So, we appear to be living in Hong Kong! So glad to put a horrible week of goodbyes and tears behind us.
So far it’s all gone smoothly, all 7 suitcases arrived undamaged, the flight was actually ok. Premium economy was half full so we spread out & Eden got a seat as well as her basinette – kids didn’t really sleep as much as we’d have liked but it’s done, we’re here and on we go.
Obviously we’ve arrived in terrible weather by HK standards – torrential rain on the first day and since then cloudy with rain threatening all the time but not too much more as yet.
For the first month we are staying in a gorgeous serviced apartment in a ‘resort’ called Hong Kong Parkview. It’s amazing here and for the people who live here all the time, what an amazing life! Lovely warm indoor pool (so the kids aren’t moaning about cold water!), 2 outdoor pools, 3 storey gym (I haven’t exactly frequented this yet!), 3 amazing soft play rooms for the kids which are lovely & clean, well supervised etc, the kids love it there, been there every day so far! There’s also a big international supermarket in the complex and food shopping has been easy-ish so far. Every item tells you which country it’s come from so we tend to pick imported items from Australia, New Zealand and UK where we see it rather than Chinese & I’m not yet ready to trust chinese meat, eggs, fish, milk etc! The imported stuff is obviously more expensive than local stuff and familiar brands are more expensive than home but whilst Dan’s company are paying our bills for the first month, I won’t worry about that yet! If you’re interested, www.hongkongparkview.com will tell you all about Parkview with proper pics etc.
We’re on the 17th floor, Joshua loves that we’re that high although he’s a nervous wreck trying to stop Eden pressing the alarm button in the lift on every journey! He’s going to have to snap out of it as we have quite a bit of time ahead of us leading a lift-travel lifestyle!
In theory we should have an amazing view outside our window but for the first few days it was like living in a white box as we had solid cloud outside! But that seems to have cleared and we have a stunning view of mountains & parkland and then the HK skyline in the distance with the harbour beyond that, gorgeous. As some of you may know, at 8pm every night of the year, the skyscrapers co-ordinate for a 10 minute light display involving flashing windows, lasers in the sky, that kind of thing. It’s best viewed from the Kowloon side of Hong Kong but we still get a pretty good view of it from our window – Joshua loves it!
So as well as concentrating on finding our feet, we had the small matter of 2 Seder nights to get through. The first night we went to the JCC (Jewish Community Centre) where there were about 40 or so people at the community Seder led by the Rabbi. Those of you who know me well will know how this kind of thing is totally not my cup of tea but we didn’t really have a choice! Having said that, it was fine. It’s hard having Seder night without your family but the most important thing was that the 4 of us were together and I was more than happy to use the jet lag/young kids excuse & we left after the meal before all the after dinner bits – don’t think my Haggadah has ever been opened beyond those pages anyway!! As far as I was concerned, spending Seder at a shul, with a rabbi is about as intense a Seder as I’ve ever spent so I was quite amused to see some women in trousers and even some men checking their phones blatently in front of the rabbi! I was secretly quite amused!
Second Seder night we were invited to a private Seder, again at the JCC but this time in a private room. It was hosted by a family with young kids and there were about 35 or so people including loads of kids for Josh to tear about with all night long – it was as if he’s lived here all his life and we couldn’t have been prouder of how well he just integrated himself. Actually we could – when he volunteered to stand up and recite the 10 plagues off by heart in Hebrew & English – another proud moment! He did Rosh Pinah proud! It was great to meet other young Jewish English families who I guess will become key friends of ours over the coming months, some we knew already which has been a great comfort, others we didn’t but everyone has been just so friendly it’s definitely taken the edge off our emotions.
Last night it was a relief just to have a ‘normal’ (not really sure what normal is yet!) evening, get the kids to bed on time & chill a bit. Having said that – job of the week is flat-hunting. We’ve sent a shortlist of about 25 properties which we’ll be viewing on Friday & Saturday so fingers crossed we find somewhere suitable!
I’m also interviewing a ‘helper’ tomorrow – ha ha – better figure out some things to ask her…!
More updates coming soon, missing home lots but think we’re gonna be ok. If the hardest part is over, things can only get better right?