Misgivings in the Mid Levels

“Women are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression and self medicate with alcohol,” I read out from the Sunday paper to my husband.

“What do you have to be anxious about?” he replies in genuine amazement. “And telling the maid what to do doesn’t count.”

I can understand why he would think this. I don’t have a full time job anymore, I don’t have to leave for the office every morning  as he does.

But while I no longer complain to him about bullying bosses, conniving colleagues or London Tube traumas, I do have other, new worries.

I worry that everything in Hong Kong costs so much. That I’ve spent HK$150,000 on routine dental treatments in less than a year. I worry about paying Waitrose Organic prices (high) in the supermarket for the Waitrose Essentials (budget) line. That I nearly paid HK$50 for an organic pepper until the sales assistant pointed out the ridiculous price to me. I worry if something that’s labelled organic truly is. About getting older in a place where everyone looks so young. That while I’m a blonde expat I’m not seven feet tall with six feet long legs (is there a law that expat bankers have to marry women like this?) That my arm tone has disappeared at a time in my life when I need to live in sleeveless clothes. That my hair looks consistently rubbish in this climate. That I’m missing my nephews grow up in the UK. That my parents and in laws are getting older and I’m not spending time with them. How since I gave up my job I no longer have a pension. How everyone in the service industry seems to address only my husband as if I don’t exist. That as a woman without a career I seem to have no status in Asia. That as a woman in Asia I seem to have no status full stop. About what the smog is doing to our health….

I’m aware that these are First World Problems so I say nothing.


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