I hope you’re not overwhelmed from the first 11 Quirky Life Differences I shared about living in Hong Kong?
To give you a further peek into my daily life, I have added another 10 ‘fun facts’ including the wonderful experience of having Macca’s delivered to your door.
I don’t know about you, but I am use to having a massive wad of keys weighing my handbag down?
Keys for my house, my parent’s house, my Uncle’s house, office keys, my pilates swipe disk, keys to my old house (oops), all filled up my key chain.
In Hong Kong I have two little keys. That’s it.
One to our apartment and one to the letterbox.
I always forget to check the letterbox though, so I should give that key to James.
I am forever trying to convert HKD’s to AUD’s. I just know that $100 HKD is roughly $15 Aussie and I use that as a guide.
Otherwise I dust off my 6 times tables OR if I’m being really lazy and I’m buying something expensive I have leant it’s always best to enter the HK price into the very handy XE app.
Hongkies love their set lunches and so do I!
The first four weeks in Hong Kong we lived in a serviced apartment, which meant we ate lunch and dinner out everyday.
So I got to experience the great value and great tastes of set lunches.
Soup or salad? Salmon or Chicken? Are you interested in dessert Madam?
Me – I say ‘yes’ to all!
I have experienced so many processes I have kind of forgotten the finer details.
From getting your Hong Kong ID card, organizing an apartment, getting a mobile phone contract, each process is long, convoluted and most often doesn’t make any sense!
I think ‘process’ means employment, so the more hoops you have to jump through = more jobs!
The most ridiculous process I have experienced is going to the gym at our Clubhouse.
First you’re swiped into the clubhouse by the security guard, you then show your resident ID card to the guy on the counter, sign the book and pay your money.
Another guy then gives you a wristband and you can then enter the gym.
After entering the gym you have to sign another book, show your wristband and then decide what piece of cardio equipment you will use.
Once you’ve decided, you then have to write your name in the book next to the allocated piece of equipment, eg. Ainslie Young – Cross trainer, 8:35am.
Once you’ve finished on the cross trainer and if you want to use the treadmill, you guessed it, you have to write your name in the book for the next piece of equipment you want to use!
I’m both mentally and physically exhausted after going to the gym! (Hence, I have only been once!).
As I mentioned here, I am thinking of discarding my microwave so I can get an oven.
I can’t have both because there is no space.
Kitchens are super tiny here and a lot of people have ‘helpers’ who frequent the kitchen.
So who cares if the kitchen is the size of a matchbox?
Except I am the ‘helper’ and I hate washing up + the few dishes I can cook require an oven!
Grocery shopping in Hong Kong can be an all day affair depending on what recipe you are shopping for.
I have had a few experiences where I’ve had to go to three different supermarkets to find ingredients for the one meal.
For some reason I wanted to poach pears (why I don’t know?), and I needed to find cinnamon and I just couldn’t find it anywhere in my suburb.
I ended up catching the MTR into Central to an international supermarket to hunt it down.
Maybe this is why everyone eats out all the time?
Once when James was overseas for business I couldn’t be bothered cooking dinner and I had already put on my evening attire (aka PJ’s).
I didn’t want to go hungry so I ordered a large cheeseburger meal from McDonald’s…online! It was brilliant!
Well it was brilliant until the 80- year old lady, who only spoke Cantonese, delivered it to my apartment and we couldn’t work out the change!
However, we laughed, did lots of hand gestures and I probably ended up paying way too much for my cheeseburger!
But hey, I had McDonalds delivered to my door!
We decided not to ship any of our furniture from Sydney, which meant we needed a few pieces from IKEA.
I had made several trips to IKEA midweek to select furniture (you don’t go there on a weekend, especially Sundays…I’ll tell you why in a second) and on the Saturday we went to the store to place our order.
I asked the shop assistant ‘How do we get it all home?’
“We can deliver and assemble it for you Missy.”
This was music to my ears as James’s last IKEA effort resulted in my dad putting together all our furniture.
James protested and I worked out for the approximate fee of $15 Aussie, I would gladly pay IKEA to put together a double wardrobe, shoe cupboard and tallboy!
So two IKEA staff arrived at my house at 8pm and with lots of hand gestures and “Missy, Missy’s” they were done in 45 minutes and I was filling my new wardrobe!
IKEA on a Sunday – in Hong Kong the helpers have Sunday’s off and this is their down time.
They all get together and share meals, sing songs, dance and swap clothes.
Most of the time they do this in parks or on footpaths (often in the strangest and most uncomfortable looking places).
However, IKEA is an attractive hang out, especially when you can sit at dinning tables to eat your lunch and have an afternoon siesta on a double bed…under the sheets!
We witnessed a man requesting three Helpers to please remove themselves from the lounge because he wanted to try it out before he bought it. No joke!
We have planned a mini break to Bangkok for Chinese New Year (exciting!).
Because we don’t have a credit card yet, Lauren at Flight Centre, Wan Chai made the bookings.
Lauren literally made my day. I called the office expecting to have an awkward conversation in ‘Chinglish’ but to my delight Lauren was an Aussie and a very helpful/lovely one at that!
In addition to booking our holiday she also pointed me in the right direction of a great hairdresser (as a fellow red-head she knows the challenges we face in Asia), a reputable and cheap beautician and where to get a kick-arse salad.
We quickly became Facebook friends, swapped numbers so we can whatsapp and I’m sure we will catch up in the coming weeks!
Out of all the quirky ways my life has changed, people’s willingness to genuinely connect with total strangers is the most profound, and something I am so grateful for!
You can literally make friends with a stranger on the street here. It’s great and quite different to home!
So when some of these not-so-great differences between Sydney and Hong Kong pop up, I remind myself that breaking out of my comfort zone helps to make the world look continually fresh.
I’m making it my mission ‘to get comfortable with being uncomfortable!’
What little things or subtle differences have you experienced recently that have helped you see your world in a different way?
Love to hear them – just post them in the comment section below!