Being a tourist vs being a resident.

I remember when I was living in Mainland China, I would think Hong Kong is a big city where people are rich and party all the time and I was sure by then that I will never feel good there. I loved the place I stayed in, because it had a countryside vibe and it felt relaxed.

Then, I went to Hong Kong for the first time with P. and I really enjoyed it. In fact, every time I was visiting Hong Kong after that, I liked it more and more. It made me believe that it can be my home and considering I felt really happy being in Mainland China, I would think that Hong Kong will be way easier to tame.

Before I moved to Dubai, everyone was scaring me about conservative rules and strict punishment for things we would think are normal. Strict dress code, secret police seeing everything that’s happening, etc. As I was expecting the worst, it turned out it wasn’t difficult at all to get used to Dubai life and all those rules I was afraid of were a bit more relaxed. People are understanding of religion differences and you do whatever you want out of your life there.

With these experiences I came to Hong Kong thinking that there is really no big deal in living here. Maybe I just got old. Maybe my expectations were too high after being a tourist in Hong Kong before. Maybe I imagined a totally different picture in my mind and the difference was way too big. I don’t really know what happened.

But it’s only honest to admit that sometimes I do not enjoy living in Hong Kong.

When I was a tourist, I loved going to new places, taking photos of interesting places. Every ferry ride would be so much fun! Even sweating in super hot weather wouldn’t bother me, as I wanted to see more and more and more.

P. even made a video of our trip and my first time to Hong Kong:

And then I moved to Hong Kong and started a regular life and baaam! First, routine kicks in. You start working, and you experience Hong Kong rush hour, which is truly something I have never experienced before. Then, weather makes it even worse by being hot and humid for most of the year.

You try to assimilate with the society, you learn the language at least at basic level, you try to meet people, but then it turns out it is not easy to become friends with people so different from yourself. It is not racist in any way, but people here will always see your different colour. You might be getting along with everyone perfectly, but when it comes to what, you will never belong.

My biggest support here is P.’s family who are the most open and loud crowd I’ve ever met, so it’s always nice to be around them. They all love going out to eat or just meet at my mother-in-law’s house and chill or go down to family HQ (restaurant owned by one person from P.’s family) and have some snacks. As a big fan of eating, I love joining in and getting some treats I would never know to order myself. It also is somewhat comforting knowing that I do belong somewhere and that if needed, they would rush in to help me in trouble.


One thought on “Being a tourist vs being a resident.

  1. I know these experiences all too well. It’s really hard to make friends with Japanese people because our cultures are so different. Women especially because Japanese women are expected to be docile and basically seen and not heard which really clashes with my personality.


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