Near my home in Tseung Kwan O there are some new three-floor houses with balconies, private swimming pools, and a panoramic sea view. I don’t even want to guess how much these houses cost because I know I could never afford one even in a million years. I recently walked past these luxury houses and noticed laundry drying on the balconies of some of them. Why would anyone pay big bucks for a luxury house with a sea view but block the view with laundry? It seems rich Hong Kong people care more about drying their laundry on windows and balconies than the sea views they have paid big bucks for.
If you have a panoramic view, it means you have a very wide or extensive view. For example, The Peak has a panoramic view of Victoria Harbor. The expression “in a million years” used this way does not actually mean a million years. The expression is used to say that something is impossible or can never happen. The American slang expression “big bucks” means a lot of money. When I was in Singapore recently, the thing that struck me most was that none of the private residential buildings I saw had laundry hanging on windows or balconies. I didn’t even see much laundry drying on the windows of public housing estates. The expression “struck me” used this way means impressed me, or caught my attention.
My Singapore friends and several taxi drivers told me Singapore has rules that discourage people from drying laundry on balconies or windows because it makes the buildings look unsightly (ugly, unattractive). My friends told me managements of most private residential buildings have rules against using balconies or windows to dry laundry. Most residential buildings in Singapore, including public housing, are designed to let residents dry laundry in the back areas of homes so the front of the buildings do not look unsightly. Singapore also has a rule that requires buildings to be painted every five years so they don’t look unsightly. Hong Kong should copy this rule.
我住將軍澳，附近有些新的三層高洋房，連露台、私人泳池及無敵大海景（panoramic sea view）。買那些樓房要幾錢？我連估都不想估了，因為我知道我再過一百萬年（in a million years）都不可能負擔得起。我最近路經這些豪華的樓房，留意到其中幾戶的露台上晾曬着衣服。為何會有人付大錢（big bucks）買有海景的豪宅，卻用洗了的衣服去遮擋這個景觀？比起他們付大錢（big bucks）所買的海景，這些有錢的香港人看來更在乎要在窗邊和露台上晾乾衣服啊。
若你有個 panoramic view，即是你有個廣闊的全景。譬如，山頂就有着維多利亞港的全景（panoramic view）。習語in a million years在這裏當然不是真的指一百萬年，它是用來形容某事是不可能的、永遠都不會發生的。美式俚語 big bucks即是很多的錢。我最近在新加坡的時候，令我最深刻（struck me most）的一件事，就是矚目所見的私人住宅大廈，都沒有在窗邊或露台上掛衫；連在公共屋邨，也不多見有人會在窗口晾衫。習語struck me在這裏是指令我留下印象，或引起我的注意。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧