Monday, March 17, 2008

Deja vu

A couple of years before I left Hong Kong, the housing market there slumped. It is always like this ... everybody knows that there is a bubble building, but when the bubble bursts, it just feels like things happening overnight. The effect on other sectors of the economy started to spread ... jobs were cut, people were laid off, salary dropped, foreclosure rate at all time high; soon, the general overlook became very grim and the spirit of the whole society was very low. At the time, I was paying the mortgage for a very very small apartment. Though I had a stable income and had no plan of selling the property, the drop in its value was still quite disheartening.

Then, I came to the States. And now, the whole thing is happening again here. Difference: we don't own a house. Against the advice of some of our friends, our bank and our tax people, we didn't buy a house at the prime of the market ... and we don't plan to in the foreseeable future. On a personal level, we dodged this bullet. But still ... the value of the US dollar keeps dropping, the oil price keeps rising, the onset of recession, the budget crisis here in California ... Well, I am old enough to know that this is part of a recurring cycle; but can't help wondering how many individual's dreams have to be crushed before the cycle reverses!

I count myself among the blessed. At least I can still find comfort and happiness in my own little world ... like making progress on a favourite project:
The full length of the jacket done!

The Right Shoulder finished

The Right Front in progress

The Right Collar just started

Or waking up to a hummingbird and gorgeous weather:

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