Tuesday, May 29, 2007

English Copywriting in Hong Kong – The Expat Experience

It is an interesting life being an expat.

Hong Kong is full of them, it is an excellent way to get a better perspective on why a culture does the strange things it does while accelerating your career like no one’s business. That is, if you are willing to work like a crazy animal.

But as something of a professional expat, HK has been but one stop along the road for me. But by far the most interesting.

When I started out on this rambling existence, I had my fair share of strange jobs.

I’ve demolished stuff in Montreal, moved furniture in Texas and attempted to teach English in Warsaw. I’ve dropped plates in New York, dug ditches in New Orleans, and served up shandys alongside foxy Swedes to pennywise locals in London.

I attempted to convey the finer points of public speaking to wild young Americans down under. I tortured recipes in Gibraltar and Sweden and seized pianos under the noses of drunken judges in Vancouver. I’ve even taken the caps off beer bottles on a brewery assembly line in Creston.

Then I realized that writing for a living was where it was at.

It’s a good mobile job, and what the hell, I write everyday anyway. My, what a wonderfully great gig!

But being a journalist is hard, being an editor is harder, and getting in as a copywriter – that’s the hardest there is. I guess the way it works that the greater the gig, the more people want to do it.

Curses, I should have thought of that earlier.

So a simple plan of writing to better go from place to place quickly turned into going from place to place to become a better writer.

Who would have ever guessed that I’d cut my teeth in Hong Kong, what with all those dental professionals I know back home?