I’m sure that many of my readers know the feeling of packing your bags and moving to another country… so you can probably relate to Deborah and her blog Moving East, where she chronicles the adventures of an established Canadian couple who moved from Ottawa to Hong Kong.
I smile when I read her observations about ‘what’s hot and what’s not‘ in Hong Kong, because I recognise so many things that have either made me break out in laughter or had me shake my head in endless frustration.
For example, she recently found a job and compared the working hours in Canada versus the working hours in Hong Kong – and as you can guess, there is a big difference. People in Hong Kong work long hours, don’t have much vacation and if they go away, they are always reachable … anyone recognise this?
Deborah also looks at the pros and cons of the Hong Kong public transport system (she is even brave enough to ride on the crazy-fast minibuses), collects some interesting Public Service Announcements (I can add one that I heard in Dec/Jan about elderly people, who should look and listen before crossing the street – which clearly must be a big problem in HK!) and lists all the things that are not allowed in Hong Kong – either in parks, on the streets or the public transport system (you should add the ‘no roasted pig’ sign which is on display around some temples like Wong Tai Sin and also in use around Chinese New Year).
So without much further ado, let me introduce Deborah and her blog Moving East in her own words.
Describe your blog in one or two sentences:
My Moving East blog chronicles the adventures, and occasional misadventures, of a Canadian couple who moved a year ago from Ottawa, Canada to Hong Kong. The blog is also a commentary with observations and impressions about living in Hong Kong.
What made you start a blog?
The notion of making such a major move was so big, so overwhelming, that I felt I needed to document it somehow. As I said, we were an “established” couple (read: middle aged, long careers, a house, yard, cars, and a kid) who were offered a fantastic opportunity to move half-way around the world. The blog is a good way to diarize our experiences and I’ve actually found it quite therapeutic. It’s a great way to keep in touch with family and friends back in Canada. I also hope the blog might be helpful to others who may be thinking about making a similar move.
Where do you get your inspirations from?
At first, the blog was about the 1,001 things that had to be done to prepare for the move. Selling the house, cars and — I estimate — 60% of our household possessions was no small feat, and I wanted to let others who might be thinking of such a move know about the sorts of things we had to think about. Once we got to Hong Kong, the blog was inspired by the bombardment of new sensations and impressions, as well as just the day-to-day of figuring out “the system” here. Now, I am writing more about how people live here, the influences, pressures and attitudes that I observe. I try to put those in context with my life in Canada.
What do you like to do when you are not working on your blog?
I wish was working on my blog more!! Nevertheless, I am happy to be contributing through my work in arts administration and marketing. It took me a long time to find work and I feel like I just got lucky, so I’m enjoying my paid gig a lot. I workout religiously, partly because I have knee issues that need to be looked after through exercise, and partly to defy gravity just a little bit longer. I found a MeetUp group that has been great for me. We go on hikes to locations that I would never have gotten to otherwise, to galleries and cultural events and restaurants.
My husband and I have been surprisingly busy socially since coming to Hong Kong. We didn’t know a soul when we arrived, but we had lots of advance e-introductions that I followed up on. Through Paul’s co-workers and their friends, the circle expanded very quickly. And we’re trying to travel in this part of the world whenever we can. That usually means just a few days at a time, but that seems to be enough to hop on a plane and explore some exotic location that I never dreamed I would visit.
What three tips would you give to someone visiting HK for the first time?
The tips I would give to people visiting Hong Kong are:
1) public transportation is awesome and you’ll have no trouble getting around;
2) Hong Kong does parks very well and I recommend visits to Hong Kong Park, Kowloon Walled City Park and Nan Liang Park/Chi Lin Nunnery; and
3) bring your hiking shoes! Who would ever think that there would be so many fantastic walking paths all over Hong Kong Island and Kowloon?!
Thanks Deborah, it was nice talking with you and learning more about your blog. I’m curious what you’ll experience in the next months, here in Hong Kong! So do keep blogging and I’ll keep on reading!
You can follow Deborah on her adventures on her Moving East blog.
[All pictures in this post belong to Deborah at Moving East, except for the roasted pig MTR sign]
PS: Missed a previous interview with a Hong Kong blogger or expert? Check out my series here & contact me on bluebaluinHK at gmail.com if you want to participate.