When I first met my wife Arlene, her sister Joanne had worked tirelessly for over a year to get her out of debt. Once free of the debt that so heavily weighed her down, what did Arlene do next? She bought a brand new red Pontiac Fiero.
Budget travelers fear not. In a country where a brand new 2012 Toyota Camry costs $146,000, and million-dollar Ferraris and Lamborghinis are driven on the roads daily, there are plenty of alternatives that won't send your checking account into cardiac arrest.
Don't get me wrong, the Camry SE is good car, it's even somewhat fun to drive. But the Ferrari is, well, a Ferrari. The Ferrari comes standard with such a huge dose of awesome that everyone on the street will gladly give you directions.
Sometimes a material thing that resonates and defines us, if even for a time, if only in a certain way. For me, this extraordinarily beautiful, extraordinarily undependable car was one of those things.
Contemporary Chinese society, still Confucian to the core, is driven by the need for societal acknowledgment and diffused insecurity. Consumer behavior, characterized by status projection and risk avoidance, reflects these truths.