One court reporter's journey from the High Court of Australia to the High Court of Hong Kong - my family's adventures living in a tiny village on the South China Sea, patenting Chinglish+charades as a communication method, and living with a...

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How We Became an Expat Family

We moved here when I was offered a job in the High Court of Hong Kong. Our decision to move ultimately came down to choosing adventure over security. After we had our second child we decided that there had to be more to life than making small Vegemite sandwiches, cutting up fruit into triangles, going to the same park, pushing a pram around the same suburb, and arranging our weekend supermarket trip around the kids' naps. Here we still have to do all that stuff, except the Vegemite is imported, the fruit looks different, the park is more crowded, we live in a village, and the supermarket is a wet market. We're never bored.

What I Enjoy Most and Least About Where I Live

One of the negative aspects is being classed with thoughtless expats who give Westerners a bad name by making no attempt to assimilate. And spending all our money on airfares to go back to Australia because people keep having babies/getting married etc. Also, because the money here isn't "our money," we're inclined to treat it like Monopoly money and spend it with impunity. Another hard adjustment has been getting used to not having much space. Our "front yard" here is the size of a squash court — and we're considered to live in a pretty spacious house. On the plus side, every day still feels like a holiday! Things are different enough to home that we don't feel jaded by mundane activities. Even going to the post office to pay a bill is enough of an experience to not make it a chore. And lastly, we treat our domestic helper well and pay her fairly, so I feel comfortable admitting that living with someone who does all the washing, cooking, cleaning and shopping is as much of a fantasy as you would imagine. And I can report that a ratio of three adults to two children is just about perfect in terms of ensuring each adult gets an afternoon nap most days...