Monday, January 24, 2005

"Want Face"

There is an interesting topic that was discussed in this morning 988 radio show. It was talking about “Want Face”. I think a lot of us in regardless of races, country and etc do practice some “Want Face” act in their life time. Some do it routinely, some occasionally, and some rarely and etc. I am not sure is there a word for it in English but maybe the example below could help to explain its meaning.

This “Want Face” act is much rampant especially when festive season is around the corner. Chinese New Year (CNY) is coming in around 2 weeks time, there could be some who try to have their house renovation finished early just in time for it. Some of them are willing to spend additional cash, to ask the contractor to work late or overtime to have it finished on time.

Some plans to buy Car or new house or new handbag or new hand phone or new wife (hahaha joking) or etc. For what purpose? As during festive season, relatives will most likely come and visit OR some of us will go and visit relatives. Over here we call it open house. As most of us are working their heads off day in day out, we seldom have the chance to meet our relatives for the whole year except maybe during wedding or annual festive occasion like CNY.

As usual when you meet your “long time never see” relatives, the conversation will start with “so far how, got big bonus, big increment?”. So sometimes with a new car, new house or newly renovated house, that is self explanatory. Just imagine, you visit your relative with your new shinning Mercedes S320 gliding in front of your relative gate as compare with the beat up “Proton Tiara” last year. The conversation will definitely be different and it means “this past one year I have make it on the who and who list”, hahahaha.

I do notice this change from time to time, I remember when most of our relatives who is in their end 30s’ the “Want Face” items is different. As during this period most of them are struggling working adult with children that just started pre-school or still in primary. So the common question could be “your son got number what in class, mine oh! Got first in the class and get some rewards from the school”.

I have encountered some of the worst “want face” cases. I have asked about the price of a bag, the amount he paid, the place that sells it and when did that person buys it. The answer I got it’s a Mark Up price and he fails to mention the 60 percent discount. How do I know? I was at the same place and I am interested in the same bag also, hahaha.

On CNY eve, normally there is a get together dinner whether cooked in the house or eat at restaurant. This morning radio was talking about the price of the “get together dinner” offer at some restaurant in China and Taiwan. Some of it offered a ten course meal with almost the price of $100,000 (already convert to Malaysia ringgit) per table. Some dish has some interesting ingredient like Old and big ginseng chicken soup or Bloody Bird Nest soup and etc. It was advertised in most major newspaper. According to the Radio DJ, the idea is to make sure most of us will know about the price. And when certain relatives said I will treat you to this so and so restaurant, this will be a “Want Face” item. As the Radio DJ put it, the “Want Face” tradition it’s in the Chinese blood, the restaurant owner sure knows how to make some money out of something they themselves practice.

I think I might not be able to afford a S class but I think I can afford a Camry but not this year maybe next year or the year after or maybe another 3 years, hahaha.

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