Interviewee: Robin Chan
Interviewer: Asya İğmen
1) What is your average weekday and weekend like?
During school days, my average weekday is (unwillingly) awaking at 6:45 to catch the 7:15 school bus, arriving to school at around 7:30, and starting classes at 7:55. School ends at 3:00, and then I usually take the minibus and go to one of the busiest districts of Hong Kong- Causeway Bay, and grab a cup of cold coffee from Starbucks, and shop. Then, I take another minibus back home, arriving at around 5:00. In holidays, it’s funny because I still wake up early at 6:45 to 7:00, as my body is already used to my schedule being like that for school days. But I definitely take advantage of my holidays, and don’t just lie in my bed like many do. Usually if I’m not jogging, I’m out shopping with my friends or mom, and eating!
2) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Mm, interesting question; I’ve thought about this now and then. Since I plan to be business marketing major in college, I see myself working at my first job. This job isn’t just any job though, but as an assistant working in a fashion firm, such as Vogue. I definitely see myself working in Boston or New York City- fingers crossed; I’ll be working in NYC!
3) What do you like and dislike about living in Hong Kong?
Well, though Hong Kong is so small and I’ve lived here all my life, there’s little I dislike about it. What I like about Hong Kong includes the amazing nightlife here- a great way to socialize and meet people, the abundant shopping choices, and the versatility of food served. People are especially serious when it comes to food- dim sum and fine-dining Western foods on the weekends. There are infinitely many beautiful restaurants at some expensive districts of Hong Kong, including cuisines of French, Italian and Greek. Though the city is often regarded as “small” and “crowded” (understatement because of Mainland Chinese tourists), there is so much to do here. Transportation is very cheap as well. Since Hong Kong is so crowded, owning a car and finding parking can be a difficult task. Hong Kong has amazing public transportation systems, including the subway, cabs, and buses.
What I dislike in Hong Kong, perhaps, inevitably is how crowded the city is. There’s barely any space to move around! Most of us live in apartments, and they cost the same as mansions in Hollywood!
4) What are students in Hong Kong most passionate about? Their interests?
Well, this really depends on each individual- let me narrow it down to my classmates. My school is highly competitive, and my classmates are definitely passionate about not just working hard, but partying hard. PARTYING! That’s the word. Students definitely know how to earn impressive GPAs, as well as learning some wicked dance moves!
5) What do students in Hong Kong know about Turkey and how do they view Turkish people?
I asked a bunch of people in my class, and their knowledge of Turkey includes:
– Fez hats are banned
– In the cold war there were American missiles placed in Turkey pointed at the Soviet Union
– Not near the shore, no water
– Middle East Europe
– Used to be called the Ottoman Empire
In my opinion, you, and all the Turkish people I’ve met this summer, are among the nicest people I know. They’re congenial, passionate, and I have to say: attractive! (laughs)
6) If someone were to visit Hong Kong, where would you recommend they visit?
I definitely recommend them to visit one of two of Hong Kong’s amusement parks- The Ocean Park! Not only do you get to ride on some wicked roller coasters with plenty of loops, you get to see dolphins, seals, and… wait for it… PANDAS! I also recommend eating at Chinese restaurants- it’s hard to eat somewhere that doesn’t deliver great food.
7) Any random or interesting fact about the Hong Kong way of life?
Everything in Hong Kong moves really quickly. People are always in a rush, whether it be going to work or shopping. Public transportation definitely plays a key role in the lives of Hong Kong people- taking the subway, cab or bus to work, and the same back home or wherever.
8) Considering Hong Kong was a British colony (or rather a British Dependent Territory) up until 1997, can you still distinguish between the effects the British culture and the Chinese culture has had on Hong Kong? Are there any remainders of the British? Are people in Hong Kong open to talk about the Colonial Era, are they proud of being sovereign, or are they somewhat embarrassed?
Oh definitely! There are plenty of things in Hong Kong that reflect the British culture, including the mail posts, and buildings. Especially buildings- many hospitals and residential buildings are left by the British when they colonized Hong Kong. Their heritage is definitely reflected in Hong Kong!
9) Hong Kong, just like Istanbul, is frequently described as a place where “East meets West.” Do you think this description is also valid as far as art goes? What kind of visual and/or performing arts are popular in Hong Kong?
In terms of visual arts and the performing arts, Hong Kong being widely recognized as an International destination, there are plenty of exhibitions and performances by Western artists. There are many performances that go on in Hong Kong from time to time of Western plays, such as Cirque du Soleil, and Ms. Saigon. There is also a place called the “Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts”, where students and professional dancers and actors perform Western plays. This is definitely a great way of encouraging people in Hong Kong learn more about other cultures!