Houdao 厚道

I find the Americans are more charitable than the rest.

Q: … What was it like living in Paris as an American?

A: … One time, I arrived [at her Left Bank apartment in Paris] and the electricity was shut off. It was a bank holiday so I had to wait until the next day to go to the electricity company. They said we didn’t pay the bill, which of course we did, and after six days they admitted they’d made a mistake and put on the electricity. They sent a lovely note apologising but there I was without heat and light and it was in the dead of winter and freezing cold. Things like that would happen all the time. …

This is part of an interview with a successful trader from New York. It elicited my own electricity story: few summers back, I planned a party, and the day turned out to be a stormy night and our areas’ electricity was gone – rarely happened in the past. So I began calling the invitees by joking ..
”Oppps, I’m so sorry since I forgot to pay bills, so our electricity got cut off ..”.
One of the invitees lectured me
“No, by law … they can’t do that .. the water/gas/electricity can’t be turned off due to lack of payment …” They are landlords, so I trust what she said.

The moral of the story here is it illustrated the drastic difference of older Europa and the younger USA, despite the unsymmetrical years in history. It seems to me US is just hou dao 厚道 – kinder and more honest than Europe, in many ways.

Ok, since I’m at it, the waste in US is just too much: I get freeze to death and the apartments in the US provide way too much heat in the winter time that everyone wears short. (IF they can’t wear shorts they’ll complain for lacking of heat ..)

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