Originally posted June 18, 2012, here, on my old blog.
Welcome to the world of Hong Kong, according to me. My daily life in Hong Kong could not be more different from the life I had in the states. Most of my life was spent in Dallas, with the exception of a few years in Chicago and Tulsa. So you can imagine, Hong Kong has been quite the culture slap! However, I thought I had an idea of what life would be like in Hong Kong, as I had traveled here extensively for several years. However, traveling and living are two completely different things.
Traveling consisted of a private driver waiting for me down stairs every morning, someone by my side to translate my every thought into perfect Cantonese, not to mention the 5-Star accommodations (like– dry cleaning delivered to the foot of my bed). Living, on the other hand, consists of taking the MTR, ferry’s, escalators, taxis and buses (I had never been on a city bus until I moved to HK, and the word ‘ferry” wasn’t in my vocabulary…). It means I have to say everything 3 times and end up with something similar to what I wanted, Sweating. All. The. Time. (hair products running down my face burning my eyes, and my shirt looking like a second skin). And let’s not talk about going to the dry-cleaners.
I knew those luxuries would go away, but I thought they would be replaced with something similar to what I had in the states. I don’t have a private driver, but I could walk out to my garage and get into my spotless, leather scented sports car and drive myself anywhere I wanted. And although you can’t compare real life to a 5-Star hotel, I did have a pretty nice home with my own swimming pool, nearby golf courses, parks, ponds with ducks, and hills and hills of pristine green lawns and well manicured flower beds at every turn. I could tell anyone anything, and they understood me! My dry cleaning wasn’t delivered, but I could drop it off on my drive to work and pick-up on my way home (the same day!!). I didn’t have to calculate and think, “Okay, if I drop this off today- it will be ready next Friday (10 days away) and I need to wear this suit next Thursday, so… I’m screwed!”
I know what you’re thinking– I was spoiled. I have one thing to say to that, YOU ARE RIGHT!! I learned real quick life in Hong Kong is hard, but after 8 months I have also learned hard doesn’t mean bad (BTW- that lesson took every day of the past 8 months). Would I take my old lifestyle back in exchange for what I’ve gained, my answer would be no. Life is a journey of building experiences, moments that take your breath away (good or bad), stretching (to the point of almost breaking), meeting people (even if you don’t speak their language), bumping elbows (whether clean or dirty), and smiling.
So, here we go. I hope as you share this journey with me, I take your breath away, make you laugh so hard you can’t breath, allow the expression of tears to flow, and a few aha moments along the way. But above all, I want you to see life in Hong Kong…according to me.
I’m glad you are here!