Talking about his personal experience over last 4 years, Mustafa felt foreigners in Hong Kong can have an easy life but it is difficult to integrate into the local community.
"Hong Kong is a place that there is a prestige for foreigners. People are more patient with you and you would not be blamed for breaking some unwritten rules in the society. That's not the same case in UK. I can imagine one being treated as suspects for crime these days if they don't look like local."
During his early days in Hong Kong, Mustafa found it strange that most of the expats were hanging out with expats only. He made few attempts to build closer relationship with local colleagues but it was hard.
"After inviting local colleagues for lunch for few times, I found it not easy at all. I guess locals feel more comfortable to hang out with other locals. Some of them may feel awkward to speak English during non-working time. The mixing did not happen as much as I wanted."
Lost faith in politics
On the other hand, the language barrier also makes it difficult for Mustafa to understand the political issues in Hong Kong. However, what is happening in Hong Kong reminds what happened in Turkey during his youth time.
"One evening, I walked through the occupied area to see the incident for myself. Though I don't understand the details because of language barrier, I fully support the idea of making your voices be heard by the government. But I feel it is difficult to make real impacts under current regime. This makes me recall the moments that I fought for things as a teenager in Turkey."
"Turkey is a very political country where there are many protests and flights. Most of the time you cannot change things in Turkey, you just left with the frustrations of opposing or supporting something - you seldom get what you want. After so many years, I kind of lose your faith in politics and democracy. When I left Turkey 15 years ago, I started the habit of not following Turkish news anymore because I can never find a practical solution to the issues. I know a lot of people would criticize this idea but sometime ignorance is bless."
As Mustafa left Turkey with disappointment about politics but more importantly with an urge to explore the world he lives in, he understands Hong Kong people may want to do the same. He strongly suggest people to go outside Hong Kong even it is not for the negative feelings at home
"People may decide to move when they believe they cannot change things that get them frustrated. Even if people are not leaving becuase of frustration, they should have experience in a new country, new regime, new environment to at least see what is good at home. If my kid in her 20s tells me she wants to stay in another country, as long as she can be safe physically and mentally, I would encourage her to do it. "
"You need to know what is really important to you and your family. You would face an issue wherever you go, so it comes down to how much of the problem you can cope with and how you can develop the technique to deal with the issue. If people believe they can find a place with better lifestyle for themselves than in Hong Kong, they should definitely be brave to make that move. "
In Mustafa's view, moving to another country is not difficult for Hong Kong locals as they can survive in any country.
"Even though most people like to retire in their home county, you can always come back to Hong Kong after working abroad for 5 to 10 years. At the end of the day, Hong Kong is a place when people come out of, they won't be a stranger to a new country because it is an International city."
No place in the world is perfect, some people decide to move out from their hometown, some stay to deal with the issues. Although Mustafa does not care too much about problems in Turkey now, at least he tried to fight against the social issues when he was young. Are you still fighting for things or already feel ignorance is bless?