Saturday, March 12, 2016


12 days. From first notice to unpacking new flat. 12. days.
  • Friday - get the notice
  • Tuesday - view 7 apartments 
  • Thursday - sign lease 
  • Wednesday - move in

It was a normal Friday afternoon. I was finishing up my planbook for the next week of school, wrapping up emails, and tidying up the classroom.... When I got a message in my inbox informing me that we had to move. Landlord wants to sell.

From what I hear, this is totally normal in Hong Kong. Leases can be broken by either party with a 2 month notice after the initial 12 months have passed. Normal. 

Now - full disclosure - we did have until June to get out. However, we really wanted to stay in the same apartment complex to provide stability for the kids (and enjoy the view, pool, community of friends, walk to schools, etc). There weren't many options and we knew lots of teacher-families were in the same boat. So we jumped.

And of course, life does not stop. Let me ammend the screenplay:
Friday - get the notice
 *shop and bake for upcoming birthday, plus normal weekend chores
Tuesday - view 7 apartments 
 *ABear's birthday dinner
Wednesday - put down offer, get refused. Put down different offers, negotiate back & forth
Thursday - sign lease 
 *meet with realtor, make list of needed repairs & book handyman
Friday - get keys & start cleaning
 *get estimates from 3 moving companies and book one.
 *Saturday - host girls for an 8year old birthday slumber party
Wednesday - move
 *become a multi-tasking drill sergeant to orchestrate many moving parts
Thursday - unpack, clean and turn over the old flat, complete all repairs
Friday - say goodbye goodluck to family and rush to airport right after school 
 *away for the weekend (more on that later)

trying to remove & take our very expensive window safety hinges... no luck.

scrubbing the walls - for HOURS
The little stuff is tucked in there too: closing and re-opening gas, electric, water, drinking-water delivery, wifi, change of address at post office, gathering boxes, packing stuff, putting stuff away.... and being a full time teacher and mother.
in such disrepair - this place needs a LOT of work!
But it's done! We're in. And I'm here to tell you that it CAN be done. And perhaps this was the most whiplash-inducing move we've ever done (crossed fingers ever WILL do) - it also was the simplest. Very little time to get emotional, to compare options, to organize our belongings prior to the move. And now? Now we are settled and living normal day-to-day in a deja-vu similar flat just 4 towers down the road. The view is decidedly better. The flat is a confirmed 6 inches wider (that makes a difference in HK!!). And we no longer have to use a lighter to turn on the stovetop. 

cute little stovetop, isn't it?? - love these blue cupboards too

settled in. Same-Same furniture placement. Easy-Peasy.

See the window safety bars? So ugly! Like JAIL.
Might need to fork up the money to purchase those handy hinges again ...

There's still a TON of cleaning and home-making to do .... but all in good time. The kids have adjusted beautifully. And it's DONE.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! and Sarah and your moves!!! Gotta send us your new address. And some photos of the new view. Gotta love those moving boxes to keep the kids entertained!