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HK drinking culture

  1. #1
    NewMommie is offline Registered User
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    HK drinking culture

    I noticed a lot of men working here in Hong Kong, and therefore some of them are new or to-be fathers, have a culture of getting together to network and do business, and always at a bar. Basically, it seems like they are drinking excessively after work - often just hitting the bars instead of eating dinner. Perhaps it is because most don't have to drive home afterward (so no risk of drinking and driving), or maybe there isn't enough to do in Hong Kong. I've certainly never heard of them getting together for a coffee or tea!

    Wanted to get some thoughts on whether this was normal/acceptable behavior. I'm married to a man working in finance, and before we lived here, we would go out together on Fridays and Saturdays, but here in Hong Kong it seems like it's any night of the week to 'have a few drinks with business people', and of course I'm pregnant now and we will have a little one soon.

    I don't want to hurt his career, but I just feel like it isn't right when I get left alone at night and he comes home tipsy. Even if I weren't pregnant, I wouldn't be invited to go out drinking with these people. Since I'm fairly new here, just wanted to see what your thoughts were. Thanks for the advice!

  2. #2
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    my husband worked for a company where it was normal to go out on the piss every weekend after work.

    it all depends on the company and your husband's position in it.

    my hubby is allergic to alcohol, so not only does he not drink it has changed my "entertainment" on weekends as well.

    have you spoken to your husband about your concerns? is he choosing to go out to be sociable and to network or is he going out because having a pregnant wife at home scares him into thinking that he's going to have to "grow up" soon? (i don't mean to be nasty, just curious.)

    i would wonder why he feels it necessary to go out so often, while leaving you at home pregnant and alone in a new city? that doesn't sound very caring and considerate to me.

  3. #3
    megan2008 is offline Registered User
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    I understand your frustration. My husband is not in finance but does go out for an occasional drink with coworkers. I do let him know that it frustrates me that I cannot go along because we have a child together and somebody has to stay home to watch her. Additionally, it is frustrating for me because he is my only form of socialization and when he doesn't come home until late, I have basically gone all day without talking to anybody but my 16 month old daughter. We have agreed and compromised on one day a week to go out. Maybe you can work something out with your husband on limiting the amount of days to go out.

  4. #4
    babyat23 is offline Registered User
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    Have you voiced out your concerns to your husband? If not, you should and see if he can meet you halfway on this matter. But to be honest, if his drinking and getting home tipsy is work-related, there is very little you can do except to change your prospective on it. It's hard to be left alone at night and then having to tc of a tipsy husband (been there), but maybe you can tell him how you feel. Then if possible he can drink less and try to get home earlier to you.

  5. #5
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    my husband likes to go out occassionally too...I just make sure that I "know" these people - say that in an informal gathering of sorts (where other wives are invited too) I get to go and take a look at what the people look like. from here, I can kind of tell what people I don't mind him hanging around and what kind of people that he just simply can't hang around...of course I tell him in a very PC way, like saying "he's single and got different values and life style than you, there's no way you can live that way NOW...etc...normally it comes across well.

    we do however limit it to a couple times a month (not even per week - since we have a 16month old too, and if he were to go out, he'd not get a chance to bond with her...in between lines I will tell him that only with time can the bond between him and his daughter become strong...he buys that...which is true, but in fact is a double win situation for me....

    i think you need to talk to you husband about how you feel and to see why he feels it necessary to go out....perhaps as a new person he feels it's hard to say "no" I'm busy. but I'm sure the people will understand if he tells them he has a pregnant wife at home! trust me!

  6. #6
    megan2008 is offline Registered User
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    I also agree with lesliefu; that it is important to spend time with their child as well (sorry, didn't mean to leave that out). I think one of the major adjustments to having your first child is learning that it's not about you anymore and you have to put your child first. I also think that the mother learns or faces this situation much more than the father due to breast feeding, motherly instincts and such. My suggestion is to talk to your husband about your concerns and expectations that you have from him as both a husband and father to your child.

  7. #7
    LeahH is offline Registered User
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    HK is a VERY social place and this is absolutely the norm in finance (and applies equally to men and women in many cases). However, whether it is 'necessary' or not does somewhat depend on your husband's role and position.

    If it's co-workers he's out with, they are probably single guys who work late, then go out for a few drinks every night - they don't have much incentive to go home to a small flat and everything is so 'convenient' here - if you live in the mid levels, you literally have to go past bars to get home.

    Or they have no kids and their wives/girlfriends are out as well! These nights are undoubtedly good for bonding, but I wouldn't think going out several nights a week would be essential to his career.

    If he's out with actual clients, they may also be single, or married guys with no kids, and out for the same reasons as above.

    However, in this case, it may well impact his chances if he doesn't play the game. Hard to get around this, maybe talk about it and agree some ground rules so there is balance.

    Once the baby comes he's going to be so tired that his desire to go out will probably decrease anyway... Hopefully you can get him very involved and hands on with the baby from the beginning.

    When my husband and I first came to HK we were out all the time (I am in finance, he's not). Once we had kids, things changed pretty quickly for both us - we couldn't go out so much anymore and didn't want to. However, because we are fortunate enough to have helpers, even with 2 kids we still manage to have a reasonable social life.

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