Initial weeks as an expat living in Hong Kong
When I arrived I had all these images of what life as an expat in Hong Kong would be like. I would be living in a plush apartment atop Victoria Peak, with a nice Mercedes parked outside. Well it didn’t quite work out that way.
We I arrived in Hong Kong I initially stayed with a friend. The agreement was for a week just to get myself sorted with a job and on my feet before going into the property rental market.
I took me some time to adjust to the seven hour time zone difference so hadn’t quite got into my Asian romance in the initial days. I also went out for a meal on my first evening that gave me chronic diarrhea. Although it is debatable whether I caught a bug in Mumbai on my stop over. Most likely considering the number of cockroaches in the kitchens!
However eventually I managed to get a couple of interviews arranged. The first few were disastrous to say the least. Late July in Hong Kong was something akin to a sauna. The temperature would be a comfortable 35-degree centigrade, however the humidity was at 99%! As soon as I stepped outside, tried to walk ten meters I was socking. So when I attended my first few interviews I failed to take heed of the humidity levels. By the time I arrived at the offices I resembled a drowned rat rather than a qualified engineer.
Eventually I got to understand that I needed to carry a backpack around with my interview clothes and just travel around in shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops. This also paid dividends when the rains would arrive, which was generally a constant threat.
Eventually I landed a role on a bridge project (a slight change to the story line in Being Stripped Naked) that allowed me to move out of my friends flat and let me get set up on my own. I was still under the impression that I would be living a life of luxury. However after a few enquiries to estate agents I soon realized my expectations and realities were poles apart.
Therefore I shared an apartment with three other expats, two of whom were a couple and one who was a barman. In the future the hours that I was working and the hours they were working soon clashed and I had to move out. Not due to the reason stated in Being Stripped Naked, but the one in the book made for much better reading.
Not only did I start work on the bridge project but I also started my life as an Expat in Hong Kong, and with that many of the stories that were interwoven into Being Stripped Naked would evolve.