English doesn’t always work in Hong Kong:
"What is something that you’ve struggled with the most?"
"Struggle? That mean?"
"Yeah, what’s the most difficult, or challenging part in your life right now?"
"Oh, about what? Our life?"
"No, your life."
"Oh! Very very simple. Everyday wake up, and to working, sometimes holiday, go outside for swimming when summer."
"I see, okay. How about this, what’s the happiest moment of your life?"
"Happiest moment?" When I had my new daughter, but she’s old now, 24. She’s famous. So, happy when I spend time with her and when I go out and travel with her.
"What’s something that she has done that made you worry?"
"Hm..Because she is a girl, so every time, I worry."
"Most of the time what I hear from my dad is ‘Improve your grades at school.’ or ‘Put more effort into life.’ Theres nothing about school that I hate. I just find it very difficult to motivate myself to put the effort into studying. I get sidetracked too much. There’s just no instant reward. I get distracted by anything and everything. for example, if there’s a book lying next to my desk, I’ll think it looks more interesting than what I’m doing now.”
"What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your dad?"
"My dad’s commitment to things. He’s an old guy now but he wanted to be a pilot. He studied the manual every night, during work, staying up late, and now he’s a pilot."
"Do you want to be a pilot?"
"Probably not. I was his first passenger and I was like ‘Dad, dad? can we not?’(pretends to grab on armrest) and he was like ‘No, we’re doing this son! we’re doing this!” So probably not.
"If you’re not going to be a pilot, what’s your dream job?"
"I don’t have a dream job. But! I have an If-everything-fails-job. I really enjoy playing music- Happiest moment of my life is probably when I started playing guitar. If everything else fails, I don’t go to university, I screw up in school, I’ll be a waiter and play music on the weekends. I think I will be able to enjoy that life."
"She wants to be so many things. When she was 3, she wanted to be police woman. When she turned 4, she wanted to be a dentist. Now what do you want to be?"
- Little girl whispers to her mother
"A zookeeper?! Why do you want to be a zookeeper?"
"I’m a soft good engineer. I work with the clothing and fitting for dolls."
"How did you get into that?"
"In the beginning I worked as an editor, the hours were so crazy. I just wanted to change to another job with normal working hours. I wanted to do anything. Then I met my manager. She’s very good, so I decided to stay with her."
"Do you like your job?"
"It’s so-so. The working hours are really long in this field as well. From 8 to 8."
"What’s something that you’re currently struggling with right now?"
"Balance. I can’t balance money and work. I have to earn money to live in Hong Kong. Everything is so expensive here."
"What would be your dream job?"
"I would want to be a traveller…Or a blogger! I would blog about fashion. I like clothing. I’m inspired by my friends. All of them have graduated from the fashion faculty, so I’m affected by them. I haven’t started yet though. It’s too difficult. How to build the website? And how to take photos - street photography. I need to spend too much time, and that’s what I’m lacking.”
"Is there any girl that you like?"
"At the moment.. No. I broke up with my last girlfriend because there was this guy, which is my friend. My friend also liked her, so I broke up with her because of that. I didn’t want to ruin my friendship because he’s been my friend since before I went back to the Philippines when SARS happened in Hong Kong. He’s my childhood friend. Of course it was like a What-the-fuck moment at first, but I don’t really regret it."
"I’m a teacher at a secondary school here."
"What’s a noticeable change that you observed in education since when you were a student?"
"I guess it’s like the whole society in Hong Kong. Everyone has to work extra hard, and has to work very, very long hours. It’s exactly the same for the kids. They have to do a lot of things, which I think, probably more than they could do. There is much more work to do than when I was a student. They do all this with the hopes of getting into a good university."
"How would you change the education system in Hong Kong if you had the chance to do so?"
"I would add Drama as a compulsory subject for all students. Drama is something is that if they have it as a habit, and when they enter into society and get lonely or confused, they can find inspiration."
"What’s the happiest moment of your life?"
"When I got married. I met my wife through my sister. She was my sister’s office mate, so they worked in the same office. We got to know each other from that."
"What’s the craziest thing your wife has ever done?
"When she chose to marry me man."
"What’s the happiest moment of your life?"
"It should be the moment when I get my degree. But from the past? probably when I got my offer here as a Ph.D student. I’m studying at the University of Hong Kong."
"What do you hope to do in Hong Kong?"
"Be an analyst."
"Have you always wanted to go into banking?"
"Maybe, Probably, I’m not sure. Another choice is to be a university teacher. But It turns out that I’m majoring in finance, so why not be an analyst? It just seems like the natural choice after you get your degree.”
"If you could give some advice to people searching for a job, what would it be?"
"You must choose whatever you like as your career. Thats…I think the only possibility that you will enjoy your life."
"So, you like Finance?"
"What’s your favorite thing about Hong Kong?"
"Nothing, no favorites. Everything is the same I think. Everything looks the same. All the same buildings, all the same streets. So many people."
"What’s your favorite thing about soccer?"
"I don’t know, just having fun. I play like, 3 times a week, for an hour and a half."
"Why aren’t you playing now?"
"We just got knocked out."