First Two Weeks in Hong Kong

Today officially marks the end of my first two weeks in Hong Kong. I arrived in the land of Cantonese people a little apprehensive on what to expect from my new adventure. Little did I know so much can happen within days.

My Room @ Royal View Suites, Tsuen Wan

I am loving the hotel I am staying in. Or rather, the serviced studio apartment my company has put me up at. The studio is very well equipped despites its size, and the hotel even come with gym, pool, sauna, cafe, BBQ pit… what is there not to like?

My Room @ Royal View Suites, Tsuen Wan

Yes, there is. It’s location. My hotel is located at Tsuen Wan. Doesn’t ring a bell? I won’t blame you. Tsuen Wan is part of the New Territories, and it is at the extreme east of Hong Kong mainland, facing Lantau Island (where Disneyland and the airport are located at). In Singapore’s term, it is like staying in Joo Koon. The nice view out of my window – beach, bridges, mountains, greeneries – helped a little though.

Train Platform at Tsuen Wan MTR

Being at home is heavenly, but going home is a dread. The commute to work is rather alright. I have to be at the MTR station at eight every morning to catch the company bus, which will then make a 45-minutes journey to Taipo, where my office is located at. Where’s Taipo? It’s like… Sengkang. It’s still part of the New Territories, towards the northern bit. Apparently I can see Shenzhen from my balcony.

I am sure my colleagues are just jesting.

Night View of Victoria Harbour from Avenue of the Stars

Because of where I am staying, traveling out to town is not as simple as it seems. In fact, my office (Taipo), my apartment (Tsuen Wan) and town area (such as Tsim Sha Tsui) plot an almost perfect triangle on the Hong Kong map. The earliest I can be in town is after 7 p.m. Taking a cab home after a night out is a decision I have to make consciously, because one trip can easily cost HK$160+.

That’s more than SG$30. Considering the distance I have to travel, that should be reasonable. Just that it pains me to spend that much just on cab.

Roadside Food Stall at Mongkok

One of the few things you have to get used to while living in Hong Kong is the food. Undeniably the people of Hong Kong has very exacting demand on their food, so the plethora of cuisines available here can be mind boggling. That, coupled with my complete inability read Chinese, makes ordering food in Hong Kong a challenge.

Efren doesn't like Chinese Tea

The silver lining is that I can speak Cantonese, and I am used to Chinese food. It must have been an even tougher situation for my colleague Efren who, as a Filipino, is unused to such a barrage of Chinese food, food menus which he can’t read, and wait staff who can’t speak a word of English. But I must say that he showed incredible resilience in that aspect.

My new (and bare cubicle)

Work-wise has been a blessing after the period of trudge I went through in Singapore. I was put to work almost the moment I have settled down in my cubicle, and within days things got into motion. Which is the way I like it. Colleagues are generally very nice people and helpful, and I am really blessed to be surrounded by people who are genuinely nice. It makes the transition a lot less painful than it could have been.

Coffee at Habitu (Kowloon, Hong Kong)

You know the Chinese saying… “blessing of angels at the start of a journey”? That’s what happened to me. My initial venture into the somewhat complicated social world in Hong Kong was made significantly less complicated because several angel friends here. Online friends, friends of friends, new found friends… all have been very nice to me and shown me aspects of life in Hong Kong which… excite and terrify me at the same time.

I could say, staying in Hong Kong will definitely change me as a person!

And so, on to the two big questions:

Farewell at Changi Airport

Do I miss Singapore? Yes, of course I do. Everyday I am constantly reminded of what I would be doing if I am in Singapore on that particular day, at that particular time. I think back to the friends whom I would have met on weekends. And I think of the memories I left behind. It is unbelievably dramatic, I know… but had you stayed in a place for ten years, made some great friends, and called the place your home, you would have felt the same way I do now.

Views from Tung Street's Studio Apartment, Hollywood Road

Will I be staying in Hong Kong? At this point of time, I don’t see why I won’t stay. Everything is falling into place nicely. Of course I still have a couple of reservations – such as my employment terms here, the place I will putting up at for the long term, etc. – but I can see myself staying and adapting well to Hong Kong life. It is not going to be an easy journey, but given time and my adventurous self (hehe), seems like many of my friends and colleagues think I will be fine.

Tomorrow marks the third week of me living in Hong Kong. A friend of mine said usually the third week at a new place will open up cans of worms.

I wonder will the next week hold?

First Two Weeks in Hong Kong by

Comments

  1. chris says:

    Hey bro. Glad to see you’re adapting well.

    Didn’t manage to catch up before you left. But, please call either Jessie or me when you’re back in SG. Choo Wee (your friend) whom I’ve recently met, would join us for dinner as well =D

  2. Razlan says:

    @ Chris – Oh, how did you get to know Choo Wee? Heh, I will keep you guys posted :)

  3. chris says:

    Pang’s sister’s boyfriend.

    Singapore is small!

    Waiting eager to hear from you!

  4. chris says:

    Grr………

    I meant, eagerly waiting to hear from you!

  5. Niki says:

    Nice pics :) I was in Hong Kong a few weeks ago and enjoyed it as a city – dunno if I’d be able to live there though!

    Good luck!

  6. did you visit Shenzhen? I heard that there are many great bars there that i am sure that you and your colleagues will enjoy.

  7. Razlan says:

    Nope, haven’t had the chance yet, though I would want to. Perhaps when the weather is more forgiving. I sense that autumn is in the air!

  8. Razlan says:

    Niki, revisiting your comment. Any chance of you visiting again?

  9. […] was I? Oh yes, that was my very long spiel that, in my first few weeks in Hong Kong, I missed Singapore food. I didn’t know the local food scene well (I never even heard of Open […]

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