Moving to London to study film has been one of the best decisions of my life. My college experience so far has been amazing but as someone from Hong Kong I often miss my life back home. Below some are the things you can relate to you Hong Kong people, especially if you are studying in the UK.
1. Disapproving British and Western ‘Chinese’ Takeouts
During freshers week I got to meet a lot of genuinely nice people, yet I can’t help but feel disappointed every-time they talk about their impression of Chinese food. Sweet ‘n Sour Chicken, egg fried rice and Chow Mein are simply not accurate representations. Chinese food has so much variety. There’s Shanghai food, Guangzhou food, Beijing food, Xiamen food, Hong Kong food and so much more. During the last academic year I have tried to introduce my British friends more to Hong Kong-style food, and so far I think they dig it.
2. Lan Kwai Fong is the pinnacle of nightlife.
While a central London Club is pretty good, nothing beats Lan Kwai Fong’s setup. Pretty much all of Hong Kong’s nightlife is centered around Lan Kwai Fong. Clubs, bars, restaurants and shisha bars are all within walking distance. Guaranteeing a good night whenever and wherever you go. Every night of the week, there is always something going on.
3. Our pace is way too fast.
When I first started walking around the streets in London, one thing I distinctly noticed was the lack of people telling me to move aside every five seconds. In Hong Kong no matter when and where someone is always in a hurry. Whether it is catching the bus, being late on a date, or seeing a few friends, there is always that one guy sprinting across the street.
4. People actually walk straight?
As mentioned above, everyone in Hong Kong is always in a hurry to do something. So often that we have developed the skills to zigzag around others on the street. It’s pretty strange to see British walk in the correct manner.
5. Our method to finding good restaurants doesn’t work in the UK.
Everyone one in Hong Kong loves that one particular cha chan tang or street food joint no matter how dirty it looks on the outside. Sadly, that method doesn’t really apply in the UK when it looks bad, it’s probably bad.
6. London rush hour is nothing to you.
Rush hour in central London is nothing compared to the MTR station in Central and Admiralty at 6 p.m.; once you have experienced that, nothing comes close.
7. Bragging about being multilingual.
I am not ashamed to admit it, but everyone at one point has shown off their multilingual abilities to a foreigner. In Hong Kong, it’s pretty much become standard for kids to learn and speak Mandarin, English and Cantonese. Seeing as it’s not common elsewhere, we like to brag about it, even though our English still needs a lot of work.
8. The lack of taxi trauma.
If you have lived in Hong Kong long enough, chances are you will have experienced a dramatic taxi story. Whether it is your driver going 60 miles per hour on a sharp left turn, or having the guy ask you for directions every five seconds, Hong Kong transportation is known to be eerily. Personally, I have been scammed for 50 extra dollars coming back home from my graduation dinner, but was reluctant to do anything; I was too drunk and scared. Good times. So it is quite refreshing to sit in an uber and not fear for your life for once.
9. Hyping up over weather signals.
Pretty much everyone from Hong Kong I know is obsessed with weather signals, and for good reason. In the circumstance of a typhoon 8 or black rain signal. All work and school is suspended. It’s every student’s dream for the signal to be issued in the morning just so you can procrastinate for a few extra hours.
10. Embracing the cold.
Say what you will, but Hong Kong’s weather is dreadful. During summer time, going for a short walk can be devastating. Not only is the sun burning your skin but the humidity makes you drenched in sweat. Wasting all that time choosing an outfit and fixing your hair. Not to mention the constant mosquito bites, ruining any desire to leave a room with AC. The people I talk to always bring up how bad the weather in the UK, but I actually prefer it over Hong Kong’s. It’s cold and dry, allowing me to actually wear my jackets for once. Instead of shorts and t-shirts pretty much the whole year.
11. Rent is totally cheap.
In Hong Kong, there is so little free space left that rent has become extremely expensive. It pains us knowing that we could have brought a high-class penthouse in London with all that rent money.
12. Surprised by good hygiene.
One thing that often surprise Hong Kongers is efficiency and cleanliness. Take Japan, for example, their streets are clean, organized and neat. We are quite the opposite. Growing up in Hong Kong, I have pretty much gotten used to grit, dirt and litter all over the streets. People spitting, peeing and vomiting has become quite the familiar sight. Talk to anyone from Hong Kong, and they will recognize that one dark and dirty alleyway no one dares to walk across.
13. You realize how bad our education system is.
Unfortunately, the Hong Kong education system has become extremely competitive over the past ten years. I mean, it’s gotten to the point where parents will have to plan their children’s careers during kindergarten. All the kids have to learn music, math and other tutor lessons at their parent’s request. We all know that one mom who would use her connections get an offer from famous schools. So for most us traveling overseas to study is definitely more relaxed.
14. No need for tutors anymore.
Because of high education standards, it’s practically impossible for kids to pass their high school diploma without visiting the tutoring centre. During high school tutor centre was like a second home, man those biology and economic lessons were insufferable.
15. Getting triggered when someone calls you Chinese.
This is a rather controversial topic. But with Hong Kong’s political climate over the last few years, with the umbrella revolution, the Chinese have gotten themselves quite the reputation. And let’s be honest, we have all correct our foreign friends when they ask if we are from China.
16. The never-ending presence of K-pop.
While personally, I am not a fan, K-pop has become so popular in Hong Kong pretty much everyone is into it. Especially the girls. So it’s not surprising when they bring that into their college experience.
17. The lack of couples with matching outfits.
Somehow, couples in Hong Kong like to wear the same clothes to display their affection for one another. It’s definitely not popular in the UK, and for good reason.
18. Picking up the Hong Kong accent
The average Hong Konger can’t say more than two sentences without slipping in ‘’ok la” or “la” or click their tongues when getting frustrated. Also, people say ‘’bye bye’’ with a high-pitched Chinese accent. Why? Who knows.
19. No food is gross.
While it is a common Asian stereotype, one of the many things Hong Kongers prided themselves on is the diversification of food culture. Frog legs, jellyfish, pig liver, pig intestines, fish eyes, cow stomach. You name it, we have probably eaten it. When cooked correctly they are actually quite delicious, it’s a shame not everyone is willing to give it a try.
20. Hong Kong has the best street food.
Cheung fun, curry fish balls, fried squid, egg waffles and siu mai beats every fried chicken shop in the UK.
What do you miss the most about Hong Kong? What do you think is the most representative of our city? Comment down below!
Feature Image Source: weheartit.com
From Hong Kong. Studying a film degree at Queen Mary University of London. Lover of movies, tv, video games, and memes. People call me Lee.