Ben in Hong Kong©

Saturday, June 18, 2011

When you misplace your property agent

I started in the office on Wednesday, and within five minutes I had various projects and responsibilities handed over to me. My desk has moved, so I am now upstairs, and now my focus is more on staff and students rather than recruitment. In typical fashion the first day was unusual. We went to a Karaoke bar for lunch, and then from around 1pm - 4pm I was singing to such classics as Michael Jackson and Abba.

At the end of that day I left on the MTR and travelled back to Wan Chai. I had a couple of hours to spare before I had to be at the horse races, so I decided I might as well start looking for a flat. Living on Laura and Niks sofa is very comfortable, but I have my university dissertation to be getting on with and I have to focus on work too, so looking for my own place quickly is quite a priority.

I went to three property agents. The first one was not helpful at all, trying to get me to spend more than I was willing to in regards to my budget. My budget is similar to when I was last living in Hong Kong, though I could spend slightly more, my aim is to save money to pay off my MA course, save up for my eventual PHD and also put cash aside for a mortgage too. The second property agent was friendly, and showed me a couple of options on their computer system, but the locations were in Lockhart road and I did not want to live above lots of bars and loud music. The third property agent was more helpful, he immediately grabbed some keys and we looked at three different locations, but they were all terrible, one was half the size of my old studio flat and was located in Causeway Bay. The other two had potential, but the locations were not near either the tram lines or the MTR system and were still a little smaller and more expensive than I would like to pay. It was when travelling to the third flat viewing with the property agent that I lost him. We were crossing a very busy intersection in Causeway Bay, as soon as the traffic stopped the crowds surged across in both directions and amid the bustle the property agent vanished. I crossed the road and waited, but it was clear that he thought I was still following him. I stood there for five more minutes feeling slightly confused before he returned, looking equally perplexed and exclaimed 'Mr Ben, how did you misplace me!?'

I returned to Laura and Niks flat by 6pm and we then went to the horse races. A friend called Cain was singing with his band during the breaks between racing, which was the main reason we were going to show a bit of support. I did not even bet on a horse as I was too busy catching up with or meeting people who Nik kept introducing me to. It feels like she now knows half of Hong Kong!

After the races I decided to head home as I don't yet have the spending money for a big night out. Wednesday night though is ladies night, so bars generally give free alcoholic drinks to women. Subsequently at 4.30 am I was woken up by Nikki returning to the flat, just as I was dropping back to sleep she stumbled towards me on the sofa, slurred that she loved me, then slightly headbutted me, which I assumed was going to be a kiss goodnight. It was that point that I fully realised that I needed to find my own place as quickly as possible.

The next morning I sent an email to a friend who is a property agent in Central Hong Kong. He replied fairly quickly and also confirmed that it was not easy to find a studio flat in Hong Kong island at the moment within the range that I was looking for. At that point I began to consider something so drastic that I actually thought I might be still drunk from the horse races.

Maybe I should live in Kowloon....



Anonymous said...

sorry I keep missing your calls. Speak soon M and Dad

Anonymous said...


Ollie said...

Great Blog Ben, Hong Kong looks amazing!!

Oliver Hilton