Hong Kong, the melting pot of Asia, serves as home to a lot of nations. Why? Well, there are distinct experiences that you can only have a taste of at 852. Whether you are just here for a month or you had stayed long enough to become a resident, you know “Home” Kong lives in your heart when:
You are used to greeting people at work “Jo San!”, which means “Good Morning!” in Cantonese even if it’s already 2 pm.
People in Hong Kong are not too cheesy or chatty. But being greeted this way is already an expression of fondness and comfort. When you greet locals with this one, they appreciate it and they would gladly reciprocate it followed up with good wishes of a good day ahead.
Check out this video where you can learn more Cantonese words while you stay in Hong Kong.
You need adjustment in seeing the written dates and times since Hong Kong uses “military time” (900, 1500, 2345). And their dates begin with the day first, then a month, then the year.
You won’t realize yourself being accustomed to its usage until you reach your hometown. You subconsciously research for that military format of a time when checking tickets, show schedules or meet up details only to realize, “Oh! I’m not in Asia anymore!”. The same goes with filling up your arrival card as soon as you reach the airport of destination from Hong Kong, you become rattled of going back to reading 12/04/2019 from 04/12/19.
You have learned to love having yum cha on weekends because you have gotten fond of dim sum. To some, high tea appeals too but Hong Kong’s idea of getting together on weekends and lingering over tea had been quite a tradition.
Now you just choose whether you want to have it in the morning or afternoon. Either way, make sure you spend it with people who love to eat and whose company you truly love having. May I suggest you don’t miss ordering chia siu bao and siu mei for an authentic Hong Kong dim sum feel.
You don’t mind walking and not owning a car because their public transportation is almost flawless.
Almost flawless I say because there are still places that don’t have that much of a direct train station and there were a few accidents with troublesome civilians. The most important thing though is that you can gauge the time you can arrive at a certain place because there’s not much heavy traffic and everything on time. If there’d be delays, for sure there’s a reason and it happens rarely.
You know how to dress up by now on how to adjust to the weather that could extremely change within 5 minutes. A perfectly sunny day could turn into an ‘amber’ rain situation in which you’d understand what layers mean in terms of fashion.
Hong Kong fashion is truly remarkable in the sense of style and comfort combined! People walk a lot in Hong Kong and you’ll be surprised at how varied their preferences are ranging from something extravagant to casual yet chick when dealing with the walking. I’d choose to wear flats for errands during the day. I won’t mind wearing heels at night provided I just have to stay in one place. But if I have to party, (like parteh!!!!) in Lan Kwai Fong or attend the 7’s, I’d stay in flats.
Yes, weather changes extremely but concerning the rain, I don’t necessarily have to bring an umbrella. As long as my errands are located indoors, it’s good. But you may be asking, “Well how do you get there without getting soaked?” Well, most of the train stations here are connected through a certain, walkway, bridge or underpass. That’s where I feel the tax I pay. Public utilities here are truly efficient. My daughter goes to school for free as a taxpayer.
There was a time I had to go to the HK Trade and Development Center from Tin Shui Wai. It was pouring, I forgot to bring my umbrella but I never even got wet! The MTR transportation was helpful indeed and the bridge ways had served me with ease. Kudos to the facilities available in public.
When using public staircases, escalators, walkalators or just when walking in public, you assume treading entitlement at the left lane when you’re in a hurry. When stationary people stay along the left side, you feel that urge to kill them.
- This is one of the things that would come automatically to you after some time of staying in Hong Kong. And when you do, it’s because you either have had an awful experience by getting pushed out of the way, or some people had taunted you, “Mgoi” as they squeezed themselves down to the fast lane.
- Either way, it’s traumatizing and it sends you to learn your lesson straight up. So even if you’re not in Hong Kong, you still apply it either way, or you find yourself, tucked politely on the side.
You can exactly gauge what time you’ll reach a certain place because of all the apps or digital kiosks that let you know the bus and train schedules.
Most of what you have become while living in Hong Kong all revolves around time, the territories you go to, and the balance you give it. The internet service in Hong Kong is fast that it gives you information faster than a snap of your fingers. With that, you have important transportation information that could help you estimate the travel time you’re going to spend in finishing your errands, plan out your day or whether it’s worth it to take a taxi, bus or train. It’s just very simple truth that when we are out of Hong Kong and when we don’t get this kind of assurance (in terms of using our time), you may just be not as productive. It all comes to play when you manage your time well. And I love how Hong Kong does it for me.
You learn to call Hong Kong as HomeKong. Whether it’s because of the comfort you feel as you ease through the airport with just your HK permanent ID or the egg tart or the bubble milk tea or even just the safe vibe when walking the HK streets, all of these lures you into a special attachment to Hong Kong.
I know a lot of people who had been in contracts to work in Hong Kong. They find some fondness in here that makes it so hard to let go. I can not pinpoint exactly what it is that makes people so attached to our dear ol’ 852 but mysteriously, facing closure is the least that they want to do.
I find it comforting that I look different amongst the Chinese people. This way, they consider me as a foreigner not understanding anything when they speak their language. There’s comfort in pretending I don’t, so I don’t get obliged to respond sometimes. And even with that much energy from the city, I could still preserve privacy. I guess that’s one of the things I love about being in this country. You can be on your own but you get to be surrounded by a vibrant environment.
You celebrate Halloween and Rugby 7’s like how you celebrate Christmas (where ever you are from).
Streets of Lan Kwai Fong are cordoned close to keep order in the driveway and not to create obstructive traffic. But still, Halloween in Hong Kong surprises everybody every year. With so many attendees all over the world, innovative costumes that people get into, also, how gays could block roads to give way for their catwalk. All sorts of fun.
On the other hand, HK Rugby 7’s in addition to all the horse races Hong Kong holds, it’s a reason to go for more than 1 pint of beer. We know how it escalates from there.
So if you have lived in Hong Kong that long, you’d know how people could get crazy with Hong Kong Rugby 7’s, the horse races and the Halloween. Whether it’s because of the opportunity to dress up or the booze, it had become a tradition.
You understand the importance and power of the Octopus card.
When you go home to your country, you will somehow wish that it has the same card that you can utilize as much as you do your Octopus Card.
It pays for transportation (MTR, buses, light rail), can be used in the convenience store, and is the one thing you need to go ice skate in Hong Kong. It is honored as a purchasing tool in a lot of establishments which enables almost everybody to go cashless.
No need to bring heavy wallets. Just top it up in 7-11, MTR stations or even online banking and you’re good to go. Personalized ones give you the most ultimate perks as far as discounts are concerned. It is really helpful in a lot of ways.
If you think this list lacks a thing or two, let me know by commenting below. And if you agree on each item, allow me to observe Hong Kong more through a cup of Joe.