Saturday, 16 June 2012
Hong Kong for children
It's a crazy city, but Hong Kong is actually not a bad place to bring up children. (Note to MrM - I will discuss this with you before I actually go ahead and sign the McBaby up to a school here).
I've noticed that even the sternest of people will literally cross the road to come and say hello to the McBaby before commenting on his ready smile and big eyes. He even said "Ai ya!" the other day, which was also my first word in Cantonese. I suspect his next ones will be "Ho duk yi!" and "Ho chi gung tsi" which are the two phrases he hears constantly, meaning "Very cute" and "He's like a doll!" respectively.
There are some real plus points to having the McBaby grow up here, including the likelihood of his growing up bilingual, a fact I didn't think we would ackowledge after our awful experience yesterday when we went to meet someone for lunch in Central. Pushing a stroller through Central amongst a crowed of hungry financial workers was just not a good idea - a bit like trying to move house on foot through Trafalgar Square on New Year's Eve. We got tutted at, stared at and on one occasion, pushed as I tried to navigate the crooked streets, steps, narrow pavements, scaffolding and crowds with a stroller and a baby who wouldn't get into it!
I did however have time to snap these fantastically-named shops:
Any way, back to moving here. I have been very impressed with how child-friendly it is (apart from when people are hungry).
Affordable childcare - There aren't really nurseries for working parents here, but childcare is usually in the form of nannies who look after children and take care of the house.
Lots of green areas.
Amazing public transport - clean, efficient and cheap.
I did get some funny looks when breastfeeding. In the end, I had to put a blanket over the baby's head or feed him in the toilet.
Crazy competitive school system
Expensive. Rent is about three times what you'd pay in London.
Can be inaccessible with a buggy.
People can be incredibly rude. Worse than Newbury.