Just over 3 weeks into our new life here in Hong Kong and I know that a first post from me – as I’m the one who brought us all out here ! – is well overdue. I don’t think I’ll be as regular a blogger as Neene but I do plan to contribute when I can. Here goes…
Departure from the UK:
In the end the final few weeks in the UK just flew by, leaving little chance for emotion during that time. Suffice to say that packing up our home, our lives and our kids to leave the UK was very tough at times, especially saying goodbye to our family and friends. We do have an amazing support network and Neene and I were just blown away that people felt strongly enough about it to organise a surprise goodbye party for us . Thanks to those who organised that and came along – it really meant alot to us.
The emotion, physical and mental energy that we had invested in getting us ready for the move did catch up with me once we were at the Heathrow airport hotel the night before our departure. Of course, by that time, with an empty house and all of our worldly goods either on a ship or in strorage, there was no space to question what we’d done !! I know we’re giving ourselves an incredible personal and professional opportunity and I just hope that we all benefit from it in due course.
The Jewish Community in HK:
Before we looked into moving to HK, we would never have thought that such a thriving young Jewish community exists here – but it sure does, and it’s a very welcoming community too. Since we’ve been here we’ve been invited out to Friday night dinner x2 (see earlier Eden-related story from Nina), been to Seder nights, done a spectacular Matzo ramble, received a welcome hamper from the Rabbi and his family, done football training with Maccabi HK (well, Josh has at any rate) and been to a birthday party in Lan Kwai Fong (equivalent to Soho in London). There are plenty of people who’ve been in the same boat as us in making the move in the last few years and it really is a very warm and welcoming group. The community is going to play an important part in our lives here without question and we’re looking forward to getting involved.
For the last 2 weeks I’ve been taking Josh to Maccabi football training on Sunday mornings. It’s exactly the same as the football which Josh played at home in Borehamwood give or take at least 20*C, 60% increase in humidity and the palm tree lined surroundings ! Seriously, Josh has really enjoyed it and the standard of the kids’ play is pretty high. It’s been a good way for him to spend some more time with the kids at Carmel and let him burn off some energy. By the end of the class, he does look like a bit of a beetroot compared to the kids who’ve been here longer though !
The Help (my perspective !):
I’m looking forward to Judy starting. HK is a very tough city to navigate with a buggy and that makes it pretty difficult for Neene to venture into Central with Eden during the school day so Parkview can turn into a (very well appointed !) prison. It’s going to make a massive difference to us for sure. PS: we have not forgetten that we quite successfully looked after our own children back in London but things do work rather differently here.
Nina is really touched by all the lovely feedback she’s had about the blog. I think she and Josh are doing a great job with it.
All good on that front. Working hard and the subject matter is very exciting. Going fine so far. 35th floor in Central HK vs 1st floor in Hounslow – you decide !
So that’s it from me for now. Expect more thoughts some time soon – in the meantime I’ll hand you back over to Neene and Josh, both of whom I’m sure you’ll find more exciting than me…