I wanted to post a list of some of the fun things about getting accustomed to Hong Kong culture... Things I liked getting to know, things I thought were strange/different, exciting....
1. A NEW LANGUAGE
It was hard getting used to not knowing what people were saying around me. Thank goodness a lot of people speak English. I have been asked if I have learned how to speak any Chinese... I have learned only a little bit such as: Good morning, Hello, How are you?, Numbers, Sit down, Don't cry, children, Thank-you, Excuse me, Bus Stop Please.
2. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AND DRIVING ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE ROAD
I was so used to just driving everywhere in my own car but we don't have a car out here in HK. Trust me, I don't want to drive here. It was weird getting used to the cars driving on the left side of the road! It freaked me out a little bit the first couple of times I rode in a taxi/bus. It was also fun getting used to riding on the subway. I had to get used to the MTR, as it is called here, and how to navigate getting around the big city.
3. THE FOOD!!!
Hong Kong has some pretty dang good food!! There are a lot of good places to go out to eat. I love Dim Sum... Which is a variety of steamed dishes such as dumplings, siumai, fried rice, rice balls, sesame balls, and my favorite the custard bun!! There are so many different types of foods that you can get here. I mean foods from different countries... Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Hong Kongese, Korean, Japanese, Italian, French, etc. Hong Kong has it all... The only food that I think is really lacking is the Mexican food. I haven't had any REALLY good Mexican food out here... which is a shame because Mexican is my favorite!! I have really grown to adore Indian and Thai food though!! There is a teacher at my school from India. Her name is Sue and she is a great cook. She has brought some awesome food for us to try. We have enjoyed going out for curry together. Here are some pics from our most recent outing... a restaurant inside the CHUNGKING MANSIONS of all places... The food was SO
4. BREADS AND GOODIES
Hong Kong is big for their love for breads, buns, and pasteries! There are so many bakeries here! The best bakeries are the hole in the wall types. My favorite types of breads are the sausage rolls, cheese breads, and pineapple buns. David really enjoys the egg tarts, coconut buns, BBQ pork buns, & banana bread.
We also love Gai-daan-jai. This is a waffle type snack that is made with a special type of waffle iron. They are like waffle balls. Here is a pictureof what they look like...
We also like waffles covered in peanut butter... super yummy!
We are also really into frozen yogurt. They have these really good fruit ball things that you can have as a topping. I think they are called poppers. They burst in your mouth when you bite them. Here is a pic...
David likes Sai mai lou drinks-they have coconut, milk, tapiocca balls, & mango.
5. THE OCTOPUS CARD
In Hong Kong you must have an octopus card. It is a card that you use for so many things... to pay for the bus, subway, 7-11... Lots of places accept it. You add money it and swipe it on the card reader to pay. It is so convenient.
6. MCDONALDS AND 7-11
Hong Kong is obsessed with McDonalds and 7-11. In some places you can see 2-3 McD's and 7-11's on one street within one or two blocks!! Who knows why they need so many of them!!
7. THE DOMESTIC HELPER
It is the norm here for people to have a domestic helper. If you do not have one you are the exception. Most children here are raised by either their grandparents or the domestic helper. Most of them come from the Philippines or Indonesia. They work hard and get paid what seems like hardly anything, but supposedly they get paid quite a bit if you convert it to their native country pay scale. Most of these ladies send the money they make to support their families back home. Many can build houses with what they make here. It is funny to go to the beach on holidays... swarms of domestic helpers everywhere!!!
8. NO PERSONAL BUBBLES/SPACE
There are A LOT of people in Hong Kong. Especially in the really busy parts ofthe city. During the busiest times of the day get used to packed subway rides. I had to learn not to be so nice and worried about bumping into people. It takes you by surprise when old ladies push their way through crowds and don't worry about bumping into you.. or saying excuse me. I had to learn to drop my shoulder and push my way through when times call for it.
9. REALLY TALL BUILDINGS
Being from Utah I have not seen a lot of tall buildings. Since there are so many people in HK and not a lot of space they have learned to pack the people in by building a lot of tall buildings. The girl I tutor lives on the 42nd floor!
10. AWESOME SHOPPING
Shopping is a big highlight of being here. There are many fun street markets where we like to buy souvenirs for our families and friends. I have also bought a lot of clothes since I have been here... my favorite places to shop are H&M and Cotton On (an Australian store)
11. CULTURAL SITES/ THE TEMPLES
There are so many things to see! There are a lot of temples around and they sure do love burning incense.
12. THE WEATHER
Hong Kong has some pretty fun weather! (a hint of sarcasm there) It is so so so
humid here!!! Especially in the summer. It is freakin' hot and humid!!! You go outside for 10 minutes and you are sweating up a storm already! No wonder they dress skimpy here! Pretty much I like to stay inside during the hot months. It also rains a lot here during certain times of the year... rainy season. We have had a few typhoon warnings too. Fun stuff. Winter is nice though... it gets cold only for a little bit... but when it is cold the humid makes it a piercing cold!
There are many beaches out here! We have one that is about a 20 min. walk from our place. I should go to the beach more often!!
14. WORK, WORK, AND MORE WORK
People out here work a whole lot and for long hours! That includes the kids... they go to school for a big chunk of the day followed by different extra curricular activities such as music, dance, swimming, art, and language lessons!!
15. COACH, LOUIS VUITTON, AND EVERY OTHER NAME BRAND
The ladies out here love their name brand items. Especially purses. You see a lot of ladies carrying around very expensive items... I like to go with the fake stuff... saves me lots of moo-lah!
16. DOGS IN STROLLERS
Dogs are often treated like babies out here. We have seen many people pushing their dogs around in dog strollers... interesting!
That is it for now... if I think of any more I will add it to the post!