Monday, 27 April 2015

Dolce Vita - The Sickly Sweet Life

Photo from PT Money


Noun phrase. Mid-20th century.
[Italian = sweet life.]

A life of luxury, pleasure, and self-indulgence.
Frequently preceded by the or la.

Whenever I think of la dolce vita, I think of Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei, whose full name of (deep breath) His Royal Highness Pengiran Digadong Sahibul Mal Pengiran Muda Jefri Bolkiah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien is truly indicative of a man primed for a life of excess.

Prince Jefri (or Jeff, as I like to call him) is infamous for his life of nauseatingly spectacular opulence. Of course, there are the bog-standard follies of aristocratic billionaires - the fleets of cars, grotesque mansions, gaudy jewels, harems of prostitutes on call day and night and so on and so forth; but when it comes to pointless indulgence, the J-Dog really knows how to push the diamond-encrusted yacht out. He once, for example, paid $17,000,000 for a private concert by Michael Jackson, hosted in a purpose-built, single-use stadium!  He also bought a rug for $7,000,000 (although apparently it was an exceptionally nice rug), and paid $1,500,000 for a badminton coach (and was still rubbish). And he had a yacht called Tits. You read that right.

Yes, I'm indignant too. But wait! There is a happy ending, for Jefri's dolce vita would eventually dissolve into an aspro vita. Proving there is at least some justice in this world, an audit eventually led to charges against the J-Dog for embezzling some $15 billion from the Brunei government. Sure, he wasn't ever found guilty; sure, despite turning over all of his assets he probably still lives in a level of luxury each of us could only ever dream of. But it is kind of satisfying isn't it?

Of course, none of us should be too judgemental. After all, who is immune to the allure of luxury living? Why, only today I myself bought not one but two pairs of shorts. That's right - red or black - I couldn't decide. So I just thought 'blow it,' slapped down the credit card, and lived la dolce vita, baby. Yeah!

Do you live la dolce vita?

Would you ever ruin a perfectly formed Italian phrase by saying the dolce vita?

Do please leave your most extravagant comment in the gold-plated box below.


  1. If I had Jefri money, and mind, I could.
    But then I have the notion that, for such character, Marcello, Anita and Trevi Fountain belong to a photoshoot for Times ;) that he could order for himself with a snap of gold ringered fingers...
    tut tut, Dear Eddie. Red shorts? You're just a couple of million of hanging out with J-Dog :horror:

    1. Apparently Jefri's monthly expense account was $50 million, Teresa, so I'm more than a couple of million off!

  2. I had a rush of reckless extravagance this morning when I broke out a new tea bag. Gave me quite a buzz, too, I can tell you.

    1. You joke, Sally (I think), but I have a relative that shares tea bags for the purpose of conservation, and I do feel awfully extravagant indeed when I insist on having an entire bag all to myself.

  3. Hi Voltaic Ed,

    I see you had an electrolysis job done. Must have cost a fortune.
    For my part, I had two beers instead of one and gave my pushbike away.

    1. I really can't decide if that's a good trade. Like, in the moment, when you really, really, really want that second beer, I can see how it would be ...

    2. Upgrading to having two beers and using my bus pass is a big step up the social ladder. Dolce Vita. By the way, you missed the anagram.