I always brought a stash of TP back from my home visits. The U.S. has lost it's edge in many things but it's still #1 for paper products.
One thing to blend with locals is work ethic, there are rules but nobody respects them or there are workarounds for almost everything.
And people here don't know how to operate emails, if they do don't expect any immediate answer (even if it means business for them).
Why duo you have to be so rude he/she is just trying to be helpful. Your name is most appropriate.
But EPD, rural areas.... different ballgame. Our government doesn't like confrontation with people they perceive to have "power". That's when things get "slow".
I reported a dangerous tree branch a couple weeks back (believe it or not there's a dedicated hotline number for that) and within a week received an email that the branch had been removed.
I'm comparing it to let's say Singapore for example, they have a way more efficient system. The immigration is fast in some instances, like renewing visa or even replacing an ID card. But if you're a startup it can take ages to get people in, we're talking about a city that likes to think it's the main startup hub in Asia.
Another one is entrepreneur visa, I know someone who wanted to set up his company here and hire around 15 people. They told him it will take around 4 months to get his entrepreneur visa approved, even though he's got enough money to sustain the business for years. 4 months in business is not fast, it's heffing slow.
The point I'm trying to make is, when you are a country with full employment, massive surplus, you could at least invest in making the government entities more efficient. I just can't get my head around why none of their websites have been updated since the late 90s. Even the inland revenue advising to use internet explorer.....
Also the slowness in adapting to technology and open data. If you compare the data portal in HK compared to Singapore (or the rest of the world for that matter), it is very poor. Having open data could benefit everyone since people could then build a useful application for residents, instead of having the government spending hundreds of millions (contract given to their friends) for broken apps.
Here are a few helpful ones:
For transport, you must get an Octopus Card. Not only that, it can be used in a lot of shops, cinemas etc.
Queues, be prepared for Queues. If you're a female be prepared to queue for toilets.
Learn the Chinese festivals, such as CNY (giving out lai see/receiving), Mid-Autumn (mooncakes) etc etc