Search and rescue

Come sit down, let's watch the stars

Come sit down, let’s watch the stars

I am so excited I am beside myself. So is Ike. We just made an offer to rent an apartment together and we are desperately hoping that it comes through. The apartment is old and I don’t mean pimped-out-loft-in-old-walkup-old. I mean literally an old apartment in a 55-year old walkup. After five years, I may live in an apartment without an air conditioned lobby, elevator or most importantly a bathtub. But I guess at least some of those things have never been that important.

I love my current apartment – it’s in a great neighborhood, it’s well kept, it has a balcony and a bathtub and gas hobs. Believe you me it is hard to find an apartment with the proverbial “everything” and in Hong Kong the expectations are already pretty low. But like a dusty town in a western, this sheung wan pad ain’t big enough for the two of us (and the furniture and my extensive wardrobe and my shoe collection and Ike’s shoe collection).

So we know we have to move.

When I saw this apartment on the quiet mosque street, there was plenty to be skeptical about…the boring, expatty neighborhood that I have already had enough of, the construction sites, the lengthening of Ike’s commute…and the worst of the worst – the bathroom in line with the kitchen. I generally abhor this architectural abomination and just one day prior had a spat with Ike about how I considered it a deal breaker. But not in this case…there were so many aces in this deck that the joker bathroom didn’t have a chance – high ceilings, two rooms both large enough to serve as bedrooms, gas hobs, a fucking pantry and are you ready for this? A rooftop as large as the apartment itself. Our plants would be so happy there. Ike said we could do yoga there. And there was a barbecue too. Say what?

I think the only test for how good an apartment is is that you look around and just like that, you start mentally plotting what you’d do there, how you’d live, what you’d change. You don’t bother with those thoughts if you don’t like the place. If you don’t like the place, your mind swims with flaws. I saw myself living there with Ike, revamping, fixing, painting and decorating. Sure it wouldn’t be a plug-and-play but it wouldn’t be a drag forever either.

Ike saw the place a day later and cautiously relayed his observations to me…they were uncannily similar to mine. We could get a lower rent by taking it as it was (insert wyclef Jean’s take me as I am) and then doing everything we wanted with it on our budget. We could caulk the holes, paint the walls, install mirrors and pendants and chandeliers and make the space our own.

And all of that has meaning to me. So far it has just been Ike moving into my apartment and making niches for himself, many a time to my grimace because there really isn’t enough room and I don’t want to be admonished for having too many clothes (I know I do!). Now we may have each our own wardrobes. I don’t have to make room for him nor does he have to ask. We can decorate together so it’s not all just my taste. I want his opinions on the wall as much as I want mine. It delights me to no end that I want this.

I hope we get it!

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