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Beth in Hong Kong: "I love the people and the culture"

  • Beth in Hong Kong
Interview
Published 3 years ago
Born and raised in Chicago, Beth moved to Hong Kong after graduating from university to get to know her fiancé's family. She is currently teaching English at a language center while doing freelance writing online.
besudesuabroad

besudesuabroad

Why did you decide to move to Hong Kong?

I moved here to get to know my fiancé's family, since he was born in Hong Kong and his whole family lives here.

How was the moving process?

We only brought what we could fit in our suitcases-albeit we brought about 3 suitcases each!

Did you have to apply for a visa or permit to be able to stay in Hong Kong?

You do need to apply for a working visa if you would like to get a job here. However, if you would just like to visit, most nationalities can stay 90 days visa free!

Did you face some difficulties to adapt to your host country (language, culture, do's and don'ts)?

There weren't too many difficulties adapting to Hong Kong. I think maybe the hardest thing to adjust to was getting used to seeing people freely do things that are many considered rude in my own country such as burping freely at the table or picking your teeth.

How did you find a job in Hong Kong?

I searched online and secured a job before arriving. There are plenty of online job search databases for Hong Kong, such as Monster.com.hk and Jobsdb.com.

What surprised you the most in Hong Kong?

How late people stay up! People can still be found out on the street eating dinner at 2am here and most of my students go to sleep later than I do at 11pm - and they're 5 years old!

Is it easy to make friends?

It was easy to make friends, although it has been mainly with coworkers or other expats.
I am lucky because I have my fiancé's family here, but I think if it weren't for them, my interactions with locals would be limited.

Could you please share with us something you like about Hong Kong and something you don't like?

I love the people and the culture. There's always something interesting go on whether it's a festival or a random event.
Something I dislike? It's dirty. And while yes it gives Hong Kong character, I still haven't learned to get along with air pollution and cockroaches!

A common belief about Hong Kong, which wasn't right:

Hong Kong is so small you'll run out of things to do here quickly. Hong Kong may be small, but there is so much to do here! From touristy attractions to nature hikes and to island hopping, I've had a list of things to do since I arrived and I've still barely dented that list!

What do you miss the most from the US, your home country?

There isn't too much I miss from home because fortunately, Hong Kong is pretty westernized and it's easy to find many products from home. Of course, there are always some food items or family and friends to miss!

Why did you start your blog, Besudesu Abroad?

I first started a travel blog while I was studying abroad in Japan. It provided me a way to keep in touch with those back home (without having to repeat the same stories 80 times) and helped to document all the awesome experiences I had.
Once I move abroad to Hong Kong as an expat, I decided I wanted to continue blogging, hoping that I could inspire and help others to travel as well. Now I aim to prove that you don't have to quit your job and become a backpacker in order to see the world!

Which advice would you give to people wishing to live in Hong Kong?

Make sure you secure a job and your visa before arrival.

What are your plans for the next few years: staying in Hong Kong, moving back to the States or to another country?

My plans are constantly changing, but we'll definitely stay in Hong Kong a bit longer. After that we'll either move back to the US or possibly go back to Japan.

4 Comments
Roberta M
Roberta M
3 years ago

Just an FYI Beth but you might want to REALLY get to know your in-laws and start to lay down some rules about your relationships if you plan on getting married. Things I never knew to look out for or even thought possible came up after I married my Chinese husband. I've been married to a Mainland Chinese man for 7 years and together with him for 10- and I still get surprised (and hurt) but some of the things his family does. If you plan on having children it makes it 1,000,000,000 times more complicated as well. Just let me say BOUNDARIES!! It's one thing that Chinese families tend to ignore but can prove to be a major hurdle in both your marriage as well as your relationships with his family (especially his mother). I don't know about in Hong Kong but most Chinese families here on the mainland put the grandparents (NOT the parents) in charge of children and men have very little to say or do when it comes to children. My husband is very westernized but will still revert back to Chinese ways when his mother is around...which definitely conflicts with me being American. And don't plan on them listening to you much- I had my MIL watch my daughter for one week while I had to go traveling with my students, and she didn't bring her back for 5 months! And she's done that a few times (or every time my 6 year old daughter visits without us). She wouldn't even let me shower for 1 month after I had given birth, or eat anything other than O-fen (nasty snot like soup) and boiled eggs in brown sugar for that same month. When our first daughter was still born- my MIL had the gall to kick my husband out of my hospital room and SLEEP in the hospital bed with me. And the list goes on...but I'm just trying to illustrate the need to talk about EVERYTHING before you get married and make sure that they understand them completely- it has honestly destroyed my marriage and I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Reply
Lawrence A
Lawrence A
3 years ago

I think it's amazing you went live in Hong Kong. I hope all goes well for yoy

Reply
Wimbleton
Wimbleton
3 years ago

Thanks good info about your experience and commonsense rules

Reply
Jameela30
Jameela30
3 years ago

Thank you for sharing, it was very interesting to read. Your pictures are amazing. I wish you all the best for the future.

Reply
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