Posted by: Sam Olsen | August 25, 2011

Big Numbers

No, no, not our blog readership you understand! That seems to be petering out a little.  Is it the waffling posts from yours truly, detailing step by step the activities of the day, like a Ramsbury School busy book: “and then we got on the bus. and then we had lunch. and then we came home.” ? Or is it the posts from t’other one, with random, sometimes interesting historical fact and trivia, that put some people off when they want to hear only about the Olsens?

The problem, dear readers, is that day-to-day life for yours truly is so far, rather dull. Don’t get me wrong, we are in a state of limbo and anticipation as we wait for the NYK Adonis to dock, unload and permit us to move into our new home. Then it feels as though everything will come together. We’ll be able to host parties! Settle that baby into more of a routine! Swim every day in the lovely pool! But, back to the present; for me, toddling off to work each day, the week blurs past in a giant database of loans. Loans to companies that I have never heard of before, with names like Diamond Palace Holdings, or Good Century Shenzhen Suppliers. It’s a bit of  a mammoth job getting on top of all these I can tell you. But for now I shall keep my head down and get on with it.   Periodically I am interrupted by meetings which are much more interesting; as I had hoped it is great to be at the heart of things in Asia. Colleagues are enthusiastic and keen to collaborate. I just wish the market would be a little more accommodating in my first weeks here.

The list of loans in the database is not, in fact, what the title of this post refers to. There are two numbers that I enjoyed today. It was payday.And, without wishing to be too crass about it, imagine my delight when I accessed the payslip online. There is one number on it. Which is the gross salary, divided by 12. No National Insurance, no

The ICC. Rather tall.

employee contributions, no salary sacrifice. And no tax. Here in HK, you just pay it when you file your tax return. The tax rate is 15%. Full stop.  No need to pay a chap to spend hours filing your tax return for you.  Last year, they ended up with too much tax money in the HK government coffers. Enter Scheme $6,000.  If you’re a permanent resident they are giving everyone back £500 equivalent. (N.b. We are sadly not eligible!). 

And the other number, was 102. Since that was the floor number of the International Commerce Centre in Kowloon that I had lunch on today with some lawyers and a colleague. Amazing views and good food too. Very odd to be tucking into pumpkin ravioli and see a helicopter circling beneath you out of the window. Maybe not such a dull existence after all!










  1. I am still here! Not petering out Chez Hind. Ahh the Ramsbury busy book…… Sure I have one around here somewhere. Quick I ban sik!!

  2. Did you coft and coft first?!

  3. We are jealous of your tax situation! I have always supported the flat tax. We are on our way to Gibson Island for a dinner, Carlton will have a dark and stormy for you.

    • We are so jealous of you guys ! Gibson Island – what a place. Will have a dark and stormy ourselves to reminisce

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