Friday 25 July 2008

Lifestyles of the rich and famous (or, how I came to be viewing flats on The Peak, cruising around in an air-conditioned BMW, listening to Cantopop)

One of the biggest property websites here is called Go Home - a pretty off-putting message for those immigrants among us. I have no idea what it's called in Chinese. I hope it's not meant in as negative a way as it sounds...

Today has turned out unexpectedly diverting. And I mean that both in the Jane Austen "To-night's ball was excessively diverting!" sense, and also in the getting-lost sense. I headed to Repulse Bay this morning - the weather here is absolutely gorgeous, but unfortunately I got off the bus about 20 minutes too early, so I was glowing a bit after my long walk! Here's a view over the beach.

I saw a ground floor flat in Repulse Bay, which was quite nice,
but a bit dark, and had a delightful view from the bedroom window of next door's cars. (One doesn't use public transport when one lives here). So then the agents had the bright idea of showing me another flat over in SoHo (South of Hollywood Rd). as long as I didn't mind tagging along, as they had to go and photograph a couple of places on The Peak, which had just come onto their books.

The first one we saw, a house, was 10 times our budget! Quite amusing though, as the maid and caretaker thought I was looking round as a prospective renter, so I felt I should make appropriate comments like "Hmm, the pool's a bit small really. And using this whole room for one mah-jong table seems like a bit of a waste".

At the next set of flats we went to, there was a maid sitting out in front of one of the houses blow-drying a big Golden Retriever! It's nearly 7pm now, and it's still 33 degrees. Don't think I would have wanted to dry my hair outside today...Unsurprisingly, all of the flats were rather loverly. One of them had a brilliant view of all the tourists gawking down the hill from the Peak Galleria.

We eventually made it into SoHo ( bit like London's Soho, loads of bars, tiny little streets, pedestrians weaving between all the traffic)to see a flat in a walk-up (=no lift!) building. It was nice, but very overlooked. The bedroom had an en-suite of sorts - it basically amounted to a hole-in-the-floor loo in a cupboard! Weird.

More viewings this afternoon, which takes the total this week to 36. Phew.

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