"Behind the impressive facades"
In his book Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi makes the following comments on how some societies do not make good use of leisure time:
"...the quality of a society hinges on what its members do in their leisure time. Sub-urban communities can be so depressingly bland because one has reason to believe that behind the impressive facades rising from the emerald lawns nobody is doing anything interesting. There are entire countries where one gets the impression from talking even with members of the societal elite that besides money, family, fashion, vacations, and gossip there is not that much else that engages their attention."
It seems as if the description is tailor-made for this city in which I was born and bred - a city they called "Asia's World City".