Work hard play hard…

If there’s one expression that really gets to me and makes me gnash my teeth in rage it’s “work hard play hard“. People in Hong Kong fucking love this saying like it’s the Declaration of Independence or the sum total of humanities wisdom. I’ve seen eyes light up and faces beam when people say these four words…and it’s usually rare to see that kind of animation unless they are talking about food, money or Disneyland.

Just because grandma's wheelchair bound...doesn't mean she can't pull her weight. Here she is with 36 rolls of toilet paper and a thousand tissues. A great day's even better night's shitting ahead.

“Work hard play hard” is a pathetic excuse that blankets a justification over everything that people don’t want to really think about. It’s a catch-phrase that paints over a lot of cracks. ‘We can take our six allotted holiday days a year from our shit job where we’re under the microscope of pitilessly cold and heartless supervisors…we can work overtime without warning for no extra pay, undergo appraisals by power drunk morons one rung higher on the ladder than us, ride on dizzyingly overcrowded public transport seven days a week…and feel ok because…we can play hard after our work is done!!

So, what do they do when they have a chance to ‘play’? Fuck all that’s good. Their favourite activities, I’ve come to learn, are eating and buying shit. Pretty much the same as the rest of the world I suppose…but hey…this site is for complaining about Hong stinky Kong. I suppose they can’t help it – every slogan, ad campaign, TV show and even the education system itself indoctrinates Hong Kong people to value their environment as one where you can shop for and eat anything. That’s what Hong Kong is – one big gaudy shopping mall riddled with bistros.

Do these fish look fucking DELICIOUS or what??!!

'...half dead fish...' - mouth watering

Take a look at this 2 minute homage to the shop and the animal you’re about to have killed then eat (WARNING: Some sickening scenes involving westerners and local Hong Kong people embracing one another):

Best word to describe that video?


It completely misrepresents what’s really a ‘good time’ in Hong Kong for a local. It’s certainly not bumping playfully into a blonde western woman at the race track or grinning like a moron as some western guy grabs a beaten looking lobster from a tank and holds it up like a living trophy.

A ‘good time’ for a local goes a bit more like this…

…get on a crowded train or bus with your family of three kids, two of them babies in giant prams, to go jostle shoulder to shoulder with a million other idiots so you can save 10 cents on a roll on toilet paper and 1% off on 60 boxes of tissues. After that, you’ll line up at a restaurant that has half-dead fish on display in tanks at the front window, eventually sit down to eat fistfuls of MSG and fat…spilling half of it over the table and floor, then somehow synchronize your watches with every single other person in the shopping mall to make sure that you’re all on the same bus, going home at the same time, with armfuls of the same shit you bought in the same shops. Sounds great.

Food & money.

As Hong Kong as MSG and neon.

They know how to play hard in Hong Kong!

It's been a hard day's wipe

24 rolls...couple of days worth

Wipe wipe

...a likin' for some wipin'

Hmmm now which brand can wipe the most shit?

When you live in a utopia like Hong Kong you can rest easy knowing that your hard work is rewarded with a playground of shops and restaurants as far as the eye can see…which, in Hong Kong because of the air pollution, is not all that far…but many Hong Kong people never really bother looking too far beyond their own narrow self interests anyway.

So, it all works out.

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14 Responses to Work hard play hard…

  1. Peter says:

    You are one funny guy.

  2. gowron says:

    You should have inlcuded photos of “KTV” girls, for “play hard… lol, but honestly, being a naieve little CBC it’s stupid commercials like me and stories of wealth that relatives say is abound here, like my dad did, to come here waste a year of my life, sweating, and being bitten by god know what bugs here on Fucking Lamma Island, (probably the stray pet fleas).

    I’m curious Duddley did you come here, on your own, as an expat, or were you born here. But play who’s got time to play when you’re blasting the AC trying to keep plague insects from biting you and mosquito swelling down, and thus the den fey is costing you a fucking Federal reserve. So thus you work for 6 days a week, well 7 really but hey at least you get ONE sunday off. :_(. Why do Pinoys settle here, they should make their money, go to the states, or Aussieland, or Canada. I really feel bad for my neighbors, they have to retire HERE. not some nice place, but the chode of the world, Hong Kong. (if you consider Kowloon as that small asian dick), and the Island as being the Gonads… Like here on Lamma they’re accosted by bugs bugs and more bugs, They have to put up with land hikes, ferry hikes, pandemics. Ah it breaks the heart, they’re such nice people.

  3. I came here on my own

  4. K-man says:

    The worst thing about this whole topic of ‘work hard, play hard’ are the locals who are under the misconception that working 12 hour days means they work harder than a westerner who works 8 hours and leaves at 5.

    I don’t know how many times I have heard over the years about the work ethic of HK folks. Fuck them and their so called work ethic. Is is our fault their feeble minds aren’t able to complete all the work expected of us in a given 8 hour work day?

    Here is a typical day at my office for the locals… stroll in at or as close to 9 as we can (10 is close to 9 right?) have a good hour on Facebook, or checking E-mail (granted there is a chance some messages are related to work) then, we need a break… oh, it is 11:30… time to take our two hour lunch. Once we get back, lets do a little work, and keep busy until 5 when the lazy western guys leave… and technically, we should go home…. But wait, I am not done my work, and the boss hasn’t left. I can’t be seen before he leaves… only the lazy westerners do that, they aren’t being part of working family we have in this office… I will stay until my boss, who doesn’t want to see and hear his screaming wife and kids, goes home. Let’s see today being a Thursday, that is at about 10:30pm. If I stay until 11pm that will show him how much I want to give and be a part of this company… after a year of this, I will have lost my wife, alienated my kids, and lose my entire social life, I will be one step higher on the corporate ladder… Besides I always have Sunday to go out and have fun… I can go to the local diner, enjoy the trinkets in the shops, and then go on a toilet paper buying bonanza… It is all worth it!

    I wonder how different this society would be if instead of worrying about impressing the boss with long hours, and saving face at every opportunity, and caressing the bosses testicular sack at every opportunity, people decided to be efficient, productive and question ideas that are illogical, go against the whole ideal the company wants to promote, and above all, work a normal 8 hour day. Maybe then people could raise their own kids, spend time with their loved ones and use all that extra and precious time they have to think up better ways to improve the city they are so fond of.

  5. potatochips says:

    Working and living in Hong Kong can drive you insane.

  6. Steve says:

    Mate, would you prefer it if you lived somewhere else?

  7. A very conflict soul says:

    I came back for about 4 years now, I screamed my struggles to everyone that bothers listening but no one understands. You post is awesome, even if it seems over the top, it is right to the point in every sense. Awesome.

  8. This article had me in STITCHES !!!

  9. 15wongnh1 says:


    Nobody buys them because…really, all you need is two medium-sized jars or boxes and that’s it.

  10. Asdere says:

    HK is not a place for lazy asses, that’s for sure.

    Can’t the heat..LEAVE. Those who go there by own accord, or born there or transfer there..either way one can always CHOOSE to leave. When there’s a WILL, there’s a way. So where’s your WILL to leave since HK is such a stinky fucked-up shit place? Surely nobody who still has brains want to subject themselves to such a horrible place, no?
    Why still so thick skin want to stay in a Hellhole HK? Stupid, much? Or SHAMELESS, much?

  11. Creamy Poon says:

    Asdere, I think you missed the point. Anyway, shouldn’t you be out stabbing someone with your umbrella and crying about “police brutality” about now?

  12. Asdere says:

    Creamy Poon….lmao…let me’re a typical Hongky?
    OK, sidenote a bit:
    Seriously ..’Creamy’? Why do HongKies have some of the stupidest English names? Sorry just curious..u sound like a porn star, are you one? Coz if not it’s kinda retarded for a mentally stable adult to expect people to take them seriously, more so IF one works in a white-collar world, that goes by names of these sort.
    I kid you not, go check it out yourself [ ] … has YOUR name in it..just spelled differently.
    More evidence on this creepy trend [ ].

    Anyway CREAMY… so help me God to stop chuckling… what does my post has in relevance of stabbing people with umbrella or crying about police brutality? Getting high on CREAMy pies lately?

    But then again, I’d figure, if one is SHALLOW enough to name oneself CREAMY… lmao again, one can’t expect that individual to be too bright either, can one? Do the world a favor please, Creamy, don’t breed..we have enough dingies of your kind ; Creamies, Dankies, Boogies, Bonkies, and what-nots courtesy of [ ] to last us a lifetime.

  13. Sweetandsour says:

    you are one funny dude. Right on the money.

  14. This hits so close to home it almost hurts.
    Living here for five years, I have gotten accustomed to this kinda lifestyle, but now and again I would stop and think what the heck I am doing. Usually I’d just “get on with it” and tell myself that I “should be grateful” for having a roof over my head, albeit one that is falling off (blame humidity and shoddy pipe work) but lately, I have been having second thoughts. Maybe I don’t want to waste the rest of my twenties here.

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