In 1980s and 90s, a lot of Thai females moved to Hong Kong as cross-border brides. Here, they ran into problems arising from language barriers and unfamiliarity with the people and the culture here. Problems about communication and adaptation were no new stories for them. Some of these Thai females chose to break through the barriers, some chose to embrace the course of nature. Various stories have grown out of them.
It is definitely not easy to adapt to an environment that is totally strange, although a new environment may provide new opportunities. Tse Kwai-fong, a Thai Chinese, launched her new life in Hong Kong in the 1980’s, and since then has grabbed every business opportunity along the ebb and flow of the local economy. When the airport was relocated to Chek Lap Kok in 1998 and when Hong Kong was hard stricken by SARS later on, many people turned pessimistic about the prospects of Kowloon City, and quite a few shops there closed down. In times of adversity, however, Tse Kwai-fong dared to go against all the odds and launched her career in Kowloon City.
Another Thai bride May arrived in Hong Kong by marriage at the age of 29. Being a total stranger here, she shared her parents-in-law’s accommodation in a public housing estate. Because of her different background and personal habits, she did not go along with the in-laws. She sulked every day. She even developed a hatred for Hong Kong and the people here. In these adverse circumstances, she was lucky to have the support of a loving husband, on which she struggled to survive. When their second daughter was born, the doctor suspected that she might be blind, which came as a great blow on May and her husband. The whole family even emigrated to Thailand. Later, in order to enable her daughter to receive better medical benefits, the family moved back here.
Survivors of so many disasters as they were, the couple did not give up on life. For the sake of their daughter, they coped with life even in a more positive way, in an attempt to provide their daughter with the best things and solve their problems one by one. May’s husband decided to take early retirement to have more time for family. May and her family also moved out of her in-laws’ flat and settled in their own place, which lightened the burden on May’s emotions a lot. She lived happier than before. It was quite out of May’s expectations that her daughter’s disability, which was a tragedy at the beginning, stirred up her determination to live better. As a result, she lived more positively, keeping herself busy with activities related to religious organisations and social affairs; gradually, her social circle expanded and she became more cheerful. She started to like Hong Kong and the people here. That someone who had been cheering her up and supporting her by her side was her kind and gentle husband.
Now the three daughters have grown up. Everyone in the family cares about each other, talks to each other about their feelings, and sings together. This family, which has been built in Hong Kong, has become the most important thing in May’s life.