What is your Full Name?
Where do you live?
Tiffany lives on the other side of the Hong Kong Island in Kowloon. This means that in order for her to get onto Hong Kong Island, she must take a bus and MTR subway to get to and from the university every day.
Tiffany and her family live in a two-bedroom apartment on the 13th floor of an apartment. She shares a bedroom with her younger sister and her parents stay in another room. According to Tiffany, the housing costs are extremely expensive in Hong Kong especially for even a small area, so her house is a typically sized house for a family of four in Hong Kong
What is your family like?
Tiffany has a younger sister who is 16 years old and is currently in high school. Both of her parents work every day so the only times they would see each other is in the mornings before school and during dinner time.
How do you get around?
When I asked Tiffany about where she lives and how she travels to and from school, she responded with a big sigh and described it as being “very tiring”. Tiffany and her family live in a city about one hour away from the school’s campus. Every day, she must commute by bus and MTR (the subway) to get to school. In total, that is about three hours of traveling time to and from school every day on top of an 8:00 AM-5:00 PM class schedule. This is a reason why Tiffany chose her class schedule to be Monday-Thursday, giving her one less day of commuting. She tells me that this is quite normal for local students to commute hours to and from school during the week. This is because the housing on campus is very expensive and “the Chinese culture requires you to be at home closest to your family whenever it is possible.”
The main city, called Central, is located on the Hong Kong Island and that is where lots of young college students hang out with their friends. To travel here, Tiffany must use the same form of transportation: bus and subway. However, when Tiffany wants to stay close to home, the outdoor shopping area called Mongkok is located on the Kowloon island, meaning she could get anywhere by subway in less than 20 minutes.
What types of clothing do you like to wear?
The sense of fashion in Hong Kong is similar to that in California. Right now, it is wintertime in Hong Kong, so teenagers like Tiffany wear leggings and a sweater to school. She tells me that the style in Hong Kong can be very different than California during the summer because that is when the weather is hot and humid. Humid weather is not something I am used to growing up in California, and Tiffany describes that she would sometimes shower three times a day because the humid weather makes her body sweaty and sticky. She opts for sheer and light cotton clothing during that time.
What do you like to do in your free time?
“Finding fun new places to eat with friends!”, shouted Tiffany. There are a lot of delicious places to eat in Hong Kong and new food places become trendy for young people. For example, Tiffany told me about a toilet restaurant where all the decorations and food are designed to look like you are eating in a toilet! All the bowls are toilet shaped and clearly designed to think you are eating out of one.
What languages do you speak?
Tiffany speaks English and Cantonese. In Cantonese, Nei ho ma means hello.
Do you have pets?
There are no pets allowed in the apartment complex she lives in. Tiffany also notes that there probably would not be enough room in her apartment if they had a dog because her house is a living area meant just for four people. Because everyone is gone to either school or work during the day, “there is no one to care for the animal” if she had one.
Have you traveled? Where have you traveled to?
Tiffany has not always been at home throughout her schooling years. Her family sent her to study in Australia during her high school years to improve her English. I have never had a hard time understanding Tiffany and I am very impressed by her jokes and gleeful personality. When I asked Tiffany which country she prefers the most, she said that, “it is hard to compare because I love Australia so much, but my home and family is in Hong Kong.” From her response, I can tell that she is very close to her family and loves them very much which is why she decided to continue her studies near home rather than in Australia.
What do you do for work?
Tiffany is a student at Hong Kong University and is majoring in Government and Law.
Is there anything else you would like to say to students in the United States?
“I really hope to visit America one day in the future. I hope students know that they are very lucky to be studying in America because people in China and Hong Kong dream about going there all the time.” When Tiffany does get a chance to visit America, I know that I will be more than happy to show her around!
Tiffany and Friends!
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