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Techie sells all in doomsday splash

Beatrice Siu

Thursday, December 13, 2012

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December 21 marks the end of an era in the Mayan calendar and if, as some people warn, it coincides with doomsday, then at least one Hong Kong man will have no regrets.

The 40-year-old man, who once worked in information technology and used to be caring to his family and prudent with his spending, sold his flat and possessions six months ago and spent all the money in having a whale of a time, his psychologist said.

"He quit his job, sold his flat and traveled everywhere, eating at high-end restaurants and living in hotel rooms in anticipation of December 21," Ng Siu-sun said.

The man used up all the credit in his bank cards and even borrowed money. Unable to change the man's mind, his deeply worried family sought Ng's help.

"If doomsday doesn't arrive, his accumulated debts will definitely become a nightmare," Ng said.

He added he has up to eight patients in similar situations because of anxiety over the prediction.

"Their behavior is the result of pressure," Ng said. "Stop blaming them. They need more understanding and support from family members."

Ng said there is always the danger that depressed people may decide to end their lives before next Friday.

"Guide them to think about the consequences of their behavior and to think positively," Ng said.

The Mayan Long Count calendar marks December 21 as the end of an era that lasted more than 5,000 years.

Some said Mayan hieroglyphs mark it as the end of the world - an idea ridiculed by scholars.

A survey conducted by a local online forum, Hong Kong Golden, and Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong found that 14 percent of the 1,115 respondents - 80 percent of whom come from the post-80s generation - said they were "quite" or "extremely" anxious about the predicted end.

Some 15 percent were "terrified" or felt helpless about "reports" of people committing suicide. But 66 percent were not worried.

However, if Armageddon does come, 29 percent said they preferred to be with their parents while 21 percent wanted to be with their lovers.

When asked who would be an ideal savior, 33 percent chose League of Social Democrats lawmaker "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung. He got four times as many votes as Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.


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