My name is Victoria Isabelle, I was born in Paris from a Spanish dad and a French mom. I moved to Hong Kong when I was very young; it has now been 12 years that I am here, which means I have lived longer in Hong Kong than I ever did in France. To me home is where you feel the best. This could also be where you feel the safest; a place where you belong. It’s when the plane lands and you get a feeling that you’ve just arrived home, where everything around you is familiar and you feel at peace.
I have always and will always consider myself a local in Hong Kong. As I mentioned, I have spent more time here than in any of my other ‘hometowns’, like Paris or Madrid. Depending on who you ask, local can have very different definitions, but to me that is how I feel towards Hong Kong. Even more since I got my permanent residency here.
Sometimes people around me are unaware of my story or past. They might consider and treat me as a tourist. At times I’ll speak a little Chinese to taxi drivers or salespeople, but often they will ignore me, as if I wasn’t meant to speak Chinese to them because I am not Asian. If they don’t ignore me, sometimes they will simply laugh without taking me seriously. This is a bit hurtful, because I’ve been here pretty much my entire life and consider myself 100% local of Hong Kong.