Friday, August 20, 2010


seven years ago wrapped up in warm winter clothes i boarded a plane at tokyo's narita airport bound for hong kong.
my adrenalin was pumping as not only was this my first trip to the so-called "east meets west" city of hong kong, but it was gonna be new home for the next few years (errr, two years turned into seven!)

arriving in early december the very first thing i remember was "my god it's hot!" and a close second was "man, they sure know how to build them buildings high!"

hong kong is a vibrant city and i have a love hate relationship with it.
a sneak peak into my day (before i became a house-husband) might explain why.

showered and dressed, ready to start the day.
as i leave my apartment with the to-die-for view (LOVE HK!) (click here to see my view if you haven't already) i step outside into another muggy humid energy-zapping morning (HATE HK!) and my hair starts to frizz (HATE HK!).
after a short walk i'm at my local subway station which is airconed (LOVE HK!) and before i can straighten out that frizz my train has already pulled into the platform. with a clean punctual train every 1-2 minutes i don't even have to worry about timetables (LOVE HK!).
on my way to the office i stop off at a local eatery to buy my breakfast. you see, here in hong kong we eat breakfast at the office, at our desk, starting from 9am (LOVE HK!).
the lady serving the hordes of people lining up for breakfast yells at me in cantonese "what do you want?". this brash service used to freak me out but i'm now used to it and place my order with a smile. breakfast is a bargan with a coffee just about thrown in for free (LOVE HK!).
it's a shame that just about everywhere you go to in hong kong the aircon is set at a chilly sub-arctic temperature; even in winter... (HATE HK!) so it doesn't matter that it's a hot 30 odd degrees outside i'm now eating my breakfast wishing i had bought a warmer cardigan with me or even a down-jacket... (HATE HK!)
come lunch time and my colleagues and i make a mad rush to the yumcha restaurant where even though we were first out the door there are already hordes of other office ladies lined up waiting for a table (HATE HK!) after a bit of a moan and groan we are seated in an even colder room than our office (HATE HK!) but my goosebumps (or chicken skin as the locals call it) are gone as i'm soon enjoying some delicious dim sum from piping hot pork buns to noodles to rice to chicken's feet to what the heck is that? to mango puddings (LOVE HK!) and to top it all off the bill comes to a rather cheap HK$XX per person (LOVE HK!)
afternoon feels long and drawn out but i only have myself to blame for eating way to much of that yummy food during lunchtime.
after a few meetings and a bit of blogging (*hush hush*) the day has come to an end before i know it. it's now officially happy hour time (LOVE HK!).
now i'm drinking ice cold foreign beers at a crazy cheap price (LOVE HK!) while rubbing shoulders with the foreign expats and locals too (LOVE HK!). gotta love this unique mix of "east meets west"; literally.
before i call it a night my friends and i dart into a local cha-chaan-teng for some late night noodles. although this joint isn't very clean or the service that friendly (LOVE/HATE HK!) it's the best place to go when you have late night munches.
as i stumble out the door (maybe that last drink wasn't the best idea...) i jump into a taxi and in near perfect cantonese (well i like to think so) say the name of my apartment building and my driver doesn't need to check a map to find out where it is (LOVE HK!). within no time i'm home and paying for the taxi which is cheap compared to most developing countries (LOVE HK!)
as i drift off to sleep the city is still pumping; hong kong never sleeps (LOVE HK!).

so you get my drift right?

for the last seven years i have called this tiny plot of land at the southern end of the huge mother land (china) home.
hong kong even became the birth place of my son kou-chan so it will always have a special significance for our family.
in less than 2 months time i will be saying 拜拜 (goodbye) to hong kong where western me met eastern hong kong.

so where am i going you ask?
back to were this adventure first started, my second home called tokyo.


Lavender Playground said...

I really enjoyed reading your love hate relationship with HK, and I can totally relate to it because sometimes I feel the same way about Taiwan.
So your next stop is Tokyo, good luck with the moving and packing!

pascale said...

Welcome to Tokyo!
Tokyo will have lots of surprises for you as you raise your boy. I don't know when's the last time you were here but it's a whole different world when you are with a little one :) in a good way of course.


Life for Beginners said...

I love (not hate) your LOVE HK!/HATE HK! notes on every part of your Hong Kong experience. It must be hard leaving after spending seven years there... but at the same time, you must be excited about the next chapter of your life: TOKYO! :)

Luuworld said...

great post! what a wonderful experience it must have been to have lived in hong kong.

do you already have a new job in japan?

anyway, tokyo is a great city too, so i guess you won't be bored there. maybe i'll even drop by some time! i'd love to go to japan again! practice my japanese and visit my former host family in Nagoya!

world of sekimachihato said...

* Lavender Playground
mmm, i could imagine taiwan kinda having some similarities with hong kong but from what i experiences when i was in taiwan i would have to say "LOVE TAIWAN"!

world of sekimachihato said...

* pascale
just had the day in tokyo last month and it was a first for us with kou-chan too. it was much easier pushing around a buggy car in tokyo than here in hong kong that's for sure, but it felt really hot compared to here; the aircon set at 28 didn't help...

looking forward to inviting you over to our new apartment one day!

world of sekimachihato said...

* Life for Beginners
change is always good, even when it's not easy; and this move is gonna be a bit tricky with an infant..
and yup, i'm gonna miss hong kong, will no doubt hit me when i'm at the airport, but i'm sure we will be back here on day.
hope you can follow my tokyo adventures too.

world of sekimachihato said...

* Luuworld
i waited and waited for you but finally had to think of myself and make a move (lol)
although i wanted to take you to all my local joints here i guess i will just have to find some new ones in tokyo for you.
and yes, come to tokyo via nagaya! (wtf?!)
anyway, will be here for another month or so so you still have time to book that ticket!

btw, i have yet to start looking for a job, better get onto that!

gingerbee said...

first off, good luck on this (not so new) change for you and your family! so many things happened to you in HK and i suppose it will forever hold a place in your heart, even though you have this love hate relationship with the place. :)

chibi said...

Thanks for the sneak-peak in to a life in HK
Now I really want to go there...
I hope adjusting to the Tokyo life is not too difficult!

world of sekimachihato said...

* gingerbee
haven't seen you around for a while! what's up?

mmm, this move is in some ways new and some ways old. at least i know my way around tokyo but i have a funny feeling i'll be visiting a lot of new places now that i have kou-chan in my life.

world of sekimachihato said...

* chibi
thanks for stopping by.
you should come to hong kong one day if you have the chance; it's a great place.
i see you have just been to thailand; i love it there too!

i'm looking forward to the new challenges tokyo will throw at me!

Life for Beginners said...

Yup, will definitely be following your Tokyo adventures too! I loved Tokyo when I visited it this April and can't wait to "see" it through your eyes! :D

hiki said...

what wonderful news!!
i will miss your hong kong shop posts (they are all so good!) but i shall look forward to seeing your tokyo posts :)

world of sekimachihato said...

* Life for Beginners
thanks dude.
my eyes don't have a nice lens like yours but i will try my best!

world of sekimachihato said...

* hiki
yes, after a lot of talk we have decided to move back to tokyo so if you know anyone who is looking for a english native who is fluent in japanese try to remember me!
hope we can bump into each other somewhere in tokyo!

Mary said...

oh, i've just caught up with your news!!!
i'm going to miss your posts from hong kong but hurray for moving to tokyo!!!
i'm more than a bit jealous :)

when will you be moving?

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