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Greediness shows its ugly face


I had dinner with an old friend the other week, a Chinese girl surnamed Wang that I havent caught up with for ages.

After the usual chit chat (your hair is longer/you are not fatter than before haha!! Note that it has changed!-/do you still not cook any food at home?/how high is your rent?) we got down to some serious business when my friend told me about her worsening family situation.

Wangs mother has got three siblings. When Wangs mothers mother (so Wangs grandmother) passed away some months ago, one of the sisters was living together with the mother, taking care of her and the house chores.

Wangs grandma left her family an apartment but no will, obviously hoping that her children would split the assets evenly between all four of them.

However, since the aunt lived with the grandma, and had been pulling the heavy load by herself for a long time, she decided to simply declare that the apartment should be hers and hers only.

In fact, do you know what she used as her main argument? That she has a son. The other ones all have daughters. She claimed that she needs the money for the apartment to give to her son, so that her son eventually can buy his wife-to-be a new apartment. Otherwise no one will want to marry him. Or so she said.

(But who wants to marry someone who only says yes if you own property?! Jesus, what happened to I want someone intellectual with a great sense of humour?! Well, actually, maybe those were never the usual requirements on the Chinese meat market anyway.)

And what happend then?

Well, obviously. Some serious family dramas evolved.

The siblings started fighting.

Their children stopped t! alking t o each other.

The siblings husbands/wives tried to meddle.

Everything escalated and nothing was going to get solved easily with a real estate market that
is so overheated that house prices are rocketing in the sky.

-Now my father tells my mother to simply forget about the apartment and that we should not fight anymore. But its hard for my mother. She thinks its so unfair. And all that money could be such a great help

-Do Chinese people not have wills?! I wondered, astonished of everything Id just heard.

-Not really. This is a very common problem in todays modern society. Many families have problems like ours.

Then we looked up the word "will" on my Chinese dictionary and nodded in union.

-Maybe this is something that Chinese people should consider... Wang said.

I dont know what I find the saddest: the broken family bonds? The greediness? The fact that the aunt feels that she has to do this in order for her son to ever get married? Or, the fact that everybody in Wang's family have been so busy fighting over the apartment that they forgot to mourn the grandma?

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