A weird quirk of my personality I discovered when I moved to Hong Kong is that I love moving. For 25 years, I lived in the same apartment I always had. Then I moved to Hyderabad and while there, we moved once and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed doing a spring clean and setting up my new room and exploring the new neighbourhood. But it was only in Hong Kong that I could fully explore this side of my personality because we moved around quite a bit and each time, I loved it.
Since I had kids, I have had to put down roots and curb my instinct to move house (which I did at least every couple of years since I moved to Hong Kong). So my office move was an opportunity to sate my need to uproot.
For once, I wasn’t entirely positive. In the old office, a few of us sat in a separate room that gave us a degree of extra freedom to faff. And a refurbished mall with a slew of lunch options had just opened up a short walk away which I was just beginning to enjoy. Also, I had discovered an acceptable route to walk to work from the MTR stop but the new place would be just that extra distance that requires taking a minibus.
Anyway, by decree of the powers that be, we moved to an office space in a new building. As to be expected in Hong Kong, people are moaning about everything from the office layout to the dust to the height of the partitions to the air con. But overall, I’m happy.
- I didn’t have that much stuff to start with, but I still junked things before the move. There were people who waited till the last minute and then basically just put everything into boxes. One of my colleagues had 11 boxes to transport (I had 2). 11! And our cubes here are smaller. The sight of her standing in her new space surrounded by towers of boxes was hilarious.
- I enjoyed arranging my things just so and making sure I took home stuff that was not related to the office.
- The building we’re in is not entirely complete, even the floor we are on. So there is a lot of dust and on the first two days, even our office had that paint smell that I like but that would give anyone a headache after a while. I had a headache for a couple of days. I also got my period the day of the move and came down with a serious leg cramp from standing around too much.
- The toilet will be shared with other offices and students. That means lots of unknowns but also a bigger toilet. The flushes, in my opinion, are definitely superior to the flushes in our old toilet. But still, I have noticed unflushed toilets (if it all doesn’t go down, wait till the flush fills up and repeat people! Putting the lid down and walking away does not cut it) and that splashy pee thing that is so common here (and which is always blamed on Mainlanders but we are only two offices on this floor and no Mainlanders here so…).
- People are complaining that the air con isn’t cold enough. I am thoroughly happy that we are not pretending to be sub-arctic.
- There is a sky garden just outside our office. One day I sat there and chatted with a friend on the phone. In the past office, I’d have to do that in the corridor just outside our office with people walking between offices giving me a look (and hearing my conversation before I realised they were passing by). I’m pretty sure I’ll be the only person using the sky garden due to Hong Kongers aforementioned allergy to heat.
- The minibus to office so far has been very convenient. It is a new route created for our uni and the best part about it is that the buses have bells to alert the driver to stop so the agony of calling out in Cantonese to the driver is eliminated.
- I’ve been using the student canteens and saving money so far. I’m going to tire of eating cha siu faan one of these days though.
- On the other hand, I’ve been indulging in coffee from the one cafe on campus which is now just in the next building.
Every day, I run into someone who has just moved in and have to pretend not to be too happy in order to fit in with the general mood. Ah, peer pressure.