Showing posts from August, 2013

Pollution in HK

One of the reasons I didn't even consider jobs in mainland China is the pollution. I'd heard so many horror stories of people in Beijing who couldn't see the building across the street and seen too many photos of children wearing surgical masks when playing outside.

I couldn't live in pollution this awful (Beijing)
So when I got the offer in Hong Kong, it was something I really had to research and consider. One of my friends who had lived here told me for the most part pollution wasn't a big issue here, that the city was covered in bad smog maybe one week of the year total. I have been here for about a month and we finally had our first horrible pollution day!

Normal view across the harbor on a clear day
View across the harbor as the pollution rolled on
Horrible smog in full force- you can't even see  the buildings on the other side of the harbor!
AQI is the rating given to cities around the world for their current air quality. Anywhere under 50 is 'good', an…

Openrice in Sheung Wan

Openrice is an awesome website here in Hong Kong that has reviews for every restaurant, cafe, bakery, and tea shop you could possibly find. I just went on their website to look for a cheap place to get lunch near by, and this was the search result:

Restaurants in my neighborhood
Where do I even start?! All of these are within 15 minutes walking distance from my apartment! Thanks, Openrice!

Typhoon Utor in Hong Kong

Today was supposed to be my first day of school. Instead it is one in the afternoon, I am hanging out in my apartment, blogging, listening to Jenny Lewis and drinking coffee. Why, you may ask?

Because there's a typhoon 8! I woke up with messages in my phone and email telling me not to go to school. Holy hell, I thought, this must be a really bad storm to cancel the first day of school! Except then I looked out my window and it looked like this:

Um.... that's borderline sunny.
For some reason Hong Kong is on alert for a level 8 typhoon that is 240 km away. It's not even raining at my house.
A level ten typhoon is pretty much as bad as it gets here and is a huge deal. So I looked up the stats to compare it to the deadly Florida hurricanes I grew up with. A level ten typhoon is.... wait for it... a category one. ONE!! 74 mph winds, minor damage. I get that in a big city like Hong Kong 74 mph winds have the potential to cause a lot more damage than an equivalent storm in Florid…

Hong Kong Observations, Week 1

I have been in Hong Kong one full week now, and my heart feels like it is going to explode with love for this city. All of my stuff is in my apartment now, and I just need to unpack, relax, and settle into the flow and routine of my life here.
I have a lot of unpacking to do
Here are my initial observations of Hong Kong so far:
1. No one has anything really bad to say about the city. I've heard if you leave your iPhone on the bar, someone might take it. Duh. Also, someone has complained that it's hard to leave Hong Kong and go anywhere else because we live in such a safe little bubble, but that's not really a complaint against Hong Kong.
2. There is a thing called "finder's theft" here. If you find money, you cannot keep it. In fact, it is a crime. So if you see a wad of cash in an ATM, on the sidewalk, on a restaurant table, either give it to the police or ignore it. If you lose your wallet here, chances are it will get mailed to you within a month.
3. For a…

My Hong Kong Apartment in Sheung Wan

My apartment story in Hong Kong is CRAZY.
I saw one apartment, fell in love, and cancelled all other appointments with real estate agents and signed a lease with the first and only apartment I toured in Hong Kong.
My building in Sheung Wan- it's pink!
This is super rare. As soon as I walked in the door, I felt at home and didn't want to leave. I knew in my gut, 'this is your Hong Kong home.'
Three websites I used to find my apartment:
Square Foot Hong Kong
Asia Xpat
Zero Agent Property
The apartment was being rented out as a short term rental, but because I was willing to sign a year contract, I got a $220 monthly discount on the rent. Because of its short term rental status, the apartment is already furnished, including pots, pans, linens, etc. AND I don't have to pay the agency fee AND I don't have to set up wifi and electricity and gas and all that. Too good to be true, right?
After I toured the apartment I didn't feel right signing a lease without having a…