It was just about a few days past two years since we came to Hong Kong. When we landed here, I spent a lot of time writing about our experiences. Some have been published here. Some have not. I started a list of cultural differences we had noticed. I, unfortunately, cannot locate that list at this time, but I should be able to list them still, right? They are different from our experiences from our home country. I sat and tried to think of what they could have been. I can think of a few.
- Spitting. It is not something that is necessarily common for us. It was pretty gross when we came here and remains gross now. Sorry. It is.
- Dogs. They are not always leashed. People are able to walk with their dogs, and they are some of the best behaved pups ever. In addition to this, you will see dogs in malls and restaurants as well. They aren’t allowed on the trains but are allowed on the minibuses (though you don’t see it often).
- Lack of awareness of personal space. There are a lot of people in Hong Kong. Like A LOT. It is not uncommon for people to just sort of walk around in la la land and sort of just run into you. They can be pushy and seem rude. Really, people are just so on top of each other there they don’t really see the issue. Where we come from, we are all about our personal space. We have room. Here, not so much. It was an adjustment, but as time goes on, it’s just normal. You don’t think anything of someone being right up next to you on the train or in the lift or wherever really.
These are a few that I do remember. I will say I know I had a list at least a page long before. As we observed them in those first few weeks we were here, I wrote them down. Now, I don’t think that I can fill a page of differences. I know they exist. I know I am probably confronted with them on a regular basis, but I just don’t see it anymore. They don’t shock me as they did when I first stepped off the plane into this new place.
There are many things here that are different from the US that are very positive. They are things I wish were true in the US for me and my children.
- Safety: Hong Kong is extremely safe. My children have had way more freedom here than they ever would have in the US.
- The transit system: There is no where anywhere that can compare to the transportation system of Hong Kong. I know Japan (Tokyo mainly) comes close, but for ease of transit, Hong Kong wins.
- Landscape: There is no where that can compare to Hong Kong in terms of landscape. I love the mountains and the water. I love the green space that Hong Kong tries so hard to preserve. Love and I have talked about where we would go if we were to go back to the US. No where really compares to that of Hong Kong. The harbor and the skyline. The jungles and the city. I love it.
I wonder sometimes what it will be like to return to the US for good. Will we slip right back in? Will we struggle with reverse culture shock? Will we be happy there? Will we be happy here? I’m not sure. For now, we continue on with our adventure as long as we can.