Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Life in Hong Kong

I'm just about to hit the one month mark living in Hong Kong. I haven't been writing much because I doubt that posts about me applying for jobs, eating kebabs and sleeping in would have much value to you. I'm living with two of my best friends in the world, Jake and Emma. Without them living here, I for sure would not have considered moving here, mainly due to how expensive living is here. So I'm staying with them in their incredibly convenient apartment near Central Hong Kong until I figure out my life. I went on an interview, got the job and now I am waiting for the paperwork to get processed so I can start working. The last post I wrote about how much I loved Thailand and how I wanted to stay. Well, while I was in Nakhon, I interviewed for a job teaching Math to grades 4-6 as a backup plan. While at the interview, I knew I was going to be offered the job once one of the Thai teachers met me and told me I was handsome. Handsome=job in Nakhon. So while I was looking for jobs in Hong Kong, I was also waiting to hear back from Thailand. I slowly started leaning towards Thailand. While I ended up getting offered both jobs, I think that we must embrace change and try new things. Nakhon will always be there, Seth will always be desperate for me to stay at his crib, I can always go back. 2014 is about moving forward, so let's do that. 

Hong Kong is great. Tons of people, things to do, restaurants, bars, beaches, hiking and cheap flights to other amazing countries. I did an incredible job of having no expectations for Hong Kong. Just before I left Thailand I was asked if I was excited to go. My honest answer was no because my heart was still in Nakhon. While my heart still might be there, it is slowly making its way by cargo ship to the ports of HK. The amount of English spoken here is fairly high, the weather is warm but a nice break that it isn't as incredibly hot as Thailand. The air pollution is for sure a major problem due to all of the cars, boats and airplanes. And the taxis! Guess for a moment how many taxis and taxi drivers there are here. Think about it. According to the very nice Chinese man who drove me somewhere last week, there are over 18 000 cabs and around 40 000 cab drivers. SO MANY TAXIS! But like most things here, you need to form a queue. 

One very convenient aspect of living here is having an octopus card. This card pays for your subway and ferry rides, bus and mini-van rides, 7-11 purchases, restaurants and rumour has it that you pay for your hospital bill when you have a baby with your octopus card. What an amazing place. I arrived on November 14th and my mom came to visit on the 17th for two weeks. Had been almost two years since I saw her so it was great seeing her for such an extended visit. We did a bunch of tourist things like going to see the Big Buddha, going to beaches and islands, watching the Symphony of Lights Show, went to a music festival, got lost a few times and other general mother and son things. Seeing your family is certainly good for your soul and I should be doing more of it. We also went to Macau, the gambling capital of the world and I turned $100 HKD ($13CDN) into $500 HKD ($60 CDN). No big deal, only high limit tables for this guy.

People in Hong Kong love horse racing like people in Canada love hockey. Every Wednesday night there are horse races at this gorgeous facility. The amount of money that people have that gamble there is disgusting. They have done a good job marketing horse racing as a party to the general public but also still appealing to the hardcore gamblers. I was there for two hours and you could easily not watch a horse race and just drink and eat as much as you want. Any sort of event that is outside, watching some sort of event with your friends, food and drinks is a winning combination. And people dress up when they go out places, wearing suits and beautiful dresses. It is nice living somewhere with so many different fashion styles and trends. Makes me think I need new clothes...

The picture about is of LKF, a main party district where there are pubs and clubs but it is just as much fun to grab a cheap beer from 7-11 and walk amongst the crowd and people watch. Hong Kong very well could be my home for the next year or two so if you would like to come visit, there are more than enough hotels around that would be more than happy to accommodate you. Hope everyone has a great holiday season and I plan on getting a few more posts in by the end of the year.

"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." –Maya Angelou

"Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart." – Ancient Indian Proverb

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