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Happiest homeless person. Well, not for me.

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I am old-fashioned. I need to own the home I stay in. I do not want to be pushed around by the home owner when he / she wants to take back the property which I am renting in. (If I am renting). Remember, good times for people to rent a property do not last forever. When market recovers, rentals will start to increase again, yearly. I will also hate it when the owner increases my rental every year. I am however not into landed properties if they are not gated and guarded and with a nice club house which I could bring my kids anytime I want. So, I will only be happy when I own my home and I could utilise the facilities provided by my home. I am willing to work hard everyday to get my monthly pay to pay for that home too. Let’s look at someone said to be the happiest homeless person in Hong Kong.

Article in South China Morning Post (SCMP) here. The article shared about a homeless person named Simon Lee and said that he is perhaps the happiest homeless person in Hong Kong. He is a 52-year-old who has swapped a comfortable middle-class existence in favour of life without work, but also without a penny. He has already slept for seven years next to a snack shop in Victoria Park. He said the following too:

“I think I actually save resources for society. I’m low maintenance, I don’t use money, so I don’t have to make money. I don’t chase fame or material things.

“People often think of homeless people as dirty, battered and impolite. But the homeless have their own way of living too. We can have a very decent life.”

“In the many years since I’ve been homeless, I’ve never met any other person who was homeless by choice. I’m a bit of an oddball,” the eloquent and soft-spoken Lee says.

“To me, it’s liberating. I don’t pay rent, I don’t have to buy a house, I can sleep anywhere. Street sleeping solved a lot of my problems,” he says.

“Hong Kong has so many rich people and so many wasteful people. There’s always something I can use that someone else has discarded,” Lee says.

“If I can avoid this pain, why should I go and seek it? I don’t envy people with partners or family, I’ve always been independent,” Lee says. “I stopped speaking to my family years ago and I don’t regret it at all. Other people should envy me.”

There is no need to worry about tomorrow, Lee says. The most important thing is to enjoy the moment. I will let fate decide what happens to me,” he says with a smile.

Other numbers shared in the article include official figures showing 1,127 Hongkongers were sleeping on the streets in 2017 and 2018. But social workers estimate the number is at least 2,000. About 35 per cent of the homeless say they are unable to rent a place to live because they are unemployed. More than half sleep in parks, playgrounds or car parks. Here’s the full article in SCMP for reference.

From the interview, I think the general conclusion is that the homeless man, Lee is happy with his life thus far even without a home and sleeping on the street. I think it’s good for him. One man’s meat is another man’s poison. As much as he said people should envy him, I would like to also say that not everyone would envy this lifestyle because many of us would also have responsibilities. Perhaps we have a family to take care of. Perhaps we have ageing parents who needs financial support from us and perhaps some of us prefer a life full of people and interactions. Last but not least, perhaps some of us prefers to sleep in our cozy bed every evening. Wishing everyone to be happy with their choices.

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written on 26 Jan 2019

Next suggested article: Choices, Choices, Choices, really.

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