Again, people are an essential part of the trip. I spent some days by meeting people I knew, going to places with them, going to places with people I met in Taiwan a week ago or even meeting new people I got introduced to.
It is really interesting sometimes how much you get to know someone even during a very short time. (Taxi or Uber drive)
Disclaimer: actually, after reviewing what I wrote, it seems a bit boring how I described everyone. But in the end, their part of life is interesting to look into.
- Will & Donald
I have introduced these guys in the first post.
- The Taxi driver
We met the taxi driver on the first night when we went back to Kowloon after going out. He is 75 years old. He worked for the government and is now retired. His 3 kids all went to UK to school since government officials have such fringe benefits to send their kids to UK for education for free. The oldest son is now a professor somewhere in UK and earns 10k pounds a month. Apparently this is not enough and his daughter who works in the financial industry earns more than that.
I met 阿Bing in Ohana的天空 in Taichung. We went out to have food couple of times there. Now we met in HK again and she showed me around at the NY market in the Victoria’s Park. I am very thankful for this short afternoon for the walk. She told me about some political backgrounds of the scenes and told me about stories why certains things are sold there. Also some puns in cantonese which got put up as slogans in the market. Her family has a flower shop setup in the market and her aunt is running that place. She wanted to help and also meet maybe other relatives. The flower shop that her aunt has need to run at the market since this would bring up the revenue and even out the normally not so flourishing business in her usual shop. Her dad works as air conditioning engineer and her mom is now without a job since the previous admin job made her suffer. 阿bing went to university and is now working as a nurse. Her family lives on Lantau thus living a normal HK life. She has been exchanging and also did an internship in NY.
I know Moris from Zurich because we met several times at our infamous night sessions making a fire in the woods. We went to the Horse race on Wednesday. The atmosphere is very casual and using a simple swipe of your octopus card, you can enter to bet and have a drink with your friends. Apparently compared to the Sunday race, it is more social on wed and people are generally having more fun. I also met some other PhD fellows from the HKCU. Pedron is from Iran and seemed a very outgoing person. There is Christian and Hanna and another German student whose name I forgot. Also another persian student who likes Gin. There is also Lawrence who is originally from SH and came to HK to study as a visiting student from Vancouver.
Now Moris is very excited about the life in HK because it is so different. Everyday it gives him a new perspective which is unexpected to him. Compared to some white dudes who wants to live in Asia because life is just simpler than back in Europe, Moris is eager to get to know the culture and learn the language and because the differences just excite him.
And soon on Friday I met most of them again for Poker at the campus. Hanna is actually an undergrad who spent some years in South Africa and Africa because of her parents. I also got to know Perdron a little bit more who likes to make jokes but turned out to be playing safe all the time during poker.
This is actually the first guy I had a longer conversation with in HK. He was skyping with his dad in German with a very strong Austrian accent. When he finished up and said Hi, I jokingly told him sorry that I actually understood everything. This encounter is actually very similar to the one time I was in Hiroshima and met a Swiss guy called Nils. Of course he looked baffled and ended up letting people guess where I am from whenever we met new people in the hostel.
He has been in HK for some time now and has been on working holidays and travelling for 2 years in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. He is looking for a job in HK and spends most of his time in the hostel somehow. He is very knowledgable at many things such as materials for teeth replacements and was interested in Swiss political system which Me and another Swiss guy had difficulties to explain in the very details. (Shame on me and I hope people don’t take away my swiss passport because I wrote this :D) He is a very casual chilling guy and likes to joke around. After one week somehow he is still putting together his portfolio for a designer job in HK. I hope he will be successful in that and not ending up chilling too much.
- A interlude on society
When I entered my dorm in Tsin Sha Tsui (TST), Sebastian mentioned the 2 typical life style here in HK which are the expat and the HK local life style. I would say there are things in between too. It is very comparable in Shanghai, where in my family circle, my cousins would still live with the parents and would only move out once they marry. The usual jobs they have can’t let them afford to rent an apartment on their own. Also our families live a little bit outside of the center (between first and second circle). I also know people, who had a good university degree, work in good companies and can rent a place and live in Shanghai. But again, going out is not really an activity on their usual ToDo list for the weekend. My families do invest in stock markets to make some extra money, but in the end, they are just small investors who follow the follow and if it is a bullish market, all good, if bearish, you are stuck in a sink hole.
Stephen is half american and half Taiwanese. Although he is good looking and tall, he is a bit shy. He also quited his job in November and was travelling in south east Asia for some months now. He is also in HK for more than a week and sometimes, he would come back early and sit on the bed or sofa to read a book. He is a good companion who is OK with a lot of the suggestions. This is maybe where I see my own reflections a little bit. I am OK with many things but then I don’t always think upfront what I want to do. Once people are without clues, then someone needs to step up with a suggestion. I need to do that more if the situation is like that. Hence when I was with him I am more able to lead a bit more for exercises since we ended up going to Shenzhen together.
Pablo is a Swiss master student whom I met only for a night before returning to Switzerland. He is actually half Indian and half Spanish, interesting mix. He is in HK to interview a few people for his Master Thesis.
Harry is an ABC that my previous boss introduced me to. He works at PWC as Senior Manager. We talked about some career opportunities and of course the life style in HK. Also expats consider the life expenses very high and seem to be under some pressure just as locals.
- Zhang xin yi
She is a niece from a friend of mine at the EXPO 2010. She is about to graduate and we talked a bit about some career options and about my recent break up ?. For her age, she seemed very much mature. She knows a lot of things that she should do in a relationship to make it work better. Things I wish that I would have said to someone too. She is a Mechanical Engineering student. I wonder whether engineering student have the tendency to have a desire to understand the world better and hence reflect more on what have happened in the past.
- The Uber driver
After poker at the campus I called up an Uber. The driver is 23 years old and used to be not interested at all in school and ended up with some friends who brought him down the wrong path. He used to go out one or two times a week and spend 6-7k HKD (~800CHF) in the club. Now his family not doing well anymore and is of course not able to supply him with the money as before. That made him realize that making money is not that easy. Especially when you don’t have a good education degree. He is now managing a local burger shop (not sure whether he owns it or not) and was making some extra money on late nights during the chinese NY. Is it sometimes really necessary to experience things ourselves so that we finally understand some truth of life?