GBA Lifestyle News
City Living Section
By Andrea Lo | June 19th, 2017

All Tea No Shade with Andrea Lo. 

After relocating to Hong Kong some years back and living at home, I’ve finally done the impossible and moved out on my own.

I have been longing for my own space for as long as I can remember. These feelings were particularly intensified during certain periods: while sharing a bedroom with nine other girls at boarding school (yes, R, I remember when you smeared my makeup on a sanitary pad as a prank); when a university housemate brought two guys home one night (one of them didn’t make it into her bed and crashed outside the bathroom, scaring the crap out of me at 3am); and closer to home, when my brother’s ex decided to steal all of his underwear the night before he was due to fly back to London for a new semester (luckily, I happen to mostly have my own door locked to prevent my mom from busting in to have a conversation about food/laundry/my career/who I’m dating).

Finally, I’m free!

Little did I know that living on my own presents a whole new set of challenges.

I once wrote about the perils of living at home as a young adult in Hong Kong and the first thing that I felt, as I packed up to move into my 304-square-foot box, was that I was finally able to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I could come home at random hours without first informing my mom. I could sleep in until noon. I could walk around in my underwear. I could have a bowl of noodles at midnight. The possibilities were endless!

But then reality started sinking in. I needed to come home to have someone install the lights and wifi, because I was too dumb to realize you really should get this stuff set up before you move in. I couldn’t sleep in until noon or walk around naked because I didn’t have curtains (!). I needed to go buy food. The washing machine is attached to a water pipe that you’re supposed to turn on before you can actually use it (thanks, N). And you shouldn’t call your friend at midnight screaming about a cockroach (sorry, N). Friends were asking me if I was actually going to survive.

In my first week living alone, there were a few moments as I tethered my iPhone to my laptop and waited for Chrome to load, that I wondered if I was really equipped for adulthood. And I think that maybe I complained too much when I was living at home.

It’s annoying for mom to ask you when you’re coming home and throw you shade when you snack on microwave dim sum while hungover — but that’s only because she’s worried, and has put on a bowl of double-boiled soup on the stove.

I wasn’t a total slob at home, but there were so many things a person has to do behind the scenes to run a household smoothly. I’m only learning that now.

And of course, living at home saves you money. Rent and bills are another reality altogether.

I don’t miss living with housemates who refused to contribute to toilet paper costs, stole all my socks or left wet hair extensions dangling in the shower. But I do miss my mom.

Still, nothing felt more gratifying to have lights, wifi and curtains installed — in my own space. I’m okay, guys!


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