Where were the unofficial officials of my Chinese self?

My once leisurely strolls have become manhunts. I can spot the orange, white, and green of a 7/11, no matter how tucked away, a mile off. I know the precise location of the confectionary aisles within the major supermarkets I roam.

It’s the summer of 2019, and I have recently…

How a medieval maid, a royal teen, and an Italian bartender changed my present

It was a Monday in September and her name was Gloria. She was a maid in a dusty feudal village, disgruntled about always being told what to do; namely washing pots and pans in a cellar to make a wage. Gloria tried to make decisions to improve her life, but…

Hong Kong homes are notoriously cramped, but other spaces give us what we need

Recently, I witnessed a couple arguing quietly and gesticulating wildly across a table in a busy food court. My first thought was: ‘they need this space’.

Physical space in Hong Kong is a coveted prize that can never be won. It’s no secret that it’s one of the most densely…

Walking in Hong Kong is more than just commuting

Anyone who has put foot to pavement in any of Hong Kong’s busiest areas knows that it is entirely its own experience. A bevy of collisions await you and, to conquer the pavement, you must navigate them all, from the umbrella-duck to the squeeze-by. You must exercise your patience behind…

For most mixed-race people, the pressure to adapt is real

At the end of last year, I went to see author Sreedhevi Iyer speak about her short story collection at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival. A member of the audience asked Iyer, an Indian-Malaysian-Australian writer, if she felt she behaved differently according to the different countries or cultures she…

In the winter of 2014, my sister and I took a photo of my dad posing under a street sign. We were visiting Hong Kong and, after alighting the ferry on Hong Kong Island, we found ourselves stepping onto ‘Man Kwong Street’. It was one of the most brilliant things…

In Hong Kong, as a learner of the native language, I spend a large portion of my time attempting to listen to (read: eavesdrop) and converse with locals in Cantonese. My goal is to, one day, be able to think in the language, rather than go through the rigmarole of…

When I was 18, I got my first tattoo. Perched on my left hip, where the fleshiness of the tummy starts to flatten over the pelvic muscle, is the Chinese character that means the word ‘half’. As in, half-Chinese. Get it? I had thought about getting this, what I deemed…

Sarah Kwong

British-Chinese writer exploring culture, identity, wellness, language, and travel. Based in Hong Kong. www.sarahkwong.net

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