Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Packed

Sorry for my little hiatus, but there was too much that I had to settle in my first two weeks in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, everything is accumulating, everything is simply complicatedly packed - physically, mentally and timely.

Physically

Everyone knows that people living in Hong Kong are squeezed into little spaces. At the moment you open your eyes to start off your day, you already notice the lack of space (if you are not super rich) as it takes you one step (or maybe not even one) from the edge of your bed to the living room (if you have one at all). Don't even think of doing the splits next to your bed, you will hit your closet or the wall before you could finish half of the split.

The physical burden continues as you are being squeezed while taking the lift, especially if you live in a building with many floors and only a few number of lifts and everyone needs to rush to work at once (luckily, I don't face such scenarios where I live). Be aware that a similar scenario repeats when you have to take the lift up your office building, happy squeezing.

The feeling of being the ham of a very thick sandwich reaches its maximum in the MTR, once around 8am and once around 7pm when most people fight their way from home to work, and vice versa. However, Hong Kong people know to queue for getting onto trains and buses, something which deserves to be positively emphasized as it makes the packed scenarios a bit more pleasant. I'm lucky to live at the end station of a line, so I often can get a seat to watch people being happily squeezed, muahahaha. Some people who are at the station before the end station take the train to the end station and then stay in the train until it departs again for the other direction just in order to get a seat (a little local trick ;D).


During rush hour in Causeway Bay - This is how it looks when I have just left my office and am on my way to the MTR station. Walking speed equals ant speed.

Mentally

When I just arrived here, I really felt confused and a bit lost. There was so much that I had to get done and I didn't know where to begin, where to look at, whom to look for, where to go to, how to get it done, etc. Hong Kong is not completely new to me, but living here creates and requires me to take a totally different perspective. It's not about enjoying a carefree holiday and happy non-stop shopping anymore, it's more about surviving.

Luckily, relatives and friends here have been very supportive, so I somehow managed to get everything work. Although the crowds and hectic environment seem to be very overwhelming, I now feel very comfortable here. After all, I've found a very nice and convenient place to live (my building is directly linked to/above a shopping mall and the MTR station) and even have a very easy-going, nice, caring and cooking-skilled housemate. My work colleagues are nice too, and so far, stress level at work is not as horrible as I expected (at least not yet, haha).

Many friends of mine that came back to Hong Kong from overseas complained about the crowded streets, limited space and hectic environment. However, I feel quite comfortable here. Even the overcrowded streets do not really disturb me :) hehe.

Timely

The biggest challenge is to balance life in a day that has only 24 hours. First, I'm at work for around 10hrs (incl. the time I'm going home or to work) and I need sufficient sleep (8hrs). When I come home after work, do grocery shopping, cook, wash dishes, shower and do my skincare routine, it's already time to sleep in order to still have my 8hrs sleep. The art is now to still squeeze out enough time for visiting relatives, being social and meeting up with friends, spending time with boyfriend, catching up with own hobbies and some entertainment activities, or simply for having a good rest. For example, I still haven't found time yet to do a little photo trip in Hong Kong =(

Nevertheless, I'm not complaining. I've always complained about the boring and monotonous life in Germany, so now I feel quite fulfilled and enriched with such a busy life. Eventually, I will get tired, because I'm still human, but after all, I think I will still enjoy life here :))
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