Sunday, June 7, 2009

My Lost in Translation #5: Karen

{When I stumbled upon Blog Goggles, I instantly fell in love with Karen's entries about life as an expat in Hong Kong. She reminds me a lot of myself when I was in Seoul, and I can relate. I'm quite fascinated with HK, and I definitely want to go now after reading Karen's entry. I'm loving the pandas, and the boats- thanks for sharing some great pictures and thoughts! Make sure you stop by her blog for more great finds.}

Hi there,

When Vivian asked me to do a guest post about my expat life in Hong Kong, all I could think was how much there is to say. Luckily, lists make everything better. As I approach my first anniversary of living in HK, here are the five things I love about life here and the five things I miss most about the U.S. Though, to be fair, the "things I love" list could be a lot, lot longer. Thanks for reading!

Five things I love about Hong Kong


What can I say? Neon lights and tall buildings get me every time. Maybe it was growing up in a small town (with only one escalator) but cities are amazing - and Hong Kong's skyline is unparalleled.


Hong Kong is more than a city - it's also a tiny island. Luckily, this means lots of boats. Renting a junk boat for the day with 20 of your closest friends, sailing to a deserted beach, and eating til you burst is one of our favorite pasttimes. Oh, and it's super cheap.


These big guys are fascinating in person. Hong Kong has several pandas in the local Ocean Park and I could watch them all day.


Though my boyfriend laments the loss of his car on a daily basis, I couldn't be happier without one. The city is small enough that I walk most of the time, but public transportation is efficient, easy, and on time. Not to mention that taxis are the cheapest things ever.


LKF is expat party central - a few city blocks in the center of town lined with bars. Like Bourbon or 6th, the streets are closed to cars and drinking is allowed outside. All combined, it's a great party atmosphere just about every night of the week (not that I visit quite so frequently).

Five things I miss about the U.S.


Leaving him was definitely the hardest part about my decision to come to Hong Kong. Luckily, he's become completely spoiled living with my parents, so I know he's happy.


I feel uniquely American every time I eat out here in HK. While I am addicted to Diet Coke and require several daily, people here just don't drink much soda. So not only is soda expensive (not much around), but the servings are tiny. And refills are not free. Don't they realize refills are a civil right?

Note: drinking tap water also falls into this category.


To say that I'm an Obama fan is an understatement. When his win was announced, I was partying in my apartment, by myself. None of my (mostly Canadian) expat friends really cared. A happy (but sad) moment.


Not only do my favorite stores not have outlets in Hong Kong, but most don't even ship here. J. Crew, I'm looking at you.


Hong Kong television is awful, though part of this might be because it's not in English. In order to keep up with my favorite shows, I've become an iTunes addict (because Hulu, etc are blocked in China). It's a little thing, but I miss being able to sit down at any point of the day, turn on the TV, and know I'll find something I like.

*Image 1, Image 4, Image 7, Image 10

22 comments:

Vivian said...

I can relate to missing tap water! During my first weeks in Seoul, I'd forget and just drink the tap water.

Those pandas are adorable... wow.

K @ Blog Goggles said...

Woohoo! Thanks so much for having me. I could stare at those pandas all day long. :)

tn1125 said...

Wow, I thought that "no refill" thing was only in Singapore. My friend (Canadian) and I (American) went to Singapore in February and when we asked for refills, people were pretty stupified. I seriously got asked "what is refill?" in a country where English is the official language. There were no refills even in Mcdonald's! Crazyyyy

K @ Blog Goggles said...

P.S. I posted about this on my blog!

Claire said...

I've been to Hong Kong several times and I must agree -- the skyline, the subway system and Lan Kwai Fong are awesome!

Rebecca said...

love your pics...your trip looks like such an amazing adventure!

roysie said...

I can relate to much of this having lived abroad also. I just stumbled on your blog and I love it. I have the travel bug, too!

Tracy-Girl said...

WOW! I love this post... I think I would miss my doggies too... if I were you. But the skyline is beautiful - the boating looks amazing - it seems like you are having the time of your life there! I'm a bit jealous!

Diana said...

i love K@blog goggles and this a great way to get to know her a little more :)

The Cottage Cheese said...

Every post of Karen's makes me want to visit Hong Kong even more!

Simply Mel said...

Great lists! A good reminder to enjoy every single moment of our lives no matter where we are...find joy in the little things.

RedCurlGirl said...

man...i wish i lived in a big enough city where a car wasn't necessary!

down and out chic said...

fantastic post! i would have a hard time leaving my dogs too but pandas might be a nice replacement:)

Courtney said...

Darling post and I love Karen's take on the best of the best in both homes! I can't imagine how much she must miss her dog, but the life experience she's gaining is priceless!! And I may very well plan a trip to Hong Kong for the mentioned boat trips alone.

Carol said...

That skyline is beautiful!

thevoyageofv said...

Oh, Karen! I so feel you on election night! I was sitting up watching it on TV all alone in my apartment, crying like a baby. Three of my American colleagues and I met before work and celebrated with mimosas after that, and I went to work late with a good buzz on. Good memory :-)
But I do wish I hadn't been alone at the actual moment.

Amanda's Sunshine said...

I love HK!! Your dog is so cute!!
Is he a shih tzu?

Amy said...

oooh. i do love hong kong. probably one of my absolute favorite cities. great post.

The Professional Bridesmaid said...

Great post!!

Belle said...

I love this idea! I want to do one for where I am living.
Aww, I miss my pets so much too! xxx

Melvin said...

wow, great post...
thanks for sharing....


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Vania Lorena Casasola said...

We doesn't need a lot of money to be happy! we just need the right place and the right people! Vania Lorena Casasola.