... and just what is the definition of a local? what exactly is an insider? and from my perspective, am I a local?
It has been a while since I had a bit of rant and honestly I do not think my comments below can be seen as a rant but I do get a tad frustrated when I see Tripadvisor reviews as shown above.
A lot of people seem to have forgotten that Hong Kong was a British Colony for 156 years (and as such British soil) and when I arrived in 1972 the facts are simple, I am British and came to live in a British Colony where English is still an official language.
That said, I am assuming the person writing this review picked this guide (and by all accounts Mandy is a wonderful guide) because she was Chinese and therefore a "true local" which frankly is a bit of an insult to all Hong Kong residents who are not Chinese but who have made Hong Kong their home.
The dictionary definition of a local is pretty straightforward - "a person who lives in a particular area, city, or town : a local person" so to me this is a fine and by this definition I am local.....
The other thing I reflect on is what does this make my wife and my 3 boys, all of them were born in Hong Kong and with the exception of my oldest who now lives in London, all live here, does this mean because they are not Chinese they are not local? oh... and my wife's first language is Cantonese and half of her family are Chinese.
Without going to far off track I will stick to the comments in the review which make me laugh the more I read them particularly the one about the nicest, cleanest bathrooms in Hong Kong as quite frankly all of us tour guides could do an 8 hour tour on the best bathrooms in Hong Kong! and here is my insider tip for all visitors to Hong Kong, simply go to a 5 star Hotel or a high end shopping mall for the nice bathrooms.
I am in my 40th year of living in Hong Kong which is a more than most Hong Kong Chinese people have lived in Hong Kong and yet it seems to this person I am not a true local or an insider... this is what peeves me ever so slightly and this is not the first time I have seen these mildly offensive comments like this.
So to all of those people out there looking for a private tour guide, please do not dismiss us non Chinese guides on the grounds that we are not born and bred Chinese people and we lack insider knowledge, we are passionate about what we do and as we live here we are as local as you can get.
...and the last word - living here for 40 years has giving me a somewhat interesting perspective of what it is like to live in Hong Kong both under British rule and Chinese rule.