Settling back in

I’ve been back in Hong Kong for just over a week now, and have been readjusting to returning here. It obviously feels a bit different this time around as it’s now not such alien experience, and doesn’t seem so bewildering. The fact that I’m here permanently now does, of course, make it a different experience this time round. Fortunately, the last minute doubts and fears I had back in the UK have disappeared and I’m happy with the decision I’ve made. From a weather point of view it feels a bit cooler than when I left, and the humidity level has definitely dropped off since I left. It’s now bearable.

There’s a few things I’ll need to sort out now I’m across here – the big one being a more permanent place to live. I can stay in my serviced shoebox sized apartment on a month by month basis, but in my mind the sooner I can find somewhere more permanent the better. Sadly my salary won’t stretch to a budget that would allow me to rent a spacious 2 bed apartment, with full kitchen, and stunning harbour view so I’ll have to think more modestly in terms of where to live. I know some friends in the hockey club, who viewed over 100 places before deciding on an apartment. That really holds no appeal whatsoever. The way I figure it is there has to be a trade off between effort put into finding a place, and the suitability of the place. In my world, the good enough place that I could see within the first 5 properties is much more worthwhile than the great place after 100 properties. Of course, that all assumes I find a good enough place within the first 5. Then there’s the cost to size ratio. Do I really need a biggish* place in the Central mid-levels area that would cost a fortune? Or would I be better off with a smaller, cheaper place, on the Island but not in mid-levels? If I take the more expensive option, that limits my funds for holidays and fun – whereas the smaller place would probably mean needing to go out more often to avoid going mad, involving more money being spent. Being lazy and uninspired at the moment, I’ve taken the decision to put off flat hunting for a week or so. (There’s also some guys in the hockey club who are moving on, so presumably they might be able to pass on the lease to their rentals, which might save me agents fees, and more importantly, searching for a flat)

I thought I’d pretty much stopped everything in terms of bills and costs back in the UK – but overlooked the TV license fee. There’s always one little thing you forget about. The TV licensing web site isn’t entirely clear as to how I can cancel this, apparently I should key in my TV license number… which sadly, is back in the UK in a box somewhere. I’ll either have to phone them or just cancel the direct debit and see what happens.

Upcoming highlights include the moon festival – this is on Tuesday night when ‘everyone’ goes into parks and looks at the moon. Sounds really exciting. In the office they’ve put up naff paper decorations attached to the ceiling. Not entirely unlike the naff Christmas decorations at home in the UK that people hang from ceilings. Anyway, apparently these are to celebrate the upcoming moon festival. There is something called moon-cake associated with it, which I was offered by my office on Friday. I declined. I think I’d been out the night before, and the thought of sweet cake at 10:00am did not appeal. Added to which, I knew I was going out for lunch later which could potentially involve all sorts… Fortunately, nothing too unpalatable this time though, thankfully. The good news about the moon festival though, is that Wednesday is a public holiday, as is next Monday (Chinese National Day – apparently the mainlanders get a full week off). Good timing on my return I reckon!

I also found out on Friday that I have to undergo a medical check in order to qualify for the company medical insurance, so I need to telephone through for an appointment for that. Must make a mental note to self to lay off the alcohol a few days prior to that. Other than that, not much to report. Looks like I’ve played myself into the Valley C team which should make for an interesting season, as we’re in the same league as the B team, and have drawn the Football Club A team in the cup. The Football Club are, I think, the biggest sports club in Hong Kong and their A team is normally the strongest team in the hockey leagues. Should make for an interesting game.

I also thought I’d cracked the jetlag over the weekend, but was wide awake at 3:30am this morning, so clearly haven’t yet totally adjusted to the timezone.

* Size being relative of course. Regardless of how much I pay, I’ll be living in a flat smaller than my Wokingham flat.

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6 Responses to “Settling back in”

  1. Paul Coletti Says:

    I’m with you on the effort/results ratio when it comes to flat hunting. 100 viewing is into the realms of lunacy. I remember moving to Novell Germany in the 90’s. The relocation agent was horrified when after viewing the second property I decided that it was the one . . she tried to talk me out of it but I stuck to my guns and it proved to be a nice wee place in the end . . . . . . . . . . . . . apart from the rats of course . . . . oh, and the neighbours . . . . .

  2. Pete Connolly Says:

    Keep your standards low, just like me. That way you’ll take the first place that you find and end up sleeping on a friends floor. (Actually, it took me 2 years to find a place in London that I really liked. All the others were ‘temporary’). Good luck!

  3. jonnye Says:

    Standards are being set to low. There seems to be three variables: location, cost, and size. I can probably have two from three.

  4. The Aged Parents Says:

    What do you mean at home? The only decorations we had hanging from the ceiling were the ones you made at school and then we made you hang them in your bedroom!

  5. johniebg Says:

    Good to see you are slowly getting back into the swing of things. I looked at a few apartments and definately felt that the white man got short thrift. No end of times I ended up on the 37th floor watching the skyline swaying from side to side in time with the building. Can you get skyscraper sickness.

    On the TV License front I just cancelled the DD. They send you a couple letters and then you intermittantly get a white van with a bunch of aerials crawl past the house if whoever rented the place didn’t get a new license.

  6. johniebg Says:

    PS Hong Kong in the winter gets much colder. Not like the UK but you will soon see all the local shops selling thick blankets. From what I recall the average temperature falls to about 15 celcius.

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