Out of the old, and into the new

Well, I’ve now moved from North Point to Wan Chai/Admiralty. I got the keys to my new flat last Tuesday, and figured I’d move my stuff across on the Saturday. I’d originally thought to move some on Friday night but obviously I was busy watching other people eat food I found hard to stomach. Fortunately, I haven’t accumulated very much in the way of stuff crap yet, so in total I think I had about four large rucksack fulls to take across, as well a smaller rucksack full of computer related equipment. As it takes just about half an hour from the door of the old place to the door of the new place, each round trip would take about an hour and a half, allowing for unpacking and packing time. This didn’t really occur to me at the time, so what I thought would be a quick and easy move turned into lasting all day. I also spent some time, and quite a lot of money, buying bed linen and duvet.

I also figured I’d make use of the landline I’d had in the old serviced apartment one last time before leaving and get cable tv, Internet, water, and electricity sorted out in my name in the new place. Hong Kong Electricity Company first up: they’d conveniently left a note in the mailbox informing the occupant (me) that I could phone this number to get the supply transferred otherwise they could terminate it when they liked, and that if left disconnected for four months or more it could only be reconnected with an engineer visit (chargeable of course). Of course, Hong Kong caters quite well to English speakers so I’m happily on the phone with someone who is happily taking my details. It should come as no surprise to learn that the surname spelling was a problem as ever – this does seem to be a family trait. Even more amusing is the fact that over here, surnames are typically used as the first name. So, for example, my bank card is in the name of Ervine Jonathan; so I’m being called Mr. John on the phone. With a second name spelt all kinds of ways. Finally we agree on the correct spelling. I’m also informed that there will be a deposit due of HK$860. OK, not too sure about that. Seems rather a lot, but not much choice there really. As I’m being read back the details, I realise we’ve somehow managed to get my pronounciation of fifth (as in fifth floor) to come across as sixth. I know I have a bit of mixed NI/English accent, but fifth confused for sixth? Correcting that error and I’m now informed that the deposit has leapt to HK$1200. It’s been about 20 minutes on the phone by now, I’m demoralised and in a hurry to get moving, so just pretty much accept it.

One down, two to go. Next up is now-tv. These guys offer broadband Internet and television delivered via an ADSL line. We also have a cable operator in Hong Kong who offer cable tv and Internet via cable, but now-tv have bagged the rights to the Premiership this season. Not too sure what other sports they have, or what else I’m missing out on, but it seemed a reasonable one to go for. Cue yet more difficulties with address and names. I think at one point I went through all the possible combinations of Arvina, Arvini, Irvina, before almost shouting down the phone ‘E at both ends’ only to get back to Arvina… Persistence did indeed pay off and by using a weird version of the phonetic alphabet we eventually agreed on Ervine. Having been mentally exhausted by these efforts the woman at the end of the phone then said it would be an 8 megabyte (I suspect she means megabit though) service, would I like to pay extra for wireless (no thanks, I’ll sort that myself), and that I get one month of free membership to some weird now-internet website that I’ll be charged for unless I remember to cancel after my one month. I’m then reeled off an plethora of television channels and packs etc. that I think I’m subscribed to, but to be honest it’s not really very clear. Mental exhaustion once again. Altogether the Internet and TV package will cost about HK$600 per month and should be installed tomorrow between 11:00am and 1:00pm. This was confirmed after handing over my credit card number – a struggle in itself again. Not helped by the name on the card being Jonathan Ervine, and my name at now-tv being down as Ervine Jonathan… I couldn’t face the water company after this, so went about shifting my stuff across town.

Fortunately the rest of the day went pretty smoothly, although by the end of the day I was pretty fed up with taking the MTR backwards and forwards across the city.  The last item I shifted across was my (heavy) desktop PC so figured I’d grab a taxi. Definitely a good decision, as having shifted everything through the rest of the day it was a blessed relief when the PC was in the new place. I was then able to head out to watch the Arsenal v Man United game, as part of an expected global television audience of one billion. I’ve never been a fan of the 12:45 kick offs when back home, but it’s apparent that they’re obviously timed so that they’re available in the evening here (8:45pm local time). There’s a massive market for the Premiership here (or EPL as it’s referred to… eugh) and as the amount of money being generated from here only increases, I suspect we’re going to see an even greater influence on the game back in the UK. Not necessarily in the interest of the UK fan either.

I’ll report back how the now-tv and broadband installation goes, and see how favourably or unfavourably it compares with the fun and games I had with VirginMedia in the UK. now-tv is owned and run by PCCW, who were basically formed by the merger of the Hong Kong Telephone Company and Cable and Wireless HK.

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One Response to “Out of the old, and into the new”

  1. johniebg Says:

    Funny you should mention Virgin, because i was thinking to myself: ‘makes virgin seem like walk in the park.’ But then the inuendo there is just mind boggling …

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