27 July 2010

Loyalty? What's that?

Earlier this year, a few colleagues recommended the movie Hachi to me, the 'tear-jerking' movie about a Japanese dog who waited at the train station every day for 9+ straight years for his (dead) owner to return.

Everyone who watched it had apparently cried their eyes out, while I only managed to squeeze out half a tear (if that). Call me cold-hearted, but I just didn't see the point in Hachi waiting around his whole life for nothing when he really should've just moved on and tried to enjoy himself, dammit!

I was especially surprised to hear everyone gushing about Hachi's incredible sense of loyalty, since I would have never guessed that it was a value that Hong Kong people held dear to their hearts. I mean, Hong Kong is a city of cheaters, in every sense of the word!

We already know that many (if not most) Hong Kong men keep mistresses in China, boarding the so-called 'Concubine Express' every Friday to spend some time with their second wives across the border.

But besides cheating hubbies, there are also a lot of cheating customers out there as well! Just think - how common is it for someone to stick to a particular restaurant, product or service in HK out of pure loyalty?

Even if they were so-called 'loyal' customers, it's probably only because they like the food, the product works and/or the service is cheap! But, what happens when something tastier, better and/or cheaper comes along? That 'loyalty' disappears faster than an approaching typhoon on a weekday.

Why is this, you ask? Just walk down any street and you'll see, if you survive the mob of middle-aged ladies threatening to paper cut you with their assortment of promotional flyers. With the intense competition in HK, restaurants, salons and shops need a way to lure you in, which they usually do with fantastic offers aimed at first-time customers.

Nail salons, for instance, usually offer manicures and pedicures at nearly 50% off regular prices exclusively for first-time customers, and most beauty salons do the same with facials. So, what incentive IS there to sign up as a regular customer only to start paying full member prices? If you ask me, I'd much rather try out a different salon each time for variety AND to save some money too.

So, let's be honest, Hong Kong. You're just not a place for any kind of loyalty. There are just way too many products, restaurants, services and people to try out, which is why there will probably never be a Hachi in Hong Kong (except for the ones coming out of your nose! Haha, lameness intended...)

Read all the fun stuff at Miss Fong in Hong Kong.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps you shouldn't have been surprised to hear us praise the virtue of loyalty. Because "cheating", as you might call it, is precisely the reason why we cherish loyalty. Only when we lack this quality we start to long for it.



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