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Monday, February 13, 2006


My rich life

I was walking through a shopping mall in Brisbane a few days ago when a young woman stopped me and quickly started on a sales pitch for American Express.

It took a while before I could get a word in and then I said, 'Before you go any further, I don't think I'm an American Express type of person.'

'Well, what's an American Express type of person?' she asked.

'I'm sure to get an American Express card, one must have a certain level of income.'

'Well, would you have an income of at least $400 a week?'


'You poor thing.' I'm not sure if she wasn't a little skeptical.

'No.' I said. 'My life is rich. I usually live in Asia. The last place I called home cost me $A80 a month. It was only a room but I had it to myself. Some of those rooms were rented by families. I can buy a nutritious and filling meal for from $1 to $3. When I walk down the street, people smile at me and say "Hello". I usually enjoy the company of delightful young people who treat me with respect. Some of them love me enough that they call me "Dad".

'Everyday is an adventure and everywhere I go there is something interesting to see. I love my life and I'm looking forward to going back to it again shortly.'

She was amazed. We talked a while as she asked many questions. American Express was forgotten.

Yes, there are alternatives to the life that most Westerners live. I've made my choices and I'm quite happy with them.

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