“I have what Hong Kong people called the ‘princess syndrome’, which is having maids at home all my life, never take care of any housework or cooking, etc. When I turned 20, I travelled to Europe, and tried street busk and couch-surfing for the first time with 14 other Hong Kongers, including harpist, violinist, a group of henna artists, Chinese calligraphist, fashion accessories makers, freelancers, with myself playing ukulele and wearing Japanese Lolita outfits.
We had a group performance with each of us wearing a superhero costume, and danced in Japanese animation superhero theme song. I can relate that street performing experience to the miniature of a society. Some people earn steady income through long-trained skills (the experts in a classical music instrument), some through making people laugh, some offer something really rare from another new culture, a specialty that few may appreciate. The experience of that month, performing on the streets in unfamiliar places, was quite out of my comfort zone, and helped me with that ‘princess syndrome’. That was the first time I lived with people who are not my friends and families. I learned how clumsy life could be, and that caused quite some troubles for me.
I guess I learned a lot these years. When I was back in Hong Kong, I took a whole year to work different jobs with quite limited salary, i.e. sales, tutor, and hotline callers. That was boring. I think it’s inhuman to do such repetitive work every day with so little income, to survive in a high living cost city like Hong Kong, and some people stuck with it for years. But those working experiences opened my horizon. Almost a year later, it is ironic that I got hired to perform a show in a shopping mall, wearing princess attire, singing, and playing ukulele, and tell kids stories in English and Chinese during every public holiday. My audiences are now children with pure hearts who come to learn something from me, and to meet me on purpose. The salary is really good, unlike the busk that you meet random people, earning unstable money. However, the busk chat can build relationships, because you can talk whatever you want. Now, I go back to college, to learn more about music and communication, hoping this could further improve me.”