In an age of ubiquitous cries of YOLO, it’s nice to read about a person who understands that much of what is supposedly awesome in life is, in fact, rank bullshit. Richard Osman writes:
“These days we are told we simply have to watch, to read or just to do, very many things: 100 Things to Do Before You Die; 100 Films You Have to See, 100 Books You Must Read If You Don’t Want Everyone at Work to Realise Exactly What a Shallow, Self-Obsessed, X Factor Fan You Really Are.
Like most Guardian readers, I am very keen to do what I’m told at all times. If I’m told there are 25 Must-Dive Reefs or 30 Loganberry Recipes You Can’t Live Without then I take that responsibility very seriously and immediately go out shopping for scuba equipment and soft fruit.”
When I went to Hong Kong for Chuseok recently I was told that I must — must! — visit Victoria Peak, the highest point in the city. Also I must — must! — take the rickety 100 year-old cable car built by the British, which was a much more reliable mode of transport than the preferred custom of sedan chairs carried on the backs of coolies. (Progress!)
Well, the view is spectacular but only if you can get past the fact that it’s pretty much another goddamn shopping mall in a city already full of them. (The very tip of the peak is occupied by a Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, shoot me now.) And the wait for the cable car? A dark, dank cavern of sweaty adults and screaming babies? Yeah, do yourself a favor and skip it.
Everything else about the city happened to be fantastic. The number-one tourist destination? Not so much.