Wednesday, October 19, 2011

All about spirograph, the Dancing Man and Chinese parsley

It is probably high time I talked about living in Hong Kong and not just about the wonders of fabric shopping in Sham Shui Po.  We have been here for a little over 3 months now.  I have really started to enjoy living here.  At first it was a little overwhelming - a new city, a different climate, different cuisine, a different language.  No friends or family, not knowing where to buy some everyday items.

Now, after 3 months, I know where to buy the avocados that will ripen (from the wet market) I know where to buy yummy ham off the bone. We know where NOT to get a haircut (the Shropshire boy had 2 hair cuts in one day and it was still not great)  Some days you go into a supermarket and they will have an old favourite food item from Australia or England - like Hula Hoops or BBQ Shapes.  They may never stock them again, or could run out of them and take 2 months to re-stock, but this is OK now as we know what to expect.  Hong Kong really feels like our home now.

Fun fun fun!

I bought Abbey this spirograph set recently.  I remember playing with one when I was a child.  I can assure you, it is still lots of fun!

Here are some completely random points about our time in Hong Kong so far:

  • The Chinese do not like babies to suck their thumb.  They think it is dirty and disgusting.  I wish I had a dollar for every time a local has (gently) tried to take Zoe's thumb out of her mouth or made a comment about sucking her thumb.  I find it very funny now, as I am Zoe's mum, I know she loves sucking her thumb.  
  • Today I was quite shocked to see a baby in pram sucking it's thumb!  You do not see that very often.
  • (Most) People are so friendly here.  The local Chinese really, really love babies and children.  So many people say hello to us everyday (well, say hello to Zoe first and then maybe Abbey)
  • Yes, even with the above point, it is quite common here to have a full time,  live in domestic helper/maid.  Most of these women come from the Philippines or Indonesia.  They are not paid much and work 6 days a week, away from their own families.  I am still struggling to understand how this works.
  • Coriander in Hong Kong is called Chinese parsley.
  • We live near some apartment blocks where pets are allowed.  Most days I see a few pampered dogs being pushed around in a baby pram, being taken for a walk - not actually walking.  
  • There is a local Grand dad that dances to pop music in the street.  We call him the Dancing Man (or Groover Man) and walk past him most mornings on the way dropping Abbey off at kinder.  The girls now wave to him, and he waves back.  He is a great dancer and is always smiling.  He makes me smile just seeing him in the same place every morning, happily dancing away without a care in the world.
Until next time, have a lovely day peeps.  



  1. Oh! that was a lovely post, to hear that you have settled in to a whole new way of living.
    I went to Northland today and my hasn't that changed since the last time I was there.
    Spirograph , yes they were fun wern't they.

  2. I am so happy that Hong Kong has become home to you and adore your snippets of Hong Kong life. Maybe the Dancing Man wouldn't mind his picture taken one day?

  3. So great to hear what you guys have been up to, and what its like there! How much of the language have you picked up so far?XX

  4. Wow Cat, I found this post so interesting and exciting. A whole new country and culture and well, everything! Love your random observations. Oh dear, I am glad to know that coriander is called parsley in Hong Kong, because I LOVE parsley, but can't stand coriander, so if I ever visit there, I'll be sure to pass on the parsley :o)
    Dancing man sounds totally cool, what a feel good way to start the day, seeing someone doing that.
    We have friends who live in Singapore and they have told us about the nanny situation over there. I also find it difficult to get my head around, kind of sad actually.
    And I love the spirograph, I used to find those enthralling when I was little... and I'm sure I would now too! Thank you for reminding me of it, I'll be putting that on the list of purchases for my Mr3 :o)

  5. What an amazing experience you are all having! I'm so glad that you are enjoying it. Sounds fascinating!

  6. I'm so glad Hong Kong is working it's magic on you! It's true about the HKers loving kids. Our step-sons used to find the attention a little overwhelming (it's even worse here in Seoul, western kids are still quite the novelty!)

    The maid situation in HK does come as quite a shock at first, doesn't it? It works because the maids come from countries where the economy is such a mess and the opportunities are so limited that working 6 (sometimes 7) days week in HK for not much is a better life for them - hard to fathom. You'll find that a lot of them have kids back home, and may be supporting whole extended families.

    HK really opened my eyes up to so many things, including the hard economic realities of a global economy...

    When we first arrived I was your typical Aussie expat ('I'm never getting a helper!'), but after 12mths our friends were moving out of HK. They were employing a Filipino girl and were helping her get a visa to Canada so she could continue her education. We took over her employment as otherwise she would've been sent back to the Philippines. Since then we've had cleaners/helpers/dog-sitters in HK and now in Seoul - we pay them fairly and give them normal working hours, sick leave, holiday pay etc. It's interesting how much my attitude has changed!

    ps. SORRY for the ridiculously long comment...


Thank you for your comments. I always try to reply back to you and/or check out your blog, but some days this is not possible. Nice to meet you. Cat