I’ve had a great first two weeks in Hong Kong. I needed the time since my last post to catch my breath and decompress from the stress of managing our down-sizing and move. Thank you for all the warm wishes and encouragement you’ve sent, and for your patience during this hiatus from my blog.
It’s been a full two weeks of new experiences, sights, sounds and smells. I really like the serviced apartment (a furnished apartment with housekeeping services) Paul found for us. We are in Kennedy Town on the western part of HK island, and this new little apartment will be our home until our stuff arrives from Canada in a couple of months. I love the area! I literally go out the front door and around the corner – and am met head-on by countless restaurants, shops, laundries, estate agents’ offices, stores, grocers, trams and buses. Within a couple of blocks of our apartment, there are at least 30 restaurants and street vendors offering all types of food – Chinese, Japanese, French, Vietnamese, Spanish, Italian, Thai, fusion, Mexican, English pubs, desserts, bakeries, gourmet – you name it, it’s here. And yes, we have availed ourselves of a lot of it. It’s tough cooking in a kitchen where I can reach all the walls with my arms outstretched.
We are spoiled by the view from our apartment. We are right on the harbour and it changes every minute. There are freighters, tugs, ferries, pleasure boats, fishing boats, what look like water taxis and the occasional cruise ship. In addition, we have a view over to Kowloon that ranges from crystal clear to haze to walls of rain.
I will talk about the weather because that’s what Canadians do. The weather is not spoken of much here, probably because it’s always the same: hot and humid. Temperatures in July and August are between 29 and 33 degrees Celsius with 75% to 95% humidity. Some days, I am absolutely drenched walking around outside, but others are not so bad. Here you always carry an umbrella, not just for rain but especially for the sun. I like that better than wearing a hat, because hat-head would be brutal in this humid weather.
I’ve only been here two weeks, but we have already had our first experience dealing with a medical situation with a loved one at home. I expected that, if this type of thing came up, it would be with one of our parents, but no – it was our daughter. Ainsleigh had to have surgery after suffering an avulsion fracture to her right arm while rock climbing. The accident happened about three weeks before I left Ottawa; the doctors said she should start physio and would be fine in about six weeks. But that clearly was not happening as she could not bend it. Her follow-up appointment with the ortho guys at the hospital revealed that a bone chip had lodged in the elbow joint. They had her in surgery the next day and she is now recovering. Ainsleigh is staying in Ottawa for the rest of the summer with our wonderful friends Vic and Sue who have done everything we could possibly wish to help her through all of this. She also had her grandmother (a nurse) and aunts in Southern Ontario standing by to help out. All of this gave Paul and me peace of mind, but it’s very hard being the parents so far away. It’s a good thing for skype and a digital phone plan and electronic communication which makes this type of situation so much easier but I regret not being there to help her out.
I want to do everything right now – connect with expats, find an apartment, sightsee, blog more and better, figure out the food, learn the language – but even everyday things seem to take longer to accomplish in this early settling-in stage. I’ll figure it out a day at a time. More details to come soon. I still can’t believe I’m in Hong Kong and don’t have a return ticket.