The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Beauty Is Brick Deep …
March 30, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment, Cunning, Design, Insight

So I was passing down a street in Shanghai recently when I saw this building …

Now you might not think there is anything striking about it – and you’re probably right – however those wooden strips that are covering the facade are new and have somehow managed to turn a pretty average looking building into something a bit more interesting.

I don’t know how much that update cost, but I bet it will more than pay for itself thanks to some easily impressed foreigner being happy to pay a higher rent for an apartment in there.

This is a classic mistake of a new expat.

They look at a building and see something that looks new and modern and so hand over masses of cash expecting everything to work smoothly.

Or should I say, everything to work as they had wherever they lived before.

But the thing is, while the apartment or building may have been updated, the infrastructure providing the utilities probably won’t have been [and even if they have, it will only be in the building and not the whole street] so soon they’ll soon find themselves living in an expensive and beautiful home that is riddled with problems because they failed to remember the rule ‘beauty is only skin deep’.

Or where apartments are concerned, brick deep.

But hey, with millions of people falling for ads that are all image, no substance, I guess we shouldn’t be too hard on the gullibility of your ‘fresh off the boat’ expat.

24 Comments so far
Leave a comment

You own it don’t you.

Comment by DH

You think a piece of wood makes something interesting? Who are you?

Comment by DH

I should have clarified. A piece of wood is a bit more interesting than your portfolio. You walked into that.


Comment by Rob

If wood interests you, your sex life must be shit.

Comment by Billy Whizz

never fucking talk about campbells fucking sexlife again. i need to rince my brain with fucking acid now. dick.

Comment by andy@cynic

Yes, that’s offensive to me, let alone you.

Comment by Rob

this might be the saddest fucking post youve ever written and theres a fuckload to choose from. but i am impressed you managed to link some shifty wood on some shitty shanghai building with the state of fucking advertising. when i say impressed, i mean fucking appalled.

Comment by andy@cynic

Backhanded compliment extroidinaire.

Comment by Rob

So you’re declaring yourself an expert on expat mistakes. Interesting.

Comment by john

thats how he has made all his fucking cash. after robbing me fucking blind.

Comment by andy@cynic

How long till agences have a user infrastructure department?

Comment by john

They call it the UX department.

Comment by Pete

Experience is not infrastructure. Especially in a world of double billing.

Comment by john

I know, I was being sarcastic. Lost in comment translation.

Comment by Pete

Saw this article.

Sums up expats who think they should be allowed to maintain the lifestyle they had even if they move to a totally different country.

Comment by Pete

These people make me ill. Apart from the fact they sound like whiny bastards, didn’t they look into the costs of Singapore before they moved there. Even that doesn’t matter because [1] they earn a fortune – the average monthly income for a Singaporean is SG$3600 per month and [2] based on their spending, they still seem to be able to save more than most people anywhere in the World. Dicks, they’re total dicks.

Comment by Rob

I think architecturally, that building is called a “mish mash”. I’m not saying it doesn’t work, it’s just doesn’t know whether it wants to look modern, eco or art-deco influenced.
Your expat comment is interesting. Do you see that sort of thing happen a lot over there Robert?

Comment by George

Yes, but compared to some of the places in Shanghai, mish-mash is better than crash-crash.

I’ve seen all sorts of expat mistakes. People like the one in the article Pete points too above. They seem to have forgotten they live in another country and while everyone likes the odd comfort from home, you can’t recreate what you had BECAUSE YOU’RE IN ANOTHER COUNTRY.

Maybe it’s worse in Asia than the other places I’ve/you’ve lived. That could be language, that could be the shrewd nature of the landlords … but it doesn’t have to be bad if you just look into things a bit more deeply.

We’re lucky we’ve never had any problems. The only one was a landlord in Singapore that claimed we had stolen our own furniture … and even he accepted he’d made a mistake. But I do see a lot of it … and a lot of whining … which begs the question, if you don’t like it, why the hell did you come?

Comment by Rob

says the fucker who lives like a prince.

Comment by andy@cynic

When I moved to Hong Kong in the late 80’s, I was one of those expat fools who assumed a smart looking apartment meant a working apartment. I learnt a valuable lesson the day I moved in to that place and it lasted the whole 24 months I was based there.

Comment by Lee Hill

Don’t knock it, it’s the same design principle as the wonderbra

Comment by northern

True … but if your analogy was totally accurate, the wood wouldn’t be covering it up, they would be stilts that pushes the building to stand out even more.

In other news, when are you going to do the next APSOTW assignment? May I remind you that you said you would do it. Ha.

Comment by Rob

Damn you, next week or so

Comment by northern

how much shit are you planning fucks going to throw at the world. pricks.

Comment by andy@cynic

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