Haven’t blogged for a few days, been busy settling in to a ‘normal’ routine and just getting on with things really. Although I do feel a bit like we haven’t really actually started to live our life here in a way. Today marks our one month anniversary of being in Hong Kong, well done us! Does that make us no longer newbies? So even though we’re one month in, I do feel a bit like we won’t really start to experience what our real life here is going to be like until we’ve moved out of Parkview and in to our own place with our own things around us. I’m starting to run out of the limited supply of lotions and potions I brought with – I want my stuff!!
And whilst I have absolutely no right to complain about living at Parkview, it’s a fabulous place, I am starting to feel a bit clausterophobic here. Waking up every morning with my head in the clouds (literally!) is enough to drive anyone insane after a while! I don’t know how the people who live here permanently can deal with just seeing white cloud outside their windows all day! Apparently the last month has been a particularly cloudy one, we have had some clear days and nights but still, it’s very weird having no idea if it’s raining or not or what the weather’s like until we get downstairs! As Joshua says, “We live in the weather.”
It’s also not that convenient to get anywhere from here without getting a cab for about 20 mins wherever we want to go or the Parkview shuttle bus which goes into Central several times an hour. Even Parkview is poorly designed for mothers with a buggy and no helper by their side (although we are few and far between so maybe that’s why!). The Parkview shuttle bus would be the obvious choice for my daily ventures out of here but with a buggy, handbag, nappy bag, nearly-2-year-old and a driver who doesn’t put anything in the hold of the bus, schlepping all that onto the bus quickly without holding anyone else up (don’t forget the heat and humidity factor!) is really not possible. Tried it once, never again! Now I get a cab! Most people at Parkview have cars but ultimately we will be living much more centrally so don’t plan on having a car out here, and have been looking forward to not having the responsibility of running 2 cars!
Anyway, rant over, it HAS been a good week! We finally found an apartment we like and after a bit of toing and froing, it’s ours! Well, subject to paperwork and not being outbid by anyone else before we pay our deposit that is, so fingers crossed. Beauty Court will soon be our new home and I can’t wait! Josh is also very excited as his bedroom has a harbour view (which we’re charging him extra for) and one of his good friends lives in the same building. I’ll be hitting Ikea & other furniture shops this week as, despite our shipment that’s almost here, there are some things to buy & build. Well, don’t think me or Dan will go anywhere near building anything, the men from Ikea can do it! That’s very standard here and at very reasonable cost so why on earth would we not? My parents will be here on 31st May so we have a deadline and I can’t really expect my dad to come out with his drill! … can I?
The apartment buildings here do have ridiculous names. Beauty Court isn’t too bad. It’s a 35 storey building, not that ‘beautiful’ but there you go – we could have gone with Elegant Terrace, The Grand Panorama or Wealthy Heights (yes, really!), none of which look anything like you might be picturing!! I mean Wealthy Heights was never going to be worth all the sarcastic mickey-taking from back home!!
Josh has also had a great week at school. He’s taken his time, which we had to expect, but I think we’ve finally cracked it. Friday was the first morning in a while that he got on the bus happily. He always gets off happy having had a good day but at some point between getting off and getting on again the next day he’d work himself up into a bit of a pickle. But Friday was a good day, maybe he tried extra hard because I promised him $50 if he had a great day from start to finish! We can see the Joshy charm is coming through and his new friends are starting to see him for what he really is – a football hooligan! Sorry, I mean the lovely, sweet, sociable, friendly, confident boy we know he is – yes, that’s it! He started Brazilian Soccer School on Thursday and was greeted with hugs and cheers from some of his school friends who also go there and were very pleased to see him. He had his first swimming lesson as part of school PE on Thursday too and came home declaring himself the 2nd best swimmer in his class! Whether that’s true or not, I could tell it improved his confidence with his new classmates no end. He’s also been invited to the Headmistress’ son’s birthday party tomorrow and is very ‘in’ with the Rabbi’s sons too as they go to the same school and run around playing football together at shul – that’s what shul is for after all! So he’s definitely getting in with the ‘in crowd’!
As Josh has already blogged, the Chief Rabbi and his wife have been in town this week. The community obviously get very excited about this so we jumped on board and attended the gourmet Friday night dinner where he gave a great speech, he gave the sermon at shul today and there was a special lunch laid on too, which obviously we attended – can you spot the theme?! More importantly for us we brought our new helper Judy with to help with the kids at shul. She’s still not working for us officially yet as the paperwork is still going through it’s motions but she’s happy to come and help out when we need her until we’re given the offical go ahead. Eden isn’t really used to her yet, nor does she understand why she’s suddenly appeared in our lives so she kicked up a bit of a fuss but I’m sure we’ll all be used to each other soon and it’s certainly good to have an extra pair of hands around when I need it!
And obviously this week hasn’t passed without another shocker from Eden (don’t let the ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ photo fool you!) …. I should have been suspicious this morning when all went quiet whilst Dan, Joshua and I were getting ready for shul. I went in to the lounge to find Eden happily brandishing a biro which I then discovered she had used to draw all over the wall under the kitchen hatch! Now luckily (well I don’t feel that lucky actually), this wasn’t on wallpaper, carpet, sofa or any other kind of permanently staining upholstery. It was actually on a kind of plasticky, leatherette panel so there was a bit of hope that we might get the marks off as there was no way of disguising them! Josh and I got busy with the Dettol wipes and they did start to come off but they were only really working on the lighter parts, the darker marks we couldn’t manage to remove. I went down the hall to find our lovely housekeeping ladies to show them what ‘naughty baby’ had done. They then must have called their manager as a few minutes later he was knocking on our door to have a look! He said they’d do their best with it but when we came home later the marks hadn’t gone anywhere! Maybe they hadn’t tried yet, or maybe they’d tried and failed. I’m just worried about our deposit that we need back when we check out of here (!) so I sent Dan out to buy some Cif, which gets everything out – actually it doesn’t, oh dear. Back to the Dettol wipes elbow grease tomorrow I fear, thanks Eden.