Hong Kong is not the easiest place to live in. It may be awesome but as my title states, let the truth be told. Talking to one of the friends I’ve made here, we noted how your mood could go from zero to ten within a couple of days and back to zero in another few.
The truth is, moving to a new country and adjusting to a new culture is difficult. You’re without your comforts, the love that you’re normally receiving and you’re constantly learning, be it about the new world around you, the people you’ve met or just doing things you would have done in England anyway.
Let me clarify. Grocery shopping is difficult; as I don’t have shops right by my accommodation so I have to make trips to the shops. As cooking can be fairly expensive, I tend to eat out and mostly live on pot noodles for convenience (they’re 70p and it’s just-add-water, can you blame me?).
Clothes’ shopping is difficult. Hong Kong is heralded as the place to go for bags, clothes and shoes. Whilst that may be true for those with an endless supply of money, this is most certainly not the case for a student. I was ill informed that I would be able to buy clothes here cheaply in HK. Whilst in London, you can find designer shops in one location, Hong Kong is the complete opposite. Chanel, Cartier, Prada are just about round every corner… Crazy, I know! Furthermore, the HK women have particularly tiny frames so any of the (few) cheap clothing stores will not do and everywhere else seems too expensive. I’m so grateful for the Forever 21, H&Ms and Uni Qlos here though! Zara, on the other hand, is strangely more expensive in HK than in England, not that I was planning on spending my loan there.
Mosquitoes and biting ants: 4 words I loathe when said together. I have no idea why but they absolutely adore my blood. I can safely say that I have been bitten more than anyone else that I have met here. Worst thing is, my scars show on my body but it’s all part of the experience. Upon spraying on to my skin what was supposedly “the best mosquito repellent” I was bitten twice in less than 2 minutes. I told you that they loved me, nothing was going to stop those ravenous mosquitos.
Another challenge I face is managing the time difference. The UK is EIGHT WHOLE HOURS behind which makes keeping in contact with family and friends almost impossible at times.
Luckily, the people here are great. There are always people around to distract you and like someone once said, we are each other’s families out here. HK is jam-packed with an infinite number of things to do, ranging from an array of coffee shops to beaches to rooftop bars, endless escalators that run through narrow lanes to traditional Chinese temples and gardens planted between skyscrapers. There’s nothing quite like it.
On another positive note, the weather has FINALLY changed. It’s gone from 98% humidity at 35+ degrees in my first few weeks now dropping to a lovely warm temperature with the occasional breeze – perfection.
So, yes, I miss a good ‘cuppa tea,’ but truth be told I would never change my mind about travelling to Hong Kong for the year; no matter how tricky things might get here sometimes. Whilst I miss home, I can well and truly say that I am out of my comfort zone and this is making me learn to deal with new challenges or even deal with old ones in a brand new way. I absolutely love it.
I’ll leave you with a few snapshots of Hong Kong’s beauty. Over and out.