Geoexpat is a more free-wheeling kind of forum. If people want their forums sanitised, there is always the dark side.
Having said that, this particular post may disappear.
As for every move to another country/city...IF you move with the right attitude....chances are high you will like it.....if you move feeling negative about the place even before putting a foot here....changes are you won't like it much....there are always exceptions of course!
Since your kid is very very young, I'd say go for it, if you feel like trying something new.
Contrary to what some people think on here, it is not aboot being a long term or short term expat or defending HK etc etc....
I certainly see the positive of having kids in HK (assuming $ isnt too much an issue):
- Open minded (ie different culture/ plenty of countries to visit around etc etc
- Good school levels
- Affordability of help
You can clearly see the negative too (as an expat):
- far from close family
and then there are the things that you can have in HK if you want to (but not everyone wants/can):
- space for kids to run around (houses in NT)
- sea/mountain/river for kids to play in
As for those who comapre HK to Kanss City and the like...well really there is nothing we can do.
My apologies to Kim or whomever else thinks I have attacked them on personal level. It was not my intention.
TheBrit said it best....most of the regulars here, have lived here so long they can hardly be considered expats. This is home to them, not an employment contract, stop off used to build a career or build wealth. It even seems most of the regulars geoexpats are married to locals....
I think short term expats like myself and Kimwy66 are able to give more blunt, honest and unbiased answers because this isn't "home" to us. People that consider Hong Kong home are understandably going to be reluctant to criticize it. You can see this in this thread, and also among the treatment of FDH and pollution. I think most people realize these are issues, but they would rather not talk about it because this is home.
No one likes to think they are raising their kids in anything less than an ideal environment. No one wants to admit that the very air they breath is toxic....and no one wants to admit that widespread human rights abuses are going on daily among FDHers.......
But all that being said, I do feel it is important to be honest with potential expats who are thinking of moving here.....and not sugar coat things to feel better about where you live...
Your fascinating analysis of Sai Kung residents was already quite something but with that one you are moving up.
For the records (sorry guys for listing you) moving not married to a local, grunt not married to a local, virago not married to a local, HC not married to a local, claire not married to a local, and the list goes on......so yeah Watercooler, JJ and a few others are w local but that is hardly MOST regulars as you claim.
Last edited by Mat; 07-06-2013 at 10:45 PM.
CC: Surely the 'long term expats' became long term expats because they liked living here, rather than the other way around? I'm not saying that you're wrong to dislike elements of HK, but to say that people who are happy living here are being dishonest because they're defensive seems a weird argument.
OP: I suggest you repost this question in the Geobaby forum - there are lots of parents there (especially mums with young babies) who will be able to give you their actual experiences of the pros and cons of raising a child in HK. Personally, as I said, I enjoyed living here as a child, and I'm enjoying living here as a parent. There are a number of things about HK which I didn't even think about until I become a mum, but for which I'm now grateful:
- living in a modern apartment building (albeit small) means my child will have access to a lot of facilities (indoor/outdoor swimming pools and children's play areas, bowling alley, table tennis room, basketball and tennis courts) - which certainly beat having a garden, no matter how big. It also means they will meet other children from the block and make friends. When your child is old enough to play, you can safely send them 'downstairs' to run around, ride bikes and rollerskate without having to worry about them running into the road.
- if you live in a modern apartment building over shopping centres it is very very easy to get around with a pushchair. The MTR is very easy to use with a pushchair and most (though not all) stations have a lift to street level
- the public health service is far, far better than the NHS. If you've got health insurance, that's really useful - but for serious problems which would require specialist treatment public is fantastic. I've only used it for pregnancy/baby issues and the standard of medical care has been great. They are very organised when it comes to vaccinations etc and children's development is well monitored.
- there are 'expat' baby shops which sell most of the products you would get back in the UK, and amazon ship here so if there's anything you really can't find, chances are you can get it there. Similarly 'western' supermarkets stock all the standard baby foods.
- locals love babies (sometimes a bit too much!) so going to a restaurant with a young child is no problem. I've been in 5 star hotel buffets and seen young kids running around all over the place. No one bats an eyelid.
The biggest issue I have is education. Making a decision between international schools (which are very expensive) and locals schools is hard. There is no 'right' answer and both have big pros and big cons.
Edit: I'm not married to a local either.
Last edited by usehername; 07-06-2013 at 10:49 PM.
And I've also seen good reasoning in some your posts despite your blatant ignorance of Hong Kong.
Since you don't make that many posts here, you really don't know me well enough to dismiss me. Only the fools here do that, sweetheart.
The trick in geoexpat is to cut out all the attacks and insult and extract the useful points of each post.
Last edited by Watercooler; 07-06-2013 at 11:17 PM.
See, this is the attitude I don't get. Because I have a different view, I must be ignorant, living an expat life with no view outside of my own little circle. And it just isn't true, although I won't go into details, because it seems there are people here that take the most innocuous of comments and twist them into something they aren't. Suffice to say this is not the first time I have lived in Hong Kong.
This time round, I still am not living the typical expat life. I live in a village where we are the only expats, I don't have a helper. I talk to the other villagers daily, and have no issues living here. But I chose to make my circle of friends from expats this time, not out of ignorance, out of choice from experiencing the two realities I find in hong Kong.
There are cultures I love and would immerse myself in day after day, and maybe you wouldn't. Doesn't make you ignorant, just makes you different.