6 Things I learned from moving into my first Hong Kong Shoe Box

6 Things I learned from moving into my first Hong Kong Shoe Box


At the beginning of this year, I took the huge leap of moving out of my family home. I packed my bags, hugged my Mum, kissed my dog and glanced back solemnly one last time before shutting the front door behind me. I then hopped in a cab and traveled 20 minutes down the road.

Here are a few things I’ve learned since moving into my first apartment in downtown Hong Kong.

1. Let there be light: and there was light, once you have paid for it

“living in darkness and embracing a sweaty life without air conditioning.”

Coincidentally, upon moving into my new apartment, I decided to become an avid Environmentalist. I know, I know, I’m proud of myself too…but in order to be a world savior, one must make sacrifices. For example, living in darkness and embracing a sweaty life without air conditioning.

Yes, I chose to reduce my use of electricity for the good of the world and it is in no way due to my new knowledge of the Electricity bill being an additional cost on top of the monthly rent.

Don’t name your child Bill. All Bills suck. Postcards from Bill are the worst.

This me hugging a penguin. Because I care about the animals.

2. A pair of shoes won’t change my life. I ain’t Cinderella

“Mum doesn’t go shopping with me anymore.”

Growing up, I was that one girl that would circulate a clothing store and by the time I had traveled the perimeter of the space, I would be carrying the entire contents of the store. After, Mum and I would evaluate the potential purchases and attempt to eliminate a few pieces. It never worked though. Every time Mum would disapprove I would disregard her opinion on the basis of her lack of knowledge on millennial style.

Mum doesn’t go shopping with me anymore.

It’s funny how Zara has drastically declined in quality since this time. All the clothes used to be the most exquisite pieces of art in which I NEEDED all of it. It’s not the case anymore, in fact, I’m not too interested in paying $399 for a pile of poofs and ruffles.

When you live on your own, clothes become less necessary and nakedness becomes a lifestyle. I’d advise you to purchase curtains instead unless you are an exhibitionist.


A Cowboy leather fringe belt is all you need to style up a basic outfit.


3. Having to buy toilet paper feels like theft

People who know me well (or even people who’ve seen my Instagram) know that I never wear matching socks. Often, I will sport the one sock look. I have just never respected socks because I thought they were undeserving of my money. I would buy another beautiful dress over a pair of functional socks any day. This reflects how I felt about buying other functional items. However, I could be this bratty because my family household was always ‘magically’ in stock of the essentials.

Toilet paper, trash bags, Febreze spray, drain cleaner, sponges…all the expensive stuff I do not want but I definitely need. It still makes me sad inside when I have to drop $100 on laundry detergent and I still have an internal conflict about whether I truly need silky smooth clothes when deciding if I should buy laundry softener.


4. Cockroaches made me a better Tennis player

My reflexes and aim used to be shamefully terrible but thanks to the huge quantity of cockroaches that turn up in my home, I have had the opportunity to intensely train my technique. I am proud to say, I can successfully catch and kill a roaming cockroach with one whack of a shoe.


  • Always kill with a shoe no smaller than a men’s size 10 ½… Hong Kong roaches are mutantly large. Smaller shoes may cause cockroach splatter.
  • Check under the sofa frequently. You will most likely find a few dead ones chilling out.
  • If you kill a cockroach and it falls into your toaster…say goodbye to your toaster.


5. I am still a potential danger when holding an iron. Can somebody please teach me?

When I used up all my pairs of underwear (front, back and inside-out) it was time for me to learn how to use the washing machine.
When I was prevented from eating a bowl of cereal because all the spoons were dirty, I attempted to use a fork. When that was a struggle, it was time for me to learn how to wash the dishes.
When I started to get acne only on the right side of my face (the same side that I sleep on) it was time for me to learn how to change the sheets.

I am really good at cleaning now. However, I’d advise investing in a cleaner. If this isn’t a possibility, invite your Mother over for dinner on a weekly basis…

Upset because I smudged my lipstick after a long day of cleaning

6. I pay for most of my current friends

I think it’s normal to become a bit of a loner once you move away from home. I think I’ve become almost too good at enjoying my own company. I mean, I can be social too. I never flake on my friends working at the cafe where I buy my morning coffee from, they mean too much to me.




  1. Amusingly written. But perhaps the biggest lesson I have learnt over the years living alone and away from family is to really appreciate the value of things that last a long while so I would rather splurge on a sturdy chair than go for a plastic one. Moving to HK in a few days and not looking forward to killing cockroaches at all. You should cook with your friends if you find eating out to be a hassle.


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