Michelle Leung, 27
“I’m out with my friends in Lan Kwai Fong – a district known for its buzzing nightlife. That’s largely because the cramped housing in Hong Kong makes spending time outside more appealing. Homes here are really small. I’m still living with my parents and brother, but that’s four of us in a flat with an area of just 700 sq ft – about the size of a three-room flat in Singapore. Luckily, I have my own room.
Due to the highstress work culture, Saturday nights are when people really come out to party, regardless of their age. Typically, we warm up at a bar before adjourning to our favourite clubs where we party until as late as 5am. The spots my friends and I frequent normally attract the younger working crowd around our age, but I’ve noticed older men standing in the corners. One time, my friend even bumped into her father’s friend on the dance floor! I guess everyone’s looking to let loose in such a high-pressure environment. Besides clubbing, my friends and I sometimes host parties where we rent a boat, load it with food and booze, and cruise around Hong Kong’s many beaches.
I work as a corporate paralegal. Hong Kong is an expensive city to live in, and my pay is barely enough to sustain my lifestyle. I recently switched law firms after being underpaid for almost three years. I studied in the UK and am now trying to qualify as a solicitor, but it’s extremely competitive here because of the oversupply of law graduates and a lack of jobs. On weekdays, I don’t have much of a social life. I wake up at 5am every day to hit the gym before starting work at 9am. When there are major cases to handle at work, I sometimes wind up working until midnight or later.
As a Hong Konger, I hope that all the disputes which have been happening in our society can be resolved peacefully. And I think our quality of life, especially for the elderly, needs to be improved. Graduates are struggling and students are stressed about scoring well academically.
Despite the bits I think can be improved, I strongly believe that friends and family form the strongest bonds. And no matter what happens, we’ll survive the obstacles.”
Michelle loves hitting the bars and clubs at Lan Kwai Fong to wind down after a hard week at work.