Why don’t Asian people use nice things that they’ve got around the house but instead use the cheap and old stuff?
When Confucius speaks, Asians obey…and a while back he uttered these wise words, “He who will not economize, will have to agonize.”
All the Asians scrambled to scrimp and pinch pennies after that, especially the oldies, who are not only susceptible to hoarding (see previous blog on that), but most of them are so determined to live frugally that they deny themselves of all the good things in life. This is a condition I call ‘preserving craps’ where the prettiest and priciest things in possession get stockpiled and shoved into the void – somewhere inside the house – not being used by its owner but instead entombed until the day it gets passed on to the next generation.
This is a huge distinction that separates Asians from the rest of the world, I think. While Westerners openly display nice things that they’ve collected and earned – you know the 72" HDTV, fine china and vases, collectible baseball cards, etc – for their own pleasure, Asians are the stark opposite.
To keep our stuff new, things like couches, sofas, and TV remote controllers remain mummified in their original plastic wrapping to protect the resale values. The plastic wrappers come off only when really important guests come to visit or when their house gets to host really huge events like a wedding and such.
And when we eat, only the ugliest sets of dishes and stainless utensils get used. That way, if they break or get ruined we won’t feel so guilty about it.
Some of the more frugal Asians take the saying to an extreme. So much so that when nice stuff comes along, they feel the extra need to preserve it for as long as they humanly can. Don’t they know that the saying shouldn’t be applied to a lot of things – especially those that come with expiration dates?
I am not saying that all Asians do this, but I have witnessed first-hand how good foods that are gifted for special occasions – like tea, coffee, specially-made soy sauce etc. doesn’t get consumed simply because “they’re too good to eat”.
That's as Asian as you’ll get, I think.