Seventh Haven

I am now in my
seventh home in Hong Kong. All that in a matter of four years and three
months. That seems numerous to count especially that all in my life in
the Philippines my family moved house only once — when I was fourteen.

Moving home is never an easy task, from looking for a new
place, calculating supposed expenses, making sure it’s accessible to
public transportation, market, bank, post office, laundry shop; has
lift, good lighting, security and water supply. Of course affordable.
Doing it alone is a challenge and will always generate questions from
my peers on my way of thinking and deriving decisions.

My history of living in different houses in Hong Kong:

1.
Wah Ming Centre (Sai Ying Pun, 13th Flr) – Living outside the
Philippines for the first time is exciting but has barriers we need to
pass through: guards unable to speak English, laundry issues, bathroom
use schedule issues, etc. I lived with Onin and Leo and later Onin was
replaced by Raymond. It was a relatively in-house kind of group where
we seldom go out and have fun. I left the house when I lost the job at
PCCW. Leo and Raymond, as well as Onin on the other house had to go
back to the Philippines and I was left behind.

2. South Horizons
(Block 16, 4th Flr) – I was with generous souls in Benjie and Tintin
who adopted me for a month while on jobhunting. I stayed there for free
and was the best thing to do especially that I was facing uncertainty
of whether to stay in Hong Kong in the next few months or I have to go
home.

3. Spring Garden Bachelor Pad (Wan Chai, 11th Flr) – I got
a job and while I was still looking for a place to call home, Zandro
offered his cozy little abode. Intended to be a single bedroom bachelor
pad, he was too kind to offer a space for me even if it meant
inconvenience in his part. The place is overlooking the Wan Chai wet
market with all stuff from dried fish to assorted towels on sale. I
stayed there for two months before deciding to move out with Zandro and
look for a two-bedroom flat.

4. Lap Hing Building (Wan Chai, 5th
Flr) – Zandro is just a very nice person whom I owe a lot. This time we
share a two-bedroom flat in Wan Chai. It wasn’t the best deal we got I
admit but we stayed in the area for about one and half years. The place
is along the Hennessy Road so the convenience is there. At the same
time, crowded streets on weekends is a pain. We were able to host
households there with better comfort than in the Spring Garden flat.
The reason we moved out is that he got married and will be bringing his
wife Charm to Hong Kong.

5. 163 Hennessy Road (Wan Chai, 18th
Flr) – When Zandro introduced one new friend in one of our squash
sessions, little did I realize this person would become my next
flatmate. I am referring to Jun who lives alone in a luxurious and
convenient location in Wan Chai. I would say the place is the best I
had so far. All amenities are provided that I could move in with my
clothes and other personal items. Someone cleans the house three times
a week too! I lived like a prince for about a year until Jun decided to
leave Hong Kong for good.

6. South Horizons (Block 13A, 1st Flr)
– I thought of finding a place alone but with time constraints I
settled with another flatmate, a family. It was the first time I lived
with ladies so it was kinda different from the past. I drew nasty
comments from my friends about it but assured them it could be just
within the six months period. My former boss Colin who still maintains
communication with me, is glad to have me back in South Horizons after
2002. With my firm stand to live alone and avoid being tardy in the
office, I decided to move out after five months. Telling the landlord I
will be leaving the house for the first time was weird to me; I often
had the experience my flatmate had to go and not me. Glad I overcame
that.

7. Lido Apartments (Quarry Bay, 7th Flr) – Finally I get
to live on my own. I just moved on 12 May, but at a big price. I had to
buy almost everything from cutter to kitchen knife to extension wire,
wardrobe and bed, telephone line and second hand appliances. I
calculated though that after three to four months I will not spend
anymore on the items and will instead be concerned more on monthly
rental plus utilities.

It’s never easy but I enjoyed it in a way
that I get used to see various places and change of scenery. I get to
know more people though in face only and I learn to adapt to the new
environment I am in.

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