Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Lately I had been thinking about getting a tv. After much internal debate, I decided that I am still better off without one. Instead I'll continue to fill my spare time with swimming and attempting to read the Hindi version of 'India Today'.

That means that I'll have to find somewhere to watch the TVB Pearl report on asylum seekers which will probably air a week on Sunday. I guess I'll be able to say 'I only watch TV when I'm on it'.

Not having a TV (or computer) has other positive effects, aside from improving my swimming and Hindi reading abilities.

Working in Chungking has instilled an instinct to avoid any display of wealth. This is partly out of sensitivity but also because I am constantly asked for money (I never give any). At such times, it is often helpful that I own one of the oldest mobile phones in Hong Kong, particularly if the person asking for money owns a flashier mobile than I do!

Last week in English class we were discussing the Terri Schiavo story when someone asked if I'd seen the TV footage. The students were shocked that I didn't have a TV. One Togolese client joked that he would pass a collection box around so that all the asylum seekers could contribute to a 'buy Joe a TV fund'. I laughed and didn't mention that it's mostly pride stopping me from getting one. That and the concern that a television would make my room look ugly.

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