Permanent Home

Welcome to our new place! Jing Tai Garden in the Mid-levels, Hong Kong. Last weekend, we made the move from our serviced flat to the permanent flat. It took just three trips with suitcases across the road to move and a delivery from IKEA.  It is amazing how large 840 sq ft feels when you don’t have much.  

We could see the permanent flat from the serviced flat.

24th Floor at the Lily serviced flats.

Steve waived at me.

I waived at Steve.

Boxes

Our living-room-in-boxes arrived from IKEA.  Thankfully, everything fit in the very small lift.  If it had not, they would have carried it up the stairwell, and they charge by the floor.  16 floors would be a costly job, and the pay would be well deserved.  Even the mattress fit!

Assembler and shelves.

Here is the kitchen.  Not common to have an oven and an open space.

This flat was built in 1978 and renovated in the last two years.  We looked at so many places and this one was the best fit for us in terms of location and size.  We really wanted to be on a much lower floor, but this was the best we could do.

We have a little view of the hills behind from the kitchen.

Bedroom closet storage turned out to be plenty.

So, we are now set for the next two years.  It is a little uninteresting right now, but I am sure we fill it up with lovely finds and have too much to bring home.

By the way, we have a guest room.  Hong Kong in your future?

The Big Buddha

We decided to be tourists around Hong Kong today. So off we went to see the Big Buddha on Lantau Island and the Po Lin Monastery. Good choice. It was a lovely, relatively low-humidity day and we got there early.

The trip was a mix of old and new, commercialism and simplicity. The MTR (subway)brought us to the island, and then we took a glass-bottom tram to the Buddha.

The tram station had all the feel of an over-the-top amusement park, and we walked in lines and snaked through dividers to enter the tram car. Once in the car, it was quiet and we started off over the hills and then out over the water. We were probably 600-800 feet high over the water, and then the tram started up the mountain. Below was lush vegetation and many birds. We could hear the birds in the trees as we went over the tops. The ride lasts about 25 minutes and after climbing higher and higher up the hills, we reached the top and could see the Buddha sitting even higher kind of floating above the trees.

Once you leave the car and start the walk to the Buddha, you have to go through an amusement-style village street. Very weird and obviously not part of the Monastery. There were Starbucks and several different noodle shops and souvenier shops along the way and amusemen-park-style music playing the same obnoxious tune over and over again. At the end of the street, it opens up and you can see a lovely working monastery beautifully cared for and a big sign telling you “go to the big Buddha.”  You smell incense and every garden is meticulously cared for, and there are big dogs lazing around in the grass and sleeping in the sun.  There are 240 steps to the base of the lotus that the Buddha is sitting upon. It is serene and calming to climb the stairs. At the top, there were 40 or so monks, nuns and Buddhists in active prayer, working their way clockwise around the base of the Buddha.

We spent quite a bit of time here taking in the view and considering where we were.  At one point Steve says, “can you believe we are living here?”   And, I can’t quite believe it.