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Do you regret moving to Hong Kong?

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  1. #21

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    I understand your point Giant, we have only been here six months so I might have a different view on things in a few years' time. But I tend to be optimistic and flexible in my thinking. We just hope our family will still be enjoying Hong Kong as much in two or five years time as now. "Standard of living" is hard to define, or debatable perhaps. We are from The Netherlands, a very wealthy country with no real poverty among it's inhabitants. Still, I wouldn't necessarily say that my "standard of living" has dropped thát much here. Okay we went from big house to (relatively) small apartment, from three cars to no cars and from superior healthcare to "just good" healthcare etc. The thing is, it doesn't bother us, we don't care that much eventhough it took some adjusting the first two months. So many good things have replaced all this which make it all worthwhile for us. The excellent food and eating out opportunities, warm climate, beautiful countryside, bustling city "which never sleeps", great public transport, no major crime and feeling very safe all the time, excellent quality of international schools, our wonderful helper who has made life a lot easier for all of us...just to name a few things. We see our time here in Hong Kong as big adventure and wonderful learning opportunity for ourselves and our children, we are determined to enjoy and have a good time! I have lived in various countries and still have to come across the "perfect" place to live.....


  2. #22

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    I had more skin problems when I was in New England. I am starting to suspect it was the food and dry weather there. used to eat more greasy food there. But I have more respiratory issues in Hong Kong because of pollution. I take Boston over Hong Kong any day.

    Quote Originally Posted by dear giant:
    Molie, Hong Kong is not a fully-fledged developed world city, no. It still shines compared to the Mainland, but that's not saying much, is it? Compare HK to Japan or most places in the West and it falls far short. If someone is already in the US, as OP is, then moving to HK does represent a large and noticeable drop in one's standard of living.

    As for the pollution causing skin and respiratory issues, that's a very real problem. If you have children and yours have been lucky, ask other parents. Most parents I know are battling respiratory and skin issues w/re to their children. Some have become numbed to the constant colds/coughs and itchy flaky skin on their children. Others are still, understandably, concerned.

    Staying up late studying for exams (plus ridiculously overscheduling one's children) is the norm here but is not something that should be encouraged for small children. It ends with the kids becoming test-passing machines who struggle to think critically and can't solve real-world problems. How many times have you stumped adults here by asking them a question to which they had not memorized the answer or asking them to do something that is not specified in a rules book or manual? That's what HK-style schooling produces.

    The thread to which you refer seems to mostly be composed of people being given a seat on the MTR, having their wallets handed back with the cash missing but the credit cards still inside, and the like.
    dear giant likes this.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Molie:
    I understand your point Giant, we have only been here six months so I might have a different view on things in a few years' time. But I tend to be optimistic and flexible in my thinking. We just hope our family will still be enjoying Hong Kong as much in two or five years time as now. "Standard of living" is hard to define, or debatable perhaps. We are from The Netherlands, a very wealthy country with no real poverty among it's inhabitants. Still, I wouldn't necessarily say that my "standard of living" has dropped thát much here. Okay we went from big house to (relatively) small apartment, from three cars to no cars and from superior healthcare to "just good" healthcare etc. The thing is, it doesn't bother us, we don't care that much eventhough it took some adjusting the first two months. So many good things have replaced all this which make it all worthwhile for us. The excellent food and eating out opportunities, warm climate, beautiful countryside, bustling city "which never sleeps", great public transport, no major crime and feeling very safe all the time, excellent quality of international schools, our wonderful helper who has made life a lot easier for all of us...just to name a few things. We see our time here in Hong Kong as big adventure and wonderful learning opportunity for ourselves and our children, we are determined to enjoy and have a good time! I have lived in various countries and still have to come across the "perfect" place to live.....
    Everything that you've written makes sense, especially for someone only six months in and if you treat it as an adventure and don't examine things too closely. The OP, though, seems to be considering a permanent or at least a long-term move back here.

    As you've said, you've traded a spacious home, mobility, and great healthcare for cramped quarters, public transport, and meh healthcare (not so bad if you go the private route but a hand-in-your-referral-note-and-wait-three-weeks sort of nightmare if you go the public route and aren't bleeding profusely at the moment that you visit the hospital). The things you cite in HK's favor are the weather (the heat and humidity and pollution didn't bother you, so kudos to you), the food, the convenience of having a personal servant, and the like.

    Then, there's the fact that, as you say, there was no real poverty in the Netherlands but by living here you are immersed and immersing your child(ren) in a sea of people who are generally quite poor -- half or so of the people here live in public housing and there are many tens of thousands living in cages and in corrugated-metal-roofed illegal shacks atop other buildings. Old people scavenging for recyclables from garbage bins are a commonplace sight.

    Maybe it's good for children to spend some time living in a society with an enormous wealth gap between a comparatively small group of haves and a much larger group of have-nots. I don't know how much research, if any, has been done on that issue but I can imagine the interesting conversations I would have with my child when they asked me why so many old people were pulling such large stacks of cardboard around or why there were ramshackle metal constructions on the tops of a lot of buildings across from glittering megamalls.

  4. #24

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    I have been on HK for seven years, and don't regret it. You will never find a big city in the U.S. that is as safe as Hong Kong, so that is one advantage. I see kids coming home from tutoring class at 10pm alone, and its normal.

    dear giant likes this.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by packy_crusher:
    I have been on HK for seven years, and don't regret it. You will never find a big city in the U.S. that is as safe as Hong Kong, so that is one advantage. I see kids coming home from tutoring class at 10pm alone, and its normal.
    That is all true, I just wish they were coming home from playing with friends

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by packy_crusher:
    I have been on HK for seven years, and don't regret it. You will never find a big city in the U.S. that is as safe as Hong Kong, so that is one advantage. I see kids coming home from tutoring class at 10pm alone, and its normal.
    Great that the kids are safe....but not exactly an idyllic childhood is it? Having to make their way home from a tutoring class at 10pm alone. They should probably be home in bed at that time after playing with their friends after school or spending some time with their parents. Not in Hong Kong!

    I am about to become a father and I really don't think Hong Kong is a good place for children to grow up. I do hope to get the opportuntiy to move away in the next few years. That said, there are certainly far worse places and many people in the world aren't in a position to be able to live here...shouldn't complain!
    dear giant, Jong007 and dannycat like this.

  7. #27

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    If I were a parent and looking at giving my child international exposure for "a few years" that would be one thing - and yes, it would be great - but "moving back forever" is entirely different. That, I might not consider.

    dear giant likes this.

  8. #28

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    Jan 2009
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    115

    Do I ever regret having moved to HK? No. For the sake of the experience: my wonderful helper who has made my life so much easier(I'm a full-time working mom of two); and for the low taxes and all. Do I want to move back home? Every day. Just for my children's sake for all the reasons dear giant mentioned. BTW, due to tougher competion in general, kids in international schools are not taking things easy either.

    dear giant likes this.

  9. #29

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    Although the following might sound highly philosophical but you can only regret or not regret it for sure at the end of your life. As Steve said in his Stanford graduation speech, you never know what this experience is good for or not.

    Last edited by Morrison; 16-11-2011 at 08:47 PM.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by pizzalover:
    I had more skin problems when I was in New England. I am starting to suspect it was the food and dry weather there..
    Might have been the pizza, pal. Just a hunch.
    jimbo and pizzalover like this.

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