Reasons Not to Move to Hong Kong

Written on July 2, 2013 at 8:42 pm
Filed under: Family, Nursing School, Randomosity with tags: , , , , ,

I haven’t blogged in a while, but I swear I have a good reason for it! Since I last blogged, I was busy with:

  • Packing for a four week trip overseas
  • Spending a week in China
  • Spending three weeks in Hong Kong
  • Spending a week as a ‘vacation from my vacation’ at home doing absolutely nothing (mostly sleeping)
  • And working on my online courses (mandatory for the nursing program I’m in)

Online classes are very different at this school than my last one. I only had one online course at my old school (Human Sexuality – still one of the most interesting classes I’ve ever taken!). These ones are more structured in a way that requires more deadlines. The other one only had deadlines for the midterm and final (all online). These ones, if they have finals, are on campus. But the midterms were online, so it was alright (I guess…).

Lazy panda :)

Hong Kong was great in the sense that I got to see relatives and meet them for the first time (I do not count the time when I was under the age of two). But on the other hand, visiting Hong Kong reinforced the decision that I had made to never move there permanently. Ever. I couldn’t handle it, for so many reasons. The weather is awful – the day I arrived was mid-30s (Celsius!) and 85% humidity. It’s like having someone slap you in the face with a hot wet towel when you leave the airport. It was difficult to breathe properly at first because it was so much like being in a sauna and I didn’t like that at all. A lot of indoor places have air conditioning, which I took advantage of and it made things barely. July and August are supposed to be even hotter (!) with the same level of humidity or higher. I’ll stick to my milder weather at home, thank you.

Nurses in Hong Kong are greatly under-appreciated. They are expected to have higher education (post-secondary), but they make a third of what I would make in Canada in an equivalent currency for entry level (here). My aunt has friends who work as nurses and and they make ~$12,000-15,000HKD/month – which is less than or around $2000CDN. They also have no over-time. They are expected to work over-time and are not monetarily compensated for their work. Also, I visited an elderly aunt in a convalescence home (recovering from a stroke) and the nurses there were very old-fashioned looking dress uniforms. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, think about the Halloween “nurse” costumes that you seen (white dress, buttoned down the front, with pockets, etc.). It’s like that, only the dress isn’t low cut and it ends at below the knees. I didn’t go to a hospital in Hong Kong, so I’m unsure if nurses there wear similar uniforms, but it’s a possibility. I like my scrub pants and tops just fine, thank you.

Lastly – body image. They have a very specific body image that they like in Hong Kong and clearly I do not fit it. I was told (multiple times, by various people who are related to me) that I’m very pretty girl (thanks!) but I’m too fat (oh…). Yes, the size of my body was brought up. Many, many, many times. I was beginning to understand where my parents got the idea that I’m fat from1. Keep in mind that I am 5’1″ and weigh around 110-115lbs (last I checked). And this is considered to be fat. I tried on tops and I was still a “small” there, but my legs were (apparently) an issue. I’m not short compared to the average height of women there, but my width was an issue for my relatives. They’d tsk their tongues and mention how I’d just look so much better if I dropped maybe 10-15lbs…

Additionally, I was inappropriately spoken to (and grabbed!) on public transit while I was in Hong Kong. Because apparently if you wear short shorts (by Hong Kong standards, lets not discuss how prudish their clothing is) it is an open invitation for skeevy grown men to grab your ass on public transit. And they tell you that it’s okay because you’re asking for it.

I’ll be posting more about the fun and adventure of traveling ~ and with more pictures!

  1. Yes, my parents have told me in the past that I’m fat or overweight, ever since I was a preteen.

6 Responses to “Reasons Not to Move to Hong Kong”

  1. Katie says:

    Wow.. that makes me sad. I think Japan has very similar old fashioned ways of thinking too. Can’t even imagine what people in Japan thought of my size. I felt like a giant. I am not that tall but I am fat (and it’s OK). At one place we stayed we were given robes to wear. The lady took one look at me and said “BACK IN MINUTE MUST FIND BIGGEST ROBE” I felt very embarassed. I guess how you look is everyone’s business over there. Didn’t dare go into the public onsen. People would gasp. BTW 110 pounds isn’t big at all. Wish you weren’t subjected to this crap and I am glad you are confident enough to realise it isn’t true. A lot of people would have developed mental issues about how they look hearing that all the time.

  2. Erin Nicole says:

    Omg. That is just awful!
    They allow rape in Hong Kong?! Tsk Tsk.

    They need to come into the 21st century and update their ways of thinking. Rape is not good at all! Neither is underpaying your nurses! :/

    I would definitely not want to move to Hong Kong either so if you ever need backup, you’ve got me! (:

    That is awful how they insulted you like that. Everyone is fine no matter how they look…Why people get these idealistic views of women and men is crazy. From your height and weight I’d say you are fine and there is no need to lose that 10-15lbs they were talking about.
    I don’t think it is healthy for any adult to be at or around 100lbs…that is just TOO SMALL.
    I’m sorry that you have to be around all of this stupid crap with your parents and now your extended family.
    At least with your parents doing the same thing you understand where they are coming from now and know how to handle it by now.
    Did you ever struggle with it? If so, how? I am curious.

    That makes me feel really overweight being 5’3-4″ (depending on the day) and 170-175lbs. :/ I am working on dropping 30-50lbs over the next year. I want to be bikini sized by next summer. :D
    I’m starting by trying my best not to eat candy…though I failed last night…(had a king size kitkat) but I am going to try again today! At least trying will help my self-esteem issues.
    You can read more of what I am doing on my blog. :)

    • Michelle says:

      It’s not *allowed*, just like it’s not allowed in Canada or the US. They have announcements on public transit about not keeping quiet about sexual harassment and inappropriate groping/touching – which is something to keep in mind as well. The “older generation” is very stuck in their mindsets and haven’t been forced to let go of their ways of thinking.

      HK is a great place to visit – foreigners/non-Chinese do not get the kind of flack that I go because I look like I belong.

  3. Kristine says:

    I can relate to your experiences with being called “fat.” As a pre-teen going into puberty, my grandmother and my father (both assholes) called me fat when I was actually pretty athletic. That led to years of crash dieting and bouts of starvation that wrecked havoc on my hormones and overall health. I wasn’t even “fat” but the problem was I let them get to me. I will never listen to those assholes again.

    Typically in Asian countries, women are just super tiny due to diet/lifestyle (perhaps less sedentary). As someone that was born in the Philippines, but grew in the States, I grew accustomed to the western diet of fast food (yuck!). If I had lived in the Philippines for most of my life, I probably would be tinier than I am today.

    I think it’s unfortunate that in most Asian countries, nurses are underpaid. There’s a reason why Philippines is experiencing a major brain-drain, in terms of the medical field. Doctors and nurses are leaving the country to work in the U.S. and Canada. My mother is a RN here in the US and she left the Philippines because she did not want to raise a family there, especially because of the calamities and because of low income for nurses.

    I am looking forward to your posts regarding the fun things you did on vacation! :)

  4. Alice says:

    It’s funny that I’m reading this entry while me myself am getting ready for my upcoming trip to china and hong kong.

    Anyway..

    I revisited Hong Kong after years last year for new year. As always, I love HK! It’s probably one of those countries in my list I’d never get bored visiting but uh oh wow, never knew HK can be that…um….bad for some. wow. I guess it’s just a good place for tourism getaway… I’ve always thought living in there would be..uh, cool :s hm… (I still sorta think it’s gonna be nicer than living in where i am now pfft.. :P)

    Ugh, about the body proportion thing. I’m not surprise, to be honest and I think it’s a chinese kind of stereotypical mindset… I don’t live in HK or china but I came from a chinese family so back then, I was all mocked about my weight… adults were complaining about how I look, some even said if I kept being, well…. the old me (as in “not pale (white) enough” or “not slim enough” or “have short boyish haircut”) , I’m going to stay ugly forever. Super nerve-wrecking, the stuff and stereotypes chinese families can judge, or maybe it’s just the family i live in. sigh.

    haha, my parents used to shout “fat and ugly” back when I was all “i’m just happy with how i look,etc” so now i’m all crazy over losing weight pfft =_= the impact is unbelievable

    Simply said, the weight issue you experienced there is equal to the one I’ve been trying to adapt for my 18 years of existence. (surprisingly, now that I’m not “big” anymore now, they all keep on trying to shove food down my throat… wow. what a surprise)

    Wow, so what’s usually heard happening in Japan’s public transportation also happen in HK. =___=;; Japan has that reasoning as well when you’re groped inappropriately in public… makes me go wtf sometimes -__-

  5. Amy says:

    I wouldn’t be able to cope with the warm weather their either. When the temperature gets to mid-twenties here I’m already sat with an electric fan on trying to cool down. And humid weather is the worst.

    I’ve always wanted to visit Hong Kong. It’s strange that they are so focussed on body image. And considering that you’re nowhere near fat at all that’s ridiculous. It’s crazy.
    xx

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