Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Moving on up: Our apartment in the sky

When we heard we were moving to Hong Kong, we thought great! The adventure, the language, the culture, the food. And then- full stop- we hit the idea of high rise living. With three kids, including two year old twins. With little people who don’t fully reason, who climb trees, who are competitive dare- devils, who think they are invincible in princess dress up clothes and batman capes. I really could not get beyond this despite the well-intentioned and well- reasoned advice of friends. We pored over the internet, looking at photos of our soon to be home on the 22nd floor. It just did not make sense. Even disregarding the height safety issues, what about the stuff? The kids’stuff, the schlepping of backpacks and toys, not to mention the groceries?

Well, after months of worry, we are here on the 22nd floor in the E block of the Manhattan high rise apartment complex. And shockingly it is fine. Thanks to Phils’ office, we have a balcony that is padlocked shut and “grills” on all windows that open. Plus another little device that allows the windows to only open an inch or two. (With all this on the windows, I still can’t bear to think about them too long. They remain windows on the 22nd floor with no screens!) Honestly it is fine and I am not sure how. Besides the safety devices, I think in part we are so high that it is a bit surreal. Also the view out the windows is spectacular. All ocean and islands and pirate ships on one side and lush green vegetation on the other.

And lugging stuff is a non- issue. Since you are not heading out to a car (we take buses or taxis everywhere), you automatically take less. And grocery stores, in fact most stores of any kind including Toys R Us, deliver to your door. You can go into the grocery store spend hundreds of dollars and walk out with a small bag of perishables. The rest to be delivered to your home a few hours later. Home delivery is so shocking and great to new comers it deserves to be in the Hong Kong promotional material.

To date our biggest issue with high rise living is who will push the elevator buttons. Luckily, the kids quickly devised their own system. On a rotating basis, each kid gets to push the buttons for the entire day. As we put on our shoes to head out, we recap who is in control that day and we are off. Not quickly off as we usually have to stop on a couple floors just to have a look around but off nonetheless.


Post a Comment

<< Home