'I immigrated to Canada when I was 13; that was 17 years ago,' says Hong Kong-born Tony Tsang Hing-tung, an information technology professional living in Quebec. 'At first, it was quite difficult; when I arrived I didn't know any French at all. It took me about five years to learn the language.'
The weather was a challenge for a boy from subtropical Hong Kong, too. The temperature on the eastern side of Canada can drop to as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius and heavy snow took a bit of getting used to.
Now that he's settled, though, Tsang is happy: 'I like the lifestyle in Canada, it's more relaxing. [Canadians] insist on not working overtime and they don't work on Saturdays. The pace is slower and you can enjoy your time more.
'I don't treat Hong Kong as my home but I still care about it,' says Tsang, who reads city newspapers and watches TVB.
Tsang believes it is the time he has to himself (thanks to the Canadian lifestyle) that has enabled him to do what he likes best: cooking and eating. A couple of years ago, he began uploading the recipes of his dishes to an online blog, Tung's Kitchen (hk.myblog.yahoo.com/tony-karen). It became a minor hit, attracting about 2,500 viewers a day at its peak.
At first, Tsang had wanted only to create a database to keep track of his creations so that when his wife requested a certain dish, he could remind himself how he made it. Putting the database online, in a blog format, proved easiest - and he soon found it was a good way to make friends, too.
'I didn't have many friends in Hong Kong. Blogging gives me a chance to communicate with people,' says Tsang, adding that most of the visitors to his blog live here. 'Cooking by yourself is no fun - I take the encouragement from my viewers to [try new things]. Without that, I would not be able to [be so adventurous].
'In the beginning the whole thing was more like a reference. Now ... I also write up my travel experiences on the blog,' says Tsang, who is working on a recipe book he hopes to have published this year. 'I feel that it's part of my life now.'