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C9 Hotelworks Founder and Managing Director Bill Barnett is a noted columnist, author and leading authority on travel trend, hotels and property.View all the books from C9
One of the few curses of my day-to-day life is that I am a serial light sleeper. My constant tossing and turning could be deemed going walkabout, though I'd gladly throw in my lot with the sleepwalkers.
Early to bed, early to rise, and yet the long silent hours in between still present a little bit too much "me time". I'd prefer a coma, as long as the option of waking up remained open.
Lately, when the time has stretched out like a gigantic rubber band, I find myself hopping out of bed and going downstairs for some nocturnal channel surfing. Due to a state of non-commitment over whether I will actually get back to sleep anytime, the tendency is to avoid HBO and Cinemax and head straight to the news channels.
For anyone even slightly depressed or contemplating suicide my advice is to avoid any of these news channels. The bombs, blazing guns, burning buildings and all sorts of mayhem. Just fast forward past Fifty Shades of Grey and straight into horrific technicolor bloodletting.
The world has spun off its axis and in seemingly every corner of the world people are not only having bad hair days but eem truly pissed off at the sad state of leadership. Politics has turned ugly, and all that's left is a bar room brawl at closing hour.
How is it possible then that politics and property cannot only co-exist in a world where the big picture seems so dismal, but also that the market remains so robust? Especially across Asia.
Last week I took a business trip to Bangkok which is in the throws of a political crisis and much vaunted shut down. There were demonstrations, closed government offices, and a widening rift between the two warring parties. Yet the first topic of discussion with every single Bangkokian I met centred around the cool weather the city has been enjoying due to a winter vortex.
Last night about 3 am the light went off in my head. The big picture - politics, the threat of terrorism - doesn't seem to matter. Human species have somehow shortened the collective attention span and what really matters is the here and now. Hence, real estate as a nice add-on to an economic book continues to make absolute sense.
All in all, the greater wisdom of the moment seems to be "don't sweat the big stuff, think small". I'm not quite sure if this revelation will change my life, or alter the sleepless nights to come. Did Jerry McGuire invade my thoughts or have I reached a moment of enlightenment?
The question marks have mounted up to an insurmountable obstacle in this article, which has to be a bad omen. What is absolutely clear is that in the day and age of political angst, we still have our good friend real estate to rely on for a break from the ugly truth - or did I get that the wrong way round? Out goes another question and a good night's sleep flies with it out my bedroom window. Please pass the Xanax.