ask toni & josh

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 November, 2008, 12:00am

Dear Toni

I am only 13 years old, and 5 foot 4 inches - and I have size 10 feet! Help!

Big Foot

Dear Yeti

At 13, most girls still have a lot of growing to do. And sometimes bits of your body will grow more quickly than others. It's nothing to worry about - we all tend to even out eventually.

But even if you've had your growth spurt and you don't grow any taller, don't worry. Your larger feet may be unusual, but they're just part of what makes you unique.

And remember: large feet certainly haven't stopped Elle Macpherson (rumoured to be a US size 12), Kate Winslet (size 10), or Maria Sharapova (size 10) from being incredibly succesful!

It may be a little tricky finding shoes that fit in Hong Kong, but many fashionable overseas brands carry, or can order in, larger sizes.

You could try Marks & Spencer, Rockport and Zara to start with. A fellow large-footed friend of mine also says to look for a shop in Stanley market called Alibaba.

Dear Josh

I just moved here from Australia. My dad has a new job and everything is very new to me. My mum says it will take time for me to make friends.

But I've got nothing in common with the guys at school. They are all into studying and computers and I like playing rugby and wrestling. We don't even have wrestling at my new school.

It's so boring. I miss my old house, where I could hang out outside and talk to my friends. How can I fit in with these guys without becoming like them?

Odd Man Out

Dear Newbie

Welcome to one of the greatest cities in then world. I'm sorry you don't feel quite at home yet, but I have no doubt you will. I have friends who came to Hong Kong on a one-year work contract. Twelve years later, I'm still trying to get rid of them!

Seriously, though, your predicament is not uncommon.

Moving school is tough enough when you stay in the same city - moving country, leaving your house and everything and everyone you know is little short of traumatic.

But try to look at all the advantages of your new home. Hong Kong is a multi-cultured, fun-loving, 24-hour city where you can do, find and buy almost anything you could imagine. What's more, it's incredibly safe - your parents don't have to worry about you travelling around the city alone, or staying out late at night.

With this in mind, why not look into joining clubs and societies out of school? If it's rugby you're after, there are several clubs in the city. Start off by visiting the official Hong Kong Rugby Football Union site ( - this should help give you a better idea of what's going on.

I'm not sure about wrestling clubs - you could try starting a thread on a site like asiaxpat - but why not take the opportunity of being in Asia to take up a martial art? There are loads to choose from - karate, taekwondo, judo, kung fu - and loads of clubs. Put that excess energy to good use and learn a new sport.

By getting yourself out there, you're bound to find loads of like-minded guys who are more your fit.

And once you've made a few friends and feel more at home, I'm sure you'll find you have stuff to talk about with the computer-loving lads at school.

Dear Toni

I recently dated this hairdresser who is a couple of years older than me and didn't go to university. We got along well, but my mum disapproved and forbid me from seeing him ever again.

Seeing how miserable I was, my friend suggested I pretend I was at her house, and sneak out to see him instead. My mum found out when she called my friend's house looking for me one day. Now my mum won't talk to me and says she'll never trust me again. I'm crushed by her words. Do I have to choose between her and the guy?

Liar Liar

Dear Me-15-years-ago

Oh, if I could count the number of times I disobeyed my mum to be with a boy she didn't like ... wait, I'll save that for my future novel.

Don't worry - your relationship with your mum isn't permanently damaged. Her anger really stems from her concern for you. It's hard for parents to see their children choosing partners.

But one thing you learn as you grow older is that, while parents will always worry about who their kids date, the concern fades as they trust you to take care of yourself.

So if you want to date this guy, prove to your mum you can handle it. Keep up your grades, tell her what time you'll be home, perhaps even let them meet at a venue of her choice.

It's worth telling her the truth about who you're with and where you are and rebuild her trust in you. The more she knows, the more she'll trust you - and whoever you're with.