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Nicole Webb

Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

Moving Overseas: How Much Of The Local Culture Do You Adopt?

Posted by: Carole on Sunday September 15, 2013 (01:53:30)   (3543 Reads)

Nicole Webb

It was Father's Day in Australia this month, so we celebrated with Sunday brunch in Soho, uptown Hong Kong. Don't let that fool you; I hadn't exactly planned it around Father's Day, if you know what I mean!

It was a restaurant review and I was technically "working" but hey, a hearty feast of scrambled eggs, hash browns and baked beans, washed down with a fine glass of Italian Prosecco has to be better than a poke in the eye with a burnt piece of toast, right?

For the record, as an expat I'm still not quite sure which country's 'special' days you're supposed to celebrate? Your home country or the one you've temporarily adopted? Admittedly, I've failed miserably at both this year.    more ...


Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

8 Lessons Learned: Three Years As An Expat In Hong Kong

Posted by: Carole on Sunday August 18, 2013 (03:22:37)   (44702 Reads)

Nicole Webb

Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of the victory.
George S. Patton


This month I've chalked up three years in the mighty Kong - my third anniversary symbolizing a colorful and (often) crazy journey towards living life as a fully-fledged, 'fair dinkum' expat!

A friend said to me "You should be really proud of yourself" -- I hadn't thought about it that way, but when I cast my thoughts back to those early days when I felt like a ‘fish out of water’ in Hong Kong's fragrant harbour, to today, I am swimming with the crowds and making a few splashes…. yep! I guess I've come a long way!    more ...


Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

One Night In Manila - Asia's Forgotten City

Posted by: Carole on Thursday July 18, 2013 (01:21:16)   (4413 Reads)

Nicole Webb

When you're born in the land of the Long White Cloud - the place dubbed ‘middle-earth’ - and then raised in that other place they call 'The Land Down Under' -- getting to another country usually involves (at the very least) a good few hours up in the air.

Let's face it, flying within Australia can take up to five hours and involve jet lag!

So, the idea that I can be in a completely different country, new culture, new language (heck even new chopstick etiquette) within a couple of hours still manages to impress me!

Suffice to say, during my time here in Asia's World City, I've managed quite a few short flights that have landed me, rather excitedly, in exotic, seemingly far-flung locations…all within the blink of an eye.    more ...


Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

Fake It Till You Make It: Competing With The Counterfeit Craze In China

Posted by: Carole on Monday June 24, 2013 (18:34:08)   (4298 Reads)

Nicole Webb

I was at the mighty Mongkok Ladies Markets this week or as the locals call it "Wong Gog" - meaning 'prosperous and crowded corner.'

Crowded is probably a slight understatement, given the Guinness World Records has named it the busiest district in the world….Yes! Just the planet!

Prosperous - most definitely not an understatement - with a brilliantly bedazzling array of colorful markets, shops and food stalls all competing for the shopping enthusiasts attention, it's a sure bet there's no shortage of money changing hands on this corner.

There are approximately 130,000 people squeezed like sardines into each and every square kilometer, making it one of the liveliest and most authentic places in Hong Kong.    more ...


Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

12 Reasons You Know You've Been EXPATIFIED In Hong Kong!

Posted by: Carole on Tuesday May 14, 2013 (13:53:55)   (7325 Reads)

Nicole Webb

If there was a definition for EXPATIFY (which there's not) I'm pretty sure it would go something like this:

Acceptance of the alien nature of an environment, development of new-found tolerances, greater objectivity and appropriate coping skills.

Pretty much sums up the adjustment required when you become an expat don't you think?

When you launch yourself into expat life -- for awhile, everything seems out of kilter. For me, stepping off the plane into the neon-lit metropolis of Hong Kong was akin to plunging head first into an ocean full of hungry sharks. I was frantically treading water, doing my very best not to get swallowed up.    more ...


Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

It's All Work And No Play For Children In Hong Kong

Posted by: Carole on Thursday April 11, 2013 (22:18:40)   (3787 Reads)

Nicole Webb

"How did the interview go?"

It's a question that peppers conversations daily across the island and beyond, here in The Kong.

You probably think I'm talking about a job interview - for a grown-up right?

Wrong! I'm talking about interviewing a two year old.
Yes - a very small person who can barely communicate (verbally anyway).

What’s the job? Well, it’s school! Pre-school even.    more ...


Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

Do All Roads Lead To China?

Posted by: Carole on Monday March 18, 2013 (23:56:53)   (3945 Reads)

Nicole Webb

When you're living the 'enviable' expat life, it is for the most part, just that. But looming amongst the five star shindigs, endless shopping extravaganzas and cultural enlightenment is the little unavoidable fact: you never quite know when it's all going to end; when the phone's going to ring with the next 'tour of duty'.

Last week, we got one of those calls…

We'd been half-expecting it (if there is such a thing as half?) let's just say it wasn't a complete shock to the system. I didn't run around the house yelling "We've been punked!" but to be honest, my heart did a triple somersault with a twist and leapt right out of my chest. We've had many conversations about the next step. When we'll be ready, where we think we'd like to go, where we think we'll get to go. (For the record, the planets rarely align when it comes to the answers.)    more ...


Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

Homeland

Posted by: Carole on Sunday February 17, 2013 (02:54:52)   (3228 Reads)

Nicole Webb

Being an expat is the easy part, being good at it - not so 'all in your stride' straightforward.

I've just arrived back in Hong Kong, bleary-eyed from an overnight flight with a two year old (say no more) and feeling a little bit, well, empty.

It's been six months since I was home, the longest period since my 'stint' as an expat began. So far I've been lucky enough to get home on a pretty regular basis, but two and a half years into this mad Asian adventure, saying 'goodbye' doesn't get any easier.

It's the quiet drive to the airport, everyone lost in their own world.    more ...


Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

Like A Bull In A China Shop

Posted by: Carole on Tuesday January 15, 2013 (02:20:09)   (2565 Reads)

Nicole Webb

If you have a tendency to feel a little on the claustrophobic side, there's every chance you'll find the pulsating energy of Hong Kong suffocating (initially). In fact, even if you don't mind being in a tight squeeze, you're bound to find it a little intense if, like me, you weren't brought up in the 'crush' that is ASIA.

Declared one of the most densely populated cities in the world, there are on average 25,900 people, squashed like sardines, into each and every square kilometer. In some areas, there are 92,000 people per square kilometer (phew)! Yep, it's what you might call over-crowded!

Having now lived and breathed the fervor and vibrancy of Hong Kong for more than two years, a new year begins and I can take a deep breath, look back and say there's definitely an 'adjustment period' when it comes to immersing yourself into the pace of a city with its pulse in permanent overdrive.    more ...


Columnists > Nicole Webb

Nicole Webb

Living The Dream

Posted by: Carole on Friday December 14, 2012 (01:18:51)   (3907 Reads)

Nicole Webb

Sawadika!

Checking in from the land of smiley, happy faces….
One of the undeniably pleasant perks of being an expat in Asia, coupled with having a husband in hotels, is the opportunity to fly to idyllic destinations like Phuket in just a few short hours and revel in 5-star luxury.

I get it… I'm lucky! Very!

I will even go so far as to use the word 'spoilt,' as I sit here trying (in a lazy, half-hearted kind of way) to wrestle my sleepy gaze from our villa's private plunge pool that is beckoning me to immerse myself in its crystal clear oasis.    more ...