First Impressions and Elizabeth Barrett Browning in Hong Kong
|The day begins at #43... sun rising to the east, behind the mountain ridge|
Good Morning, Good Evening and Hello!
Well, here we are again, on the Expat Express to Hong Kong! Many of you have been with me for the long expat haul, from our first days in Australia (pre-blog) to last days in New Zealand ( started blog) to life in England, Vietnam, Tahilla Farm and now Hong Kong. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you..from the bottom of my heart and up, it is full of appreciation!
Those early days, first impression days are probably the most meaningful to me. When I look back at our time in each country I always start with those early blog posts, when the glimmer of adventure is within reach.
Unlike the other countries, Hong Kong is a known entity to me. I travelled with Mr. H several times...the most memorable as the tag-along wife in 2014. I have the 'lay of the land' as a tourist down pat which has given me a head start into life as an expat in Hong Kong. Phew!
Speaking of Mr. H...
|Good Morning Hong Kong!|
I knew the move to Hong Kong would be a challenge. I was unable to be a part of the apartment hunt and left it in the hands of Mr. H. He prioritized his list, views first. I have to say I am very happy with the views.
I was unable to be on site in Vietnam to pack up the house for Hong Kong. Mr. H. had the responsibility. We kept the communication lines open. I received many emails with photos and questions like.. "What's this?" "Do we want to keep it?" "Where is?" "How come?". Let's just say that will be the last time he packs up the house. A role he will gladly relinquish.
I am into day five of unpacking and moving furniture and am nearly done. I am just about ready for that sigh of relief. It's actually been nice to have the time to sort it all out. I had a leap of faith back in May in Vietnam when I had to decide which items to ship to Tahilla Farm in New Hampshire and which to keep for our eventual apartment which had yet to be selected. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. So far so good. I will fill you in on the apartment details in a later post.
|View from #43...Hong Kong|
More important matters first...
|View to Victoria Peak...to the west #43|
Top of mind at the moment is what to call the apartment...because a name makes all the difference. We have 'Windswept' in Australia, 'Tahilla Farm' in New Hampshire and of course...the recently vacated 'Chateau Mango' in Vietnam.
This one is tricky. Living in Hong Kong, on the 43rd floor, in a high rise apartment with harbour and mountain views opens up all sorts of possibilities...or so you would think. We have considered many configurations of words.. even translating them into Mandarin. When we translated 'view' to Mandarin and came up with 'Shìtú'...I knew it was time to move on.
|Night view... #43|
So I asked my Instagram friends for ideas...and here are some of their fabulous suggestions, which I love!
The Dove's Nest
The Feathered Nest
Honker's Heights (Aussie)
The View @43
George and Weezie's Place ( reference to TV show, The Jeffersons)
43 Heights (reference to Wuthering Heights)
The View from 43
House of the Dancing Dragons
Zen Forty Third
Peak view Place
They are all wonderful and a lot of fun. We are still tweaking the name and while we tweak I have been using #43... you can't get any simpler than that. Hangin at #43, Life at #43, Views from #43....
Which then left me wondering about the significance of the number 43....and it led me to Elizabeth Barrett Browning and her 43rd Portuguese Sonnet written for her husband, Robert Browning, who she affectionately called "my little Portuguese".
If you have read along with me for a while you will know that I love signs, those quirky things that happen to you and leave you feeling like you have just had a sign from the heavens above. I think I found one. Henriques is Portuguese...and we live on the 43rd floor. Surely, that is a sign for naming the apartment "#43"....or not.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnets from the Portuguese
How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806-1861
Sonnets written ca. 1845-1846
What say you?
Mr. and Mrs. H and Let Me Count The Ways...to the 43rd floor?
A sign for #43?
Or should I consider another?
Do you have a favourite from the list above or another suggestion?
I am all eyes!
|Mr. and Mrs. H looking up to the 43rd floor|
Day Five- Hong Kong
At the moment I feel like the High Priestess from my perch at #43. In my quiet moments..when I give in to an insufferable case of procrastination, I sit and take in every nuance of the scene above and below me. There is a nest of Kite's (think Eagle) in the mountainside behind us, they soar between the high-rises with absolute grace. I imagine reaching out and gliding along with them. Being one who gets wobbly knees and a bit dizzy at the mere thought of looking down from any height...it amazes me and Mr. H that I have not plastered myself, back up to the wall in fear. I am so mesmerized by the birds and the anticipation of photographing them that my fear of heights has vanished...at least for the moment.
|Graceful Kite...(a bird, not a plane...or superman)|
As for seeing Hong Kong, it will come in good time. Mr. H took me out for afternoon tea on Sunday...one of my secret guilty pleasures. I have made a few trips out for errands which is not as easy as I thought it would be. It involves a bus that has a rigid time schedule, something I did not have at Tahilla Farm. Ah..life in the city, I will adjust, I always do.
Until then, I have to pack for Sydney. We head off tonight to catch up with the kids...
It's been a wild and dizzy five days but I am ready to fly...in a plane. ;)
Until next time, you can find me hanging out on Instagram here.
Wishing you all the best for a wonderful weekend!
Sunrise from my perch at #43...
PS..if you prefer to write to me, please do!