Dear Lulu Jeh,
I just moved to Hong Kong from Ireland because I got a gig as a Head Chef at a fancy French restaurant. I really love Hong Kong, my job and the people I work with are fine but sometimes I feel like I don’t really get along with them like my other colleagues. I miss home from time to time, not because I loved it there but because I actually had friends that had similar interests as me. I try to not let it get to me but I really want some quality friends here in Hong Kong so that I can go out and have a pint, laugh, confide in them and just let my hair down. Sometimes my profession means that I work odd hours compared to others so I just feel stuck. What can I do? Where do I find friends? – Small fish in a big city
Dear Small fish in a big city,
Well, first of all, Congratulations on landing a job as a Head Chef! Well done on making a move to a new city, it’s definitely not an easy journey when you first land here. Believe it or not, you’re definitely not the first to go through this nor the last – it’s always difficult making friends in a new city, especially taking into account the new culture, language, and etiquette you have to consider. However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot find friends in this big and wonderful city.
The best way to get started would be to sign up for some activities that match your schedule such as boxing classes, foreign language classes, sports, or anything else you’re into. This gives you a chance to find people that have similar hobbies or interests as you, and to break away from your apartment. Another tip would be to find places that organize events or even bars, it’s always easier to start conversations with strangers in these places. Lastly, I would recommend downloading some apps on your phone such as Bumble, Badoo, or even Tinder to find people around your area who like similar things to you!
Do not give up. People are always looking for new friends, and who knows, you might just be the next one. I wish you the best of luck!
– Lulu Jeh
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