It’s been a little over five years I’ve been living in Hong Kong. I have to admit it took me a while to get used to living here. People who were raised here love it, in fact I think they’d struggle to live anywhere else. Its convenient, they like the weather (seriously debatable!), it’s the land of opportunity, low taxes, an East meets West kinda city where you get all the luxuries of having domestic help at a fraction of the price you’d pay in any other first world country. Property may break the bank but jobs are great, benefits even better and there is something for everyone.
Five years down the line I call this home. I know the city like the back of my hand. Through research and experience I have made it my home (sometimes I even like it better than London….gasp!! ;-)). Not just from an expats point of view but from a locals as well. I can finally say I LOVE Hong Kong.
I can live with flats being small and the extortionate price of
things anything because public transport is incredible and domestic help is cheap. But there are definately things I miss about the UK that I wish I could bring here. These are some of them:
1. Fresh air – Today the pollution level in Hong Kong was astonishingly high, over 200. Not only is that high for HK standards but it is off the charts for worldwide standards.
2. Snow – I know it sounds crazy (especially given the slopes of HK) but just for one day it’d be so nice if we had snow. When I was in London last year it snowed and we all went out to play in the snow. I can’t wait for S to experience it.
3. Supermarkets – Oh how I miss Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Don’t get me wrong, you do get a lot of British items here but when you’re paying 5 times the price, it’s not as appealing. Also in supermarkets in the UK it’s a one stop shop. You can buy everything from bananas to books in most supermarkets.
4. Good children’s clothing – When I had S in London last year, I shopped for him for a year!! Sounds crazy but you just don’t get the same variety of clothes here. You can order online now adays but it’s not the same as being able to browse in an actual shop.
5. PG Tips – Ok so this technically comes under supermarkets but today I feel like it needs it’s own post because it has been unavailable in Hong Kong for at least the last 3 weeks!! I have looked in several stores, almost on a daily basis and still not found it. If you’re English, you know what I’m talking about. A good cup of tea makes a huge difference to your day. I’ve even converted my inlaws 😉
6. Chocolate – Good ol’ Cadburys chocolate. The Australian version is just not the same and don’t get me started on how
sickeningly sweet American chocolate is. Galaxy, Twix, Whole nut and Kit Kat *sigh*
7. Silence – Just for 5 minutes. The construction around Mid Levels is unbelievable. Never have I witnessed a building come up this fast (or in our case, 4 buildings surrounding us in as many years!!)
8. Boots – Watsons and Mannings are pretty good but I love Boots. I was so excited when I heard they were coming to Hong Kong, only to be disappointed when I realised it was just a concession at a few Mannings stores.
9. Shops – Dorothy Perkins, New Look – your average high street store!
10. Baby stuff – Formula is twice the price, jars of food are four times the price, nappies, toys, disposable nappy sacks…the list goes on.
I’m sure everyone has their own top 10 things they miss from back home, wherever that may be. If you’re living away from home, what are your things?