Janet Walker

Children and ages? Girl, 14

Where were you born? Yorkshire, UK

Where else have you lived? Tokyo, for six years

How long have you been in Hong Kong? Just passed the 20 year mark!!

What brought you to Hong Kong and why have you stayed? Backpacking in 95/96, after leaving Japan. We were low on funds and it was still a UK colony so I didn’t need a visa and was able to sponsor my American husband even before we got jobs. We planned to stay a few months and save money for more travel, or maybe stay and see the Handover…

Do you work?  What do you do?  I consider myself very lucky to have two great jobs combining my two passions. 

In 1997, I saw an ad in the CMP saying “Eco-tourism company seeks Japanese/English speaker.”  Being a bit of a tree-hugger and having moved here from Japan, I applied.  Since then, the privilege of watching the dolphins and speaking up for them ever since.  My official title is Senior Tour Conductor/Media Spokesperson.  Apart from leading the pink dolphin tours, I do school talks (often being asked how you tell the difference between girl and boy dolphins), have sat on various committees, and been interviewed by media from many countries.

But green jobs don’t pay the rent, so I’ve also worked in a couple of schools as a TA/EA.  I’ve been a Music TA for the last 4 years, though my training was actually theatre studies- so I’m in charge of wardrobe, lights & sound for shows and assemblies, admin, just about everything that comes with a very busy Music dept.  I really found my people when I landed both of these jobs!

What time of day do you check Hong Kong Moms? In the morning on the bus to work and evening to see what everyone’s posting after a glass of wine!

What posts do you comment on and why? The “how/where/why of HK life” because I’ve been here awhile; “animals and green issues” because they’re close to my heart and have been involved in various NGO’s, green groups, committees, etc; “books” because I read a lot! And “shopping questions” – I used to lead Bargain Shopping tours for the YWCA.

What is the best thing you have learned from Hong Kong Moms? Lots of little things like tip-offs about sales and hard-to-find items.

What is your favorite Hong Kong Moms post? Anything that gets funny and a little cheeky – “the beaker” springs to mind, I’m afraid!

Why do you read Hong Kong Moms? I used to work on a show called Action Desk on RTHK Radio 3. People would phone in and ask “help” questions and other listeners would call in with answers, which I collated and then read out on air. I learned all sorts and it’s still rattling round my brain so, I guess I’m still trying to disseminate the info! Ironically, I think Google was part of the show’s demise – in the late 90s we used to refer to it as the show for people who can’t read the yellow pages!

What is your biggest Hong Kong fave? And frustration? I love our amazing public transport and the fact that you can get anywhere very easily and cheaply. So, the number of huge gas guzzling SUV’s on the road, often with only one person in them, is a huge frustration! And why would you want such a big car when parking spaces are so small? No one has to drive very far – we have all the resources of a major city, plus beaches and country parks very close by.

Does anyone ever recognize you or your name from Hong Kong Moms?
Quite a few dolphin watching customers have asked me if I’m THAT Janet Walker. Plus, occasionally people at my daughter’s school.

Have you met any friends through Hong Kong Moms?
Yes and I’m very thankful for that. Though some of them have left HK since! That’s a huge frustration here.

Which Hong Kong Mom would you like you to see featured next? Cara Ng

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