As many of you may have noticed, we have been noticeably absent from the pages of this here blog for longer than is polite. For that, we sincerely apologise. We do however have a number of excuses and, it seems, some challenges we’re fixin’ to conquer.
As alluded to in previous blogs, work life in Hong Kong can be pretty full on. That’s not to say that fun time isn’t a huge priority – this city really epitomises the old adage of ‘work hard, play hard’ but all that working and playing can take a chunk out of sleeping and blogging time, so naturally, you know what can happen.
Have we mentioned how damn awesome Hong Kong is? Yes, that can be a problem in itself. Firstly, everyone wants to come here and we have found ourselves (extremely) willingly distracted by myriad visitors, friends, family and Air BnB strangers alike and before we knew it months have flown by in a blur of people staying with us and enticing us to be the hosts with the most. Well, we hope we have been anyway. Though if anyone else wants to go to the Big Buddha, we’re a bit Big Buddha-d out by now, so you’re on your own.
Hong Kong being awesome can be a problem in other ways too. When a city is so infinitely amazing and full of stuff – not to mention people – there are already a whole lot of of people blogging their little butts off about it. Another blog of The Peak? Yawn. Waxing lyrical about the array of shopping? Sigh. Okay, how about food, the number one pastime in Hong Kong? Well, maybe, (and probably) but how to distinguish oneself from the ravenous hordes of food writers, both professional and horribly amateur, already filling up the internet airwaves (or whatever the heck the internet equivalent is)?!
Seriously, if you’ve ever eaten here in Hong Kong then it won’t have escaped you the amount of people poised camera ready as their plates arrive. In this day and age of Instagram and friends, Hong Kong holds the record for Most Amount of People Per Square Foot Letting Their Food Go Cold While Getting the Angle Just Right*. A little less known statistic is is that HK is also home to the most amount of pissed off waiters/servers who are told to “STOP”, “SLOW DOWN”, “MOVE YOUR ARM TO THE LEFT” mid-drizzle as they dress your salad/pour chocolate sauce over your sphere of dessert as the customer mucks around with the aperture of their camera.
Anyway, you get the picture – food writing in HK is a seriously saturated market so finding a narrative away from the bog-standard “we went there, we ate this” and including terms like “rustic” or “exposed beams” can be a little trickier than you might expect.
Indeed, the idea of finding a narrative leads to the next pitfall of Hong Kong’s extreme awesomeness and its effect on blogging – nearly everything here is ridiculously well organised and, well, easy. Don’t get us wrong, of course there are the occasional challenges and frustration peculiar to living in a new culture but these tend to be the things you don’t necessary blog about but more the things you bitch and moan about to your peers who are also experiencing it.
“For a city of 7 million people, how come no one is EVER in a hurry on the footpath? How important is their game of Candy Crush??!!!!”
Hong Kong is multilingual, well sign-posted, it has the most clean, easy to use, reasonably priced and efficient public transport of anywhere we’ve ever been and, if all else fails, people are unflappably helpful. Stare vacantly at one spot for long enough here and inevitably someone will ask you if you need help. So, again, what’s the problem? Well, often easy = boring. How do you randomly discover stuff you wouldn’t have otherwise when you don’t get hideously lost ever now and then? How do you stumble into areas you shouldn’t go, for the odd hilarious hair-raising experience when there aren’t any such areas? And how on earth to stand out from the pack of zillion tourist/bloggers/critics all posting about the Big Buddha, dim sum and the latest opening by the Dining Concepts Group?**
There’s been one other reason why we’re been seriously lagging on the blog front for a while now too – in spite of all the offence we’ve potentially caused the Instagrammers, we do really enjoy eating, traveling to eat, discovering new things to eat and writing about eating. But a recent spanner in the works has somewhat limited the palate and, in fact, curtailed the ability of one half our intrepid team to eat as much or as widely as desired – yes folks, we’re currently expecting our very own mini-us, due June next year.
All the above aside, we are still here and we are back on the ball with some waterfallsandcaribou style of commentary coming your way again soon. Funnily enough, according to our blog statistics our most popular topic is…food. We hear ya. And we’re off this weekend to try and get ourselves into trouble somewhere random with no research, no planning and no money. That’s how the best adventures start, right?
* Potentially a completely made-up statistic.
** Don’t get us wrong, there are some local blogs we’re fond of. For an expert take on food, check out Janice Leung’s e-ting; for a side-splitting look at life here in HK you can’t go past ‘serial expat’ Expat Lingo; for some cool photos of HK (and beyond) daybydaybphoto photo is a good’n.