It’s been almost a full month since I’ve been able to post, and for good reason — up until now I have had no bloody internet at home! We moved into our ghetto-fabulous new building which is so old that the cable/internet company came and took a look at our wires and said it was only equipped to receive 6 mbs through the line. So then they had to come drill a hole through the wall to the corridor and install a new wire to hook us up. Phew. Finally. Internet has arrived at home.
It’s been an intense few weeks, moving house, waiting for shipping to arrive, figuring out where to put everything you own into a 550 sq foot apartment, unpacking and repacking, putting together IKEA cupboards, learning the bus routes, finding the best supermarkets, all while going to work 9-6, and trying to squeeze a few hours in for gym. Again, phew. I didn’t think it appropriate to update the blog while at work, so I was forced to take a hiatus. Feels good to be back online again.
So far living downtown on Hong Kong island has been great. The first three years that we lived in Hong Kong, we lived pretty far away in areas — new towns — that had not much to do but offered bigger apartments with lower rent. But all I did was commute to work, and commute back home. Living downtown for the first time is a whole new ball game. We have essentially traded in the space for the experience of living in the city — our last apartment was, literally, twice the size of the place we are in now. But it is comfortable, the roof top rocks, and we have everything we need and live in a happening area.
Wanna know what 550 sq ft gets you in a place like Hong Kong? Well, here’s the grand tour:
(Keep in mind that since our place is renovated, it does NOT represent what the typical old style Hong Kong apartment is like! You do not want to see what a really, really old place is like…)
First, we have a nice but small open kitchen, attached to the living room.
Since we don’t have room for a dining table, we instead got a sofa, a little coffee table, and two low seats which we can pull out and use whenever we need to sit to eat. It is surprisingly easy and convenient, actually. Plus, the getting up and down from the floor is good for the hips and flexibility!
We have two little rooms, one is a bedroom with just enough room for beds and a wardrobe and that’s about it.
And that’s about it, really! The first few days here were an adjustment, but now that everything has been packed away in its rightful place, it is actually very comfy. Plus, it only takes 15 minutes to clean!
The building is old… like, really old… and there seem to be a lot of old people living here too. I am without a doubt the only gwailo in this building (gwailo = white ghost in Cantonese = word for foreigner) so once in a while I get in the elevator and some old Chinese granny walks in and is momentarily startled by the sudden presence of a foreigner in the building she has probably lived in for forty years. But if they seem to ask me which flat I am living in — by pointing to the panel of floor numbers — I smile and say in my best Cantonese, “sup chut lau” which means 17th floor — to which they usually laugh at what I have to assume is my crappy pronunciation of a language that has eight tones. Oh well. Adventures in cultural exchange.
Coming up next — The Best Commute in the World