Chihiro, from Nagoya, Japan, and Innocent, from South Africa, describe Hong Kong as a land of opportunity.
Chihiro: I came to Hong Kong as an exchange student and I felt that Hong Kong is far more international with a lot of different cultures than where I come from. I think I am comparing this place with my hometown; I think it’s why I decided to come to Hong Kong in the first place because I read a book about Hong Kong: it’s like a small world or microcosm of the whole world, where you can meet a lot of different people and you can also work with people from different places. Nowadays it’s a part of the world which is growing faster and faster, and Hong Kong is a hub to both East Asia and Southeast Asia. You can get anywhere in Southeast Asia within two hours or by plane, so Hong Kong for me is place of a lot of opportunities.
Innocent: Hong Kong is the land of opportunities. There are not a lot of places where you don’t have much and you manage to work your way up, or to be able make something out of that time, so I think not many places in the world where you can do that or the laws that allows you to do that, so in the legal framework, Hong Kong is a very open society that gives a chance to push it through and make something out of it. In Hong Kong, there are some things you don’t have to worry about like healthcare: you can go to the hospital and get treated for free! You might need to line up for a few years, which is what everyone is doing. I think it’s the fact that you don’t have to worry about such things, if you are in the United States, someone has to worry about that all the time while they are trying to pursue something else.
You don’t have to travel that much if you are in Hong Kong. You don’t need to go to Bali, you don’t need to go to Papua New Guinea: you can meet people here. You can meet people from countries like Sweden. I always used to say, Michael Jackson was in Hong Kong. I’m sure one of us would have spent time you know in a party where you would meet Michael Jackson, but Michael is not the favorite character of many people, so I don’t know who else to use, I used to use Kobe Bryant, and—I’m running out of black people right now.
You wouldn’t find those opportunities in the U.S. or something, or in South Africa. It’s a very stratified society in a sense that you are white or black here, you make two dollars or twenty dollars, you can’t cross those lines. If you cross the line, you get shot, and you cross the line, you get arrested, but in Hong Kong, within the first three, four years, I was eating with the richest person in Hong Kong. Do you think in America, I will ever meet Bill Gates? Of course not; Hong Kong gives you a certain kind of exposure. If you work hard enough, I think there is definitely opportunities in Hong Kong, so definitely, it’s the land of opportunities.