Has meeting people in, Hong Kong, ever been a problem ? If anything it's a little too easy in my opinion, like shooting fish in a barrel, so it was never much of a challenge from my perspective. after the first couple of years it becomes a tad predictable...
The thing I think, Tamsin, is trying to explain, and I 100% agree with her, is that friendships in Hong Kong are mostly, associations and in most cases, lack any real depth or substance. Lots of phishing and title/position sizing, to see who might benefit who ( far too many networkers in this town ) in the future... It's kinda off the dial here, which if you aren't used to it, can be quite in your face the first time you experience the ' 20 ' questions and folks handing name cards at off the clock casual/social gatherings. Tends to suggest that a lot of people here, don't know how to, not talk shop.
Western raised expat women of any ethnicity, have a a much more difficult time than their male counterparts, from the many conversations I've had with my female friends about this topic. Hong Kong is very much a relationship graveyard and yes, quite lonely because you don't get much if anything meaningful from the experience.
I also agree about the heavy drinking culture that goes on, that was a huge eye opener for me, when I first. It still fascinates me to a degree.
Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth