Stewart: What I Did In Hong Kong
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Hong Kong, etc.
I’m an English teacher, 27, and am originally from Scotland. I decided to make the most of my job and teach abroad, ending up in Hong Kong in March 2012.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I always intended to blog about living in Hong Kong. I’m part of a local writing group, and write almost every day. Hong Kong inevitably provides a lot of inspiration and, when I can, I put it in my blog.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
Yes, the entry about ‘star’ tutors in Hong Kong. Exam tutors sharing billboards with pop stars… bizarre.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Hong Kong differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
To be honest, life in Hong Kong can be as foreign or as familiar as you make it. You can really seek out ‘Chinese’ experiences, or hang around bars with only Western faces. I’ve not really experienced culture shock at all.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Hong Kong? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I’d change nothing! If I were completely prepared and never surprised I’d barely have anything to write about.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
Let me see… Watching the faces of the locals as I went swimming on New Year’s Day. To me 16 degrees is a perfectly acceptable temperature for swimming!
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Hong Kong?
- Learn a little bit of Cantonese.
- If you are going to live on Hong Kong Island – try to leave it at least once a month.
- Bring huge reserves of patience for when you travel on peak-time MTR.
How is the expat community in Hong Kong? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
The expat community in Hong Kong is, naturally, massive and very mixed. Hong Kong Island is very international and business driven, but there are expat communities all over the place, with all sorts of clubs and societies, and it’s not at all difficult to find like-minded people.
How would you summarize your expat life in Hong Kong in a single, catchy sentence?
Gorgeous food in my belly but the street’s a bit smelly.