HONG KONG, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Hanging on the wall of the office of Stacy Belcher Lee, director of University Archives at the University of Hong Kong, are two delicate pieces of Chinese Suzhou embroidery featuring the classic scenery of Suzhou Gardens and the West Lake in Hangzhou respectively.
Sets of traditional Chinese garments are also seen hanging on the clothes rack.
Lee, an American with blonde hair and a pair of blue eyes, prefers not to be called a "foreigner." For her, Hong Kong is home.
"I've been living in Hong Kong for almost 11 years, and my husband is also a Hong Kong native. I usually speak Cantonese," Lee said.
Back in 2006, Lee arrived in Hong Kong after resigning from a university in the United States, knowing nothing about the local language and not a single person here. But she quickly got used to life in Hong Kong, and became familiar with the local communities.
For Lee, Hong Kong people are friendly, courteous, and family-oriented, similar to those in her hometown of Virginia.
After travelling back and forth between Hong Kong and her hometown for a few years, Lee realized that it was time to settle down. "I felt I've been obsessed of Hong Kong and couldn't leave her anymore," she said.
Lee's wedding was held in Hong Kong in 2014. Her wedding dress was a traditional Chinese one decorated with dragons and phoenixes.
For Lee, Hong Kong, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of its return to the motherland this year, has become even more diversified and internationalized over the past 11 years.
"I love Hong Kong, and I hope it will become more impeccable in the future," she said.
Like Lee, Swathi Kr Iyengar, from India, also regards himself a Hong Kong local. For Swathi, the place is a stage for making dreams come true.
Swathi arrived in Hong Kong about 25 years ago with 800 U.S. dollars in his pocket. He has had three part-time jobs and curled up with people from different countries in a tiny and crude apartment.
As Swathi's put it, life in the past 25 years has been arduous but full of hope. Now his family is living in an upscale community, and his two sons are attending a renowned school. The children also won prizes in local Chinese language contests. "Chinese is an important language in the world today," said Swathi.
Swathi regards Hong Kong as one of the safest places in the world with excellent business atmosphere, efficient social system, well-equipped infrastructure and convenient working conditions.
For Jose, a Mexican, three years is long enough for him to fall in love with Hong Kong.
Jose was assigned to work in Hong Kong in 2014. "I've got lost in the surrounding skyscrapers," he recalled his first day here.
But he soon fell in love with Hong Kong. Now, he enjoys getting up early for a morning run, exploring nice restaurants with his friends, watching horse races, hiking and cycling in suburb areas.
For Jose, life in Hong Kong is fascinating. One can easily travel from urban areas to the mountains and seas to enjoy breezes and fresh air, he said.
Moreover, Jose regards Hong Kong a desirable place for foreigners. "No matter which lifestyles you prefer, Chinese or Western, you can find whatever you want" in Hong Kong, he said.