Erick once mentioned to me the idea of working and living in Hong Kong. This may have risen after having enjoyed the country in many ways, other than the language. I found it a good proposition too. We thought of finding job vacancies in Hong Kong soon. As we checked in at the airport, we queued with fellow Filipinos. Speaking the same dialect, we find it easy to mingle and befriend others. Then I asked the lady next to me “How is it working in Hong Kong?” Without second thought, she replied, “HELL” with exclamation point. I was stunned. With that, I dared not ask her kind of work, or her age (coz she looked too young to be a househelp).
Another gal who queued right after us, her name was later known to me as Rowena, has asked our excess free baggage privilege. This is to save her from paying the excess weight of her two large suitcases. Well, only if the cargo is clean, we dared her jokingly. Of course it’s clean, just clothes and all, she justified. Anyways, I overheard them (with another lady, her best friend who send her off) talking about getting a student visa. Her friend objected to the idea saying that it will cost them HKD6,000 a month for the 10-month visa. Rowena defended that with her 14-day tourist visit alone, she was able to raise HKD7,000. “How much more the 10 months of living and working in Hong Kong?” she insisted boldly. I wondered then how the hell were they able to work out for HKD7,000 within 14 days as approved by HK Immigration for tourists. I wondered what kind of work they do in that period of time and earn that much. I wondered what this other young lady clamored about working as hell in Hong Kong that these other two ladies do not.
A mother (tugging along with her her daughter which she said she travelled with most of the time), who also shared our extra free luggage privilege after my backpack and Rowena’s bags, shared us her present day living. She told us that she is now doing buy and sell of Chinese products and she travelled a lot for that purpose. She was a former domestic helper in Hong Kong and later learned the trade of Chinese people of their products; she is now a “businesswoman.” She even bragged about living at her former master’s house every time she’s in Hong Kong. I believe she is earning much from this venture because she mentioned and cited lots of places around China that she has visited several times now. She even tipped us on how and where to stay at budget next time around, whether in Hong Kong or Macau or Guangzhou or Shenzhen.
Then maybe Hong Kong is the right place to work and live, I later thought. However, Chinese people, as per my observation, are difficult to deal with, unpredictable, arrogant, moody and bossy. That I can not work and live with. I would rather work my ass off here in the Philippines and visit Hong Kong and Macau and any state in China once in a while as tourist. Hong Kong still is a place I want to visit over and over again, basically for Disneyland and Ocean Park, as long as I can enjoy the fun and the rides.
On the last note, I noticed different design in the money notes in Hong Kong. It’s not their Central Bank that produced the circulating notes, instead their banks (commercial banks, I believe) as can be clearly marked around the bills. There is however a citation that the bank is liable to pay the equivalent sum to the bearer for the amount stated in the instrument. The three main banks I read from the notes I handled were Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), Standard Chartered Bank, and Bank of China. Only some of the ten dollar bills and the coins that I observed were produced and circulated by their government. Impressive! Right? This simply means that no faker exists in Hong Kong.
P.S. A personal tour in Hong Kong is very affordable. On our last day, we plot down our actual expenses and we found out that this 5-day tour for 2 cost us almost 40,000 in Philippine peso.