It was a long twelve-hour flight, but it was actually more like twelve years. I’ve wanted to live abroad for my entire adult life, and now I am sitting on a very firm Chinese mattress wondering how in the WORLD I managed to move to Hong Kong. But my husband, two-year-old, and I waltzed up to the “Resident” lane at immigration, and they let us in. So it looks like we’re going to be here for awhile.
We’ve been here for a little over a week. Ten true things…
1. I sent out one single bag of laundry here at the hotel, and when the bill came back, I owed $150 US dollars. Apparently the Tide here comes with golden flecks.
2. Less than 24 hours after we landed, we had local ID cards (including fingerprints, big brother), local phone numbers, and a healthy fear of Hong Kong taxi drivers.
3. “Foot massage” can mean many things to many different people, especially depending on the neighborhood and the time of day. Be ye warned.
4. Mexican food is in short supply around here, which I can’t fathom. The depths of my Chipotle withdrawals? I would have at least settled for Qdoba, but the closest thing available is a place called Mr. Taco. They couldn’t even call it Senor Taco? Really?
5. I stick out not because I am blonde, but because I am sweating so profusely at all times. To make matters worse, there’s no Secret solid. Not unless you buy a membership to the local American goods shop, which conveniently carries Kirkland Signature products of all kinds. What I’m saying is that my new Costco is the size of a 7-11.
6. A very well-dressed American friend told me she felt like a complete frumpy dump on her trip to Hong Kong a few years back. I found that hard to believe at the time. How can you go wrong with a J.Crew ensemble, I ask you? IT IS POSSIBLE, folks. I can wear the blingiest bling of my entire life and still look so vanilla compared to the rest of these chicks. I don’t even use the word chicks, but these women are awesome chicks. Neon Nikes and a lace crop top and bangs that are blonde and a Chanel bag and acid washed jeans. And that’s the fifty year old mom set.
7. My kiddo replied to me in Cantonese at dinner tonight. I can see it now — plotting to sneak out of the house at sixteen with his friends, and doing it all in another language right in front of me at the dinner table. Ahh, the gift of being bilingual!
8. When we asked a local where to find the absolute best Chinese egg tarts, she told us to try them at KFC. “They cannot be beat.”
9. We are moving into a building across from a Ferrari/Maserati dealership. When child-of-expats-in-Asia Eric Burgess described the culture of Hong Kong as “money,” he wasn’t kidding. It is obscene how much wealth floats around on this little island.
10. I’ve laughed and cried and squealed and hugged and panicked a lot in ten days. Hoping for more of the same these next two years.