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Shannon Kapoor, Taikoo Shing

Who are you?

I am an individual who believes each day of our life is an experience that evolves us as a person, so learn and move forward with a smile.

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

In Hong Kong, we are located in Taikoo Shing. We moved here back in 2012.My husband was offered a job position in his company, and I followed him here with our son.

What challenges did you face during the move?

My husband was is a mariner, he was sailing as a captain before, which meant he was absent for most of my son’s initial growing-up years. Hong Kong gave him an opportunity to take up a job with the same company and be able to spend more time with his family. However, initially when we moved, he had a big project going on at that time, in the US, which would have him travel for very long periods of time.

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I still clearly remember that feeling of being in a new city for someone whose partner had to fly off within two days of being in Hong Kong. Going around our location and getting to understand the people and culture, I would say was all a first-hand experience for me, and it was very challenging, but it helped me feel closer to this place.

How did you find somewhere to live?

We were very fortunate to know Gary, he works with Centaline properties in Taikoo Shing. My husband’s colleagues living in the same locality had referred him. My son was admitted to Delia School of Canada, Taikoo Shing, so it was a practical decision to be located in Taikoo Shing to have him avoid all long travel hours. Gary not only helped us find our first home in Hong Kong, but also was very kind to refer us to places for furniture, household items and other items required to comfortably settle down.

Are there many other expats in your area?

We continue to live in the Taikoo Shing area and moved to a bigger apartment in 2016. We have a big Indian community here, mostly belonging to shipping and banking industry. Apart from them, there are many other nationalities here too, American, British, Korean, Japanese, Singaporean etc. living happily in the same community.

What is your relationship like with the locals?

My experience with locals has been great in the past seven years. Continuing in the same locality has helped to build a relationship with the local vendors, supermarket personnel, building guards and cleaners. Our relationship is of trust and respect for each other.

What do you like about life where you are?

I like the diversified life culture in Hong Kong. This city and the people do not make you feel like a foreigner or someone who can never fit with them. Hong Kong is very cosmopolitan, it happily takes you in. It also undoubtedly has one of the best commuting systems in the world.

What do you dislike about your expat life?

Something that I dislike about this place would be hard to think of, as most of the time it feels like home away from home.

What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?

The diversity in the culture, with most of the expats contributing largely to the economy of Hong Kong. As expats we are offered equal opportunities at work, the same as the locals.

What do you think of the food and drink in your new country? What are your particular likes or dislikes?

It is a mix of authentic and fusion foods from all around the world. Where with the local vendors and some restaurants you can taste the authenticity of their foods and drinks, other available options here give you some of the best fusions from around the world. I personally love the varieties offered in dumplings, ramen and soups. Although sometimes crossing the local food vendors, with the pungent smell surrounding them, makes me think to myself, “what on earth are they cooking?!” I do admit, initially out of curiosity I did try the octopus tentacles, delicious, don’t exactly remember, but it did need some courage. 🙂

What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

Plan your settling/moving in advance (at least 3-4 months), especially if you are coming with children. The admission time may differ from your home country. Practically, if you do not have that kind of time allowance, there are various expat sites available where you can start your plan even when you are still in your home country.

What are your plans for the future?

I am currently in the process of getting my permanent residency here, and I’m happy about it, as it’s been very peaceful happy memories here.

My son will be graduating from his school in next three years and looks ahead to joining the university here. My husband and myself are well settled in our careers here and see further opportunities for ourselves to explore. All in all the excitement from the first day of coming to Hong Kong still continues…

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