The thing about living in Hong Kong
I've been back to Hong Kong for almost 2 weeks now. I love documenting my thoughts and feelings whenever I experience any sort of changes. Most of these are expected though some are more surprising. Let's start with the expected one:
- Air conditioner is really strong.
- Climate is very humid indeed.
- People do drive ruthlessly here.
- Almost everyone has a resting bitch face.
- Things are expensive.
- Weather changes quickly.
- Hong Kong is hilly.
- Hong Kong is tiny. I bumped into at least 10 people at various places.
- Say what you want about MTR. It is still one of the best subway systems in the world. I do dislike the fact that they keep adjusting the fares though.
- Everything is smaller: living space, food portion...even people.
- Wasteful. Really wasteful. Recycling bins are not common.
- Lots of expats in my hood...or in Hong Kong in general. I didn't realize Hong Kong has that many expats when I was young. I guess HK is quite "multicultural" after all.
- Despite being one of the most capitalist cities in the world, Hong Kong actually has a lot of public services. There's a sport center at every district, for instance.
Here comes the more "surprising" parts of living in Hong Kong. I was born and raised here but sometime I completely forgot these things...:
Coffee is expensive
I got a pour over the other day at a cafe in Sai Ying Pun. I forgot where the beans came from but it was 60 HKD (10 CAD!!). In Vancouver, even at relatively expensive cafes like Matchstick, Timbertrain or Revolver, a cup of pour over costs about 4 CAD and no more than 6 CAD for the really “fancy" one. Starbucks is also more expensive here. I don't get how coffee becomes such an expensive lifestyle here in Hong Kong.
Managing time can be tricky
Hong Kong is extremely convenient. But here’s what I have issues with, not necessarily with Hong Kong but rather with Google Map. For the most part Google Map only considers the distance between point A & point B, on a flat surface. What it doesn't calculate is the "vertical distance" or the elevation.
For instance, the other day I had a dinner plan with a friend at Hysan Place at Causeway Bay. The restaurant is on the 12/F of the mall. The mall is right above Causeway Bay Station's Exit F. Google did consider the distance between the platform and that very exit, which is already pretty impressive. But it didn’t consider the time spent on waiting for elevators and walking up. Getting to places at rush hours makes matter worse. It ended up took me almost 15 minutes to get from the station to the restaurant. (Okay it was more like 12 minutes but still...)
But that's actually very natural to Hong Kong. Things are not spread across the land but stacked on top of each other.
no, tap water here is not drinkable
😂 Okay, I really should know better. Boil tap water before drinking when you visit Hong Kong......But the reason behind it is not quite straightforward. Here's what I gather:
b.) Higher microbial risk (because of the climate)
c.) Metal falling off from the pipes of your building
The government actually claims that tap water is drinkable but apparently they only make sure that our water is okay from to the water plant to the point it enters your building, where it gets tricky.
I cannot believe that I completely forgot that literally every Hongkonger boils tap water before drinking it even though I am one.