Where Has Anal Girl Gone?

“They used to call me Anal Girl. Because I was neat and organized.”  

Yes, I used to be neat and organized just like Zooey Deschanel’s title character in “500 Days of Summer” (a GREAT film if you haven’t already seen it). Back in New York, my desk at work was always strategically filed (chronologically and then alphabetically), dirty dishes in the dishwasher were always stacked in tight near-military formation, my dresses hung in my closet by order of sleeve length followed by skirt length.

However, since moving to Hong Kong and starting full-time work again, I can’t find the time to make my bed, I can’t piece together words often enough to continue blogging at my regular rate, I can’t even balance my checkbook! This is a pretty HUGE failing coming from me, the girl that keeps an Excel spreadsheet (a very detailed one at that!) of her DAILY travel spendings. Daily. For over a year!

A snapshot of my expense spreadsheet. Click to see just how anal I was!

Anal Girl, that’s who I used to be.  

What in the world happened???

Over two years of not working a full time job? Long afternoons spent drinking Turkish tea in the streets of Istanbul, head buried in a good book? Meandering across Southeast Asia with a carefree attitude for over a year?

Most likely all of the above!

But in reality, it’s because I’m no longer “just a traveler.”

I’m in the midst of shifting into expat mode and free time is no longer my constant companion.

I honestly don’t know how expats all over the world do it!

Hong Kong is supposed to be easy! I’m half Chinese so I’m familiar with the food and culture here in Hong Kong. I can speak intermediate Cantonese so I can communicate with just about everyone I run into. Hong Kong’s British influence makes it one of the easiest cities for a Westerner to adjust to in terms of language and street signs, but yet, even after six months (yes, it’s already been six months!), I am still floundering to find my place here.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE living in Hong Kong, but there are moments where I just want to stop in the middle of the street somewhere among the crowd and scream at the top of my lungs, “WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH ALL YOU PEOPLE??!!??” I’m about thisclose to going on a murderous rampage every day when I walk to work. 

Try to navigate YOUR way through this without murderous thoughts

Every expat has these same feelings right? RIGHT???

I already know my life in Hong Kong isn’t a permanent one and that one day, not too far in the future, I’ll be back in my element as a traveler again, but for the time being, I am determined to make the most out of my life here. And I’m not going to let anyone or anything, even Hong Kong, get in the way of that!

Could this just be Hong Kong’s way of ripping me another one? After all, I did used to be Anal Girl and maybe, as a Hong Kong expat, I just need to loosen up? 

Now it’s YOUR turn to rip me another one! What’s YOUR best expat advice for me to loosen up?

© Connie Hum 2011

Categories: expat, Hong Kong

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