Somehow, I’ve reached the six-month marker of my move to Hong Kong. Six months since a very tumultuous time for me – Winnie, Mandy and Zoe have the WhatsApp chats to prove it! – and six of the most enthralling months of my life so far. When I announced I was moving, I wrote this post. I genuinely had no idea what I’d done, why it had happened or what was next. Turns out, a lot.
On one hand, living and experiencing a new city and culture will be SO invaluable. On the other? I face being away from my beloved Granny, sister, brother, family, baby tortoises and my boyfriend.So…
I’m going to really miss cuddles and watching Thomas the Tank Engine with my baby cousin. I’m going to seriously miss bubble baths and my duvet. I have no idea how I’ll get all of my shoes and handbags over there or what I’ll have for breakfast. I have never faced a long distance relationship before. I’ll be spending Christmas alone for the first time. Everything is changing and I’m terrified yet excited. But I get to have my own place again, I can buy a little money tree for my apartment. I can stay out at dessert parlours and have Sasa on tap. E might be visiting for New Year’s and he’s being more supportive than I could have ever wished for.
Let’s start with some of the obvious notes. I broke up with my boyfriend approximately one hour upon landing on Hong Kong soil. And by ‘I’, I mean he broke up with me while I picked up my suitcase, him having waited for my flight to land. I touched on this briefly a while ago but even today I haven’t quite processed it properly or cried about it. Christmas on my own? Horrific. It was all kinds of not-my-cup-of-tea. I spent it out in Lan Kwai Fong with one of my best friends though and then we went for a traditional Christmas dinner by the beach so it was okay in the end. I miss bubble baths so much it hurts.
The only times I’ve felt homesick since my move is at Christmas and following a tough time with a boy. Of course I miss England and my dreamy bed but I’ve gained so much more being here.
Hand on heart, I acclimatised to the Hong Kong lifestyle within days of arriving. Jet lag aside, nothing had felt natural to me. Freshers week at University was a thousand times more daunting ;) I’m accustomed to the mysterious stopping process and dedicated queuing for minibuses, buses, taxis and all the rest. Breakfast? A roll and mini carton of milk from 7Eleven. Curfew? No-one knows the meaning. I never leave the apartment without hand sanitiser, tissues and a spare tote bag. Hong Kong Island for the day? Get those trainers on. I’ve hit up the beaches, got home at 4am, woken up at 3pm, been to a Space Museum and hung out at the Avenue of Stars more time than I care to remember. I’ve learnt to be more vocal because you won’t get anywhere without that. Heck I’ve been to a concert on my own. City life, let’s be mates forever.
Let’s Chat Boys
Do I talk boys on here? … I don’t think I do. Maybe I should. I’ve had the craziest six months. (Not in that way!) Having gone through a spectacularly faux-bad break-up, I did what any half-sane twenty-something does – I joined Tinder. In fact before that, I was asked for my number FOUR times in a week from complete strangers, on the MTR, at a restaurant, at a takeaway, on the street. Mish, your dating game is supposed to be strong. In fact I wildly left my comfort zone and I’ve sampled dating in Hong Kong and it’s just as scary as in England. I've dated someone that only spoke Cantonese, someone shorter than me, someone borderline obsessive about me, and, finally, a British-born Chinese guy who has the dreamiest accent, British wit and same sense of humour as me. But that’s been a dramatic situation.
I’ll try harder in the next six months.
Onto the reason I moved in the first place…! I passed my probation a few months ago and it looks like I’m here for good now! Without delving too much into things, I work at head office for a pretty big-deal company called Lane Crawford. I’m having the best time here. My colleagues are amazing: eleven girls who are just slight variations of me. In fact I’m learning lots too and I finally feel like I have direction once more.
So, where is home?
With all of that said and done, the question on everybody’s lips is ‘where is home?’ And to be honest I’m still not sure. I think I’m a little scared to admit that more and more I’m referring to Hong Kong as home. I’ve learnt a lot here already. I get to do all the things I want to do. But England is also home, full of all the quirks and eccentricities that everybody here loves it for. I admit that one of the toughest things about being here is everyone’s obsession with London and England! And home is also Malaysia. Le sigh.