The world of yours and the world of mine


During my travels between Hong Kong and Shanghai, I was constantly asked – where do you prefer, Hong Kong or Shanghai.

Instead of giving an answer, I usually cite a true story. Last summer, when I told an acquaintance in Shanghai (who is as normal and as functional as I am) I could not use Google or Gmail, I was expecting a similar level of frustration from him as from me. To my astonishment, he responded lightly ‘Oh, that is for the benefit of social harmony’. I did not know what to say and how to carry on the conversation so we switched topic. Through that briefing conversation which came with shocks, I learnt again Your world is not my world.

The point I want to want here is : Hong Kong and Shanghai are such two different worlds that I find it almost impossible to make any comparison.

There is only plenty in Hong Kong. Plenty of convenient stores I can walk in any time, plenty of everything, bags, shoes, deals, bars, restaurants, promotions and information. The only scarcity is space. The only preciousness is time.

In Shanghai I don’t have these plenties I used to take for granted. Leaving Google aside, I could not even find a brand for my preferred tooth paste. Does it bother me, yes. Does it bother most people, no. Most people are content with the enoughness, and with the plenty of space and time they have.

Our DNA is wired to judge. I could make judgements through the lens of my world, a world I am familiar with. But what does that mean? Does it imply I am rating a world based on my needs and wants? Then what about his opinion? The acquaintance of mine in Shanghai who does not even have a desire to know what is missing in his world, not to mention to protest against the fact his world is unplentiful according to my standard?

Your world is not my world. I have to always remind myself of this statement of truth, something so simple and so difficult.


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