The Rich Are Different …

“The Rich are Different,” Scott Fitzgerald said to Hemingway one day. “Yes,” replied Hemingway, “they have more money than us.” And they have yachts. The French magazines are full of pictures of the world’s zillionaires sunning themselves on their yachts off the likes of Saint-Tropez and Cannes. I was tempted to say “the world’s overweight […]

“The Rich are Different,” Scott Fitzgerald said to Hemingway one day. “Yes,” replied Hemingway, “they have more money than us.”

And they have yachts.

The French magazines are full of pictures of the world’s zillionaires sunning themselves on their yachts off the likes of Saint-Tropez and Cannes. I was tempted to say “the world’s overweight zillionaires” and their “size zero blondes”, but I decided not to be nasty. Oh by the way, with “size zero” I meant their brains.

The weekly “VSD” (stands for Vendredi Samedi Dimanche – Friday Saturday Sunday and I’ve quoted from it in previous posts) has a cover story on the “secrets of the new jet-set”. Just a reflection, but should they not have made it “yacht-set” instead of “jet-set”. (Didn’t “jet” come from exactly that “jets”, in other words aeroplanes because the super-rich all had private jets?)

But today now they have yachts. Or, if they do not have their own, they hire one. Actually, they hire them months in advance, pay the rental in full, then they look for something larger and smarter, pay the second one’s rental in full too, and use the first one for their luggage. Blows the mind, doesn’t it? Well, read on.

As VSD reports, one yacht was being advertised on the Web for between $118,280 and $157,707 (€75,000/100,000 / ₤59,370/9,160) A WEEK. The 170 foot (52 meters) “Red Dragon” landed a tenant: Zillionaire Richard Attias whose wife is Cécilia, President Sarkozy’s ex (second ex actually). Add to that amount a daily berthing fee of between $1577 and $9462 (€1000/6000 – ₤792/4750). Or, between $15,770 and $23,656 (€10,000/15,000 – ₤7917/11,875) if you want to pull in right in front of the Riviera’s two top watering holes, the Café de Paris and the Bar du Port, in Saint-Tropez. And add another 15% of the rental just to feed the staff of 15.

Then, there’s all the other spending. As VSD also reports, a day on Nikki Beach in Saint-Tropez will start with a carton of champagne at $80 or $95 (€50 or €60 – ₤40 or ₤48) a bottle. Then, at night, the spending continues in the night clubs like the VIP and the Caves du Roy in Saint-Tropez and the Palais in Cannes. The best table costs between $23,656 and $47,312 (€15,000/30,000 – ₤11,875/23,748) for a night. A bottle of champagne costs $63,083 (€40,000 – ₤31,665). Mind you, it’s a Mathusalem 202 fluid ounces or 12 pints (6 litres.) And of course, one can’t just walk in and ask for the best table in the place; one must reserve. A story being told is that two years ago the late Boris Yeltsin booked dinner for his party of Russians at a restaurant in Saint-Florent, Corsica, but because they didn’t show, the restaurateur phoned Yeltsin’s yacht to ask when they’ll be arriving. He realized they wouldn’t; they were all drunk. Not wishing to waste the food – lots of caviar and vodka too – the restaurateur speed-boated the food to the yacht. I wonder if the caviar reappeared moments after it was eaten?

Another story VSD tells is of two Pakistani brothers who each night spend between $157,797 and $235,560 (€100,000/150,000 – ₤79,160/118,740) on champagne alone. Another story is of the party the daughter of a Russian threw the other night in a nightclub. It was her 35th birthday. The cost came to $394,268 (€250,000 – ₤197,000). Maybe she regrets more the fact that people now know that she’s half-way to 40, than the money she spent on the birthday.

Who are these zillionaires?

Well, there’s Mr. Attias and President Sarkozy’s ex, Cécilia.; Donatella Versace; Flavio Briatore; the Monaco royals; Uma Thurman and her new beau Arpad Busson who’s Elle MacPherson’s ex; Kate Moss; Ivana Trump; P. Diddy; the King and Queen of Jordan; some other royals, etc etc. And then there’s Roman Abramovitch, Russian owner of Chelsea football club and his new girlfriend Asha Zhukova. He even has four yachts, the “Pelorus”, the “Le Grand Blue”, the “Ecstasea” and the “Sussurro”, and they’re not hired; they belong to him – what else! The “Pelorus”, at 377 feet (115 meters) is the largest of all the yachts about, with “Le Grand Blue” a close second at 367 feet (112 meters). And he’s got another yacht “on order” from a German shipyard. This one’s name will be the “Eclipse” and at 548 feet (167 meters) it will be the world’s largest privately-owned yacht. It’s costing him $473+ million (€300 million – ₤237+ million), but not to worry, if there is someone who can afford it, he can. (And the Russians shot to death their tsar, Nicholas 2, his wife and children for their excesses, but ça c’est la vie, non?)

And how old are these zillionaires ?

Abramovitch is the youngest at 42. He was born poor in Russia in 1966. The average age of the others is 58. A few years back it was 62, but there’s more money around these days apparently and more Russians with urges to get rich, “bistre”. Therefore, there is another interesting snippet in VSD: Europe has 14 billionaires under the age of 40. Thirteen of them are Russians. In 1968 when the Soviets invaded Prague, someone had written the following graffiti on a wall: “Lenin wake up, they have gone mad!”

But both Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway were right … the rich are different from us; they have more money …

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

6 Responses

7-24-2008 at 14:37:00

I have a slight problem with your money figures Marilyn, do you really mean a bottle of champagne at $63 thousand and a table for $47 thousand? I know in some countries figures are written differently, but I can’t believe people really spend that much – or are they really such idiots?

7-24-2008 at 14:38:00

By the way, my father parked his yacht in some of those places around 40 years ago. Wasn’t quite that expensive in those days.

7-26-2008 at 12:22:00

i disagree ^^

Rich are just like eveyone, with a lot of money. That’s just as this girl about 16 year old stealing banks recently. The paradise is to be rich . If possible, most would work and everyone would spend money without no other meaning that being nicer or cooler than …

To be honest: We are the rich without money i believe.

7-26-2008 at 12:45:00

Marilyn – Whatever their money buys them, it sure ain’t class!
Tony

7-26-2008 at 13:26:00

That’s very true Tony. Some rich people certainly behave as though consideration for others disappears with every million they have.

5-21-2012 at 19:45:44

I wish i was rich!

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