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Do you regret moving to Hong Kong?

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  1. #51

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    Editors, feel free to go ahead and delete/prune/shape the thread further. As it stands now, some posts (mine referencing Mat's thread-shutdown-attempt and the ones above referring to another poster's child's educational plans) don't make a whole lot of sense given that the posts upon which they relied for context have been removed.

    Last edited by dear giant; 17-11-2011 at 12:19 PM.

  2. #52

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    It was obviously unthinkingly foolish of me to have mentioned a real person other than myself on the fantasy land that is the forum so I asked for the post to be deleted. If you want to discuss it further please pm me or talk to me in real life for those of you who know me.

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  3. #53

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    deelted .........


  4. #54

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    Hmm... regarding multicultural. I think the majority of the population particularly if local, is not experiencing multiculturalism. I doubt locals give a single thought about expats. But of those who are in that realm, it is very multicultural.

    It doesn't feel very multicultural when everyone is "American-washed" "Canadian-washed" so very typical of the NA scene especially the 80's 90's where immigrants son/daughter are born/raised there. Here it appears everyone has a lot to offer in terms of differences. Though there are substantially more "British-washed" here, the small percentage of that huge variety from most country in the world are still pretty amazing.


    Quote Originally Posted by dear giant:
    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.
    I agree with the rest of the your posts about education, pollution and so forth... but I get the sense that Hong Kong are "richer" not because you don't see old people working, but because they refused to get on the welfare systems whereas you can just bum out in some of the richer countries on welfare. To me, it's more respect worthy to see old woman working for her means so I liked this scene here a bit more. They gave me reasons to respect them however poor they literally may be.

    I order take-outs and these 60 year old would run around for my lunch from the restaurant to my apartments. It certainly doesn't sound great, but the important thing for me is I have respect for them. It's certainly mentally healthier for them as well to be doing things as oppose to sitting at home and watch TV.
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  5. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Creative83:
    To me, it's more respect worthy to see old woman working for her means so I liked this scene here a bit more. They gave me reasons to respect them however poor they literally may be.
    Have you seen stooped old women scavenging from trash bins? It is more cringe worthy that respect worthy.

  6. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewankho:
    Have you seen stooped old women scavenging from trash bins? It is more cringe worthy that respect worthy.
    Relative to bums panhandling, sleeping on the street while on walfare to supply their smoke/drinking addiction, i'd say go for it.

    What are they looking for in trash bins? I haven't witness much of what you said. The stuff in trash bins are not of value.

    Rather, cardboard boxes are and if the recycling bin is full of cardboard and not "trash", then I don't see an issue.
    Last edited by Creative83; 17-11-2011 at 02:32 PM.

  7. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Creative83:
    Relative to bums panhandling, sleeping on the street while on walfare to supply their smoke/drinking addiction, i'd say go for it.

    What are they looking for in trash bins? I haven't witness much of what you said. The stuff in trash bins are not of value.

    Rather, cardboard boxes are and if the recycling bin is full of cardboard and not "trash", then I don't see an issue.
    One a the few things I do admire about Hong Kong is the way people get on with life, generally I don't hear anyone moan about their situation, they just make the best of it. Whether that's the investment banker or the lady collecting cardboard from the refuse bins.

    Its still pretty sad to see the old lady collecting the cardboard when there is so much wealth floating about.
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  8. #58

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    I just did the comparison for fun.. don't take it seriously
    Housing: Boston 1 Hong Kong 0
    Education: Boston 1 Hong Kong 0 Boston area has great public schools and elite prep schools. I am sure Boston has some Chinese immersion schools. learning Chinese is not difficult in the US.
    Pollution: Boston 1 Hong Kong 0
    Nature: Boston has a slight edge over HK 'cause I am biased towards places with four seasons, fall foliage, Cape Cod, Maine, and snow, so Boston 1 Hong Kong 0
    Security: Hong Kong 1 Boston 0.. But I suspect the OP lives in the suburbs. After all Boston is smaller than Shatin. It is safe in the suburbs. It is safe in most parts of Boston too in my experience.
    Tax: Hong Kong 1 Boston 0. Taxachusetts.
    Multi-culturism: Boston 1 Hong Kong 0. Boston is full of students from all over the world.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mat:
    OP,

    To offer a bit of a more balanced point of view (disclaimer: I am no “fan” of HK, been here for a while now +6 years, married to a local who works in the education sector) I would say that first of all, HK, as any city is what you make of it. Clearly some people love it, some hate it and it most cases it is linked to how they came here (i.e. with good./ bad packages and at which stage in their life)

    Housing:
    You do not have to live in a shoe box, some people make the choice to live “away” from the center and enjoy a life pretty similar in that respect to their European/US counterparts: i.e. houses, cars, lively neighborhoods (prime example would be Sai Kung, Clearwater Bay…)
    That being said the overall construction in HK is below what you would find in the main US cities (it is better however than in many middle/small US cities/towns) but clearly you get better flats in Chicago for example than in HK for the money you pay.

    Education:
    Regarding education, I think a lot has been said (not always true in my opinion – or at least only showing one side of the HK education system) so I would add.
    First of all the HK education system is not one system. you have different types of schools: International (but very expensive on average), ESF (English School Foundation), some top Local Schools that produces some excellent and well rounded youngsters (Diocesan’s Boys School, St Stephen..), some good local school and then the rest (which is more or less accurately portrayed by some on those pages).
    HK has generally (but this is changing a lot, as my wife – in the field for 10 years – can attest) a rot learning approach to education (like many Asian nations: Japan. Korea…) but as I mentioned it is slowly changing and this way of learning is used to various degrees depending on which school your kid attend.
    For the record, the US of A is not this idyllic place some posters are trying to portrait on here and has itself a lot of issue with its education system – ask Michelle Rhee and you can be sure your kids in HK will not be faced with the violence that many young American face at school on a daily basis.
    .
    If your kid is of Chinese origin but does not speak Chinese, a few years in HK may also be a good opportunity for him to learn.

    Finally it is true that many kids here do after school “work”: ie piano lesson, English lesson…but again it is somehow a parents choice here. I know plenty of expat kids (and to a lesser extend some Chinese) who just go home and play with their friends after school…

    Pollution:
    Definitely HK is more polluted than most US cities that being said, many expats have kids in HK (and locals too) and they live fine.

    Security:
    HK wins hands down on that one. I have never set a foot in Boston but for having family in Chicago, I would never ever consider taking the subway past 9PM while here you and your kid can safely travel in the city

    Nature / Location:
    HK has some fantastic beaches and country trails for kids to run around – I am not familiar with Boston so can’t comment
    HK is in the heart of Asia so very easy to travel to other places of interests in Asia

    Taxes/Job:
    Well this obviously depends on you and no one can really advise you on this.

    The rest:
    Food, entertainments… are all matters of personal preferences so we can’t really comment on this

    Living abroad as a kid:
    Having lived abroad as a kid an being from a multicultural family, I can attest that I loved it and that I thank my parents everyday for having given me this opportunity: it was a real eye opener and yes you may have to explain to your kids why some ppl are richer than others – but the earlier they learn the better they are equipped in my opinion. Living abroad was a very exciting experience (at least for me) as a kid and one I never regretted.

    Finally I understand that you are contemplating a temporary move (2/3 years) not a permanent one, is that correct?
    Last edited by pizzalover; 17-11-2011 at 03:20 PM.
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  9. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by pizzalover:
    I just did the comparison for fun.. don't take it seriously
    ....
    Boston is Boring - HongKong is exciting, 'nuff said

    Tons of ppl left Hong Kong due to 1997 scare, many came back. I've always asked why and the most common answer always came back as [[insert city]] was too boring.
    Drunken Master likes this.

  10. #60

    I grew up in hk and loved it. I didn't develop any respiratory or dermatological problems and I side step any aircon drip puddles! As long as you teach your kids the values you want to instill in them, they won't necessarily become materialistic just by living in Hong Kong.

    Granted having then moved abroad and come back, I do notice the air pollution is pretty bad and my friends with kids have to make lots of effort to get their kids into good schools, but I thought the quality of education in hk was pretty high compared to when I moved to Switzerland for high school. Just want to give you a balanced perspective. I didn't move back to hk for the money, earned more in London but I'm much happier now being able to see my family whenever I want and hk is a great city in many other ways too. Good luck with your decision.

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