PAUL Parsons, senior fund manager at Invesco MIM Asia in Hong Kong, has just received a rather odd letter (right). In case you can't read the scribble, it says: ''Dear Sir/Madam, ''I work in Shi Jia Zhuang Building Machinery Plant. My Salary is JPY (Ren Min Bi) 120 Yuan Per Month. I don't know how I can live in this world. ''Could you give me $10,000 (U.S.)?'' Paul said: ''It's quite genuine, with all the stamps etcetera, and even a full address of the chap who wrote it, from Hebei province.'' It's really rather touching. Anyone fancy sending him the money? Then Paul noticed the logo at the top and gasped. He asked: ''Are your mainland correspondents really so poorly paid that they have to resort to these extremes?'' It's a different SCMP, Paul. Our reporters get at least 125 yuan a month. Squeezed nuts BILL Guest of HMS Tamar tells us that in the Prince's Building branch of Oliver's, there is a sign saying: Freshly-Squeezed Coconut Milk. ''This sounds like a clever trick,'' said Bill. Men of 3 words THE great thing about contests at the Godown is that the boss, Carole + Allen, doesn't mind her customers being cheeky. This week she is due to announce the winners of a contest which involved customers writing three words to sum up the restaurant. Although the restaurant is often boisterous, you would think they would have written something polite and complimentary, wouldn't you? Oh no. ''Down, boy, down'' - Alan Guthrie of Sedgwick Chartered. ''PUT THAT AWAY'' - Walter Gerrard of Lanson champagne. ''Big Amex bills'' - Norman King of Baguio Villas. ''Grub, grog, girls'' - David Cheadle of Jones Lang Wootten Indonesia. ''Moist, yielding, throbbing'' - Steve Elrick of BSB advertising. ''I live here'' - Carl Mesham of Mosque Street. ''Better than sex'' - Stephen Meredith of Pokfulam Road. The entries from women diners are too rude to print. First prize is to be given to Patrick Godot, who builds power plants in China. His slogan: ''Aaaah! Ooooh! Mmmmm!''. ''You 'ave to say it avec un Frensshhh accente,'' said Patrick. Suite 'n sour THE Don went to Macau on Friday with his girlfriend Marla Maples. But time and tide wait for no man. When Typhoon Tasha cut transport links between Macau and Hong Kong, Donald Trump was as stuck as anyone else. Since there is little in Macau of his standard (he was in a $20,000-a-night suite in the Peninsula here), where did he sleep? Surely they did not have to share rooms at the Lisboa with other damp holiday-makers? Loan arranger IF Hong Kong's liquor licensing people don't come with a workable scheme soon, there may be another way out, says Kaarlo Schepel, the writer of Magic Walks. He told us about a chap in Amsterdam who could not get a licence because he had a criminal record. So he announced that he was going into the glass rental business. He would rent out each of his glasses for a set fee for 15 minutes. Funnily enough, the glasses were always, er, ''dirty''. Home brew THIS page has several times highlighted bars which charge extra for Carlsberg, claiming it is ''imported beer''. Everyone knows it is brewed in the New Territories. Hong Kong businessman Alan Stroud recently found himself at a bar in China which did not stock his usual brew, San Miguel. So he had some Tsingtao instead. The bottle arrived with ''Imported from China'' on it, and a glance at the bill showed that it was clearly carrying a big surcharge. So where was the bar? At the Haitian Hotel in Qingdao (also spelt Tsingtao), a few minutes' drive away from the Tsingtao Brewery. Drinkers: stand up for your rights (if you can, that is). Unhappy few PEOPLE who get rich are less happy than they were before. This astounding fact is the conclusion of an international study involving rich people from 39 countries, just published in the journal Social Indicators Research. ''Neither increasing income at the individual level nor country level were accompanied by increases in subjective well-being,'' the researchers said. Rapid increases in wealth resulted in less, not more, happiness. ''A lot of people think, 'If only I had a million dollars, I'd be happy','' said Ed Diener, a University of Illinois psychologist. ''It could be true for an individual, but for most people, on average, it appears not to be true.'' If there are any rich people reading this, feel free to send your money to this columnist. We'll be miserable in your place.