

I suppose the definition of "frugal" is a bit of value judgement based on an individual's background.

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