I am a regular reader of Jennifer’s Expat Lingo blog – her comics about everyday life and the culture clashes in Hong Kong and mainland China often make me laugh. She has a great sense of humour and I love that she openly shares her experiences of living in Hong Kong with two kids, comparing it to some of her other expat stations in life or just recounting a very strange encounter that she had. The way she brings those stories to life, by drawing little comics, is just too funny! But there is often a very serious element and sad truth to it!
Describe your blog in one or two sentences
Tales from expat life on China’s edge in Hong Kong’s New Territories: comics, parody and everyday observations.
What made you decide to start a blog?
Five years into my life as a serial expat, I starting writing about the contrasts, cultural differences and absurdities I see in Mainland China, Hong Kong, England and America.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everyday events in my life here in Hong Kong and from regional travel. Many posts are also inspired by the media including, newspaper articles, radio, and social media.
What has been the highlight of working on your blog so far?
The amazing people I’ve connected with from all over the world has been a huge unexpected plus. Recently I’ve also developed an alter-ego, “Red Banner Sister,” that I’ve had great deal of fun writing about.
What do you like to do when you are not working on your blog?
I also devote my free time to running and studying Mandarin. I’m currently training for the Standard Chartered Half-Marathon and am studying for the HSK III Mandarin proficiency test. I also have two young children that I enjoy hanging out with and cleaning up after.
What three tips would you give to someone visiting Hong Kong for the first time?
- First, it took me awhile to figure out that most of the best stuff in Hong Kong is at least several stories above ground level: small boutique stores, restaurants with views, foot massage places, etc. It is hard to stumble across these places by simply wandering around. It is worth identifying places to check-out on-line before setting out.
- Second, go to The Peak but immediately escape from Peak Tower (the Peak Tram terminus). Walk 200 meters away from the shopping area and you will find peace, tranquility, enlightenment and a lack of tourist hordes.
- Finally, did you know that Hong Kong is not just a series of giant shopping malls connected by the MTR? Be sure to enjoy Hong Kong’s many wild, green spaces with a visit to one of Hong Kong’s great Country Parks or beaches for a hike or picnic.
What are your top three favourite blogs?
LostnChina by a Canadian-American running a small business in Guangdong, China, is double-over-with-laughter funny. Her posts about her elderly Chinese parents are particularly cringe-worthy and hilarious.
Jonathan at Building My Bento writes all about food oddities, largely in Asia. He does not shy away from filling his blog entries with fascinatingly obscure references and his own brand of wicked humour.
Africa Far and Wide is written by a British expat who has lived in Mozambique for six years and in Zimbabwe for awhile before that. Her photographs and stories are breathtaking, heartbreaking, awe-inspiring and wonderful. A post about her recent visit to the Grande Hotel, which has been occupied by squatters since civil war broke out in 1977, is one of the most interesting blog posts I’ve ever read.
Thanks for the interview Jennifer, it was nice talking with you.
If you want to find out more about the serious expat and her life in Asia, head over to her blog: Expat Lingo
[All pictures in this post belong to Jennifer at Expat Lingo ]