NOTE: this was actually written a couple of months ago, shortly after I published the 12 British things that I took for granted, but I never got round to publish it properly. Since I’ve moved back to HK now, it has been great to have these 10 great things around me again that I missed a lot when I was in the UK. And these are also perhaps 10 things that all fellow HK students living in the UK would agree that we miss from home (albeit rather cliché).
Constantly travelling between two cities on the other side of the globe means that I get to live in two culturally very different societies, and I get to experience and embrace the differences in the little things in life. Here are 10 great things about living in Hong Kong that I’ve taken for granted that I miss while in the UK.
#1: Cheap and authentic Asian/HK food
Dim sum, BBQ pork with rice, egg tarts, egg waffles, fish ball noodles, the list of unique Hong Kong delicacies goes on and on. Even other Asian cuisines like Korean or Japanese are very popular in Hong Kong and you can get a variety of these awesome Asian food relatively cheap (and they are usually better in Hong Kong I think). Just stop reminding me how the ‘bubblewrap’ got westernised. *roll eyes*
#2: Cheap transportation
$2.3 (23p) for the entire tram journey on Hong Kong Island. Even MTR (tube) is sooo cheap compared to London. 50 minutes on the train from where I live in N.T. to Central only costs $19 (a little less than £2). And back to London where it costs £2.4 (off-peak) from where I live in Zone 2 to Zone 1 Central London, which takes maybe 15 minutes…
#3: Just almost everything about the MTR
MTR (tube/metro/subway) is almost perfect and is way better than the London Tube. The trains are much cleaner, there’s air conditioning on all trains, there’s mobile signal (4G!) underground, and the train service is so reliable that people make a big deal out of minor delays and signal failures. And there is barely any ‘weekend planned engineering work’. There was a small work a few years ago that people made a big deal out of: one station was closed back in 2011 for 54 hours and people were so angry about it. Think of London…District and Hammersmith & City lines are suspended almost every weekend…ugh…(Ok I’ll tell you more about me here) I used to live in Stepney Green and when the District and H&C lines were closed I’m basically trapped in Stepney because those are the only lines that serve the station, and I used to get
super annoyed about it.
Oh one more thing. There are escalators and lifts in all stations on the MTR from the moment you enter the station to when you get on the train. While in London, at my endz the stations don’t have one single escalator. Even in the Central London stations you will have to use the stairs at some point even if there’s escalator. I just feel super sorry whenever I see an elderly person struggling to climb the stairs at the Tube Stations.
#4: Traditional Chinese festivals
It sucks to be away from home during Lunar New Year or Mid Autumn Festival, when your extended family is having a big meal while you’re in England, either having a lecture or walking down the streets under the (lovely) wet British winter. I guess to a certain extent it is similar to Christmas in the UK, where families would gather and have a good time together. I miss the amazing dishes that my grandma makes, and the holiday vibe. And you get 3 consecutive bank holidays for Lunar New Year so it IS a pretty big deal.
#5: Cheap Asian groceries
I know I’m kind of being a little self-contradictory here, saying how I much I like the cheap fresh fruit and veg in the UK in my last post. But when I do want to cook some Asian food, they are just so expensive here! And it’s less convenient here as well because there are things that you can only get from the Asian supermarkets.
As much as I don’t like the high density of Hong Kong’s buildings, not gonna lie, the skyline is pretty impressive. London doesn’t really have a distinctive skyline because buildings are more spread out, whereas in Hong Kong the buildings are quite concentrated. Don’t like the density, but they form an impressive skyline.
#7: Fast internet
I kinda took the internet speed back home for granted, now in the UK I just get annoyed on how the internet is so slow here. One time I was watching the finale of a Korean TV drama on Dailymotion with my friend, and we were on the final 5 minutes, but the video just stopped and kept loading forever. We were both so annoyed.
#8: Better weather…?
Hong Kong summers are awful because of the heat and humidity, but winters aren’t too bad, at least not as cold as it is in the UK! And the most important point is… it’s not raining all the time!
#9: Free TV
Not that I watch a lot of British TV (and most TV programmes in Hong Kong actually suck), but it’s just the whole idea of having to pay for a TV license in the UK that I found super ridiculous.
#10: Because it’s home
Hong Kong, aka HOME Kong. And there’s no place like home.
‘You can leave Hong Kong, but it will never leave you.’ — Nury Vittachi
As always, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE. You don’t know how much it means to me!
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Take care and see ya soon! <3