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FT correspondent on how to survive — and thrive — in Hong Kong

  • Author:naky
  • Source:www.diecastingpartsupplier.com
  • Release on:2015-11-10
From my desk, I can see the South China Sea. Behind my computer screen is the lush green spine that runs along Hong Kong island, and to my left the glass spires that make up its skyline. For most FT journalists, this is the rarest of treats — at our London headquarters, the lucky ones might get to peer down over the car park.

I moved to Hong Kong in late 2010 with my now-fiancée Zelie. She needed some convincing. Although we had visited before on holiday and enjoyed it, she wasn’t sure why we should leave London, our home, for Asia. It was so far away, so crowded, polluted and noisy, and it was, from our own experience, uncomfortably hot.

In the end, the argument was partly won by circumstance. Zelie was working in the London office of Christie’s, the auction house, and the Asian art market was in the early days of a boom. Experience in the region, we decided, would prove invaluable for both of us.
We soon got into the swing of expat life. Weeks slipped by with long office hours, working late into the night, broken up by lazy brunches and the occasional weekend hike or trip to the beach.

Compared with London, Hong Kong is a truly 24-hour city. If you want dim sum, fried chicken or black pepper crab at 3am, no problem — just walk a couple of blocks. Need toothpaste at 11pm on Sunday? The shops are open. For those who miss their ferries home, the fishermen moonlight as water taxis. Human life here is everywhere and always.
On the flip side, Hong Kong can move at an alarming pace, and many people get left behind. Shops and restaurants often last just a few months before rapacious landlords force them to shut. In the past few weeks, an 80-year-old pawnshop has been marked for demolition, a beloved 40-year-old cow-shaped neon light torn down and century-old banyan trees mauled with chainsaws. The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it way of life is buzzy, but can be exhausting.

After about 18 months, the rhythm of our time in Hong Kong changed when Zelie started running a gallery. Soon our evenings were dotted with openings and artist visits, plugging us into Hong Kong’s small but fast-growing art scene. Though she is now back at Christie’s, it was during her time at The Cat Street Gallery that Zelie made her best Hong Kong friends and started to feel at home.