Twenty years in Hong Kong

20 Oct 1989. That's the first Hong Kong stamp in my passport.

Twenty years already? That's gone past quickly. Will I be here for another twenty?

Our younger daughter is only three, and we want her to grow up reading and writing Chinese. That means another ten years at least. Then even if we did move, where would we go?

Somewhere with cleaner air and more space and greenery, maybe? I still get occasional daydreams about that. Those daydreams are related to homesickness in a way, but as this is my home now, I don't take them very seriously.

So yes, assuming I don't get knocked down by a tram, or succumb to the next lethal combination of H's and N's, another twenty years here looks likely.

How about you? Any plans to leave, or are you staying on too?


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for sure. by any means possible.  And yes, the Chinese literacy plays a big role in it all. But besides that, we're happy here and it's feeling like home.

There's enough green here, we just have to make a bit more of an effort than opening the back door.

staying with gweipo

I don't mean literally. I don't think Gweipo wants me as a permanent houseguest! But staying in HK.

I was here a bit when I was a kid, but came back full-time 10 years ago. Wow. I was 25 and thought I'd stay a few years. I'm 35 now.

 I got married here. We bought a home here. (Even if we try to leave, HSBC's minions will chase us down!) I've been in the same job for 5 years that I basically like and would be loathe to quit. My elderly parents are back more. If, God willing, we ever have kids, I can have an amah here!

I have no idea how my friends "back home" in the West manage to be full-time working mums with no amah. But that's just the Hong Konger in me talking. : )

17 Years ago today

No scanner available, but I arrived 17 years ago today, October 27th, 1992. According to,+1992/to/Oct+27,+2009 , it was 6,209 days ago.

I had gotten my working visa at the British Consulate in Chicago. I spent the first few nights at my bosses flat, while I found a place of my own. I moved into my flat on Halloween (the 31st), which was also a Saturday night. My first day of work was Nov. 2.

I've lived my whole time in HK in the NT, most of it in Sai Kung, except for 3 years in Tai Wai.  I haven't had *much* homesickness here. When I do miss home, it's my family (1/2 of them have moved 1000+ miles away from "home" ). When I miss my "home" physically, it's for the sights and smells and sensations of New England. I even miss winter (sleet and all) sometimes. I miss the angle of light of a bright red sunrise after a snow on a winter morning.

But, after so many years, this is home. I've lived in my present flat longer than I've ever lived in any house growing up. Between the age of 1 and 12 my family moved 4 times - always within about 45  miles of the same place, but moving.

I have some green space and quiet here. Sometimes my husband and I plan a retirement in HK in an even more remote and quiet spot. I am definitely staying for at least another 15 or 20 years - until retirement, basically. Then we will see.


19 years and counting

I trail MrB by almost exactly one year in the 'lived-in-HK' sweepstakes. I arrived in August 1990, but the truth is I can't even remember which day, and I've lost my old passport, so I can't find the arrival visa.

I think it might have been the 23rd, since I remember it being just astonishingly hot, even for HK. I had been here once before during the summer, so I was not unaware of the heat, but that first day was especially awful. This seems to fit, as the HK Observatory's mostly pointless but still fun 'Weather on this Special Day' feature says it was 34.4 on the 23rd of August 1990.

Looking ahead, I also see myself here for the long run, God willing. Once retirement time comes around, I may try to talk Mrs Tall into relocating for the summer months, but I'd certainly like to stay around the rest of the time.

So we're all staying?

Glad that's settled. I'll check back again in five years (the silver anniversary!) time to see how everyone is doing.


Not pointless at all, Mr T!

Not pointless at all, Mr T! The day I arrived, 28 Nov 1987, it was pissing down - most unseasonably. The Observatory records that more than an inch and a half of rain fell that day, which is probably about half of November's average rainfall.  First stop, suitcases and all, the Walled City. Those were the days.  

Homesick For Hong Kong

I first arrived in Hong Kong as an 18 year old in 1976, recruited in the Uk to join the as was then, Royal Hong Kong Police Force. I spent until 1982 there until I finally left. I regret that decision to this day and regularly go back for short trips. As my current UK career draws to an end I would love to retire back to where I spent my formative years. This is a great site together with its sister and I regularly spend many a happy hour surfing through the contributions. Well done !

20 years and counting too!


The same twenty years for me! Although I think I came back in 23 August 1989 - need to check that up...never did understand the news back then (June fourth...)  Just another person hollering from the other side of HK (NWNT)

have been browsing the web searching for kindergarten info - and came across your website.

I very much appreciate the articles you have showing your experience with kindergartens (and primaries).  Am going through the whole damn process and not fun.  Wifey is getting depressed (not j/k) about having to decid from one famous V kindergarten versus another upancoming LH kindergarten, and she just stressed herself out with baby no. 2 in her womb....

I just hope she'll being receptive of my views about it after tonight...

A non-Chinese reading Chinese