03/03/2010

1 year in - LONG post






This time last year I arrived in Hong Kong in the afternoon, completely jet lagged on the verge of tears and hysteria ( when I am really tired I feel like the world is ending) but oh my oh my, how a year goes by!
I think I originally thought how we'd be planning our flight back by now but we are staying another year for a lot of sensible not very exciting reasons and even looking to move to a different area of Hong Kong which is exciting because the area is near the sea, one of my 'to do before I die' things ticked!
So in the interests of interests I thought it might be interesting to write a few things I like about Hong Kong and maybe another ranty day I might write about the things I don't like about Hong Kong.

It is pretty pretty here
Okay when you think of HK you think of neon signs and city urban life but in between the concrete jungle is a lot of nature. I love how mountainous it is here and how you never feel far away from the sea. The trees and animals feel cool and exotic too like you always see eagles in the sky swooping around and turtles (terrapins?!) in ponds although I'm not liking the geckos or flying cockroach like bugs you get here but no rats hurrah!

The mish mash culture
Being a former territory of the UK and one of the most westernised cities of Asia it feels pretty extreme at times, you'll walk down a street of well known retail shops and pass a gazillion starbucks & McDonalds but at the end of the slick and shiny road there might be a temple or an wet market or a group of people practicing tai chi or this sword dance thing that I still don't understand.

How safe it is here
Coming from London, I actually sometimes laugh/choke at the crimes in the news and I do not joke when I say I've seen 20 policeman around a crime scene that essentially was just a man littering. I hear about the problems of drugs in schools, how it is a big issue but then I read the statistic that less than 3% of University students have ever had any experience with any type of drugs which I think is staggering!
What I'm trying to say is, is that it is really safe here, I've not ever felt in danger the whole year I've been here and would happily walk around in the am on my own.

Entrepreneurship
There are a lot of small businesses here, I do like the 'can do' attitude you often get, I don't know if it is because of relaxed laws or what but if someone can see a way to make money they will just do it, no 'ifs' and 'ahhhs' about it, do now, ask later.
As an example, there is a chair 10 mins away from me randomly placed near a main road advertising something for $20 hk / $2.60 us / £1.70, there is a phone number too.
So many times I've walked by wondering what it is, is it the battered chair that's up for sale ?
Then one day I walked by and a old man was giving another guy a haircut! and there was a mini queue for his services including suits ! I've yet to seen a female get their haircut there and no I'm not willing to guinea pig myself either.

Food & Transport
Compared to London, the transport here wins hands down. Okay the people trying-to-enter-before-letting-passengers-out is still there (maybe worse actually) but in terms of efficiency, cleanliness &prices its unbeatable, I can even afford to get taxis here, something I never did in London wooo!
Food is just everywhere and because its everywhere its affordable to do often without going to the same places, the same chains having the same thing which is nice although I've yet to have a really nice pasta dish here, once we had a lasagna arrive that had cottage pie style mash on the top. Wrong on so many levels.

5 comments:

Rowan | KitschenSink said...

Mashed potato on lasagne?

I am going to be SICK!

the Lost Earring said...

Sounds like a pretty neat place. I was once hired to teach English there, but opted to stay in the states for an office job. Funny, I thought the transport in London was awesome, but then I live in Seattle (US) where slow and often late buses are the main public transport! About Korean food, I've had it here in the states but it might be quite Americanized--not sure. I love this dish called Bulgogi. Ever have that?

Littleclouds said...

Rowan - I KNOW, it tasted nice, more sickening psychologically than anything really.

Kelly - ahh you live in Seattle, that is on our 'places to possibly move to in the US' list!
Yup transport is the best I've encountered so far to date, so cheap too and the octopus card (like oyster or metro) can be used in shops!
Bulgogi...not heard of it, can't say it sounds appetizing either but Korean food looks scary aha! :P

the Lost Earring said...

Ack!! Why was I thinking Korea? Sorry, I know you're living in HK from before :P I am paying attention, I swear!

Jo Cheung said...

I envy you! haha. Oh I love Hong Kong and can't get enough of it! My parents were from HK and then moved to England 20 odd years ago.

I always end up eating loads food when i'm there!! x

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