HK City Girl http://www.hkcitygirl.com Wed, 29 Nov 2017 11:13:59 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.16 90633223 Home search-The Agent http://www.hkcitygirl.com/home-search-the-agent/ Wed, 29 Nov 2017 11:11:23 +0000 http://www.hkcitygirl.com/?p=631 I write this post from the point of view of someone already living in Hong Kong. Newcomers can also apply this. Keep in mind that you might have to tweak some items. This being as you are not already in Hong Kong. Thus, not as flexible*.   Disclaimer – I am using my past experience … Continued

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I write this post from the point of view of someone already living in Hong Kong. Newcomers can also apply this. Keep in mind that you might have to tweak some items. This being as you are not already in Hong Kong. Thus, not as flexible*.
 
Disclaimer – I am using my past experience as a real estate agent to write this post. Yet I am no longer a real estate agent and this is not professional advice. What this is, is my personal point of view that I would like to share with others. As it can benefit those who read it.
 
First and most important, you want a good agent. I am speaking from being a leasing agent in the past in Hong Kong and from the experience of looking for flats for me.
 
By good agent I mean:
 
Someone who listens to all your criteria. So will only show you flats / houses that fit.
 
Someone who is willing to co-op**
 
A bonus, the agent has been living in Hong Kong for a while and knows it well to give you tips about the area you are looking at.
 
You do not want an agent who thinks he can persuade you to spend more then your budget. Or show you a list of flats that exceed your budget.
 
You also do not want an agent who says ok when you say you criteria. But arranges a viewing with all the properties he has available in your budget. Regardless of the given criteria.
 
This is a waste of time for both you and the agent.
 
Remember you are paying a commission*** for this service. The commission is the same wether the agent is good or bad so for the same price you might as well go for a good agent.
 
Should you have any more questions, go to the get in touch page and send me an email. I would be happy to help.
 
Happy flat hunting!
 
 
* not as flexible: Some people coming in with expat packages are required to use a specific agent. As the company is providing for it.
 
** a co-op: is when an agent works with another agent to find a flat. This means that the agent working for you will receive 50% of 1 month’s rent from you, the tenant. The other agent will receive 50% of 1 month’s rent from the landlord
 
*** commission: in Hong Kong the tenant pays 50% of 1 month’s rent as commission to the agent. And the landlord pays 50% of 1 month’s rent to the agent

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Design Gallery HKTDC http://www.hkcitygirl.com/design-gallery-hktdc/ Tue, 14 Nov 2017 10:56:39 +0000 http://www.hkcitygirl.com/?p=602 Looking for something from Hong Kong or a little bit different, next time think of the Design Gallery HKTDC. Then head to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) in Wanchai. Because it might be one of those shops that you would not think about.   I was recently asked about what you can … Continued

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Looking for something from Hong Kong or a little bit different, next time think of the Design Gallery HKTDC. Then head to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) in Wanchai. Because it might be one of those shops that you would not think about.
 
I was recently asked about what you can bring back to someone from your Hong Kong trip. Something different from the Chinese souvenir stereotype. For example I thought of G.O.D. in mind. (Goods Of Desire). Then I happened to be at the HKCEC and walk past the Design Gallery. And that they have a wide choice of design items. From the simple use daily item, to the more design type.
 
Without a doubt, for those of you who have not seen that shop, I would recommend you have a look. So that you will be able to find fun ideas for gift.
It’s a great way to start off you Christmas shopping. If you haven’t already.
 
You will be able to find items from:
gadgets, electronics, fashion, accessories, toys, cards and more.
 
Below is a little preview from November 2017 display:
 
 
Happy shopping!
 
 
 
Links to shops and location mentioned:
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC)
Google maps location HERE
G.O.D. website HERE
Design Gallery HKTDC HERE

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Creative Mornings http://www.hkcitygirl.com/creative-mornings/ Thu, 28 Sep 2017 10:47:05 +0000 http://www.hkcitygirl.com/?p=590 Try starting you Fridays with a Creative Mornings event.   What is it? It is a event where one speaker following a theme gives a talk. These mornings first started in New York. The creator, Tina Roth Eisenberg, would go to creative talks a few times a year. But she wanted for these types of event … Continued

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Try starting you Fridays with a Creative Mornings event.

 

What is it? It is a event where one speaker following a theme gives a talk. These mornings first started in New York. The creator, Tina Roth Eisenberg, would go to creative talks a few times a year. But she wanted for these types of event to happen on a more frequent base and came up with Creative Mornings. The idea is that one speaker talks about a theme for a short time. The events where to be free and open to anyone. And there is free coffee and breakfast too!

 

When? Friday morning, once a month. Check out the dates of the event on their website featured at the end of the post.

 

Where? The venue varies from month to month. It can be Central, Wanchai, Shau Kei Wan, to SCAD beautiful campus in Sham Shui Po. This talk was a treat as you could join a campus tour after the talk. It is an old magistrate building that houses the SCAD.

 

How? Creative Mornings run on a volunteer basis. Thus all speakers give their time. Also the venues, coffees and breakfast are all donated.

 

Who? Like mentioned above everyone is welcome, all you need to do is to sign up on the website and show up.

 

Why? Change up your Friday mornings. And get a cup of a tasty coffee. Also meet some new people, or catch up with acquaintances and friends. How about using the opportunity to wake up before heading to work. To name a few reasons…

 

The next event will be on Friday 20th of October.

The theme will be PIONEER

In October there will be more than one speaker, shorter talks as it is the audience who will take the stage.

Sign up to their updates to get it straight into you mailbox. You will get the location then.

creativemornings.com

 

 

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Decathlon http://www.hkcitygirl.com/decathlon/ Thu, 31 Aug 2017 10:45:41 +0000 http://www.hkcitygirl.com/?p=572  Decathlon is a french sport store chain who deal in a variety of sports. They have brand items as well as their own manufactured items. The store caters for both novice to expert sport enthusiasts. 70 sports according to the Hong Kong website. From rackets sport, to water sport, football, rugby, hiking and trekking and … Continued

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 Decathlon is a french sport store chain who deal in a variety of sports. They have brand items as well as their own manufactured items.

The store caters for both novice to expert sport enthusiasts. 70 sports according to the Hong Kong website. From rackets sport, to water sport, football, rugby, hiking and trekking and many more.
 
I had made it a regular stop, each time I head back to France. The list is all written up ahead. And the shop visit can last for quite a while. therefore I make sure I have enough space in my suitcase. The sport equipment is well priced and qood quality. This is from my personal experience. And so far it has not deceived me.
 

The Hong Kong stores have opened on August 2nd. Presently there are two locations:
Mong Kok
Grand Plaza Basement
Kowloon
another option for those who do not live or frequent the “dark side”
Causeway Bay
Park Lane First Floor
Hong Kong Island

As much as I do wonder around the dark side, I had a look at the causeway bay store as it is quicker for me to go to.

For those who know the chain already they might have heard of its opening since a while. Do not expect the same size stores as back in France. In fact we do live in a crowed city with limited space. The range in each sport is not as big either, it has the basics for the Hong Kong populations need.

Should the store not have your item, you can have a look at their website and order there. Afterward you can chose either home delivery with a shipping cost or you can pick in store.

 
Happy shopping!
 
 
 
 

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Gweilo http://www.hkcitygirl.com/gweilo/ Wed, 26 Jul 2017 10:45:25 +0000 http://www.hkcitygirl.com/?p=551 Am I a gweilo 鬼佬?   The term gweilo comes from racist origins a very long time ago. As westerns arrived in the region of Guangzhou local started using the term. In this southern region of China people speak Cantonese. Thus Chinese people speaking mandarin do not use the term.   Locals would describe westerners … Continued

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Am I a gweilo 鬼佬?
 
The term gweilo comes from racist origins a very long time ago. As westerns arrived in the region of Guangzhou local started using the term. In this southern region of China people speak Cantonese. Thus Chinese people speaking mandarin do not use the term.
 
Locals would describe westerners as dirty, mean, and looking white as a ghost. Hence the use of the character “gwai” 鬼.
 
When you look at the origin of the term gweilo and split the two characters here is what you get:
 
gwai2 – ghost, demon, terrible, damnable, clever, sly, crafty, sinister, plot. it is also a suffix for somebody for a certain vice or addiction etc…
 
lou2 – elder person
 
The “lou” 佬 does not help the original negative meaning of the word. Where cantonese people would call White people old ghost or old demons.
 
Time has changed and the use of the word is more common then ever. It has gone from its original negative meaning of describing a white person. To now a general term for any foreigner.
 
Here are some usage of the characters “gwai lou” 鬼佬 in other words.
 
hkcg-1707-gweilo001
Image above is a screenshot. The link is at the end of the post.
Now to come back to the first question:
Am I a gweilo?
I call myself a gweilo in the meaning of a white person. As white skin can go I am very white. There is whiter out there I am aware. But my skin does not go darker.
However as the meaning foreigner, I am a local in Hong Kong. I moved here when I was little, have lived most of my life here as well and I know the territory quite well. Hence the blog ; )
 
A personal note on the whole looking as white as a ghost thing. There are so many whitening cream, scrubs, and things out there for Asian to be whiter. Thus I find it hard to feel offended when they want to become what they used to consider white demon/ghost.

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links:
Definitions in the post where found on:
Note: mandarin pronunciation
Link for screenshot:
enter the characters 鬼佬 in the search bar and select Chinese word.

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Beating the petty person http://www.hkcitygirl.com/beating-the-petty-person/ Thu, 20 Jul 2017 10:45:33 +0000 http://www.hkcitygirl.com/?p=536 Some say that beating the petty person is how Hongkongers deal with stress. Due to Hong Kong being a busy and hectic place.   Have you ever wondered what the ladies under the causeway fly-over where doing? There all year round, you can hear incantations and shoes slapping. The ladies are the “beaters” in a … Continued

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Some say that beating the petty person is how Hongkongers deal with stress. Due to Hong Kong being a busy and hectic place.
 
Have you ever wondered what the ladies under the causeway fly-over where doing? There all year round, you can hear incantations and shoes slapping. The ladies are the “beaters” in a ritual called beating the petty person.
hkcg-1707-beating.the.petty.person001
This unique practice consist on choosing a person you wish to punish or get revenge from. To perform the small ritual bring along some joss stick, incense, a petty person and find a beater.
 
If there is not a specific person in mind, it is possible to aim the ritual at something more general. A type of person, an imaginary person, or a person with no name. This aims to avoid meeting such person or remove potential enemies.
 
It is a similar ritual to voodoo dolls practices. With the intention of unleashing negative energy toward an object symbolising the person or something. So that the urge for physical pain lessens.
 
The location of the ritual is important as it needs to be a place where a lot of malevolent forces gather. Thus locations chosen are bottom of a bridge, crossroad or a hillside.
 
hkcg-1707-beating.the.petty.person002
As mentioned above people practice the ritual all year long. There is a time where more people are “present”. This is during early spring, Jingzhe which translate to the awakening of insects.
During this period the thunder awakens harmful elements. Such as the white tigers (a symbol of harm) villains and petty persons. Those who believe in the superstition will practice Da Xiao Ren or Da Siu Yen (beating the petty person). In order to prevent the creatures from inflicting harm.

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Cycling around Hong Kong http://www.hkcitygirl.com/cycling-around-hong-kong/ Wed, 05 Jul 2017 10:45:34 +0000 http://www.hkcitygirl.com/?p=530 Here is something new, cycling around Hong Kong. Looking for something different to do over the weekend, then head over to the New Territories and rent a bike for a few hours. Cycle along the bike paths, and enjoy the surroundings. You might be surprise to see a different environment then on Hong Kong Island … Continued

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Here is something new, cycling around Hong Kong.

Looking for something different to do over the weekend, then head over to the New Territories and rent a bike for a few hours. Cycle along the bike paths, and enjoy the surroundings. You might be surprise to see a different environment then on Hong Kong Island or Tsim Sha Tsui. The tall building are still there, but there’s more space. Also the greenery is easier to see, you can even cycle along the Shing Mun River.

Launched in April 2017, Gobee.bike are the Hong Kong version of the easy hourly rental bikes. Download the app and sign up to get started!

-Locate the bike through the GPS they have on.

-Get to the bike, and scan the bar code.

-Ride around the bike.

-lock up when at the end of your ride.

-and Voila!

cycling.around.hong.kong

Enjoy your ride : )

Click here for gobee.bike

For further reading on this new company you can have a look here from SCMP

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/education-community/article/2089835/newly-launched-hong-kong-bike-sharing-app-has

Images taken from the gobee.bike app.

Tara

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Curious to know more about Hong Kong? http://www.hkcitygirl.com/curious-to-know-more-about-hong-kong/ Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:15:04 +0000 http://www.hkcitygirl.com/?p=516 Are you curious about Hong kong? This little spot on the world map has expanded in a very short time. What is has achieved is quite amazing. . . Today it has so much to offer and most people do not know half of the stories and history of this iconic place. I am not talking … Continued

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Are you curious about Hong kong? This little spot on the world map has expanded in a very short time. What is has achieved is quite amazing.
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hkcg-1704-jason.wordie13
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Today it has so much to offer and most people do not know half of the stories and history of this iconic place. I am not talking about the general history of the territory but also the local history. Architectural history, land, people and much more. Hong Kong’s known history is short since it is only since the 19th century that things started to change.
 
I happened to be on a walking tour of Hong Kong by a local historian and enjoyed it. All the stories from Hong Kong, what it used to be like, how it developped. the stories behind the name of places and much more. His name is Jason Wordie. He has been in Hong Kong for over 25 years, studied HK’s history and teaches it as well. Should you want to know more check out his website below. You will also find the links to his walking tours.
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Happy discovering!
.
Tara

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Personal data privacy http://www.hkcitygirl.com/personal-data-privacy/ Tue, 14 Mar 2017 10:45:50 +0000 http://www.hkcitygirl.com/?p=504 People collect information for all types of reasons, especially in Hong Kong. You can find the rules in the HK personal data privacy ordinance. This is about behaviour in a professional scenario. Keep in mind that from individual to individual things can be different.   In a work environment, you will meet people and collect … Continued

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People collect information for all types of reasons, especially in Hong Kong. You can find the rules in the HK personal data privacy ordinance. This is about behaviour in a professional scenario. Keep in mind that from individual to individual things can be different.
 
In a work environment, you will meet people and collect information. The only use allowed for the information is the reason why you collected it. Should you need or want to pass on that information you need to get the person’s approval to do so.
 
Also when you give you data to someone, they should notify you when they add you on any subscription list. On April 1st 2013, there was amendments about all current subscriptions. They all had to be re-consented to by the subscribers. To comply, websites sent to their mailing list an email. The message said: “this is to notify you and should not take any action you approve to being on our mailing list”. Hence to unsubscribe you needed to do so yourself on the given link on the email. Everyone received a whole bunch on emails at that period.
 
When it come to telephone numbers the same can happen. The company puts you on their data list and they can contact you for extra offers that they are trying to sell. The magic word for that in English, to remove your details from the list is: opt-out. In Effect the caller should then put you on the do not contact list. The process to be change within the whole company might take a few days. But after that should someone call you again they are committing an offence.
 
I have yet to have found the Cantonese version of that word.
 
As for your friends, everyone exchanges contact very often, as it is part of the essence of this city in a way. As a courtesy I always ask the person of which the contact I want to share if it is ok with them if I do so. So that the person does not feel obliged to respond to the call or text from someone unknown.
 
And again, should I want to get in touch with someone and I do not have the contact. I ask the middle person to pass my details to the person I wish to reach and tell the topic I want to talk about. You then wait for the person to contact you.
 
I have been in the situation where people have given my number without my consent. As a result I was talking to someone I did not wish to talk to and spammed later. This is never pleasing to deal with.
 
Hope this helps.
 

Note: this is only advice and a none professional one at that. Should you want to know more do your own research. You can read about the Hong Kong personal date privacy ordinance on the website below. You can also contact aprofessional on that area to answer your questions.

Data Privacy Ordinance link

 

Happy reading!

Tara

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Bauhinia flower of Hong Kong http://www.hkcitygirl.com/bauhinia-flower-of-hong-kong/ Thu, 02 Mar 2017 10:45:32 +0000 http://www.hkcitygirl.com/?p=492 Did you ever wonder where the Bauhinia flower of Hong Kong came from?   The flower comes from the Hong Kong Orchid tree (Bauhinia Blakeana) which is native to Hong Kong. When Great Britain handed back Hong Kong to China, the Hong Kong Government chose to use the flower on the new flag   The origin … Continued

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Did you ever wonder where the Bauhinia flower of Hong Kong came from?

 

hkcg-170302-bauhinia.flower.of.hong.kong

The flower comes from the Hong Kong Orchid tree (Bauhinia Blakeana) which is native to Hong Kong.
When Great Britain handed back Hong Kong to China, the Hong Kong Government chose to use the flower on the new flag

 

The origin of the tree was quite a mystery somewhat. Unlike its name this tree is not in the orchid family. It got its name due to the resemblance between its flower and the one of an orchid.

 

The story goes :
In the 1880, a missionary came upon this tree while hiking. He took a cutting back to study it as it was quite ravishing and had not seen anything like it before. Some believe that all the trees on the territory all come from this one tree

The Hong Kong orchid tree is a hybrid of two other species. The pink flowered butterfly tree and the purple-flowered.

Hybrids are not current. Both of the species creating the hybrid must match in order for something to grown from it. Most hybrid are sterile, thus can not create offsprings. So we do no often find a lot of them.

 

The reason why this tree has been around for so long, is that people cultivated cutting and grafted them to create more trees.

 

I will be adding a picture of the flower when I get the chance to take one.

 

You can read a whole BBC Earth article by clicking here

Tara

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