This week’s interview is with the mysterious “Girl with a Microphone Tattoo”, a new blogger whom you must check out. Topics include some rather appropriate themes as per this site: Dating in Hong Kong.
Some very well-written and interesting perspectives below. Honest, frank, in tune with the modern state of romance in the world, and also anonymous…
What inspired you to start such a personal blog?
I actually had a blog from a few years ago that discussed my personal life. As with the internet, things go awry and some people (who weren’t involved at all in the stories) started to attack me for my content which made me delete those posts immediately.
You actually were the one that inspired me to start this new blog. I really enjoyed reading your Dating in China series – I found it entertaining to hear things from a man’s perspective, cause most of the men in my life are largely closed off and unwilling to talk about such matters.
My friends had also always told me I had the most interesting and convoluted love life so I thought it’d be fun to share it to a wider audience and see what happens, without the consequences of people I know lashing out at me again.
Do you find the unique geographical circumstances of Hong Kong to be a positive or negative in dating? How would you compare it to dating in other places in the world?
The variety of people you meet is interesting to say the least. Because Hong Kong is such a compact city, it’s easy to meet different types of people easily and quickly. Another great thing about the compactness of the city is that I can go on dates without needing the stress of commuting, worrying if my hair is going to stay in place or staging a conversation between me and my romantic partner.
I’ve found that in other places like North America, I would stress about different little things on my journey to the date – spending time on a conversation and/or stressing over how I look. In Hong Kong, it’s more about worrying about the transportation to the date: Whether it is crowd surfing on the MTR or worrying if you’re going to be that last person who squeezes into the bus… There is significantly less time for me to worry about date-y things until I get to the location.
That being said, I personally find that there are less variety of people with an international perspective in other places like North America, which is important to me since I grew up here and am seeking for someone who is worldly.
What are the advantages and disadvantages to the international flair of HK residents? Is it a good or bad thing that there are so many expats?
Personally, I don’t mind that there is such a large expat community because I love meeting new people with all sorts of backgrounds. But it does lead to a few nasty surprises sometimes when you realise the ephemeral nature of these relationships. It’s happened to me a couple of times where I found out this guy I really liked was leaving in a few weeks. So far nothing that crazy has happened to me but I have heard horror stories where people have just packed up and left without so much as a goodbye and that just breaks my heart. Those people are pretty much robots without a heart or conscience.
I know that these stories might be one in a million, but it really only takes one to fuck you up and cast a shadow on your future relationships.
As for HK residents, I like that a lot of them have an international flair and know what’s going on around the world beyond the Asian or HK bubble. It means I can basically talk to them about anything: From Marxist ideals to the Umbrella Revolution and Starcraft 2, the list goes on.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the game of love in Hong Kong?
Don’t get too serious too quick. Sure, it might seem like the man/woman is perfect for you at the time but you really don’t know them yet. Take your time and get those good and nasty surprises out of the way before you really commit. Also, I have found that people here can be really flaky sometimes, (like a lot of the time) so bear that in mind and have some fun!
It seems hard to be a girl these days. Ever long for the days before Tinder and such apps, back when men were supposed to be more gentlemanly? On the subject, just what is your general opinion of dating apps?
I’ve been on a couple of dating apps and they are more or so the same thing. It is also more about instant gratification than it is abut really trying to get to know someone. For example, I have hundreds of matches on Tinder but less than half of them have actually “opened” to me – so I open to them instead with no avail. Also, especially in places like Hong Kong, there tend to be a lot of tourists here (which does have it’s appeal. I’m working on a post called The G.I. right now which is about my encounter with an American soldier who was visiting Hong Kong for three nights) – which is fine, but if you’re looking for something beyond a one-night stand or week-long fling, I suggest you look somewhere else. If you’re in the market for just fun, noncommittal dates then by all means go ahead. But in general, I would say that unless you’re just bored or looking for some instant gratification, dating apps are rarely really helpful.
I know it’ll sound like I’m contradicting myself here but I’ve got to say this: Don’t lose hope. Just have realistic expectations. 85% of the matches you get (as a woman) will be riff-raff. Tinder does occasionally match you with some really interesting people though. I met a handful of wonderful men on Tinder, some became lovers and one became a very dear friend.
Based upon your writings, one can see you’ve had a lot of experiences. Some good, some bad. Would you say it’s all been worth it?
I’ve definitely had my share of heartbreak but all in all I would say that every experience has made me learn and has given me the motivation to be a better person/lover (not in that sense!). I don’t get discouraged very easily and bounce back pretty quick. I think it takes thick skin to hang around in the dating game (especially if you’re toying with something like dating apps).
You write anonymously. Do you think that is a helpful way to blog about personal matters?
I would say that it is probably not the most helpful way to blog because for me, at least, the point of a blog is to be open, to learn/teach and to start a forum that allows people to discuss different issues more freely. Right now, I’m still in that “once bitten, twice shy” stage where I’m wary of backlash. But I think that eventually, I’ll peek out from behind the curtains.