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April 2019 Find out how to make this Easter headband
things to do this Easter
GROWING LEADERS OF THE FUTURE
We take a look around The Harbour School, Garden Campus
our biggest ever easter camp round-up Crafts, performing arts, sports and more
RAISING THE BAR
with Joseph Boroski Tips for travelling Dads, plus the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best mocktails
CONTENTs 4 Contributors
Meet this month’s team
Dates for your diary
The monthly round-up
Me & my big idea
A friend finding app for Mums and Dads
The Green Dragon
Hong Kong baby
Registering a baby in Hong Kong. Plus baby news
Big day out
Let off steam in the New Territories at Castle Peak
A summer excursion in Mongolia. Plus travel news
Pork Bun in the Oven
Baby on board. Our expectant Mum navigates the MTR
Easter camps to keep the kids entertained
My Hong Kong
Retykle founder Sarah Garner. Plus make an Easter headband
The Harbour School, Garden Campus. Plus school news
Life & style
Beverage consultant and Dad, J Boroski on how he stays in touch whilst travelling
46 Things we’d buy Pinkies up. The perfect afternoon tea accessories
Egg-cellent Easter brunches
Scan and visit our website expat-parent.com
who’s in charge? Editorial firstname.lastname@example.org
… Our editorial assistant who reveals what it’s like to be pregnant for the first time in Hong Kong in her column Pork Bun in the Oven.
...Our Education Editor pays a visit to The Harbour School this month to check out the Garden Campus in Ap Lai Chau.
Rugby 7’s In or out? Out! After last year, it will be another couple of years before I can watch that much rugby and drink that much again!
Rugby 7’s In or out? OUT! I will be too pregnant and too sober to be within a whiff of the South Stand’s mayhem
Where will you be spending Easter? Binge eating too many chocolate eggs, feeling slight shame, but then repeat again for the full four days.
Where will you be spending Easter? In Macau as I’m semi-grounded. But at least there will be no flight delays, no time difference and no hassle. Silver lining?
Managing Editor Gemma Shaw
Contributing Editor Nicole Slater
Editorial Assistant Nicole Cooley
Editorial Assistant Becky Love
Digital Editor Apple Lee
Media Assistant Jeramy Lee
Design email@example.com Design Coordinator Sonia Khatwani
Sales & Marketing firstname.lastname@example.org Director of Partnerships Hilda Chan
Senior Sales and Marketing Executive Isamonia Chui
Sales and Marketing Executive Corrie Tang
Sales and Marketing Executive Mathew Cheung
Events email@example.com Event Executive Ran Chan
Operations firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant Operations Manager Charles Lau
Publisher Tom Hilditch email@example.com
Contact us Admin: 3568 3722 | Editorial: 2776 2773 | Advertising: 2776 2772
…Our contributing editor who discovered more about meeting like-minded Mums and Dads through a new tinder-like app.
…Our Managing Editor
Published by Hong Kong Living Ltd, L1 Kai Wong Commercial Building, 222 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong
Rugby 7’s? In or out? In. But no costumes.
Printer Apex Print Limited, 11-13 Dai Kwai Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, Tai Po, Hong Kong
Rugby 7’s? In or out? Out! I don’t think my liver will be able to cope, nor can my head deal with an active toddler the following day.
Where will you be spending Easter? We’re putting the new high speed rail link to the test. We’ll take the train to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in the Hunan province of China. The stunning scenery was the backdrop for the movie Avatar.
Where will you be spending Easter? Jetting off to Vietnamese beaches and eating yummy food with the family. And stuffing myself silly on Easter eggs.
about the cover A big thank you to our cover model this month, Winnie Rose who looks super cute in her Liberty London dress ($250) and Jacadi shoes ($190), both from Retykle. Winnie tops off the look with an adorable homemade headband by popular Instagrammer Ann-Marie (@myhongkongabc). Turn to page 32 to find out how to make these cute Easter bunny ears and more. 2 expat-parent.com
HONG KONG hongkongliving.com Expat Parent is published by Hong Kong Living Ltd. This magazine is published on the understanding that the publishers, advertisers, contributors and their employees are not responsible for the results of any actions, errors and omissions taken on the basis of information contained in this publication. The publisher, advertisers, contributors and their employees expressly disclaim all and any liability to any person, whether a reader of this publication or not, in respect of any action or omission by this publication. Expat Parent cannot be held responsible for any errors or inaccuracies provided by advertisers or contributors. The views herein are not necessarily shared by the staff or publishers. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.
APR 13 Hong Kong Living Easter Fair
Hong Kong Living will host an egg-tastic Easter fair complete with an easter egg hunt, bowling, craft workshops, games and much more. 12-4pm. Tickets $99 per child which includes free entry for two adults. Tikitiki Bowling Bar, 4/F, Centro, 1A Chui Tong Road, Sai Kung. hongkongliving.com/shop
what’s on APR 5-7
Hong Kong Rugby Sevens Rugby madness descends on Hong Kong for a weekend filled with chaos, excitement and lots of wacky costumes! Hong Kong Stadium, 55 Eastern Hospital Road, So Kon Po. hksevens.com
UNTIL APR 1
As Asia’s hub for contemporary art, Hong Kong invites a platform for international art lovers to join together and appreciate over 2,500 pieces of artwork. Opening times vary. 2-for-1 tickets including complimentary drinks for $270. Conrad Hong Kong, Pacific Place 88 Queensway. asiacontemporaryart.com
Students from ESF Primary Schools will come together to showcase their amazing singing talents. 7-9pm. Tickets start at $200. Queen Elizabeth Stadium, Morrison Hill. urbtix.hk
Asia Contemporary Art Show
UNTIL APR 13
Women’s Five Run & Fun Fitness Programme
ESF Primary Choral Concert 2019
This is a 14km race starting and ending in Tai Tam, compete against participants of the same age with prizes and trophies awarded in each category. Entry from $200. xterace.com
Also referred to as Tomb Sweeping Day, the traditional Chinese festival celebrates ancestors and another public holiday!
Ching Ming Festival
Bug Symphony: The Musical
Go on a journey of fitness with Women’s Five during their five week fitness programme to prepare for a 5km or 10km run. $800-880 for the run and fitness program, $390-420 for run only. Aberdeen Country Park. womensfive.com
Hear and see musical wonders in a bug’s world! Free pre-show activities include facepainting, kids’ tattoos and a live bug exhibition. Saturday 2.30pm and 7.30pm, Sunday 2.30pm. $250-550. Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall. bugsymphony.com
UNTIL APR 4
APR 7 & APR 28
The 43rd Hong Kong International Film Festival One of the largest cultural events in the city braces the cinematic scene. Tickets from $55. Several locations including the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and Hong Kong Science Museum. hkiff.org.hk
UNTIL APR 30
Paws by the Sea 2019 Take part in Paws by the Sea and a whole range of activities with Hong Kong’s first seaside doggie speed dating, a Guiness World Record attempt, a doggie wedding expo, Instagram opportunities for dogs, training, educational workshops and more. Free. email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
April Fool’s Day Pinch punch first of the month. Don’t get fooled! 8 expat-parent.com
Ladies’ Long Lunch Kick off the Rugby 7’s weekend and enjoy a fun-filled afternoon of glitz and glam with hosts, Penguins Rugby. Since 2010 this annual event has raised over $9 million for underprivileged children. Contact email@example.com for lastminute availability.
Bonaqua Action X SPRINT Trail Series Part of Hong Kong’s running scene since 2003, the 2019 sprints start with a 12km Sai Kung trail on April 7 and a 9 km and 12 km trail in Discovery Bay on April 28. actionasiaevents.com
John Mayer Asia Tour Experience John Mayer’s first live concert in Hong Kong. Tickets from $500. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai. livenation.hk
At a Crossroad? Back to Work or Be an Entrepreneur? Entrepreneur support groups and how and where to begin for Mums in Hong Kong. 10.30am-12.30pm. Paperclip Entrepreneur Campus, Sheung Wan. eventbrite.com
tell me more APR 13
Sonar Festival Pioneering festival from Barcelona celebrating music, creativity and technology. Workshop participation may be subject to additional fees. Hong Kong Science Park, Sha Tin. sonarhongkong.com
mum about town
Hong Kong International Schools World Fair The World Fair brings together the community to celebrate diversity with carnival games, a bouncy castle, used book sales, a World Cafe and more. Free complimentary bus available from Central, Southside and Ocean Park MTR. 11am-3pm. Free. Hong Kong International School, 1 Red Hill Road, Tai Tam. hkis.edu.hk
Forest Medicine Walk Restore, regenerate and reconnect with nature on this sensory forest walk completed with a tea ceremony using foraged tea leaves. 8.30am-12.30pm. $320 for individuals, $480 for pairs. Starting from Sai Kung. For tickets email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mums who lunch I’m looking forward to kicking off the three-day weekend with the Ladies’ Long Lunch. What could be better than a few hours of me time, filled with fine food and wine, champagne, diamonds, silent and live auctions. Oh, and did I mention champagne. There’s sure to be lots of giggles and the great thing is that its all for a worthy cause. Funds raised will go to children in need through The Christina Noble Children’s Foundation (CNCF). Champagne, here I come. Ladies’ Long Lunch: April 5. 12 noon-4pm. Email hongkong@cncf. org for last-minute availability. Grand Ballroom, Aberdeen Marina Club, 8 Sham Wan Road. ladieslonglunch.com
The Conscious Festival by Green Is The New Black A zero waste festival, fun and sustainable for all the family. With inspirational talks, markets, food stalls and live-music. Tickets from $185. Kerry Hotel, 38 Hung Luen Road, Hung Hom Bay. greenisthenewblack.com
The Lamma International v Boat Festival Hosted by The Lamma Dragons and Thirsty Horse, watch a day of friendly on-the-water competition, then join the celebrations at the beach-side after party! Tai Wan To Beach, Lamma Island. lamma500.com
Discovery Bay Sunday Market Pop on by and grab some goodies at this monthly waterfront market. 11am - 6:00 pm. Discovery Bay Plaza, Lantau. handmadehongkong.com
Rugby madness My sport-mad spouse has decided that the Rugby Sevens will be a family affair this year. Having a lazy day on a beach somewhere would be far more preferable to me than being in a crowd of costumeclad people, but family time is precious after all. I’m sure fate will be against me and the kids will quickly be enamoured by the rugby (or the fans). We’ll be sticking to the East or West stands rather than the notorious South stand. For when boredom does arise, the Festival at Lee Gardens will be our pitstop. There’ll be street performers, family fun and rugby action on the big screen. Everyone’s a winner. Except me. Hong Kong Rugby Sevens: April 5-7. Friday tickets from $350 and Saturday or Sunday tickets from $800. Hong Kong Stadium, 55 Eastern Hospital Road, Causeway Bay. hksevens.com expat-parent.com 9
whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on event space. irisyourescape.com
2-Day Cleanse with Heidi Poon Join this 2-day cleanse workshop to learn how diet can impact and support yoga practice as well as physical and mental wellness. With a mindful detox flow and chakra clearing meditation to purify mind and body. Standard price $1,618. Pure Yoga, Millennium City 5, 418 Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong. allnood.com
APR 28 Rooftop yoga at Komune
Mud Race 2019
Ploggers and Helpers Choice invite you to help clean up Lamma Island. 11am-3pm. Meet at Yung Shue Wan Ferry Pier. Free. Register at eventbrite.com
Enjoy the egg-tra long weekend!
Tackle seven muddy obstacles over a 3.5km or 6km course. Join as an individual or enter as a team. Ages 12 and up. 9am-6pm. Entry fees vary. Tai Tong Ecopark, Yuen Long. mudrace.com.hk
This two-day festival which celebrates health and wellness is back for its eighth edition. Enjoy yoga, meditation, fitness, a silent disco and a kids area. Saturday, 10.30am-9pm, Sunday, 9am-6pm. Single Day ticket $300, Weekend ticket $450. Central Harbourfront
Grammy winner and electro-pop pioneers, Kraftwerk, bring their 3D show to Hong Kong. 8pm. Tickets from $680. Star Hall, Kowloonbay International Trade & Exhibition Centre, 1 Trademart Drive, Kowloon Bay. livenation.hk
Lamma Island Hike Cleanup
Yes, you got it - let the four day weekend commence!
APR 17-18 Ed Sheeran
Now this is one we can all get excited about! Ed Sheeran, one of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best selling music artists, is coming to Hong Kong as part of his world tour. From $888. Fantasy Road Outdoor Venue, Disneyland. hkticketing.com
Rooftop yoga and brunch Fancy a different kind of free-flow? Enjoy a core flow rooftop yoga session led by Flex Studio at Above by Komune followed by a special healthy detox brunch which includes semi-buffet, main and desserts. 11am-3pm. $400. Komune, 64 Wong Chuk Hang Road. komune.com.hk
Kraftwerk 3D Show
BOOK NOW MAY 4
Chinese Academy Education and Admissions Seminar Join Chinese Academy education seminar “Effective Bilingual Immersion Strategies” and learn about the admissions process for the 2019/20 year. 2.30-4.30pm. Free. 77 Caroline Hill Road, Causeway Bay. caps.edu.hk
Shrewsbury International School Talk & Tour Learn more about Shrewsbury International School’s unique primary focused and purpose built facility for children aged three to 11 years. 10am. To book email email@example.com or call 2480 1500. shrewsbury.hk
Spartan Race Asia Yoga Conference
Test your endurance in the World’s
biggest obstacle race. Run, climb, push, pull and crawl through mud and barbed wire. Registration is now open for adults and kids. Ping Shan, New Territories. spartanrace.hk
Asia Yoga Conference
Bringing together yoga masters, teachers and students to inspire the ever-growing community of yogis. Expect workshops, exhibitions, classes and much more. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai. asiayogaconference.com
sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck turns eight
Free rides on the Ngong Ping cable car
series of deals from April 1 until June 30, including a 30% discount on tickets for all Hong Kong residents, simply present your HKID card. The lucky few whose HKID number includes an eight can enjoy a free No.8-themed drink at Café 100. For more information visit sky100.com.hk
Hong Kong kids take the dance world by storm
MusicSage first online music platform to offer SCRC verification
Photo courtesy of: sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck
Hong Kong’s only indoor observation deck, sky100 is celebrating its eighth birthday this month. The deck, which is located on the one hundredth floor of the International Commerce Centre (ICC), offers 360-degree views of the city as well as multimedia exhibits. To celebrate, sky100 will offer a
Students from Academy of Dance recently won a place to represent Hong Kong in the prestigious Dance World Cup Finals in Portugal from June 26 to July 5. The Hong Kong students will compete with over 20,000 dancers from 54 countries. Academy of Dance shapes young dancers into award winning national champions through their tailored Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop, and Contemporary dance programs. You can follow the students progress via social media at facebook.com/Academyofdancehk or on Instagram at @academyofdancehk 14 expat-parent.com
In March, MusicSage became the first online music tutor platform in Hong Kong to offer their tutors help in applying for the Sexual Conviction Record Check (SCRC). Tutors who do not have any criminal conviction records based on the SCRC results will receive a “SCRC Verified” badge on their
Residents who hold a valid Hong Kong Identity Card containing two out of the three digits; 3, 6 or 0 can get one free return ride on the Ngong Ping cable car during the month of June. The card holder will receive a free single or round trip in a standard cabin, whilst three travellers in the same group will receive 20 percent off a single or round trip. The ride must be booked at least two days in advance through the official Ngong Ping website. The free or discounted rates will be first come, first served for the first 30 people each day. np360.com.hk
profiles, offering parents greater peace of mind when selecting the right tutor for their children. The SCRC is a scheme administered by the Hong Kong Police Force to check an individual’s criminal conviction record against a specified list of sexual offences. musicsage.io
me & my big idea
Me & My Big Idea Ekta Tejwani shares how she founded Mumz, a tinder-like friend finding app for Mums and Dads. Nicole Cooley reports. it has not been easy. We all need a support network and all the mothers I’ve been in touch with have been supportive and encouraging. It’s been a team effort.
Tell us about the importance of having a parenting community? There are two aspects - one is that it’s important for kids to have friends for exposure and to connect with other families. The second is more hidden, it’s to help parents feel strong, to feel ok both mentally and emotionally. Becoming a mother, your mindset changes. Overnight you change from that person on the plane who is visibly annoyed at a crying baby to someone who completely understands how exhausted the parents must be.
You also support a cause, tell us more about this?
So what’s the big idea? Mumz is a Hong Kong-based mobile social platform for parents to be able to find, meet and connect with other like-minded parents based on their location, kid’s age, common interests and times that are most convenient to them. The aim is to build a community of mothers (and fathers!) so that no one has to do it alone.
How did the idea come about? When I came to Hong Kong, it was not an easy journey. Back home I’d always been surrounded by family but here I just had single friends and couple friends, I didn’t know any other mums. My only support system was Google. Little things started to build up and I realised I wanted to do something about it. Plus, I would get really jealous seeing my single tinder-loving friends swipe right. 16 expat-parent.com
How did you make it happen? I began with a Facebook group called Meet Mumz - Let’s build it together, in June 2018. From here, I have held over 50 events ranging from playdates to speech therapy classes for mums and families, both free and paid. This culminated into the recent soft launch of our Mumz app, supported through crowdfunding. We held a Spring Bazaar to celebrate the launch on March 15.
What have been the challenges of setting up the app? I always think of the iceberg analogy. I may look like superwoman, but behind the image
Part of the proceeds raised from crowdfunding went to help Children of the World, an NGO based in Delhi, India. They run the Mamta Childcare Centre and support The Pragati Sponsorship Project, providing loving care, nutrition and education to children in need. We are so privileged here in Hong Kong, so it was important that I could give something back to my roots.
What is your motto for life? My mantra for personal success in life is from an old boss, and it’s really stuck with me. It’s this ‘When you go home, you know you’ve done your professional best at work and when you come to work, you know you’ve left a happy family at home.’
What’s the plan for 2019? By the end of this year, I hope to add two more features to the app. One will be a what’s on feature sharing events for families, mums and kids by location. The second will be focused around support for mumtrepreneurs. I hope to take this even further in 2020. The Mumz app can be downloaded for free at meetmumz.com
Reduce single use plastic with a dragon in need Nicole Cooley meets author Suzanne Younan as she launches her new book, The Green Dragon
So what’s the story about? It’s a story of modern times. A young boy bravely helps a dragon in need and listens to a difficult story of how the other characters are harmed by plastic pollution in the waters around Hong Kong. Touched by the plight of these characters and in spite of challenges ahead, the boy is inspired and reaches out to his community and takes action. The story encourages children to make changes to reduce single use plastic in their lives as well as to encourage those around them. The book has an educational page at the back to prompt parents, teachers and adults in general to have a discussion with their children about the changes they can make to improve our environment. There are helpful hints and tips on what changes you can make also. 18 expat-parent.com
Where did the inspiration come from? We have all seen dreadful images of sea creatures harmed or killed by plastic in our oceans. I realised very early on in my own ‘plastic journey’ that we need to educate children with characters they can relate to and feel empathy for. Many are not fully aware of the impact of plastic on our marine creatures.
How did your ‘plastic journey’ begin? Much of the drive behind the book came about from creating a volunteer organisation in the dragon boat community. Being a keen paddler and on the water several times per week, I noticed the plastic pollution in the ocean and on the beaches immediately.
After Typhoon Hato back in 2017 the reality of the enormous amount of plastic washed up on the beach was very hard to ignore. It was something that impacted me immensely. Something you cannot un-see or walk away from.
How did you start making changes? I decided to take action and engage the dragon boat community to make some simple changes to reduce single use plastic in the sport. Green Dragons HK now has a following of over 600 on social media and we have over 500 paddlers committed to ‘paddle without plastic’. If you are interested to know more about this organisation please go to facebook.com/ GreenDragonsHK
book review Tell us a bit more about yourself? I’m a mother myself and moved to Hong Kong with my husband, son and family dog, back in 2014. I’m originally from the UK and have lived several times each in the USA, Germany and now Hong Kong. I’ve always been passionate about nature and our environment. I’m a regular hiker, a dragon boater and I play tennis.
What really drives you nuts about Hong Kong? Waste management!
What’s been your favourite part of writing and publishing the book? This is my first book, it’s been a huge learning curve. I loved working with the illustrator, Caroline Lewington. I had each character in my head and being hopeless at drawing myself, Caroline worked very well with me to extract them and bring them to life. I’m delighted with the illustrations, she captured everything!
Where will The Green Dragon go next? The Green Dragon will stay in Hong Kong for now but I have some new, fun friends to introduce to the children in the next book!
What is your motto in life? If you are going to do something, then do it to the best of your ability.
The Green Dragon is available at Swindon Books, Bookazine, Hong Kong Book Centre, Book Wise, Kelly & Walsh, Kidnapped, Bleak House Books or online at dracoviridi.com
HK Baby News Indigo Living reveals new spring/summer decor for kids
Trailblazers in the world of interiors, Indigo Living invited guests in-store during early March to celebrate their new spring/summer Indigo Kids SP19 collection. Tracy Fitzpatrick, Indigo Living CEO said of the collection, “Our two key Indigo Kids SP19 trends are Ocean Cool and Butterfly Bloom which are all about creating imaginative wonderlands in children’s bedrooms and playrooms and matching it with Scandi style furniture pieces. The Scandinavian Style is also currently a big trend all over the world and focuses on both functionality and simplicity. Our trends come with a colour palette of muted pastels, hues of blue and touches of mustard yellow. Natural and tactile materials like wool, cotton, velvet and knits are also big this season.” The new collection can be viewed in-store at selected locations or online at indigo-living.com
Cot mattresses fail to pass European safety standards Hong Kong Customs alerted members of the public in late March to the potential suffocation and pinching hazards to infants posed by several models of cot mattress. Customs officers conducted territory-wide spot check operations and seized 59 suspected unsafe cot mattresses. These included 0/3 Baby, Minimoto and Candide which failed to pass tests on firmness and durability which could lead to suffocation should infants roll face down onto the mattress. Customs advised parents to buy mattresses
with the appropriate firmness. Members of the public may report information relating to suspected unsafe toys or children’s products via Customs’ 24-hour hotline on 2545 6182.
Cigogne BeBe launches new Dino Collection
Easter concert for babies
Cigogne Bebe, (Cigogne is the French word for ‘stork’), have recently launched their new and fun Dino Collection. The collection is for boys and girls and is inspired by the wonderful world of prehistoric giants, with items such as spike knit rompers and hoodies, dino party sweaters, pants, bibs and blankets. A great way to inspire the little ones imaginations and creativity and a more practical option than having them live in their Spiderman costume or Frozen Elsa dress. Sizes range from newborn to 18 months. Stores are located in Wan Chai and Sheung Wan. cigognebebe.com
Orff 4 Kids - Concert 4 Babies is Hong Kong’s only interactive concert specifically designed for infants from newborn to two years old. Little ones senses are in for a treat with lively stage performances, percussion and singing. The concerts will be held at 11am, 2pm and 4pm daily on April 20 and 21. The show runs for 45 minutes and tickets are $180 per person, held at Little Smudges Theatre. 1211, 12/F, Vanta Industrial Centre, 21-33 Tai Lin Pai Road, Kwai Chung. orff4kids.com expat-parent.com 21
And you thought giving birth was the tricky bit... Amelia Sewell on the legalities of registering your baby in Hong Kong So, check the registry have heard from the hospital and then book an appointment either by calling or going online. Slots are usually available the next working day from Monday to Saturday. The system works as one appointment per baby so if you have twins, you will need to make two appointments. To speed up your visit to the registry, they recommend that parents go online (at least one day before the appointment) and enter the relevant birth information. It’s not compulsory but it will mean a little less hanging around on the day.
Who needs to go?
ollowing the joy of bringing a new life into this world, there is a bit of admin to do in order to make the baby official. Here is a blow-byblow account of how to register the birth and apply for a visa after delivering in a Hong Kong hospital.
Time frame You have got one year to register a child’s birth before the authorities get cross. If you register the birth within 42 days of arrival, they give you a small prize for promptness in the form of no charges. After 42 days and before one year, the charge is $140. After one year, they start to get grumpy and give you lots more hoops to jump through and fees to pay. So the advice is to get this out of the way before the first birthday - and 22 expat-parent.com
ideally within those 42 days. Once the baby is born, the hospital will give you something called a birth return, which has basic details of the baby’s birth. At the same time, they will also notify the birth registry of your new arrival. They usually do this within a few days. Which district registry office your child is registered to depends on which hospital you delivered in. Check this with the hospital to make sure you go to the right one.
Book an appointment The next step is to book an appointment to complete the registration. Do not make this appointment until the registry can confirm that they have received the notification from the hospital as, if they haven’t, you will have a wasted trip. A call to 2824 6111 can confirm this.
The babies themselves are not required at the registration of their birth and if you want a stress free experience, you should leave them at home if possible as the appointment can take a few hours and, despite this being the place to register newborns, there are no feeding or changing facilities provided. Thanks Hong Kong… If parents are married, only one need attend (though see note below about HKID). If the parents are not married and you would like the father acknowledged on the birth certificate, it is easiest if both parents attend (you can still achieve this without both attending but it is complicated and requires a court order to confirm paternity. Lots of hassle). If one parent does not have a HKID, again both will need to attend.
What to take Take original copies of all documents listed below. It is also advisable to take two photocopies of all the appropriate documents along, as you are likely to be asked for them. There is a photocopier onsite but there could be a queue, or it could be broken. So save the faff and come prepared.
Married parents If the parents are married and both have HKID, you will need to take originals of –
hk baby •
Your marriage certificate. If this is not in Chinese or English, a certified translation is required Both parents’ HK permanent identity cards or (for those without PR) both HKID and passports/relevant travel documents The birth return issued by the hospital
Unmarried parents • In lieu of a marriage certificate, nonmarried parents need to take separate statutory declarations (one from each of you) stating your desire for the father to be included on the birth registration document • Both parents’ HK permanent identity cards or (for those without PR) both HKID and passports/relevant travel documents • The birth return issued by the hospital Assuming you have taken along all the correct documents, you will be issued with a birth certificate to take away that day. In order to future proof any potential problems, it is highly recommended that you request some additional certified copies at $140 each. You will also be issued with a form called
an ID235B which is the Permit to Remain and is needed for the visa application (see below).
Passports Being born here does not automatically entitle the child to a Hong Kong passport. The immigration department states that only those with Chinese nationality and permanent residency are eligible to apply for a Hong Kong passport. So the majority of expats will need to apply to their home countries for their baby’s travel document.
Visa Once a foreign country has issued a passport for the baby, parents can apply for a dependent visa, which will give the child the right to reside. If either you, or your husband work for a large company with an HR department, they might well do this bit for you; if that is not the case, then you need to make an appointment with the immigration department by calling 2824 6111. They do take a small amount of walk-in appointments each day but these people probably queued from the crack of dawn.
For your appointment, you should take the following • Birth certificate (original and copy) • Child’s travel document (original and copy) • Copy of both parents’ travel documents (including visa page) • Copy of both parents’ HKID • Copy of parents’ marriage certificate • Form ID 235B (issued with birth certificate) • Completed Endorsement of Travel form Like most immigration appointments, you should go to the fifth floor of Immigration Tower and prepare for the process to take a few hours. Take a book, or Expat Parent magazine.
Births and Deaths General Register Office firstname.lastname@example.org info.gov.hk/immd 2824 6111
C ST OV O ER RY
Easter camps The best camps for kids and teens this spring break
Hong Kong Academy
Hong Kong Institute of Languages HK Institute of Languages, a registered education centre of 34 years, is offering a culturally enriched language programme this Easter in French, German and English for four to 12 year olds. Children will learn about the key aspects of each culture through language-based fun and educational learning activities, inclusive of festivals, cuisine, famous places, painting, literature, art and family trees. Choice of half day or full day curriculums. hklanguages.com Hong Kong Academy is hosting drama, sports and STEAM camps this Easter. Continue with current interests or explore a new one. Camps are for ages two all the way up to 15 years to keep the kids busy during the break. hkacademy.edu.hk
Hong Kong Parkview The perfect entertainment for your children during the Easter holidays â&#x20AC;&#x201C; recreational, educational and fun! Camps are held 24 expat-parent.com
between April 15-26 and include multisport, tennis, swimming, hands-on science experiments and rock climbing, for kids aged 18 months and up. Enjoy a 10% early bird discount if full payment is made by April 5. hongkongparkview.com
YWCA Centre of Learning and Life Enhancement Challenge the mind, brain and body in one of the 100 Easter Camps available from the YWCA International Kids Club. Opportunities range from tennis to playing junior scientist. With hundreds of options to choose from, YWCA has one of the most comprehensive
R VE Y O R C TO S
fun of language, art and writing. Also back by popular demand, Upper Primary Author Writing Workshop - taught by award-winning author K. T. Durham - will be returning for one class only during Spring Camp, 2326 April. Spring camps available at ESF Language & Learning Centre, Kowloon Junior School, Renaissance College, and their Tsing Yi and Wu Kai Sha Kindergartens. esf.org.hk/camps lists around. Camps include the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy Easter Camp for three to seven year olds ($1,880 for four sessions), Coding Workshops for five to 12 year olds ($1,440 for two sessions), Easter Gymnastics & Trampoline Day Camp for three to 10 year olds ($460 per session), and the ever popular Little Scientists for three to nine year olds ($665 per session). Dates vary according to the camp. clle.ywca.org.hk
Woodland Pre-Schools Sign your kids up for an egg-citing spring break at Woodland. Packed with fun activities like egg hunts and flower pot decorating, this easter camp is a great departure from your typical academic camps. Your kids can even take home carrot muffins they bake. For kids aged three to seven, from April 15-26. woodlandschools.com
First Code Academy
Malvern College Pre-School
Get your geek on and find your inner computer whiz with one of First Code Academy’s Easter camps. The camps offer kids aged four and above the opportunity to turn their computer ideas into reality; from building apps, website, games and hardware projects. Camps are suitable for both beginner and intermediate leveled coders. Running from April 5-26. Easter camps will be available across their Sheung Wan, Kowloon and Causeway Bay locations. Starting at $3,000. Special bundle offers available when you sign up to more than one camp at a time. hk.firstcodeacademy.com
Malvern Easter Day Camp is a great opportunity for children to develop their communication and language skills, whilst making new friends. Sessions will include Thematic Reading, Phonics Fun, Arts & Crafts, My Little Theatre, Sing Along and Physical Play. From April 15-18, morning sessions of Where is the Easter Egg? will run from 9am-12 noon and Easter Fun! is from 1-4pm. $3,200 for four morning or afternoon sessions. malvernpreschool.hk
Baumhaus An indoor, age-specific Easter camp designed to encourage a productive and enjoyable learning experience for kids, from newborns to six year olds. It’s a flexible programme, starting at $300 for one day playroom access plus one class. The camps will run April 15-18. Available at both Wan Chai and Harbour City locations. baumhaus. com.hk
ActiveKids Hong Kong Welcoming children aged three to 17, ActiveKids has a variety of scientific camps to choose from and is a great choice for children who love to solve puzzles. By engaging your kids in activities such as machine building, chess showdowns and robotic coding, it stimulates their mind and improves their problem solving skills. Held April 15-26, from $650 per session. activekidshk.com
Southside Mandarin are hosting a fun, all activities camp from April 15-18 for kids aged 2.5 to 12. Children will be immersed in a Putonghua environment learning about Easter and Chinese culture, with STEM for the primary school ages. Language lessons will be followed by Wushu, Chinese dance, PTH Art and Calligraphy. There will of course be an Easter egg hunt and Easter egg painting. southsidemandarin.com
Bricks 4 Kidz Based in Sai Kung and Causeway Bay, Bricks 4 Kidz delivers educational classes using
Fairchild Junior Academy
ESF Language & Learning Join ESF for an exciting four days of fun and adventure as they explore a variety of super stories. Suitable for children two to 16 years old, creative ones can experience the
Great for children who are interested in technology such as coding, but also have a creative streak, Fairchild Junior Academy’s Creative Coding Director Camp can exemplify their talents in both areas. By getting their hands on Tublock pieces they can build their very own robot, control it through coding and shoot on animation. fairchild.academy expat-parent.com 25
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LEGO® bricks. Their Easter camp will be held April 15-26 every morning for toddlers aged 2.5 to five years old and afternoons for kids aged four to 12. Kids can explore architecture, engineering and technology concepts in themes such as famous places, city engineers and brick critters. Discounts of up to 20% available before April 9. bricks4kidz.com.hk
Classes are held at Hong Kong Academy, One Island South and Olympian City One. creativecoding.hk
Awaken the adventurous and curious side of your child with Ark Eden’s Easter camp. This camp is set in the beautiful Mui Wo valley on Lantau Island, where children get to learn in the natural playground and outdoor classroom. Expect nature exploration, problem solving, bush crafts, imaginative games, overnight camping and more. Running from April 15-26, starting at $670 (multi-day package discount available). Children aged five to 11 are welcome to join the adventure. arkedenonlantau.org
OUTDOORS Treasure Island Creative Coding Children aged five to 15 are encouraged to tinker and explore in STEAM based camps from Creative Coding. Their range of courses in coding, robotics and game design teach students to develop the 4 C’s of Creativity, Collaboration, Communication and Critical thinking - essential skills for the future.
Treasure Island will have children embark on an epic adventure around Pui O Beach this Easter. Children will develop outdoor leadership skills such as trip preparation, equipment and material checks and group organisation. Kayaking, gorging, raft building, hiking and an overnight expedition are just some of the exciting activities on offer. Running April 15-19 and April 22-26. treasureislandhk.com
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A Team Edventures Unleash your wild side with A Team Edventure’s action-packed Easter camp. The outdoor education organisation teaches children sports and leadership skills, both crucial later on life. Camps last three days and two nights out at Tai Long Sai Wan and sees adventurers take on stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, surfing, canyoning plus many other team games. April 19-21. ateamedventures.com
CREATIVE ARTS Faust International Be inspired by the wonderful world of theatre and performing arts with Faust International’s Holiday programs. This year, Faust will offer a Holiday Theatre (open to ages four to 12), and Creative Writing (open to ages six to 13) programmes, inviting budding actors and writers to explore a selection of stories, such as The Tiddler and The Little Mermaid. All Easter programmes will be held at their Sheung Wan studio. Both programmes run for four days and cost $2,400 per person. April 15-18 and 23-26. A further one day workshop ($890), Play in a Day, will be held April 13. faustworld.com
Elephant Community Press
Hong Kong Ballet
Shaping budding authors and avid young readers, these Easter workshops aim to instill the foundations of good storytelling and creative writing. Running April 15-18 and 23-26. Camps on offer include the Easter Storyland for ages four to six; an Independent Writing and Selfpublishing workshop is for ages eight to 13 and many more. elephantcommunitypress.com
Put on your dancing shoes and take a high flying adventure to Neverland with Peter Pan. Hong Kong Ballet are holding a threeday theatre camp which will take children aged four to 10 on a magical journey of theatrical ballet, culminating in a charming performance for parents. April 19-21. Prices start at $1,500. hkballet.com
Community Service Week May 4th - 12th 2019
www.serveathonhk.org.hk - visit the ‘calendar’ page to volunteer +852 2481-8092 email@example.com g
Champion Media Partner
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SPORTS Hong Kong Basketball Academy Get your head in the game with Hong Kong Basketball Academyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (HKBA) Easter camps for boys and girls. HKBAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s camps are renowned for their high intensity, funfilled learning environment, with campers developing fundamentals and basketball IQ, improving strength and conditioning, and being more successful on the court. Running April 15-18. Priced at $500 per class. hkbaallday.com
Minisport A great way to get the children active this spring break. Minisports coaching style at camps ensures that children are engaged in dynamic activities that develop skills and build confidence across basketball, football, tennis, athletics, bats & rackets. Camps held at Victoria Park, West Island School, Repulse Bay Beach, Tseung Kwan O and Discovery Bay. Open to ages 1.5 to nine years old. April 15-26. Price starting at $1,500. minisport.hk
ESF Sports ESF Sports Spring Camps are offering a stimulating power packed programme filled with active games and engaging activities for children aged two to seven. Children will be grouped by age to develop their skills whilst
playing and making new friends in an inclusive and nurturing environment. Spring Camps will be running at Kowloon Junior School, Renaissance College and West Island School from April 23-26. esf.org.hk/camps
Sport4kids Multi-activity camps for ages two to 10 years old. Activities all lead by Sport4kids coaches who love what they do and include sports, games, crafts and more. Your kids will be beaming with excitement to come back to camp each day! Camp dates from April 1530 at various locations. From $500 for two morning sessions. For a 10% discount on Hong Kong Academy and Safari Kid camps, use code #Living10 on sport4kids.hk
My Hong Kong Sarah Garner is founder of Retykle, a Hong Kong based platform for buying and selling desginer secondhand children’s fashion I only planned to stay in Hong Kong for two years, this year I’ll have been here for 12. As fate would have it, I met my husband here and we started a family. I love this city, it has a dynamic energy and the ability to harmoniously combine fabulous Chinese culture alongside many other international customs and cultures. Fashion has always been my calling. I moved to Hong Kong to work for Lane Crawford as a buyer for womenswear. Before that, I lived in Toronto and worked for a fashion company called Holt Renfrew, Canada’s version of Lane Crawford. 32 expat-parent.com
As with many women, my priorities changed when I had my first child. I felt compelled to find a more meaningful side to my career in fashion, even if that meant creating it. My son, Henry is now four years old and my daughter Olympia is two. They both wear second hand clothing from Retykle, I want to teach my children from a young age that second hand is as good, if not better than new. When I was pregnant with Henry, friends gave me bagfuls of clothes that their children had outgrown, this is when the idea for a new way to exchange sparked.
Retykle models getting excited for Easter
PEOPLE DIY Easter Headband Winnie tops off her look with an adorable homemade Easter headband by Hong Kong Instagrammer, AnnMarie. For more arts and crafts ideas for kids follow Ann-Marie @myhongkongabc. What you need: • Old egg cartons • Coloured felt • Coloured card • Pom-poms • Pipe cleaners • An old alice band or some ribbon Bunny ears - Fold a long pipe-cleaner in half. Then holding it at both ends push your hands together gently to make a bunny ear shape. Do this twice. Attach the ears directly to the base of the alice band or ribbon. If using an alice band, position the ears centrally and twist the ends to secure. If using ribbon, cut a strip of card with snippets at the top for grass. Use glue to secure the card (in front) and the ears (behind) the ribbon. For eggs-tra Easter bling, layer your bunny ears with flowers, leaves, pompoms and carrots until the base is covered. Flowers and leaves - Cut pink, yellow, white and blue felt into petal shapes of different sizes, and cut leaves out of green felt or card. Glue these to the headband and secure with a pom-pom.
Left: Ralph Lauren Cardigan ($190) and Janie & Jack Dress ($190), right: Ralph Lauren Cardigan ($190) and dress ($250), Jacadi Shoes ($290). retykle.com
I launched Retykle in 2016. The idea is simple. You have clothes which are in great condition but that are too small for your children. Retykle can assess the quality of the clothing, and resell all those that meet our criteria at up to 90 per cent off their original prices. Those that don’t make the cut are donated to one of our many local children’s charity partners. The seller receive 50 per cent of the sale price in cash, or 55 per cent in Retykle credit.
from across the globe, our top Retykled brands continue to be Bonpoint, Jacadi and Ralph Lauren. Hong Kong embraces entrepreneurs. It is easy to get started and Hong Kong supports the growth of domestically established businesses through a growing and nurturing startup ecosystem.
We recently added maternity to our collection. This is another area where the required lifespan of the garment is so shortlived, and so it can be passed on to extend the wear.
There is definitely a shift in consumers opting for experiences over ‘quantity of things’. I believe resale is going to become more widely adopted and accepted. Retykle focuses on the kids’ market as this can be a particularly wasteful sector.
We receive a lot of baby clothing. New parents receive a lot of gifts and can tend to over-indulge themselves due to the excitement of preparing for a new baby. Although we have over 1,100 designer brands
Expat Parent’s fabulous cover this month was shot by Jenna Potter for Retykle, Winnie the cover model is dressed headto-toe in Retykle. For more information visit retykle.com
Daffodils - Use nail scissors to cut out individual egg slots from the egg carton. Round the ends to look like petals. The smaller section of the egg carton can be glued inside to form the trumpet of the flower. If you want to be fancy, add pipe-cleaners inside the trumpet to make little stamens. Carrots - Cut a triangle out of orange card. Roll this into a cone shape and glue along one of the outside edges to secure. Twist small pieces of a green pipe-cleaner and glue inside the larger end of the cone to make the carrot top. For step-by-step instructions, visit retykle.com/blogs/retykle-blog
ALL ABOARD THE ESF THROUGH-TRAIN
Spring brought a big announcement from the ESF schools. Hong Kong’s largest provider of English education has confirmed that from 2020, all students who have attended since the first year of ESF kindergarten will be guaranteed a place at both a primary and secondary school. No further interviews, no further assessments. The small print point is that children must be deemed eligible for mainstream, English education. But assuming that is not an issue, prospective students will be assessed prior to kindergarten entry and, if successful, be sure of a place until Year 13. Belinda Greer, CEO for ESF, commented that this approach “gives parents certainty about their child’s educational journey and removes stress from what can be a difficult, uncertain process.” esf.edu.hk
Nord Anglia International School becomes IB School
Nord Anglia International School Hong Kong has passed the IB verification in record time and will be authorised to become an IB School. Their report contained 14 commendations in preparing for the IB, with an emphasis on the quality of teachers, the extensive training provided and the wide choice of subjects available. The IB
Diploma Programme will become part of their curriculum, following the English National Curriculum IGCSEs. Principal Brian Cookin states, “In my experience, this pattern gives the greatest success for the largest number of students and prepares them well for the next stage.” The IBDP will be offered from August 2019. nais.hk
The Harbour School wrestlers win gold at National competition
The Harbour School (THS) recently took 28 wrestlers to compete in the annual Singapore 36 expat-parent.com
National Trials 2019, where 19 wrestlers from the school won matches, accumulating 10 bronze, six silver and three gold medals. Additionally, two wrestlers won Wrestler of the Tournament titles in their weight categories. There were many highlights to the team’s performance including Lincoln Loennborn, who pushed up in weight to the Under 10, 55 - 60 kilogram category and won gold. In his first ever wrestling tournament, Nathan Kim in the under 13, 57 - 62 kilogram category also won gold. “The coaches are extremely proud of the resilience and determination shown by all of our wrestlers” said Julian Buck, wrestling coach and physical education coordinator at THS.
Summer school scholarships in the UK Oxford Royale Academy (ORA) is a provider of summer schools at some of the world’s most prestigious institutions. Students can choose from over 150 courses, each one giving them the cultural experience of living and studying at an Oxford or Cambridge University college, whilst sampling a career such as medicine or law, or learning about AI and blockchain. Now, ORA are combining their roots in Oxbridge heritage with the Ivy League and launching a two-week Yale programme this summer. To celebrate the launch, ORA are offering two scholarships, each worth nearly $50,000, for students aged between 13 and 18. Those wanting to apply should submit a personal statement (to the email below) of no more than 500 words, explaining what impact they believe the scholarship would have on their future. The closing date for applications is April 10. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. oxford-royale.co.uk
Malvern welcomes Carrie Lam for grand opening Though the first students arrived last August, March was the moment for the grand opening of Malvern College Hong Kong (MCHK). To officiate at this important occasion, the school welcomed Chief Executive Carrie Lam who unveiled the plaque marking the occasion. In her speech, Ms Lam said, “Schools such as Malvern College Hong Kong expand our educational horizons and our imagination. They make our city even more attractive to global businesses. In doing so, they affirm our status as Asia’s world city. I have no doubt that the school, its students and Hong Kong will excel deep into this 21st century of opportunity and boundless promises.” MCHK is located next to the Science Park in the New Territories. It has capacity for 1000 primary and secondary pupils, with an overall teacher to student ratio of 1:10. www.malverncollege.org.hk
Growing leaders of the future
Amelia Sewell visits The Harbour School, Garden Campus in Ap Lei Chau
n a tour of the Harbour School’s high school campus, visitors should prepare to be amazed and impressed at every turn: catering for grades 9-12 and known as the Garden, it is not a typical secondary school. Part of their mission statement declares that the school “redefines the secondary schooling experience” and it would be wrong to imagine that this is a hollow sentiment dreamed up for glossy marketing material. Even purely in appearance, the school feels more like a mix between a British sixth form college and a contemporary co-working space. In lieu of uniforms and large formal classrooms, there are lots of break out spaces and small collaborations; in place of the usual art, the walls are papered with updates on each student’s independent study program (more on that later), the topics of which are as broad as they are varied. The person at the helm is also not a typical Hong Kong head. Last year, THS appointed Dr. Elizabeth Micci as the high school principal. A highly knowledgeable, deeply impassioned educator with a PhD in Education Leadership, I can almost guarantee that she will be the youngest secondary school principal you have ever set your eyes on. So it is clear that from every angle, THS is re-evaluating the expectations of what constitutes a school and the ways in which they can improve education for today’s students. Micci originally came to THS whilst completing her doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a course that lead her to research schools with innovative programmes. “Of all the schools I researched, THS was, in my opinion, making the most authentic strides toward creating a learning environment that would help students thrive in the modern world,” she says. The modern world is what THS is all about and as such, their model of teaching deviates from most traditional programmes, as it works to focus on skills tailored to the 21st century. When discussing how
progressive, modernised schools are received, Micci has this to say “I think people sometimes dismiss progressive models as high-risk environments […] but I honestly believe it is riskier to not question how processes and systems we have relied upon in schools for generations have become seriously outdated; they put our students at risk of being unprepared for the world we live in now.” So THS is not progressive just for the sake of being different and if there are traditional practices that effectively support their aims, then they will be included in the curriculum. But they also spend a lot of time researching other practices, cautious of
operating a certain way just because ‘that’s how schools have always been’. Because of this forward-thinking approach, those more accustomed to a traditional school environment may find themselves unsure of what to expect from the curriculum. In practice, it is an American curriculum where students are given the opportunity to curate their own course of study in a manner normally seen at university. Each term, students choose from a series of options, under the guidance of their academic advisor who teaches them how to build and track an academic programme, completing core requirements and selecting electives around their interests expat-parent.com 39
schools and the careers they might want to pursue. Such autonomy and individualised learning is rare in most international curricula. Jadis Blurton is the founder and head of THS as a whole. As an educational psychologist, she believes that a core element to a successful school is respect. “Teenagers respond incredibly well to respect. If you give it to them they will continue to want to earn it. We place the bar high and they work hard to achieve it because they don’t want to lose it,” she says. One of the core parts of the curriculum that demonstrates this approach of autonomy combined with real world challenges is the independent study module (ISM). Students are challenged to consider a topic in which they have a strong interest; they then research it, put it into action and present their results. It takes place over a full school year so it requires in-depth work and commitment. And crucially the theme is one that they have chosen themselves. “Here you see a lot of kids who are really passionate for what they’re doing. That doesn’t mean they like every single thing. But we give them a lot of respect for their choices and that self-determination gives them a passion,” Blurton explains.
PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE Dr Elizabeth Micci, high school principal at The Harbour School, The Garden campus takes the hot seat
What sets the Harbour School apart as far as secondary education in HK? The Harbour School’s high school curriculum preoccupies itself with how to make an educational experience as valuable as possible for students in the world we live in today, as opposed to the world of 100 years ago when most academic programs were devised. We understand that in a time when so much knowledge for acquiring skills is available online, schools needs to have a value proposition beyond simply purveying content. Can you give us an insight into the curriculum? Students graduate from THS with an
And the real satisfaction of a curriculum like this is seeing your work come to life. Last year, this happened on a significant scale with the school’s project development (PD) course, a programme which the whole school takes part in with the intention of developing their collaborative and entrepreneurial skills, again on a tangible, real-world topic. In this case, the students decided to partner with a Kenyan children’s hospital that lacked any teaching facilities to keep their young patients learning whilst receiving treatment. THS students designed a school building according to the hospital’s needs, built a 3D model, calculated the cost of construction, pitched the idea and then raised money for the construction. A selection of students were then lucky enough to fly to Kenya to be present for the breaking of ground ceremony and the realisation of their work. This year they are working on a coffee importing business from South America, dealing with growers, buyers, budgets and HK customs officials. Though the Garden campus is not physically the same size as many Hong Kong secondary schools, it is only a short walk around the corner from THS’s main Grove
American diploma. We are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and our diploma is translatable to universities outside of the US. What is unique about our programme is how we package the curriculum. Many of our courses are co-taught by faculty from diverse disciplines, both to teach students how content interacts authentically in the real world and to give them diverse opportunities to access that content. The course Angles, Art, and Mathematics is a great example of such an offering. Taught by faculty from the art and maths departments, it teaches geometry as it pertains to visual art and figure drawing. What are you particularly proud of at THS? I believe the pastoral care at THS is second to none. Our small size definitely facilitates us being able to attend very closely to the needs of students as individuals. But beyond that the entire academic programme orients towards teaching the students that we have right in front of us. Rather than prioritise churning through content, the teachers see themselves as curators of an experience and they work incredibly hard to know their students’ strengths and areas of development so that they are being authentically cultivated as individuals. What’s your teaching background/interest in education? I started my education career in Teach for America working at a 3,500-student high school in Houston, Texas. I pursued my
campus in Ap Lei Chau. The high school students therefore have access to a large number of impressive resources, including the Marine Science Centre and the Foundry, both state-of-the-art facilities. The lagoon swimming pool is due for completion this summer and in the meantime, they make use of the public sports facilities in Ap Lei Chau. The concept of size is often a thing that THS is asked about, perhaps because many people see success as defined by how big something is. Currently the high school has 65 students and whilst it has grand plans to challenge accepted models of education, it does not intend to do this by churning out high numbers of graduates. Instead, it aims to grow at a steady rate until it reaches its capacity of around 200. “Even though we have space to take more students in the high school, we need to grow at a gradual rate so that we can quality control,” says Micci. This is clearly a school that is more concerned with quality than quantity; a school that reassuringly is more interested in the depth of their students’ learning rather than the number of bums on seats, which makes the Harbour School a true Hong Kong rarity. ths.edu.hk
Doctor of Education Leadership at Harvard’s education school because the programme had an interdisciplinary focus and I was interested in applying management and organisational behaviour research traditionally found in business programmes to the work of school leaders. I then came to THS to finish my research because I was interested in what management skills and systems were necessary to codify best practice in such an innovative model. I still think the real magic happens in the classroom and I don’t like to be too far from it. I still teach courses at our high school because it keeps me grounded in the most challenging aspect of this work. What do you enjoy most about Hong Kong? I have been stunned by the topography of this city from the moment I moved here. I love the fact that I can climb the Peak in the morning, be at the beach in the afternoon, and then back in the middle of a thriving, cosmopolitan city by the evening. What do you do when you’re not at school? One thing I’ve derived a lot of joy from in the last three cities I’ve lived in is participating in community theatre projects. Not only has volunteering on and back stage taught me an incredible range of skills that are useful in my work, I’ve found that theatre brings together such diverse groups of people - so many personalities and professions to learn from.
life & style
Raising the bar with Joseph Boroski Beverage consultant and busy dad-of-two talks to Apple Lee about travelling for work and raising international children You lived in Hong Kong for two years while overseeing the opening of J. Boroski. What was your first impression of our city?
any may know Joseph Boroski as a mixultant, a term he coined himself to connote his expertise and enthusiasm for cocktail culture. Boroski has developed bar menus for some of the most prestigious hospitality venues around the world including Ritz-Carlton, Mandarin Oriental, W Hotels, Intercontinental and Marriott. He also runs a bartending school in Bangkok and operates namesake bars J. Boroski in Hong Kong and Thailand. For those who follow Boroski on social media, you will find pictures of a serious barman hanging out with his family at the beach and pulling goofy faces for a selfie with his six-year-old daughter Ophelia. Boroski recently visited Hong Kong to host a series of spirits tasting workshops at his speakeasy. We nabbed the opportunity to chat with the cocktail connoisseur and globe-trotting dad about his childhood, first impressions of Hong Kong and challenges of raising a family as a travelling, working parent.
Tell us a little about yourself and where you grew up? I grew up in rural Connecticut in the US and spent a lot of time outdoors. As a kid, I loved to collect bugs like beetles and spiders and bring them back home. My mum couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stand me for it. I still enjoy nature very much now, so I had the idea to put up rows of beetles on the walls and ceilings at J. Boroski.
Being a born and raised American, how did you end up moving to Asia? I came to Asia to work on some consulting projects with hotels and restaurants. I worked with chefs travelling around Asia to pair cocktails with their menu. I was flying between different countries and going from one hotel to another all the time. After a while, I thought it made sense to have a base in Asia for me to stay in between gigs. My work took me to Jakarta, Bali, Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City, and right now I am living in Bangkok with my family.
My first time visiting Hong Kong was way before I started taking on these consulting projects. I came here almost twenty years ago when I was travelling around Asia with my then girlfriend. Hong Kong in the early 2000s was in a lot of ways very similar to New York. I felt like I was walking through SoHo, Manhattan and felt right at home. Of course, Hong Kong has many of its own quirks that I love, like the old Cantonese neighbourhoods with their local shops and tiny back alleys. I remember visiting little medicinal shops and picking up whatever bits and bobs I found. I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what they were, but I just got them anyways to bring back home for making cocktails. Despite Hong Kongâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reputation being one of the busiest metropolitans, these traditional neighbourhoods show a very different side of the city, where everything seems to go at a slower pace. The comfortable, oldfashioned lifestyle you can experience here is probably what I like the most about Hong Kong.
There is no menu at J. Boroski and guests come for custom-made cocktails. How did you come up with this idea? It was by accident actually. When I was preparing for the opening of J. Boroski in Bangkok, I invited
life & style a few of my close friends to be my first guests. The menu wasn’t ready yet, so I served them personalised cocktails using whatever ingredients I had on hand. The bar continued operating this way over the next few weeks, word got out about what we were doing and people started coming in asking for custom orders. When I finally put together a menu, no one wanted to order off it because they had come to know us as the place serving bespoke drinks. So I scrapped the menu and kept going with the cocktail concierge service.
likes to try something new each time, but she adds orange juice to almost everything she makes. Besides going to the bar, I enjoy spending time with my family in the outdoors. We go on hikes, play ball games and go yachting when we are back in the US.
It’s probably too soon to ask this question. What kind of dad do you see yourself being when your children hit drinking age? What will your attitude be towards alcohol use and teenage drinking? It’s easy to get my kids to listen to me now, everything I say is a gospel to them, but I know things won’t necessarily stay this way when they get older. I think it’s important to have policies when it comes to any kind of substance use, whether it’s alcohol or coffee. I know how alcohol can be beneficial to your lifestyle, but it can also be detrimental at the same time. I will try to communicate some of these consequences to my kids and set guidelines to help them understand safe drinking.
Many of our readers are expat parents who travel frequently for work. You go on a lot of business trips yourself, can you share some tips on how you stay connected with your family when you are on the road?
Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing? I love family time! Running bars and making cocktails is great, but having kids is so rewarding. I always bring my kids to the bar. I’ve taught Ophelia how to make mocktails and I’d say she’s already doing a better job than a lot of bartenders out there. She
Being away from my family is very difficult for me. I used to take my family on a lot of my business trips, but this has been more difficult since Ophelia has started school. I think the key to balancing business travel and family life is to have good communication with them. I always FaceTime my kids to let them know what I am up to and whom I am meeting. I tell them if I am hosting a workshop or if I am doing an interview. For my wife, I always joke with her that the only reason we have
such a good relationship is because we spend time apart. I think it’s healthy to have personal space from your partner and it also helps to build anticipation when you see each other again.
Mummy-approved mocktails Going on a dinner date with your kiddo? Here are the best places to get a non-boozy bevvy for your plus one Limewood
The beach restaurant serves goodfor-you elixirs and freshly squeezed juices your little tyke will love. The Coconut Mylk is a refreshing mix of coconut water and almond milk, loaded with chia seeds and chunks of fresh mango for a crunchy texture. Shop 103-104, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay. limewood.hk
Le Garcon Saigon
This Vietnamese brasserie has a hefty drinks menu with a mocktail selection that does not disappoint. Your kids will love the piquant Les Amoureux, which is made with mango, passion fruit and lemon juice, and Vietnamese Fruit Shake, a satisfying blend of seasonal fruits. 12 Wing Fung Street, Wan Chai. legarconsaigon.com
The bar at The Pottinger offers a spirit-free version of its signature cocktail. Served in cute egg-shaped glass, Dinosaur Roar is an upgrade from your usual iced Milo. It’s a kid-friendly ice ball with malted chocolate milk, a homemade ice-cream float and a generous heap of Milo powder. 3/F, The Pottinger, 74 Queen’s Road Central. theenvoy.hk
life & style
â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Cheers!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Coaster Set $238 from G.O.D. god.com.hk
Smeg KLF03 Kettle $1,800 from Fortress fortress.com.hk
Tea time treats Show off your Easter bakes with these tea party accessories
Classy Gold Serving Tray Table $3,980 from Tequila Kola tequilakola.com
Banyan Bamboo Woven Tray $138 from Verdee Bamboo verdeehome.com 46 expat-parent.com
Metal And Glass Tray $399 from Zara Home zarahome.com/hk
Bone China Porcelain Coffee Mug and Saucer $129 from Zara Home zarahome.com/hk
life & style Maxwell & Williams Primavera Coupe (16 piece set) $1,185 from Indigo Living indigo-living.com
Copper-coloured Cutlery with Flat Handle $39-$59 each from Zara Home zarahome.com/hk
Sara Miller Three Tier Cake Stand $749 from Indigo Living indigo-living.com
Animal Stump Cup Cover Rabbit $90 from Francfranc
Artisan Tilt-Head Mixer $5,480 from KitchenAid kitchenaid.hk
Floral Waffle-Knit Tea Towel $129 from Zara Home zarahome.com/hk
Imperial Eden Teapot $3,850 from Lane Crawford lanecrawford.com.hk expat-parent.com 47
Enjoy festive feasts, scavenger egg hunts and lots of chocolate
DiVino Patio Hop over to DiVino Patio for its specialty egg dishes and a line-up of kid-friendly activities from April 19 to 22. There will be egg hunts and egg painting sessions plus pizza-making classes where chefs will teach your little ones to knead and roll their own dough. Shop 11, 1/F, BRIM28, Causeway Bay Centre, 28 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. divinogroup.com
form of cute white bunnies. Deep fried turnip dumplings that pass off as baby carrots, and a playful sesame tofu dish that takes after the features of an Easter bunny duo. Hop over to Yum Cha to chow down on a flurry of dim sum delights this month. 2/F, Nan Fung Place, 173 Des Voeux Road Central, Central. yumchahk.com
FRITES The popular beer house is hosting Easter parties across all four of its venues on April 21. Kick start the festive extravaganza with a scavenger egg hunt, then nab front row seats to enjoy a magic show with your kids. Be sure to come dressed in your bunny suit to enter into the costume contest. Feeling hungry after all the fun? FRITES will be serving a special kidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s menu that is loaded with old favourites with the likes of mini burgers, schnitzels and fish and chips. 1/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central. frites.hk
Yum Cha Sweet glutinous rice cakes that take the 48 expat-parent.com
Statement Ring in the four-day break with a traditional British roast at Statement. The Tai Kwun restaurant is serving a special edition of its Britannia Brunch over the Easter weekend. Treat yourself to a generous serving of organic roast beef carved tableside, accompanied by a side of Yorkshire pudding and laden with plenty of trimmings including roast potatoes,
food mashed potatoes and buttered heritage carrots. Police Headquarters, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central. statement.com.hk
Fancy more chocolate? Make your way to cocoa paradise with these afternoon tea feasts
Bathers Egg hunt on the beach? Count us in please! Start your day with a laidback all-you-caneat lunch at the beach restaurant. After a few rounds to the buffet table, grab a bucket and get ready to dig up armfuls of eggs buried in the sand. Along with the egg hunt, there will also be fun beach activities and special gifts for the little ones. Egg hunting spots are limited, so make sure to RSVP in advance. 32 Lower Cheung Sha Village, South Lantau. bathers.com.hk
decorating competition for a chance to win a dining voucher of $1,000. G5-8, 12-17, Empire Centre, 68 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East. divinogroup.com
The Verandah With stunning views of Repulse Bay and delicious food, brunch at The Verandah is the best way to spend your Sunday. A special Easter themed brunch will be held on April 21 (Easter Sunday), featuring a semi-buffet selection and a chance to meet the Easter bunny! 109 Repulse Bay Road, The Repulse Bay. therepulsebay.com
InterContinental Hong Kong InterContinental is partnering with French dancewear brand Repetto for a limited edition ballet-inspired tea set. Give the chocolate truffle a twirl and scoff down the citrus panna cotta with finesse. Available until April 30. 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com
COBO House Local cha chaan teng eats gets a fancy redo at COBO House. The art-centric restaurant is serving chocolate and pastry creations that mimic the look of savoury street foods you can get at local teahouses. G/F & 1/F, 8-12 South Lane, Sai Wan. cobohouse.com
The Murray The Murray’s Popinjays and The Tai Pan are dishing out special brunches for the Easter holiday. Head up to the rooftop restaurant to enjoy a lavish five-course meal from above, or save yourself a seat at the romantic garden restaurant. Your little ones won’t be disappointed by the kids’ menu and smorgasbord of sweet treats, as well as the jam-packed line-up of activities including an egg hunt, magic performances, balloon twisting and face painting. 22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central. niccolohotels.com
Spasso Newly appointed resident chef Marco Furlan will prepare a sumptuous Italian spread on Sunday, April 21. Expect a solid pastry selection ranging from hot cross buns to traditional dove cakes and pastiera napoletana. Gather around the chocolate fountain with a stick in hand and join the egg
Cordis Hong Kong
EAST Hong Kong Feast at EAST Hong Kong will host a festive semi-buffet over the four-day break featuring oven-roasted lamb rack, free-range roast chicken, full English breakfast and steak and fries. The dessert counter will cover classic Easter delights like hot cross buns as well as fusion patisserie creations such as honey yuzu mousse cake and tofu chocolate mousse. On April 21, get crafty with decorating Easter eggs and make a date with floppy-eared friends at the live bunny show. 29 Taikoo Shing Road, Tai Koo Shing. east-hongkong.com
In collaboration with professional Korean makeup brand VDL, Cordis is serving a Living Coral-themed afternoon tea set as a nod to the Pantone Colour of the Year. Chocolate lovers won’t want to miss the edible cocoa lipsticks and cherry chocolate tart. Available until May 31. 555 Shanghai Street, Mongkok. cordishotels.com/ hongkong
finish. The brunch is served from 12-2:30pm. Basement, 43-55 Wyndham Street, Central. chaiwala.hk
Chaiwala Putting an authentically Indian spin on a traditional Scotch egg, modern Indian restaurant Chaiwala has created the Nargisi Kofta, made of boiled eggs encased in tender beef mince, atop a rich gravy of onion, nuts and tomato. The dish will be served as part of the restaurants new Holi Brunch which also includes curries, papadi and cotton candy to expat-parent.com 49
big day out
Castle Peak Rory Mackay conquers the ranges of Hong Kong’s far west
he hills of far western Hong Kong may not be so well known compared to other areas, but Castle Peak (Tsing Shan) and its surroundings are as dramatic as any other Hong Kong landscape and ought to receive more recognition. Conquer this rugged range of hills and one will witness some of the territory’s finest views, gazing down upon Tuen Mun and absorbing the immense sprawl of Shenzhen behind. Meanwhile a gaze around the other side reveals Lantau Island and the expansive waters of the Pearl River Delta. Not only is arriving at the mountain top exhilarating but the walking to be had either side of it is most enjoyable. Early afternoons make for an ideal time to set off, ensuring pleasant temperatures and sunset vistas from the summit. The
route up is easily accessed from Siu Hong MTR Station. Once at Siu Hong Station, one can walk across to the trailhead or what I recommend doing is hopping onto the light rail to shorten this walk. Catch either the 505 or 615 bus to Leung King Station and from here, it is a five-minute walk through the housing estate to the trailhead. The trailhead is best described as a single-track concrete road with a grassy paddock on its right hand side at the junction with Leung King Estate. Follow this road and it will quickly climb up through banana palms and tall eucalyptus trees. After a few hairpin bends and 20-30 minutes of walking from Leung King, the road reaches a plateau spanning the hills above Tuen Mun. At this point the vegetation rapidly diminishes to grassland and a few small shrubs, allowing views of the surrounding area.
At this juncture there are a few options for route selection and the adventure really begins. One could spend an entire afternoon exploring the myriad of eroded ridgelines, gullies and canyons amongst the hills in and around where the road is. Some of the canyons that are currently forming here are stunning and truly rugged. They are created due to the lack of afforestation that has occurred elsewhere in Hong Kong in the last century, the hillsides have been gouged out revealing the red clay within. As amazing as this landscape is, for the more enthusiastic hikers it’s worth pursuing the summit of Castle Peak. As you traverse the undulating ridgeline towards the mountain in a southerly direction, the views really open up. At first it is more of an overview of your immediate surroundings, but before long you’re the surveyor of all things in western Hong Kong and on clear days, the views of Shenzhen are simply jaw dropping. The sheer size and scale of this city becomes evident from this vantage point, as you can see all the way from Lo Wu in the east to Nanshan in the west. To think that
30 years ago there was next to nothing there defies logic. Upon reaching the steep-sided summit at 583 meters above sea level, the footpath emerges from the radio towers to reveal unrivaled panoramas of Tuen Mun. Pose for dramatic photos above large granite outcrops dating back to the Jurassic Period. Alternatively, take a perch and soak up the relaxing vibes as skies darken and the vibrant lights from the millions of inhabitants below come to life. Only a few mountains in Hong Kong offer a 360-degree panorama of such variety, from the mountains of Lantau and South China Sea around to the mass development of Tuen Mun, Yuen Long and Shenzhen. The return route down is fairly simple. Keep following the hiking trail directly downwards and you’ll be back to civilisation
Photo credit: Exploringlife
big day out
Tsing Shan Monstery
in around an hour. Compared to the route up, the return trail is well-made and maintained but does include a lot of steps. If you have a spare moment, near the bottom of the mountain poke your head into the beautiful Tsing Shan Monastery. One of Hong Kong’s oldest temples, Tsing Shan Monastery serves
up a lovely dose of zen to end the hike before returning to the eclectic racket of Tuen Mun. The simplest way back to the MTR is to walk across a few city blocks to Tuen Mun Station. Alternatively, board the Light Rail, although it’s a much shorter ride than at the start of the day so I personally wouldn’t bother. Castle Peak is a classic route. Almost anyone can have a go, yet it’s a route that keeps even the most seasoned of hikers honest. Although the western New Territories may not be especially well known amongst hikers, the area has a few nice little surprises for those who venture out. Its enchanted forests below and spectacular vistas above will no doubt leave you anticipating a return visit for another go. Rory Mackay runs adventure company Wild Hong Kong, for more information visit wildhongkong.com
ROSEWOOD OPENS IN BANGKOK On March 31, the luxury hotel brand opened its second property in Thailand, it’s first being Rosewood Phuket. The newly opened hotel located on Ploenchit Road reshapes Bangkok’s skyline with its unique architecture and prism shape. Standing at 30-stories tall, the hotel has 159 guest rooms, four restaurants and lounges, a spa, fitness studio and indoor-outdoor saltwater swimming pool. Keeping the ultra-luxury standard of the Rosewood brand, Rosewood Bangkok has carefully curated interiors with touches of Thailand’s heritage and customs. 1041/38 Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan Bangkok. rosewoodhotels.com
HARRY POTTER FILM CONCERT SERIES Hop over to Macau to experience the magic of the world famous Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. This will be the first time that the concert has come to Macau with live music from the Orchestra Italiana del Cinema. Each concert will perform one of the first four books of the series, including Sorcererâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire. Since the concerts began in 2016 over one million fans have enjoyed this magical experience. For more information about the concert dates visit harrypotterinconcert.com
RAFFLES HOTELS & RESORTS LAUNCHES LUXURY SLEEP RITUALS For some serious rest and relaxation, Raffles has partnered up with luxury skincare brand, Aromatherapy Associates to pilot their Sleep Rituals experience. The ritual will include a Deep Relax oil that uses ingredients to promote sleep and alleviate the restlessness associated with jet lag. Guests will also receive sleepenhancing amenities such as an eye pillow made from DreamSoft linen, calming goodnight cards and a personalised sand timer. This new service will be piloted at four luxurious locations including Raffles Dubai, Raffles Makati, Raffles Seychelles and Raffles Europejski Warsaw. This one is perhaps best enjoyed while the kids are safely tucked up back in Hong Kong! Learn more about this service at raffles.com
An authentic summer adventure for the whole family. By Nicole Cooley
tart your summer with a trip like no other in the countryside of Mongolia. As the rainy season descends on Hong Kong, Mongolia, ‘the land of the blue skies’ shines in all its summer glory. Known for its vast, rugged landscapes and nomadic lifestyle, Mongolia is a unique place best explored with a knowledgeable local by your side. Charitable organisation, Tsolmon Ireedui Foundation (TIF) is offering
a once-in-a-lifetime guided trip to experience this incredible country. TIF was established in 2009 by Frenchborn Hong Kong resident Marc-Henry Lebrun and his Mongolian wife, Tsolmon to help disadvantaged children in the suburbs of Ulaanbaatar. TIF operates a free kindergarten which provides shelter and education whilst parents go to work, a priority during the harsh winters which see lows of -40 degrees Celsius.
“The kindergarten staff take care of up to 50 children, encouraging them to play and take part in educational activities. TIF emphasises the importance of the children receiving an education to develop to their full potential” Lebrun says. Lebrun has organised the trip to offer people the opportunity to experience this incredible country while at the same time providing support for the charity. Ulaanbaatar is reachable via direct flight
Visiting TIF Kindergarten
Vast landscape in Mongolia
from Hong Kong in less than five hours. Guests will spend five days at Khos Khad camp in Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, where they can stay in traditional Mongolian gers, (round felt tents for up to four people which stay warm and cosy during the cold nights.) The resort, with its modern facilities, also has the option of en-suite hotel rooms. Each day will involve a range of activities such as horse riding, hiking and mountain biking. There will also be a chance to experience two of Mongolia’s national sports through an archery activity and a demonstration of Mongolian wrestling. If the kids aren’t worn out after the day’s activities, the evening entertainment will help. One evening there will be a traditional Mongolian show with a throat singer and contortionists and another evening will be spent around a bonfire. Guests are also invited to visit the kindergarten built by TIF, a rare opportunity to actually meet the children that benefit from their support. The hour and a half trip takes visitors into the poor slums just north of Ulaanbaatar, where the children are eager to extend a warm welcome. When talking about the local community, Lebrun gushes, “They are amazing people, 58 expat-parent.com
travel 2019 Summer Mongolia Trip • Dates: June 29 - July 3 • Price: $7,900 registration fee which includes; airport pick up and drop off, accommodation, meals and activities. Please note that flights are not included. • Location: Gorkhi Terelj National Park, Nalaikh, Mongolia
Traditional Mongolian man and horse
so welcoming and generous, so different from “us” but so similar at the same time. Visiting the nomads living in gers [yurts] and seeing them tend to their animals is a once in a lifetime experience and very unique to this country.” Mongolia is truly a special place to
explore with a family. Somewhere to get outside and enjoy nature, learn about different cultures and traditions and help others who are less fortunate than ourselves. For more information, or to make a donation, visit tifcharity.org
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pork bun in the oven
What to expect when you’re expecting... the priority seat Our first-time expectant mum Becky Love navigates the world of pregnancy in Hong Kong
etting pregnant in Hong Kong was never really part of our five year plan. The idea was to move over from Australia as a newly married couple, have ourselves an adventure, save some money and then head back to our (hopefully paid off) house in Oz with some great memories and zero regrets. But, a baby? That was certainly never part of the picture. Fast forward two years almost to the day that we landed in Hong Kong and I am sitting here writing this column whilst baking a 17-week old in my belly. In hindsight, frankly, it was inevitable. Since living in Discovery Bay (DB) which I am told actually stands for Dogs and Babies, we had yet to adopt a pup, so I believe we were blessed with a baby by the DB Gods so as to not disturb the harmony of the area in which we live. Although unexpected, it has indeed been a welcome surprise and one that I am mostly navigating via multiple Google searches at 4am between bouts of morning sickness. So whilst it has been a four-month rollercoaster ride of emotions, questions and very consistent snacking, I finally feel confident in the Hong Kong healthcare system and ready for what’s to come. Bloodtests? Tick. Prenatal scans? Sorted. NIPT test? Done. Urine samples? Mastered. For the first time I was actually excited. Still a little nervous - but excited. The parts of the pregnancy that had often kept me up at night with worry were sailing by like the Star Ferry with big green ticks of approval. It was time. Surely - it had to be time? Yep, it had to be. It was MY TIME. Time for someone to offer me a priority seat on public transport. Those bright purple seats that were once a dream, particularly during those intimate 8pm bus rides after a long day of Hong
Our columnist is a nervous first time mum-to-be whose hobbies have recently shifted from writing and relaxing to snacking, complaining and crying uncontrollably. Kong humidity - they would be mine. And oh, how I deserved them. I was spending my days making a human forearm, for goodness sake. What did you do today, young man in your 20s conveniently looking down at your phone instead of directly into my tired eyes? Look at me! You’re in my seat!
See, here is the difference between Australia and Hong Kong. In Australia, we take a few steps into our garage and into our car, drive, park at the office, walk a few more steps and we are sitting in front of our computer. In Hong Kong? We have to assess the weather. Am I wearing the appropriate footwear? Is my bag too heavy? Will I need an umbrella, perhaps a jacket? A heavy jacket, or just a light cardigan? Is my Octopus Card topped up? Will I make it in time for the bus, train or ferry? Should I run or just wait for the late one? If I squish up against the door of this train, will I fall out? It’s not just the commute as a pregnant woman - it’s the questions. So many questions! So when it comes to public transport in Hong Kong, and the opportunity to take a well-deserved rest arises because the sign tells you that you can, dammit, you should take it! But, maybe it was still too early for anyone else to tell. Was my little bump not yet obvious enough to be worthy of this seat? Did I just look like I had eaten too much dim sum for lunch? How about if I stand here with my hand rubbing my belly? Will it look like I am pregnant then, or just like I have a bout of gastro? I was overthinking it. Just like I was over-Googling, over-worrying and overreacting when my husband would bring home pasta instead of pizza for dinner. So, when the time comes and I am trapped on public transport tired, swollen and over it, there will be no room left for overthinking and you can bet I will be coming for you. You, in the purple seat with no baby, no wrinkles, no handicap and no pregnant belly. And you best beware, because hell hath no fury like a pregnant woman with no priority seat.