Wednesday, April 2, 2014

a city of 1,223 skyscrapers

Hong Kong has become a financial epicenter in the past few decades, crowding the mainland and the island namesake with more buildings than seems actually possible. To say the city is crowded would be an understatement. Saying retail property is expensive would be too.

Thankfully I had connections... and a true Hong Kong living experience due to it. Humphrey's grandmother owned land on the mainland. Or, to be more specific, a small two bedroom apartment. It has remained with the family ever since.  And as an inherited property owner, he flew all the way from Amsterdam to welcome me into it. 

A long hallway with gated doors greeted us, after exiting the elevator, as we walked to his apartment. Smells of food wafted in the air from the indoor facing windows of neighboring tenants.

"Some of these apartments are divided up into tiny rooms and rented to multiple different people," Humphrey commented as we walked past a certain apartment. "If you stand on your tip-toes you can see it through the window." 

I stole a glance, baffled by the confined way of life. 

When we reached the door of his apartment, he stopped. "By the way," he warned me, "you might smell moth balls." 

His mom requested some be placed in the apartment to rid it of moths. His brother went overboard and deposited an entire package worth in the closet. The smell was wildly apparent. Even though in Humphrey's last visit, a few months before, he had removed every last bit. 

The smell was wildly apparent, but only added to the deeply Chinese atmosphere of the environment. It was part of the experience. That, along with the offerings to grandma placed on the family shrine to appease her soul with our intrusion.

1 comment:

Patti said...

I can't believe how connected you are everywhere you go! Knowing someone who has an apartment in Hong Kong is a major coup.