InterNations Featured Blog
Gillian: Hong Kong Blog
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am Gillian, a Hong Kong based Canadian blogger who keeps a local lifestyle blog, http://gillian-chu.blogspot.com. I moved back to Hong Kong after my studies and I am totally loving it here!
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I never thought of keeping a blog until December 2010, when my friend Erica invited me to go to events on behalf of Lifestyle Asia, the online magazine she represents, and do the write ups for them. On February 2011, after several months of guest contributing for various online magazines and blogs, I decided to keep my own blog on top of writing for others, because I have just way too much to write about than an occasional guest post.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
It is difficult for me to choose which piece I like the most, because they are all my babies, but a few of my most clicked on posts do include a Singapore travel piece, an interview with Percy on her paper art, and a guide for men in lingerie shopping. This pretty much covers the most significant areas of my blogging interest - Travel, Art, and Fashion.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Hong Kong differs from that back home. Did you experience culture shock?
Since I am originally from Hong Kong, there isn’t much of a culture shock per se. I am actually rather relieved to be back to a place where everybody is on a hurry. I was quite stressed out when I was still in school, where the queuing, whether it is in banks or at supermarkets, just seems to last forever!
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Hong Kong?
Yup I would say so, because I have worked and lived in Hong Kong prior to moving back, I knew what to expect.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
I love the Canto-English, stuff like people telling me how they were walking shops, and now are back from the streets. It is just something that would be entirely lost in translation if you didn’t have any Cantonese up your sleeves.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong is super hectic, so make sure you are well prepared for rushing your way through the crowd. Otherwise, the locals would start shoving to get past you. Change is not only inevitable in Hong Kong, it also happens in a lightening speed, so the quaint shop around the corner you visited just yesterday might be gone tomorrow. Best of all, this city is strategically situated right in the middle of Asia, so take advantage of your time here, and travel around!
How is the expat community in Hong Kong? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
Most of my friends who were studying or working abroad has now either moved back to Hong Kong or over to Shanghai for the job opportunities, so I don’t have much trouble finding fellow expats. I have met lots of colleagues who are locals, and we get along rather well, mainly because I grew up here and I speak fluent Cantonese.
How would you summarize your expat life in Hong Kong in a single, catchy sentence?
Expat life in Hong Kong is busy, glamorous, and all about trying new things!