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Tips and advice for blending in easier after moving to Hong Kong

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Lightbulb Tips and advice for blending in easier after moving to Hong Kong

    We are students conducting a project that aims to help immigrants assimilate easier after arriving at HK, so after surveys with immigrants, we have concluded a list that brings out what most immigrants think of Hong Kong!

    1. It’s very easy to navigate road signs

    • There are symbols (e.g. MTR) and directions indicated on signs in Chinese and English

    2. To make transport more convenient:

    • Download the MTR and bus app to check times, places and routes
    • Google maps may not be very reliable as HK has high buildings and might block the receiving of signals

    3. To adapt to HK cuisine easier:

    • Download the Openrice app
      • You can look for food, look at other people's reviews, look at price menus, ratings and pictures

    4. To find out where to buy stuff easier:

    • Go on forums such as GeoExpat, AsiaExpat, InterNations, Expat Arrivals, TripAdvisor to ask questions/ look at previous discussions
    • Taobao, Tianmao, Carousell and HKTVmall are popular local online shopping platform
    • Amazon and eBay products will sometimes ship to HK

    5. Common phrases in Cantonese

    • Hello (ha lo)
    • Bye bye (bai bai)
    • Good morning (jo sun)
    • Please (mm goi)
    • Thanks (dor tse)
    • I’m sorry (dui mm zhu ah)
    • Yes (hai ah / ho) ; No (mm hai / mm ho)
    • Excuse me (mm goi je je)
    • May you please repeat again? (ho mm ho yee gong do qee?)
    • I don’t understand (o mm ming ah)
    • Do you know where is the toilet? (cing men ci soh hai been? )
    • I want to buy ‘this’ (Or seung mai li gor)
    • How much does it cost? (lee go gei doh qeen)
    • Can this be cheaper (hor mm hor yi peng d ahh?)

    6. Changes in everyday habits you might experience after moving to HK

    • Weather and Climate
      • In winter it is usually 14-18°C (57-64°F) and in summer it is usually 29-33°C (84-91°F)
      • HK is a relatively humid place, so you’ll want a humidifier around your home
      • You can check the weather by downloading the HK observatory app

    • It’s an EXTREMELY fast paced city, so watch out!
    • You’ll probably be sleeping later waking up earlier
    • You might be more interested to hike since the distance between city and country is close and convenient

    7. What HK is not really welcoming about

    • People are not that friendly and open, so you may need to be more proactive
    • HK is discriminatory (don’t be offended it’s just something HK still needs to work on)

    If you have any further questions, feel free to reply to our post and we will answer them as soon as possible!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2019

    Hong Kong is not really an international city(as compared to Singapore). English language is not a norm here so blending in is quite difficult if you don't learn cantonese. Ordering in local shops is quite the challenge, adding in the unfriendly faces.
    Taxi drivers are very rude.
    You need to be as quick as a feather and hold on for dear life when riding the bus. They like it fast and hard here.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    I don't think anyone will have questions, but rather their own personal take on it.

    I agree about most of the points.

    If you're interested, there is a typo -- you say it is humid, so people may be interested in a dehumidifier (and if you're from Singapore you may be interested in a humidifier, because Hong Kong is not year-round humid like Singapore).

    Also, I know geoexpats does not allow grammar policing, but it's interesting to me that you say "You might be more interested to hike" because this seems awkward and I'm wondering why -- I guess it's just a kind of set phrase in English to say "You may be interested in xx-ing". If you're publishing this you might be interested in changing that. More colloquially you might say: "You might be interested in taking up hiking..."

    I find your transcription of the Cantonese rather confusing to understand. I think you're assuming people will know to say a "z" as a kind of "chu".

    There are so many other categories of advice you could give... why did you choose these?

    shri and TigerSun like this.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2008

    learn how to shout at someone standing next to you or into your phone handset at 100db
    when in a dim sum restaurant try to be louder than the overall 130 db
    practice walking around with a scowl on your mush all day
    wear a T shirt that says 'I am not a Mainlander'
    learn and practice the 7 Cantonese tones before learning any nouns
    in the same way that in Thai the word MA can mean a horse or a dog intonation dependent
    Cantonese can be very rude if you use the wrong tone, for example Diu (low tone) means to transfer and the
    locals are not saying 'transfer your mother'
    never leave your unfinished drink on a bar in Wanchai while you go to the loo
    when driving on a highway do not join a slow moving traffic exit queue, just drive up to the front in an adjoining lane with indicator flashing and block that lane to through traffic until some silly sod lets you in
    when in a traffic jam sit with your thumb on the vehicle horn for 5 minutes as this will magically move the accident in front of the queue
    when in a lift stand next to the button panel to block anyone joining from finding and pressing their floor, keep your thumb pressed on the Close Door button as soon as the lift door opens
    when boarding the MTR immediately rush in before people have exited then bitch and moan after you bounce off a 100 kg gwailo who was getting off and ask why the MTR did not paint a white line on the platform, to stand behind
    practice sleeping standing up on the MTR
    attempt to walk down the road watching a movie or playing a game on your smartphone mobile and texting without walking into someone then blaming them for the collision
    buy an 18 year old really expensive malt whiskey and mix it with coke
    see how much food you can get on a hotel lunch buffet plate then add trifle on top, sit down, reject the taste and push the plate away Go and get another plate and fill it up then add the jam you took from the breakfast buffet

    Plutark, mrgoodkat, MerMer and 1 others like this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Ah! I forgot...

    • It’s an EXTREMELY fast paced city, so watch out!
    Can we PLEASE stop saying Hong Kong is "fast pace" and "watch out"! YES you should watch out, but not because it's face paced, but because it's SLOW paced and too crowded. I've never seen a bigger bunch of sloths on pavements...

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Tuen Mun

    @gpers - this is a good project, but needs quite a bit of tidying up if you want to publish this.

    Firstly, please standardise your romanisation. At present it's a bizarre mix, including some strange pinyin of Putonghua (e.g. "cing men" instead of "Cheng mun"). I notice that you have 多 both as "dor" and "do." Also, some of the expressions need double-checking generally - you have the form of thankyou used when receiving gifts, not the more commonly used "m-goi".

    As a retired teacher, I cringe alongside Elegiaque at some of the English grammar ...

    Elegiaque likes this.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Don't worry if you have to change brand of washing detergent, painkillers or sarsaparilla flavoured soda

    They are just different not wrong or worse

    chingleutsch likes this.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Original Post Deleted
    Hong Kong CEO also has problems buying toilet paper.
    East_coast and shri like this.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Original Post Deleted
    Perhaps a table of leading FMCG's that are regional in nature

    USA / Canada v Europe / UK v Australia v HK

    Advil v Nurofen v Nurofen v Ibuprofen

    sarsaparilla flavoured soda
    A&W v Dandelion and burdock v Bundaberg Root Beer v Sarsae

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    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.

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