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cost of HK baby

  1. #9
    ayanas is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Hong Kong

    I dont think that as expats we are afraid to live like locals. I think it's more a matter or whats easier and convenient, even if it is a bit more expensive. The reason we look for the brands we are familiar with is because our friends and family have used them and recommended them, so we feel more secure about the quality. Ofcourse, you can buy local brands but you will have to do a lot more legwork and research them and may not know anyone who has used them before. I am not saying that some local brands aren't as good but how do we as expats know which ones. In the US I know the good brands versus the bad ones (for baby food, formula, strollers, furniture, toys, clothes) and while I am more willing to experiment with different brands for myself, I am not willing to do so for my baby.

    All I was saying is that we bought a lot of baby items in the US and in HK and WE found it much cheaper there. You can just go to the local Target Store around the corner and pick up very cheap stuff versus here you have to go hunting for it.

    HK is a great place to raise kids. There are a lot of resources and play groups available for the mom and the baby but they are costly. Most mommys I know are very happy with their experience with HK and i'm sure if you guys decide to move here, you will be too.

    Take care!
    PS. Rani, thanks for your reference about the books; I'll definitely check it out!

  2. #10
    ny_to_hk is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Smile Thank You!

    I wanted to thank everyone who replied--valuable info all around! And really helpful in our understanding of HK costs! I really do appreciate all of the links, input and discussion!! :)
    Thanks again, -J

  3. #11
    loupou is offline Baby Guru
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    New Territories

    Jane01 (and others),

    I did not mean to be insulting. But as a "foreigner" myself, I find it easier to live here if I accept that I am not back in Massachusetts and change my life accordingly. I sometimes get homesick and yearn to eat foods of my homeland, and I do seek them out and eat them from time to time, just like Hong Kong immigrants to Australia or the USA will go to yum chaa, etc. and like to visit shops that carry familiar brands.

    But, Hong Kong is my home now. So, I tend to eat a lot more pork and a lot less ground turkey than when I was in the USA. I accept that ricotta is a luxury item, and that while refried beans and tortillas might have been cheap food in Chicago, it's equivalent in HK is congee with fishballs.

    I have shopped in places where I did not understand the language, many people have and do. That's also part of the immigrant experience, you learn the language of your host country.

    Tens of thousands of women from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand go shopping in HK wet markets and other local shops every day. When they started out, they did not speak Cantonese and most still cannot read it. They do it because they have to do it.

    I think that the main reason that HK is cited as such an expensive city is because the rents are so high. Frankly, whenever I go to visit my family in the USA, I am shocked at the prices for vegetables and tofu, and the poor quality of the fruit in many US groceries.

    Yes, you do have to do a bit more legwork to find the best places and prices, but that is true in ANY new place that you live.

    It is my choice to be somewhat of an assimilationist. One of the reasons that I post here on geobaby is that I am concerned that my fellow foreigners in HK tends to cluster in an "expat" bubble, which closes them off to a lot of what I think HK has to offer. I try to offer another perspective, and new information.

    Last edited by loupou; 02-08-2005 at 01:14 PM.

  4. #12
    jane01 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Hong Kong

    OK, I'll get off my high horse now and stop over reacting :). I was just annoyed at the "afraid to" comment.

    If you examined my life, you'd probably conclude that I live in an expat bubble, even though I have local (as well as expat) friends, enjoy chinese food and am gainfully employed in HK. I love my life here! Perhaps ignorance is bliss, but I don't feel I'm missing out on anything. The wet market experience is just not for me.

    I don't consider myself an immigrant to HK, despite having lived here for 7 years. I'm here for work - mine and my husbands. If (god forbid) something happened and we lost our jobs, we'd return to Australia. We intend to retire in Australia (and hopefully return there before then).

    That is not to say that I don't love HK and appreciate what is great about it. There are plenty of things about HK that are better than Australia. I'm really enjoying experiencing another culture, but I choose to live in my own. If work took us to the US, I wouldn't be eating a lot of ground turkey either.

    Thanks for another perspective, it is really interesting.

  5. #13
    AmRa6 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Hong Kong

    It's lunar new year holiday so I have some time and I’m going to put my 2 cents worth into this discussion.

    While I agree with loupou that it’s good for expats to experience local culture I have a problem with her theory on expats versus immigrants.

    It’s a mistake to assume that immigrants integrate into society and live like locals, especially those that do not already speak the language when they immigrate. Many first generation immigrants (be they Chinese, Indian, or Hispanic) in the US do not only “visit” ethnic places when they get homesick. Rather, they live in areas with large communities of similar ethnic groups, many work for people of their own ethnic group, their only friends are those that speak their original language, and most of their meals are strictly of their ethnic groups (cooked at home if there are not restaurants). In effect they live in an “expat bubble” even though they are immigrants.

    It is only the second generation that integrates into society. The reason I know this is I grew up with or went to college with plenty of friends whose parents were first generation immigrants and perfectly fit this profile.

    Obviously not all immigrants are like that. Those that speak the local language before immigration are going integrate much better. But in Hong Kong, unless you are a foreign born/raised Chinese expat the odds of you speaking Cantonese before moving here are virtually zero.

    So telling expats to live like immigrants might sound good in theory, but the reality is people live in their comfort zone, expat or immigrant.

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