Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Long time no blog - moving home

It's been quite a while since the last time I wrote anything here. I've always been wanting to write about new features in FCKeditor and those pesky IE bugs but I never got the time nor the will to actually write a post for that. But now I'm on my long annual leave from the FCKeditor project, and I'm also moving to a new home. So I figured it's a good time to take up blogging again while I have nothing to do.

I've been moving home from To Kwa Wan (a poor, dirty urban district in Hong Kong) to Tai Po Tsai (a suburban village near HKUST) since the 10th of May. I moved to the To Kwa Wan flat this time last year because of the ridiculously cheap rent ($2.8k/mo), and that I wanted to save money for the future. I have to rent private flats because I'm not eligible for public housing or even semi-public housing in Hong Kong, because the government thinks I'm a "middle class"... But come on, how can someone without his own house and his own car be a middle classman?! Stupid policies... There's no wonder why Hong Kong is getting near (or is it above now?) places like Brazil in income inequality and having more than a million living in poverty these days with a government like this one.

Anyway... back to the topic. The old flat in To Kwa Wan was butt ugly. I can't regret my "save money" decision more. For HK$2.8k/month I got a tiny studio flat in a slum area to live in. I thought it was ok as long as the inside of the flat is clean but I was wrong... The nasty shitty smells from the street outside the windows and from the corridor outside the door constantly invaded the place; every corner of the corridor is filled with spiders; the staircases to the outside are often filled with the smell of urine... If you want to experience the lives of the ultra poor in Hong Kong, that is the place you want to go to, and after that you won't be able to comprehend why Hong Kong can be regarded as a first-world place, at all. The only thing worse than that is living under a bridge. Why is the government not giving me public housing... again? I'm not poor enough?

Ok, so I got fed up with that shitty (in a literal way) flat, and decided to move to somewhere clean, with sunlight and fresh air. I still need to save money up so I can't be renting those $10k+/month sea view flats even though I can afford to... So I have to look into the suburban area. And there's just one such village (the Tai Po Tsai village) just outside my previous place of study, how convenient. The new flat is a little bit larger than 300 sq. ft. - not large by any measure, but enough for me and my mom. Right outside the door is a row of tropical trees, a grass field and a BBQ place (Flower and Food BBQ) still further. A huge improvement to the dark corridor filled with sewage and spider webs that was in To Kwa Wan. If there's a smell in the new flat, it's the faint smell of barbecued food, which is quite pleasant actually.

I started moving to the new home at the 10th of May, and as of today the furniture and the broadband connection aren't moved to the new flat yet - so I'm now having to go online with the free wifi offered by HKUST - just next doors. That's still not bad.

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