Like New York, people from far and wide come to Hong Kong to work, go to school, or otherwise pursue their dreams, but unlike in New York, many of these visitors to Hong Kong don’t end up staying for too long. Many of Hong Kong’s expats are quite transitory, and many don’t come with any thoughts to relocate, as do many of New York’s newcomers.
So because of this, farewell parties are often all too frequent, and it makes living in Hong Kong somewhat sad, as you say goodbye to good friends more often than you’d like.
I went through the painful exercise of counting the number of Hong Kong contacts in my phone — 80. Of that 80 I know for certain that 19 have left Hong Kong (about 25%). There are 13 I cannot account for since I have not been in touch with them in a long time. I would think that of the 80 phone numbers I’ve inputted in my phone over the last 3 years, a 25% attrition rate (potentially higher), is pretty high!
Last night I attended farewell drinks for three friends, and I have to admit they will be sorely missed. One of the three took the OLQE prep course with me and helped me to get my eventual job with him at his firm. He was always the most pleasant person to be around, very smart and helpful when it came to the law, and always making efforts to create a happy environment wherever he was.
In Hong Kong, you more readily see how much people make up life’s worth (at least for me), since you usually learn such lessons only in the absence of such people.
Thomas – you’re going to be sorely sorely missed!