Friday, April 01, 2011

A giant living in a small world

In this horrid times, I feel like a giant roaming around in Singapore. When I go to a typical food court to have my meals, I just cannot be filled by one portion size anymore. More frequently, I'll have to order double portions or eat a light snack immediately after my main meal to ward off those growling hunger pangs. Even the drinks that I ordered seem to conspire against me, because the cups are so filled with ice that I can probably finish the entire drink in one single gulp.

When I'm at home, I'm likewise reminded of my gigantic size too. The rooms seem so much smaller than the ones I had lived in my parent's home. I remembered that we can put a round dining table right in the kitchen of my 4 room flat, and still have plenty of room to put a bar counter. There's also space for a few people to help out in the kitchen. I must had grown so much bigger now, because the kitchen these days can barely hold a proper dining table. From what I estimated, I can probably squeeze in two stools and a tiny table if I wish to sacrifice the walking space leading to the kitchen.  Dwarfish properties seem to be accompanied by gigantic prices these fell times.

Big body, small seats... familiar situation?

I'm sure some of these things are just part of the effects of inflation. While the price of the goods sold might remain the same, the quantity will have to be reduced so that the profit margin can remain as before. What can be worse is the situation I encountered when I ate a certain famous curry puff. The price of the curry puffs had not only gone up, the amount of filling inside the puffs had been reduced too, so the effects of inflation cuts you twice as much. You've to buy more at a dearer price because getting one doesn't fill you as much as before. No wonder I feel like a giant these days!

Big appetite, small portion....familiar?

However, part of my giant-ness is also due to the fact that progressively more things are packed into a smaller packaging. Capitalism? Efficiency? Consider the sardine-packed crowd in the MRT train. I feel like a giant squeezing into a tin can, hurling me at great speed to dump me to my destination. What about the buses? The seats are having lesser leg room until it is decided that perhaps they'll do with less seats and more standing room instead. Clothes? Thankfully I'm not a lady, but it seems that more women have to fit into progressively smaller sizes. Perhaps there's no more L size sold in departmental shops anymore, except during sales where all the odd sizes make their rare appearance. Men are also wearing tighter bottoms, literally named 'skinny jeans', as a fashion statement (I remembered fondly the times where baggy clothes are in...I really believe that if you stay with the same style, eventually fashion will catch up with you once again). Hand phones are getting smaller, music playing devices are getting smaller, laptops are getting smaller, your office cubicle is getting smaller, cars are getting smaller....

Is it any wonder that your money is getting smaller too?

*This article is contributed to IM$avvy financial portal, which is managed by Central Provident Fund Board and supported by MoneySense. This site has a noble aim of promoting financial literacy to the general population.


CreateWealth8888 said...

One exchange their Singapore 5-room HDB flat for a big ocean facing view landed property in Aussie. LOL

Createwealth8888 said...

Same as in HK

Anonymous said...

totally agree with you. i can draw a simple example to support your arguement. take a good look at those F&N cans quantity. it has been reduced unnoticebly over the ages. it was 350ml when i was a kid, it has been reduced to 335ml, 325ml, 323ml over time.
in the eyes of a consumer, it will never ever be notice it.
such a big company gaining their profit margin by scheming their own loyal consumers. much have to say on its company intergrity.

CreateWealth8888 said...

That is reason why we have to invest in these big companies and join them at their games.

AK71 said...

Hi LP,

Small is beautiful. ;)

Why do we need bigger homes, bigger cars, bigger watches, bigger frames etc? Yes, trendy watches and spectacles are bigger these days, I realise.

Personally, I am trying to eat less, use less and buy less. Basically, trying to consume less and if higher prices would help me do that, it could be a good thing for the environment.

OK, this is just me being the devil's advocate. Don't flame me. ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi LP,
I like the way you put it every things are getting smaller & smaller but you remain the same; so you have become a giant. You see human beings are ingenious looking after their own interest first, before yours.

But this is the world's monetary system. They(Gov.)will keep on printing money. So if you can, better keep some of your wealth in solid assets.
That's why some people think gold will replace paper money in the bank one day. We will be buying/selling things in terms of milli-gram, gram, etc,-using the same internet banking/credit cards system, but in terms of gold. Then what the Gov. of the world going to do? Dig for more gold?

la papillion said...

Hi bro8888,

I guess it depends on what you want. I'm sure there are good and bad things about living in Singapore. For one, I quite like the low taxes here, haha :)

Hi anonymous,

Oh, they really shrank? I didn't even know it was 350 ml in the past, so it's exactly like what you've mentioned - the consumers do not even know.

But regarding company getting their margin, I guess it can't be helped. Would you rather that their margins are eroded to the extent that they breakeven every year? Then they might as well close shop and there won't be any products anymore.

Haha, tough question..

la papillion said...

Hi AK,

You always like to question the assumptions, haha :) You're right, we don't have to have a bigger home nor a bigger anything really.

Eat less, smaller belly too eh? haha

la papillion said...

Hi Temperament,

I thought it's an interesting way to see things too, with the focus on yourself growing bigger instead of the things becoming smaller.

Gold standard...if that happens, the world as we know now will be turned upside down. I'm sure sure I actually want that. Too disconcerting to think about :)

Grey said...

Meow... LP,

Sorry for this irrelevent comment; But how do u open a TradeStation account last time? I tried twice but it kept telling me:

"Thank you for your request to open a brokerage account with TradeStation Securities, Inc.

We are unable to serve you an application based on the information you provided. A sales representative will contact you shortly to discuss possible options to open a brokerage account with TradeStation Securities, Inc."

Any suggestions will be very helpful; Thanks!


la papillion said...

Hi grey,

A friend introduced me to his broker over there, so after that it's a matter of him sending the forms over to my residence thru Fedex and wiring the initial capital over there thru DBS bank's TT services.

I'm asking a friend of mine, who's still holding an account at tradestation, to do likewise for you. Send me an email to my yahoo account, I'll help you set it up. If I remember correctly, I even get some credits (100 usd?) because of the recommendation. Not much, but it'll defray some brokerage costs.

JW said...

With smartphones coming, handphones are actually getting bigger.

An iphone4 is larger than my first hp Nokia 3310

la papillion said...

Hi JW,

haha, I diagree :) I've been there since the advent of the first motorola handphone, the super big brick size handphone that cost a few thousands but has a battery life of maybe 30 mins.

That is big compared to whatever models that we have right now, haha :)

AK71 said...

Hi LP,

You might not believe this but I had one of those Ericsson brick phones when I was in NS. It was my dad's old phone and he gave it to me to keep track of me... It weighed a ton. That's more than 20 years ago. Gosh!

la papillion said...

Hi AK,

Haha, you had those? Must take a pic and show it to the pple man! :)