So we have made it through our first month! And we are in our actual apartment. It is a big relief to feel like we (especially the kids) might start to feel settled again some time soon.
So here are a few things I am noticing after a couple more weeks here in Honkers:
– this country knows customer service in a way that the US and Australia just cannot seem to understand. People who are employed in a service role actually, can-you-believe-it, SERVE you!! I know! Such a novel concept but I really like it. They are even pleasant to you. Amazing. The only time I experienced this previously, on a consistent basis, was when I was noticeably pregnant. That same level of solicitous-ness is afforded to me here all the time. I like it.
– I have noticed that many younger girls buy high top sneakers and then seem to put some sort of wedge heel insert in them. Presumably to make their legs longer. Just looks a bit weird though. Like they are walking on tip-toes inside their shoes.
– Noise pollution rules do not exist. In our temporary accommodation there was regularly construction taking place at 10:30 or even 11pm. Not a little bit of noise mind you – I am talking jack hammering and concrete drills! Didn’t stop me going to sleep though…
– The newer buildings here look just like ones anywhere else in the world. But older buildings are tiled on their exterior. It really is a part of the old-style HK look. It’s a little sad to me that the new buildings could be located anywhere in the world and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. They lack a little bit of personality and soul in my opinion. Sure the new ones are sleek but there is something quirky about having the outside of the building look like a bathroom wall.
– We experienced our first black rain storm on Sunday night. Wow. That’s a lotta rain. Over in Kowloon they had hail stones as big as tennis balls. Not golf balls, tennis balls. They broke windows in a shopping mall, which of course then flooded in the 70mm of rain that fell in the first hour alone. This was a pair of pictures that I took a few seconds apart (from our balcony) so you can see how bright the lightning was. It was a different sort of light show than what HK is known for!
So I mentioned we moved into our proper apartment. I can’t say I was sad to see the back of our temporary accommodation. It was so small the kids were literally attempting to climb the walls. But the new place is pretty darn good. It is a decent size (about 1400 sqft of usable space), has nice finishes (even if the wooden floors are a bit yellow for my taste!) and it has great facilities. The boys are in love with the kids indoor play area in The Clubhouse. And who wouldn’t be? It has a ball pit. Every kid’s dream. Or maybe it was just mine. Will especially loves going there as there are always kids to play with.
I will post a few before and after shots of the new place once some semblance of order has been imposed on the place.
I came upon a fantastic little shop on Hollywood Rd in Soho that has some awesome artwork and had beautiful Chinese calligraphy brushes for sale, amongst some of the most kitsch tourist crap you have seen. If I can squeeze one of these artworks in to our place I will be going back for one. I think I am most partial to the smoking Chinese lady. What is your preference?
Lastly, this is the view from our balcony at sunset. When there are no black rain storms at least! I like it. I like it a lot.