Michelle Le­ung, 27

Herworld (Singapore) - - HW -

“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.

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