Back on the Chain Gang
OK, so being back at work is not nearly as painful as all that – just a little literary license here!
Yes, I’m back in HK after a whirlwind visit to NJ and TO that offered a sound lesson: don’t decide to move out of your apartment when there’s less than a week left to your vacation. Take it from me, it’s not a great way to relax. If it hadn’t been for my wonderful cousin Sharron, I might not be alive to tell more tales. I had a completely unrealistic idea about the work it would take to pack up an apartment that contained bits and pieces of my entire life. Whew!
From Sunday to Wednesday at noon, it was pack, pack, pack, sort, sort, sort, toss, toss, toss. There might have been a bit of sleep involved, but not as much as needed! Yet, when the movers arrived Wednesday afternoon, everything was finished. Now, my belongings are happily sitting in a storage unit while I avoid paying double rent. I’m sad to wave goodbye to my turret, but this princess has other fish to fry.
Packing wasn’t the last of the chores, alas. There was also the final cleaning. Bummer. Next time, I’ll allow a bit more time or I’ll hire more help. Sharron gets the trophy for most assists in a season!
To top it all off, just as we were getting ready to load the remaining bits and pieces into my car, I found that I had left the parking garage with my lights on and hadn’t turned them off after parking at my apartment. Voila! A dead battery! With only 7 hours until flight time, it was a distraction I didn’t need. Once again, angels were in town. One of the women who works in my landlady’s dental office came to the rescue with her car. Thanks to my dad, I own – and know how to use – jumper cables, so we were soon off and driving again. Crazy!
One positive about the packing frenzy was that it tired me enough to allow me to get some sleep on the 15-hour flight to Hong Kong. When I arrived at 5 a.m., I was tired, but not exhausted. I found a cab and managed to help the driver find my new apartment building in Sheung Wan, one of the oldest parts of the city. Even though check-in time wasn’t officially until 2 p.m., the staff let me in anyway. I was thrilled, because the bed was calling out to me.
My new place is a contrast to my first one in HK. It’s a highrise, as opposed to a walk-up, and I’m on the 10th floor with a view of the harbour – seen between the buildings across the way. The neighbourhood has commercial spaces at street level, but not a mall to be seen, nor a horde of tourists: hooray! There’s a small park around the corner that looks perfect for reading, and even better, there’s a sports and recreation complex along the harbourfront, which is five minutes on foot. I should be able to use the gym facilities there at a much better rate than a private gym would charge.
I went back to work a day after arriving, and it was great to see my colleagues. There are so many good folks, it’s a pleasure. I even managed to stay awake! Of course, I had incentive: it turns out that I have the next day off, so the opportunity to sleep late beckoned.