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I Need a Life Intern

By Yalun Tu | Jan 12, 2012

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It’s around this time of year—the beginning—when I start to realize that my life is a mess. To be clear, “start to realize” is more of a euphemism for “have up until this point strategically ignored” but the new year kinda forces you to look closely at yourself*, **.

Physically, I’m fine thanks to pre-holiday diet and exercise—but vocationally and psychologically, uh-ohs. I’m starting to do things that only happen to old people, like forget my keys, lose my train of thought and complain about kids these days—even though I still do things that only happen to young people like drink till I pass out, wake up in Macau, and find bruises all over my body. That’s why I’ve decided that it’s time for a life intern.

Yes, a life intern, a thing that has existed for centuries or at least should have. Hong Kong already has helpers, cheap accountants and karaoke bars, so what’s one more job to help you do things that you should be able to do yourself? I honestly believe if you hired two guys to carry you around because you were too lazy to walk, people would be like, “Hmm, where can I get one of those?”

I envision my life intern as someone who will put my life in order for free as long as they get a meal sometimes. They will be impossibly beautiful and nice, call me “Mr. Tu,” and hold my jacket outside when I visit public restrooms.

First up, they’ll help me fix my fear of commitment. This seems to be a huge problem for guys in Hong Kong and I’m probably no exception. My life intern will screen Shenzhen DVDs of romantic comedies where guys learn that true love is all that matters and provide a tissue for me to cry into. The intern won’t let me go to clubs, or supermarkets, or anywhere in Hong Kong where people just want meaningless hookups, so I’ll probably have to spend most of my time in Ikea. Then I can do some sort of 500 Days of Summer thing and be cured of this phobia.

Next, too much working. I’ve succumbed to the disease of Hong Kong where I work hard and drink a lot, but still talk and think about work while I’m drinking, which is weird because as a lifestyle columnist my job is to drink***. My lifestyle intern will put a moratorium on work-related topics while drinking socially and I’ll give the intern a hickory switch to whack me with in case I falter. This will mean I’ll either stop talking about work while out or develop some sort of drinking-work-S&M-related hickory switch fetish, so either way it's a win/win. I told you this was a great idea!

Finally, my inability to form meaningful relationships in Hong Kong. This is the toughest given that everyone travels so much, is so into their jobs and is more selfish than a Kardashian. Unfortunately it also requires work on both sides of the relationship, so we may have a problem here. Solution? My life intern will become my friend and we’ll have a meaningful relationship and talk about our feelings and our biggest fears (being eaten by an eagle). We’ll have brunches on Sunday afternoons, talk about the crazy things Tim did last weekend (OMG TIM!) and go to movies that come out three months too late. And then we’ll do the thing with the hickory switch that I’m not supposed to talk about.

I‘m accepting applications.

*Note to self: more skin cream.
**Another note to self: better jokes in column.
***I just blew your mind!

Yalun Tu is a columnist for HK Magazine. You can reach him at or @yaluntu on Twitter.

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