When I am traveling I always see some things in other countries that I would like to take back to my home country. Especially now that I’m living in Hong Kong for over four months I realize things like this every day.
Hong Kong is a very safe city. Its crime rate is even lower than Finland’s. There might be some pickpockets in tourist attractions, but I haven’t experienced anything like that. One Friday I got lost in Kowloon with a friend at 6 am and didn’t even feel scared. Still, it’s good to always have a friend with you and never wander around alone at night.
2. Octopus card
Octopus card can be used to pay MTR journeys, groceries, and food at the campus. It’s a must have card when visiting Hong Kong. Most of the shops here accept Octopus as a payment and you can easily load it in 7/11’s. I wish that we had similar solution in Finland.
3. Public toilets
I love the fact that Hong Kong has a lot of public toilets and they are all free! In Finland, we have this thing that almost every public toilet costs something. And usually the doors open with 1€ coins only! For someone who never carries cash with them (read: me) this is a hell on earth. For fuck’s sake, I just want to go to the toilet but in Finland, it’s made impossible. Hong Kong, on the other hand, is perfect in this area. There are free toilets everywhere and usually, they are really clean. Even near the Lan Kwai Fong (bar district), there are public toilets, so after drinking few cans of beer on the streets of LKF, you can easily get to the toilet. So convenient.
4. University’s healthcare
Yeah yeah, Finland has free health care and all but seriously our schools healthcare in Hong Kong is amazing! I got a fever one day and I had to go to the doctor to get a doctor’s certificate. So I reserved a doctor’s appointment online. The appointment cost 15 HK$ (1,6 euros) and the doctor diagnosed me in 5 minutes. After that, she wrote me the certificate, so I didn’t have to go back to school. I also got few medicines for free from the clinic, for flu and fever. I wish that in Finland this would be as easy and convenient. The whole appointment took me maximum 10 minutes time and after that, I could go and rest some more.
Less bureaucracy means more freedom. All of the restaurants probably won’t meet the hygiene standards but many things work better without so many regulations. It’s nice for example to be able to buy beer at any time and drink it anywhere you want. (Every Finns dream.)
In the future I’m going to write about things that annoy me in Hong Kong too, so you won’t get too soft picture of being on an exchange.