Saturday, September 21, 2013

Jet lag, the heat and housing

I am not sure if it is the heat or if I still have jetlag but I am still tired much of the time. I am sleeping but I usually wake up a couple hours earlier than desirable. It is annoying but I know that it will pass.

I am known for getting cold easily. Often when people say it is hot, I am still rather comfortable. But not here, not now. I am on the opposite side of the world and reacting likewise. I am assuming I will get used to the heat, at least somewhat, but until then I am really trying to keep my exposure to the outdoors minimal.

You can't stay indoors and apartment hunt and I did that for 4-5 days in a row. It really wiped me out. The college connected me with a property agent. This would be to rent an apartment. Honestly, I wasn't sure I wanted to do this but I wanted to give it a fair chance. The agent was showing me apartments I couldn't really afford but at least they were furnished. A couple were shareable but then I would have to find a roommate. For the most part they were rather horrible, terrible layouts and tiny, tiny bathrooms. Then the couple that I saw that I felt I could live in were problematic because of my being unemployed. One landlord wanted a year's rent in advance. Needless to say I wasn't going to do that. It isn't that I didn't understand their position, because I do, but it wouldn't work for me. 

I was on borrowed time, I had booked a room via airbnb for only 12 days. A new friend, a local who used to be an exchange student in the US with my cousins, kindly helped me out one of the days.  As we walked from apartment to apartment she called up service apartments for me. I had already discounted service apartments because of the price but also because there are very few in the New Territories but it was nice to have someone else helping me and coming to the same conclusion.

I had found a roommate matching website for Hong Kong before I left. It is free to a certain extent then there is a small fee. You really need to pay the fee to contact folks but it was worth it. I was lucky enough to only have to go to see two apartments to find one that I liked and that welcomed me. I am now renting a room from a very nice young professional woman in Tai Wai. The location is ideal, I am right across the street from the MTR station. And it is only 3 stations to get to school everyday.

Now some of you who know me may wonder if I will be comfortable sharing an apartment after so long of having my own place. Well, I shared my apartment with my niece my last two months in NYC, then I spent 6 weeks in the home's of my siblings then came here, renting a tiny room in Hung Hom from a great airbnb host. So essentially, I have already been doing it for awhile. And to be honest, financially and stress-wise it is the best solution.

Today was checkout day at my airbnb place. And it was moving day. Perfect timing. I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten this far. Now I can focus more on my classes.

Monday, September 9, 2013


I have arrived!

Despite springing for the more comfortable Premium Economy seat once again I didn't sleep much on my flight here. I wonder if I would sleep if I were in First Class? I may never know, this was already quite a splurge for me. And this time I boarded somewhat sleep deprived since I had to be up at 3 a.m. to get to the airport for my flight to JFK, leg one of my trip. But I already took a nap and I think I will get some sleep tonight. I  always have jetlag so I expect the same this trip as well. My airbnb hostess is very nice and the bed is comfortable so I think I will be fine here.

Tomorrow I will head to Chinese University of Hong Kong and get the lay of the land so to speak.