Expat Problems Part 2

 

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My favourite memories growing up in Discovery Bay, Hong Kong

I woke up this morning thinking about my childhood and how fortunate I was to have had such a stress free one. While my worst years were definitely my teenage ones (and my god, did I have a bad time during high school) ,the memories of my childhood aren’t the slightest bit tainted (apart from a few times I should’ve been sent to anger management – sorry sis!).

Growing up in Discovery Bay, Hong Kong. My friends and I got up to some pretty weird shit as I’m sure all children do. Here are my top 6 FAVOURITE childhood memories.

1.Typhoon chasing. While most parents around the world wouldn’t exactly suggest going out to play in a typhoon 8, my friends and I thought of ourselves as extreme storm chasers. To me, there was nothing more fun than running around the beach with sand being catapulted into our faces by the strong winds and dodging branches that were falling off trees…and don’t get me started on the adventures we had discovering the aftereffects of major typhoons.

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2. Garden Funerals. Somehow our family and our best family friends (who also happened to live directly above us) found ourselves with a new specie of animal every single week. During one year, between the two families, we had homed 6 rabbits, a budgie, a pihrana, a snake, a chameleon, fish and a kitten..oh and don’t forget the various rats I had ‘saved’ from being eaten by the snake. Now, over the next 3 years, we had many funerals. My poor parents had to politely sit through our tailor made funeral services without laughing. We would line up rows and rows of chairs for every single one of our toys, write out programs and sing a few songs. I don’t know how they did it…

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3. Slip & Slide. If you’re reading this and grew up in Hong Kong, I’m sure you’ve experienced at least one Junk trip where the top deck has been decked out in soap. My friends and I would spend our weekends sliding up and down our balcony, collecting large amount of bruises on the way. Being as cool as we were, we even hosted competitions to see which person could slide down our balcony the quickest and then discussed how they had managed to do so (ptttccchh, practicing physics at such a young age.)

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4. Tree houses. After growing up watching Home Improvement (Jonathan Taylor Thomas – what a babe), there was nothing we wanted more than our own tree house. We would spend our weekends rummaging through disease ridden dumpsters in the search for materials which could help build our very own cubbies. Somehow my street friends and I even managed to get a large couch up into a tree once and even though the next day, those bastard security guards always wrecked our prized tree houses, nothing would stop us from rebuilding. To this day, I still feel a slight resentment towards them guards.

5. Christingle on Christmas Eve. My family & I aren’t the slightest bit religious but for some reason , my mother enjoyed bringing us to christingle whilst my dad made up any excuse not to go. For those who have never been, it pretty much involves singing carols and watching christians reenact the birth of Jesus. Now, there was only one reason I and any other DB kid went and that was Gummy Bears. Sweet sweet gummy bears. You were given a orange with a red ribbon around it, sweets and a lit candle which was meant to represent jesus, the world, and the love and blood of christ. Being the cheeky little rats that we were, we would steal a mountain of these oranges and eat the gummy bears off them in the bathrooms. From a young age, my sister, our best friend and I liked to take the piss out of people. I will never forget the time my mate opted to be part of the ‘re-enactment’, wearing a donkeys costume 5 sizes too small, bearing his bum in front of hundreds of Christians and laughing while dancing around half naked. The whole room went rather quiet except for my hyena like laugh…and thanks to him, I think that was the last time our mothers brought us. I still think of gummy bears and oranges every christmas.

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6. Lantern Festival (Which is coming up this weekend!! ) For the locals, Lantern Fest (also known as Mid- Autumn festival) consist of devouring moon cakes (I still won’t go near one) with families and friends and purchasing pretty lanterns made out of tissue paper. But to expats, it merely involves large amounts of drinking and spending the majority of the night trying to get glow stick goo out of your eyes. As a child, I thought the beach on Lantern festival was the closest I could get to magic. We were left to build sand castles with little red candles, run around trying to flirt with the boys whilst dodging fire and building up our glow stick bracelet collections. To this day, I still get excited to see the amount of glow sticks and flickering lights that our beach will display. Nearly 23 and I would rather watch the children of DB running around as excited as I used to be than go out and get shitfaced.

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Happy (half way through the week) Wednesday :)

K.

The world’s most awesome jobs.

Having recently quit my job, I have found myself in quite a rut. Most people could easily take a month of two off, polluting their minds with mind numbing TV and spending their days rolling around in those heavenly sleep clouds we call beds. But unfortunately I am not one of them. Whilst my guilty pleasures do include reality television and occasionally being super lazy, I also experience extreme cabin fever and boy, have a had it bad this last week.

Applying for jobs has to be one of the most tedious and boring activities known to man and in hopes of keeping me sane/occupied, I have constructed a list of things of the most awesome jobs in the world, which I will probably never have…..

An Island caretaker. You’re pretty much paid to live in paradise and write about it, in hopes of attracting tourists. You’re duties include exploring the island, testing out its restaurants/activities and relaxing in the sun.

A resort water slide tester. Testing out waterslides at various resorts. Although it sounds like it could be dangerous at times, it’s a risk I’d definitely be willing to take.

-Chocolatier. According to Godiva, their top chocolatiers can earn between $700,000-$800,000 a year to MAKE AND EAT CHOCOLATE.

Brazilian body painter – (One for the men!) Paid to paint beautiful naked bodies, all day long. Keen?

A luxury bed tester….What dreams are made of, quite literally.

ah, if only…

K.

I love you Hong Kong…but you do need:

Om K.

–       A super club, which isn’t filled with pretentious models and sleazy old men. It would also be nice to be in a place that didn’t either play tunes from 3 generations ago, dupstep or about making dough, bitchezzz and cars.

–       A nandos.

–       Proper music festivals. Here’s hoping Clockenflap…

–       More skate parks/venues for teens to hang out.  You can’t expect people not to skate where they please when they’re not given too many places to do so.

–       Better TV! I’m sorry Star world but if the next time I turn on the television and have to hear annoying little Australia chefs I may just jump off my balcony.

–       An easily accessible,good-sized rock venue for local bands to showcase their material. Have you seen how many The Wanch can hold?

–       Deodorant, which actually stops you from sweating. It exists in the UK! I’m sure the chemicals aren’t too good for your body but think of how much more pleasant riding the MTR would be…

–       People who hold the door for you

–       Uncomplicated costumer service/banks/phone company hotlines. If you’re customers always come first, we do we have to dabble through many minutes of bullshit to speak to someone?

–     to actually implement the no spitting ban through the streets of HK. I have yet to see someone fined for spitting…

Claire Owen.

K.

6 People I envy

 

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Envy & Jealously are two words I try to keep my mind away from… but sometimes there are people and situations you just can’t help but feel it towards. Here are mine:

1. Morning people. How I wish I didn’t look and feel as bad as a Justin Beiber song every single day….Every morning is a battle for me, hatred pours out of me at the speed of light at the sound of my alarm. I’ve started to hear more and more of these strange creatures that have time to make breakfast (who has an appetite that early anyways?!) , exercise and apply layers of make up to their perfectly caked faces. WHAT TIME MUST YOU PEOPLE HAVE TO GO TO BED?

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2. People who know what they want to do in life and are on they’re way to getting it. With a CV full of jobs I’ve despised, finding my preferred career path right now is like trying to contract water from a stone. Could someone please invent a job which allows me to spend all day drawing and listening to music, while being able to look after puppies, horses & monkeys??

3. People who can speak other languages. Not only do you automatically seem more cultured and intelligent, you get to secretly speak about people in front of them without them knowing.

4. Good singers. Music is quiet a big part of my life, I wake to it & I fall asleep to it, I just can’t get enough of it. You could sing me a harmonious edition of ‘ABC’ and you’ll have my undivided attention. Ask me to sing a song and you’ll need medical attention.

Men. Let’s no go into too much detail here but you don’t have to give birth, wax or wear high heels. AND you can pee standing up….to me that sounds fun.

6. Stupid people. Fewer questions mean less worry. With our precious earth on the road to self-destruction, Ignorant really is bliss.

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on a brighter note, FRIDAY IS NEAR :)

K. 

Hair Chalking

A new trend which I actually adore, due to the fact that I’m awfully lazy when it comes to ‘styling’ my hair and I certainly don’t find it fun spending an hour curling it, just for it to then fall out as soon as I step into HK’s glorious humidity. Using Chalk, I can feel like a unicorn for a day or two and then immediately wash it out as i please. Cheap & cheerful and ever so simple.

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The 4 simple steps:

1. Wet your hair/strands you want to colour.

2. Colour your hair using the chalk. Try using two or three colours to execute the dip dye effect.

3. Using a hair straightener, iron your hair. This will lock the colour in.

4. Brush your hair, otherwise you’ll end up looking like Edward Scissorhands…

(It gets everywhere so I suggest purchasing a rather large can of hairspray unless you want your pillow to look like Barbie’s pissed all over it.)

It doesn’t matter what type of hair you have, chalking can be done on any shade or thickness.

Have fun girlies!

Meal of the Week.

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Greek “Hole in the wall” located in Causeway Centre, Wan Chai.

Greco Pi is a joint offering food with such bursting flavors and mouthwatering souvlakis. The staff are extremely friendly and the prices affordable. By far some of the best HK Greek food I’ve had!

Chicken Pita & Feta fries and drink – $73

How to survive the MTR

Thanks to my last job being located in Po Lam, I used to have the pleasure of spending 3 hours on the MTR a day. While it was probably one of the most mundane & soul crushing 6 months of my life, being the loser that I am, I decided to find ways to make these boring journeys somewhat bearable and comfortable. From analyzing certain parts of trains which wouldn’t be as claustrophobic, to stops the most people would exit. It had become an obsession trying to survive the MTR experience and I’m thankful I have made it through such a traumatic experience.

Here are some tips:-

Always walk to the end of the platform. More likely to get a seat & less likely have to endure the stench of sweat and nose picking.

Be ruthless. People in HK do not give a flying turtle about your feelings, broken bones or manners. It doesn’t matter if you’re stood at the front of the line or even preggers, you will get pushed around…especially if you’re an expat. Hold your head up and stick your elbows out.

If you want a seat, be awkward. Apparently its socially acceptable to dry hump strangers on the MTR. If you want a seat, do not congregate near the doors. Place yourself directly in the middle of a row of seats! This way, one person is either bound to feel uncomfortable and get up or you’ll be the first one in when they have reached their stop. The best way to be is sneaky.

Do not draw attention to yourself. This one time I decided to reapply some mascara during rush hour and a kind hearted woman decided it was appropriate to loudly ask the other passengers if they thought it was acceptable for a white b**ch to be living in Hong Kong. I can safely say, I would rather look like a make up less dog then go through that episode again!

Do not make eye contact with ANYONE for longer than 2 seconds. Guys will think you’re interested in them and girls will think you’re giving them evils. Don’t even get me started on the couples…. I once had this classy woman scream the train down as she thought I was checking her boyfriend out, his shoes had wings okay….WINGS. I HAD to look.

 ALWAYS take the stairs. As soon as the door opens, it’s reminds me of a scene out of that creepy film, Willard. A bunch of human decapitating rats running towards their next meal is what resembles MTR central station’s escalators. I’d rather not, thank you.

KD.

8 reasons why I’m grateful for being an expat brat.

 

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While most expat brats feel the need to complain about how hard their lives were growing up in another country due to identity issues and not being able to order a good burger, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. And here’s why:

1. One day during my teens, I remember my dad mentioning to my sister and I that he was extremely proud of the fact that we hadn’t grown up racist. At the time, I couldn’t quite understand how that could possibly be something to be proud of, until I moved to the UK.

Growing up in Hong Kong and attending an international school meant being taught all about the different cultures and religions. Whilst I was naïve to the fact that discrimination existed, There aren’t too many places where your closest group of friends are Icelandic, Spanish, Israeli, Indian and British.

2. Most third cultured kids have a number of identity issues and it can sometimes be a little irritating having to explain that I’m from Hong Kong but have never lived in the UK. (Queue the you don’t look Hong Kong-ish?’, ‘Does everyone in Hong Kong have blue eyes?’,‘Do you ride a panda to work?’ type questions) However, It easily generates conversation when you first meet someone, making it less awkward for all parties involved. I then feel that little bit more interesting and to others I officially turn from that blonde girl to the girl who lives in fricking HONG KONG.

3. How many people can say they flew before they walked?

(And before I sound too cocky, let me state that I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to visit an array of beautiful countries!)

4.  I can swear in a variety of languages…I’m sure it’ll come in handy one day.

5.  The sound of foreign languages actually brings comfort to me, which makes travelling a hell of a lot easier. I can glide through the airport without a stress in the world…until I get on a plane, over 150 flights and xanax’ed up to my eyeballs, I still can’t stand those horrid air gliders!

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6.  I am constantly reminded by my parents and the people around me, what hard work and personal responsibility looks like. On the flip side, it makes pulling a sicky extremely guilt ridden.

7.  We make great debaters, as were aware of current global issues and the latest gossip from the daily mail. (Oh em gee, still can’t get over Kristen Stewart cheating, what a trampire)

8. The thing about third cultured kids is that we generally establish relationships quickly. We’re welcoming, converse with adults well and seem to adapt quick to unfamiliarity. We also infamously know how to have a good time…

ImageKD.