Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Apartment

Last week I was crowing about moving to our permanent residence and getting our bed (check), clothes (check) and automatic cat boxes (oh, um, check - sorta).  For the last four days Mark and I have tried to sort through all of the ridiculous junk we brought from the US, namely, unusable electric items such as: waffle maker(!), popcorn maker, hot water maker, coffee maker, at least 20 surge protectors, cables, extension cords, lamps, printer :( , vacuum cleaner (although this was marked to be put in storage, the movers made a mistake),  and the famous automatic cat boxes, really - its hilarious. Its sort of like when the electricity goes out and you think, no problem, I'll just read a book - oh, the lamp is out. Okay, I'll listen to the radio - oh, right, no electricity, no Wii, no microwave, no dishwasher, no washing machine, no vacuuming....what can you do! I can't even use the toaster I brought. (And yet, astute reader, you may wonder at the use of my laptop - magic I tell you! Magic!)

The day really went well - of course it could be because we had only to get out of the movers' way. For those of you that know me, you may have counted this as move number 9 in ten years. And for those of you who know Mark - he's well into the double digits - more than 30 at this point in his adult life. So, we are pros! But Asian Tigers (the movers) were fantastic. John came in, laid down blue runners to protect the floors then two other men delivered the goods. Each box was numbered and it was my complicated responsibility to check off the box number on a chart. That was my day. Oh sure, I unpacked stuff and put it away - stuff I didn't pack, carry out, load onto a truck, drive 5 minutes or 3 hours, unload and carry in. And still - we were exhausted! See Exhibit 1 below:

The only truly "difficult" part of the day was asking the movers (and paying extra) to haul the end of our sectional couch up 15 flights of stairs.  Inspiration to unpack was found when we were told by Asian Tigers that they would take away all the boxes/paper for free on the day of delivery - after that there would be a charge.  So everything came out of the boxes - ready or not - creating a few days of lots of stuff everywhere. See Exhibit 2 below:

Need I actually describe the post-move events? Sorting, piling, crying, sighing, moving piles, sorting - really you already know this part. Let's skip ahead. 

First - the curtains.  We have big, beautiful views from nearly every room in the apartment, especially the living room and master bedroom.
So Mark and I headed over to IKEA to see what we could find in the way of curtains. We selected a nice chocolatey brown set and brought them home for the living room. No deal. Just not wide enough blah blah blah. So, I decided to spend an afternoon in a curtain shop recommended by an AWA friend. I was overwhelmed by all of the choices but stuck it out and found a pattern I thought we could work with. The man came out, measured the windows, and the owner called me to say it would be $5,400 HKD - or roughly, $700 plus installation. And I had chosen the fabric on sale. So. For now, we have put up one curtain in the living room that we move around at various times of the day to block the sun and prying eyes; and we have one curtain in the bedroom along with a bedsheet. Yes - a bedsheet taped to the window. Thank God I don't mind living like a college student. See Exhibit 3 below. 

Curtains temporarily installed (ahem), I moved on to doing the laundry.  We have a combination washer/dryer in our kitchen! So convenient, so Jane Jetson, so uber-chic. No manual and no decipherable knobs, buttons or whistles. After some searching, I found a "how-to" video online. Set the dryer time first, set the washing time second, push the "on" button, push the "start" button - and away we go! The dryer doesn't really dry - hence the clothes line in the spare bedroom. Also, the washer/dryer is very small, so I only wash about 4 items at a time. See Exhibit 4 below:

I've made a lot of progress in the last two days: I found a great double decker dish drainer (Exhibit 5), organized our storage area (Exhibit 6), have all my toiletries put away (Exhibit 7), and we can sleep in our bed without putting stuff on the floor that goes back on the bed in the morning (Exhibit 8). Our internet and cable are setup. Thanks to Skype, and Mark's sister, Faith, Mark's mom got a first-hand tour of our apartment (Exhibits 9 & 10). 


  1. HOORAY ... it's so worth the 'settled' feeling that is creeping up on you about now. Curtains will 'contain' your nest (with privacy) soon. I love the dish drainer (IKEA?). Bud (Art) was here for two nites and he proclaimed how 'neat you are' ..and that is the feeling for us too. GOOD LUCK and much happiness in your new HK 'home away from home'. Tom and I have moved 14 times in our 15 (soon)yrs of marriage. We'll have another (for retirement) in perhaps 1-2 yrs max. (( if the real estate market goes up, that is )) Meet you for coffee !!!?? (smile)

  2. Exhibit 1 taken without consent. I belive he is examining the light fixtures and what to do about them.

  3. And then he left the country. Hmmmm.....