Mixed Emotions in Uprooting (Vent) Support Thread

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  1. #21

    One of the best threads on this forum!!

    Carang, Scriptmonkey, Ray98, MinHK and all others (sorry for not remembering everybody else's names) - this is SUCH AN AMAZING thread. Never have enjoyed reading any thread as much as this one.

    As you read post after post, the whole tone of the thread just keeps getting stronger and highly inspiring. Loved it! Thank you all for contributing great real-life experiences in HK.

    I was reminded of our move here as well.. not as adventurous as yours but I was still nervous coz' it was a new place. You might laugh about this one but my first fear (which made me lock myself up in a washroom and cry for 30 min.) was tall buildings ))) In our first serviced apartment in HK, we were on the 25th floor which somehow made me feel very lonely. But once I got on the streets of Central, roamed all over the city looking for apartments, I felt like a HK queen, part of all the vibrance. One piece of advice - when you get here, initially, try to stay close to crowds (LKF, bookshops, central streets), at least during some part of your day everyday. That really worked for me. Soon, as you see people from your own country, hit the bars / pubs /coffee shops with them and you're all set!!

    Finally, of course, you have to first be OPEN to try all this or anything else that you feel might work for you. Come with an open mind, not-so-high expectations and a very low resistance to change / difference. I think (hopefully), you'll love it here just as we do.


  2. #22

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    I remember before we moved here, I came up for a look around and I remember going home and crying and thinking what on earth are we thinking! Among other things we're moving from a house with a huge back garden to an apartment (which was the option we chose because of circumstances), but wouldn't have missed this opportunity at all.
    I found it difficult for the first while especially when the other half is working and they are pretty much settled with their day-to-day activities but for me staying at home I found it a bit of a challenge to get into a routine and meet people at first. Mind you with kids it is probably different.
    Also had the interesting supermarket experiences and working out which brands are best suited to us, which bread is the best, which supermarkets stocked certain items (eg City Super in TST doesn't do toothpaste, toothbrushes etc, so it would be off to Wellcome, Watsons etc). And just generally finding out where to go for basic necessities - stationers, drycleaners, etc.
    There are still the days when I just get so frustrated like having to deal with the crowds of people on tiny footpaths and things not being like what they are at home, but HK has got in my blood now and I don't ever want to leave.
    So embrace the change, know that there are going to be horrible days but that's normal, find something you like doing to keep yourself sane, and just think of all the cool things you and your family can do and experience! (And one big plus - winter's aren't nowhere near as cold as in Canada!)


  3. #23

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    actually, one of the biggest things for me to deal with is culture shock.

    not in hong kong, but when i go "home"... although, i would still love to go back to canada to live, i find that in many respects when i'm there i get claustrophobic. not in the sense of not having space, as we all know space is one thing canada does NOT lack... i get claustrophobic talking to people who have never left their little patch of grass they call home. it is very difficult to find any canadians in canada that have done the kind of travelling that i've done. when i went back the first few times, i was quite disappointed.... it seemed to me that many of my friends were stuck in a rut.

    they seemed to be sitting on the same barstool nursing the same beer and having the same converstation as before i'd left. they are interested in your experiences for about hte first 5 minutes, then it's back to their same old converstations....THAT was really tough for me.


  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by carang:
    actually, one of the biggest things for me to deal with is culture shock.

    not in hong kong, but when i go "home"... although, i would still love to go back to canada to live, i find that in many respects when i'm there i get claustrophobic. not in the sense of not having space, as we all know space is one thing canada does NOT lack... i get claustrophobic talking to people who have never left their little patch of grass they call home. it is very difficult to find any canadians in canada that have done the kind of travelling that i've done. when i went back the first few times, i was quite disappointed.... it seemed to me that many of my friends were stuck in a rut.

    they seemed to be sitting on the same barstool nursing the same beer and having the same converstation as before i'd left. they are interested in your experiences for about hte first 5 minutes, then it's back to their same old converstations....THAT was really tough for me.
    I have EXACTLY this issue when I go home. I tried to explain what I meant to my sister (who has barely travelled, let alone lived abroad) and she just thought I was insulting her. At my Dad's 70th Birthday, one of his oldest friends was there, who had lived for years in Africa working with IBM, and he understood exactly what I meant.

    LIving overseas changes you - I think for the better - but you can never slot easily back into the "old" way of life. This friend of Dad's had been back in the UK for about 10 years now, but he still felt it.

  5. #25

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    they seemed to be sitting on the same barstool nursing the same beer and having the same converstation as before i'd left.
    LOL! Ditto from me too.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by carang:
    i get claustrophobic talking to people who have never left their little patch of grass they call home.
    That seems to me the most exciting part of living abroad: getting a fresh set of eyes. A lot of people in my current workplace do not even try to travel, so just imagine them in new places.

    How did you deal with this, Carang?

  7. #27

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    i don't know how i deal with it... i REALLY don't understand people that don't like to travel. my step-brother is one of them. went on his first plane ride when he was 21 years old. the farthest he's been is about 800km from where he was born. he has no intention of ever going anywhere. i just don't understand it. for me, travelling is in the blood. i can't get enough of it. i am constantly planning where i will go next.

    there are a few friends i have in canada that have travelled and i find that i can talk to them about things more than with those that haven't. i just can't relate to those that have no intention of ever leaving their comfort zone. to me, that is not living. it is merely surviving.


  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by carang:
    i just can't relate to those that have no intention of ever leaving their comfort zone. to me, that is not living. it is merely surviving.
    Totally agree, Its even worse when you see Tourists and some ex-pats only ever eating western food.

  9. #29

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    I think the not travelling thing is more common in the US and Canada than the UK though isn't it? Certainly most of my friends in the UK have travelled extensively all over the world (admittedly often backpacaker routes!). I was at uni with people from other countries, and so now have friends who live in many countries. My parents moved to live in Italy 5 years ago, and my grandparents have travelled a lot throughout their lives too, even many years ago when to travel meant days spent on a boat! Amongst the people I used to work with most took overseas holidays (not just the professionals - most employed by the company, secretaries, administrators etc). And many of the more senior directors had spent parts of their careers working overseas.
    Could it be because the UK is such a small country, and international travel is accessible and relatively affordable?


  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo:
    ... some ex-pats only ever eating western food.
    Ahhh, those PRs who can't use chopsticks.

    I worked with a young lady who had never lived away from home (not a day/night for camp/sleepovers and not even for Uni) and was posted to Hong Kong by the (US) company.

    Every morning she was on the phone back home to momsy and popsy, sobbing and blubbering. Unfortunately she did this in the office and everyone had to listen to it.

    She suffered what I can only describe as an emotional meltdown on her 30th birthday which fell during her third month in HK. She left work that day and I hear she left HK within a few days.

    Some people take such a move in their stride; others are psychologically unable to do so. Each has to decide for themselves because being forced into a decision one is not entirely at ease with will only cause unhappiness, bitterness and resentment.

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