Being an expat in Hongkong is not that easy.

New culture. Different lifestyle. Difficult language. No friends–these summed up my first two months in Hongkong.

Boredom and homesickness were my companions. My husband was most of the time at work and sadly, we only had much time at night, during weekends or holidays.

I was longing for my family and close friends back then. For an extrovert like me, this I tell you, it’s really hard to be alone. Thank goodness! There were Facebook messenger, Twitter, and Whatsapp for communication purposes.

One day, my husband asked me if I wanted to meet the Filipina wife of his colleague. Of course, I said YES. I had been waiting for that moment to happen, the moment which could possibly give me new friends.

Her name’s Ruth. She’s a wife of a Hongkong national working in the same company with my husband.

Before I met Ate Ruth personally, her husband messaged me on Facebook. He asked if it’s ok with me to meet Ate because she’s also alone and bored. Woooaahh, we were in the same boat huh. Anyway, he gave me her number and told me about his high hope of me being friends with Ate.

Our supposed meeting in the first week of November was postponed because I went to the Philippines for a short vacation.

It was in the last week of November that I met her and her then-one-month-old baby boy. Our rendezvous was at New Town Plaza in Sha Tin. She’s very nice and accommodating, something that really made me think she’s the one I’ve been waiting for in Hongkong haha.

My new friend and I strolled around some shops. You know, women and shopping sounded almost the same! hahahaha just kidding. I wanted to buy some nice clothes then, and gladly, she helped me decide on which clothes to take.

We had our merienda at Viet’s Choice, her favorite restaurant. It was my first time to eat in a Vietnamese restaurant.

Oh, how I liked the delicious taste of the Vietnamese noodle soup called pho. The rich, savory taste of its soup base, the yummy combination of ginger, fresh mint, cilantro, onions and other herbs, the flavoursome chicken meat, and the good taste of the flat, long rice noodles caught the attention of my picky tastebuds.

My favorite kind of Pho. Sliced Vietnamese ham gio lua Pho with iced milk tea

Another kind of Pho. Sliced beef brisket Pho with hot milk tea

Of course, I ordered my favorite milk tea. It’s always my choice of drink whenever I was in an Asian or local restaurant.

I was really glad Ate Ruth chose Viet’s Choice. We really had a great time eating and having conversation there. In addition to that, we also discovered that we shared some common traits. Nice to know!

Who would have thought that the start of a good and strong fellowship just happened in a restaurant called Viet’s Choice? It was indeed a special place for Ate and me.

Fast forward to the present —–

Oh, how I miss eating pho and drinking milk tea.

And…

how I miss my close friend.

Like what I’ve said, it’s not that easy to be an expat in Hongkong, but because of the presence of Ate Ruth and her family, my social life in Hongkong became colorful. 😀

I do hope to see her again in the future. Guess where? In Hongkong or maybe in the Philippines.

Time flies so fast. For sure, we will see Ate Ruth again. Maybe not so soon, but definitely after a few years.

But for now, hello Facebook and Whatsapp! hahaha

Time to pause for a while and eat some dinner.

Gute Nacht. Bis Morgen.

JL

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16 thoughts on “It all started with a ‘Pho’

  1. It seems you and I also have a few things in common! I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, USA. My husband was born and raised in Virginia, USA. We lived the first 3 years of our life together in Pennsylvania, but moved to Virginia for a fresh start. Turns out Virginia’s economy is actually worse. We’ve been in Virginia 5 years now, and I am homesick, litterally, to tears. There is nothing like Facebook to make you fee like you are close to your family and friends, other than actually being there. I’ve always been a daddy’s girl myself, and it is hard to be away from him and my mother, and all 4 of my sister’s and 2 brothers, but indeed, Facebook makes the distance seem not so distant.
    You can friend me on fb: Lacie NAlyssa Moore
    I would love to have a few international friends!
    Best of luck to You, dear!
    ~Alyssa
    P.S. the soup looks yummy!!!! 😋
    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh, we indeed have similarities. Homesickness can really make us sad eh.. Good thing there’s social media platform to help us lessen the homesickness. I am now 6 hours behind Hongkong, and the thought of being ten thousand miles away from home makes me sad. Anyway, I already have my own family, so it’s pretty obvious that I have to live with them, not with my biological family. I am just thankful that my hubby is very supportive and understanding of me.

      Sure, I’d like to add you. Thanks for initiating. Hope you’ll stay as sweet as you are. Stay connected, Alyssa.

      P.S. Pho is really yummy. You can try it once if you have it in your place.

      Greetings,

      JL

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing this lovely story! I’m getting started looking for homes as we are relocating to NV this summer. I have lived in PA all my life, and I am bursting with excitement but nervous that I need friends and socialization. This makes me feel hopeful and optimistic.

    …and hungry! Are you kidding me with those yummy pho pictures!! I might have to go to my favorite place now. You gave me a craving!!! ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome and thank you so much for dropping by. 😊

      Good luck on your imminent relocation. It’s kinda stressful you know. Hope everything will be ok on your part. Socializing is important and making friends is not that easy. It takes time to build friendship or should I say genuine platonic relationship with strangers. Again, good luck.

      Hehee pho is indeed yummy. You can also check out my previous posts about Doner Kebab and Milk Tea hahaa.

      Greetings,

      JL

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for sharing about homesickness. We’ve only moved a few times growing up but the changes were definitely not easy. I guess, by time, we learned to accept this idea that we will be a part of the entire world, and that it could be okay to be anywhere as long as you are doing what makes you happy.

    Liked by 1 person

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