Saturday, June 14, 2008

Intro to Hong Kong; small apartment with coleslaw

Picture of the Hong Kong Skyline taken at night from The Peak

Hello from HK from your Heroine Regina, your Hero Pommes and I, your Humble Scribe, Chris. (Sepiru is the transliteration of this:

the word scribe incised in cuneiform

which is Akkadian cuneiform for Scribe.)

It is raining today, which means it is only marginally warmer than mid-day in Geneva (Switzerland, our last home), though much wetter.  

On other days it has been considerably warmer, although I still find myself just as wet.

Pommes seems to be settling into his new apartment well, and we take him onto the roof top terrace for a Dubonnet (well, we get the Dubonnet, Pommes chaperones us and acts as a guide cat to get us back to our apartment). 

Pommes seems to enjoy air-conditioning, but he looks longingly at the horizon. 

I think he misses pulling Swiss birds from the air.  

Maybe he finds the local cat dialect strange here?  

I should clarify, Pommes' new home is our temporary, serviced apartment.  

We have made nothing more than noodle soup in our serviced apartment because it is just too small to comfortably cook anything, and normally I can cook anywhere.  

By small, I mean 40 square meters (430 square feet) including us, our 120 kilos of air luggage (265 pounds), one new sofa, one bed, one ottoman, one small kitchen, one bathroom, one bedroom, one piece of furniture, one tv, one wife, one cat, and me.  

It just seems too stuffed to work in, let alone walk in. 

But, all that said, Pommes seems to like it-- many surfaces with many layers for him to prance on and lie on and scratch on.  

By "scratch on" I refer to what was once the one new sofa.  

Now, slightly battered and shredded, we call it coleslaw. Picture of a bowl of coleslaw

Regina called me before I left Switzerland with a slightly frantic, "Bring darning needles".  

I did. 

I also brough crocheting needles and upholstery needles and other oddments.  

Quite the damage our little Pommes has done to the fabric covered(ish) surfaces in this apartment.  

It takes ages to condition Pommes to a new scratching post, but he seems to have a natural affinity for sofas. 

Feline sofa killer, that's Pommes.

Fortunately, we just found an apartment.  If we are lucky (!) then we get to bid for it.  

I would tell you the initial asking rate but that would be (a) gauche and (b) might put my bankers into catatonia.  

Suffice to say that Tero was right. Hong Kong is the most expensive rental market on the planet for very obvious reasons.  

I have no idea why we ever complained about inexpensive Switzerland.  

My left kidney is earmarked for the first month's rent.

Regina says more planning is required for month two.  

That said, I will never mention rent again.  I will just put my head in the sand and pretend it is not real.

Hmm. On a positive note, the Hong Kong skyline is tremendous, and I think that we are going to live in Kowloon which is fantastic because then we can enjoy the Hong Kong skyline instead of merely being a part of it.  

For those that have never been to Hong Kong (yet) the Star Ferry is: the coolest thing in the world; my favourite place to stand; and only a 5 minutes walk from the place we hope to move into.  

For those who know Hong Kong, it is almost like coming home because our (hopefully) new apartment, the Pinnacle, is right around the corner from Chungking Mansions. 

There was even a big apartment that I was trying to view there, just because it was in Chungking Mansions, not that we wanted to live there!  

If you have never backpacked through Hong Kong, you likely will not know of Chungking Mansions; let it suffice that CKM was notorious amongst those seeking inexpensive short term digs in HK.

Anyway, I expect to be ultimately working in Central which would be great because then I could take the Star Ferry to work every day and enjoy the view from the water twice a day.  

I have to become more (read lots) proactive, but this whole leaving Switzerland and finding a place here process has been a tad bit engaging and time consuming.  

Anyway, I thought that as your scribe I should compose a quick note to to let you know that we are alive and well, after completing all the paperwork to leave Switzerland. 

(Notice how there has been complete radio/email silence as to the whereabouts of my right kidney and my spleen.... coincidence?...)

All right then, here ends the letter for today.  

I have to go find some chicken feet for dinner, or something else.  

Oh, and we are looking forward to guests.  Start coming soon. :)  

I am keen to see how long creme brulée lasts in this humidity. 

My guess is that I will keep torching it to just beyond the teeth.  

Of course, the apartment we have on offer (hopefully) comes with only electric elements (groan) and no oven.  So I am going to have to look into buying one.


Chris, Regina, and Pommes

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