So we finished moving everything over on Saturday and we’re now resident in Ping Long Village in Lam Tsuen Valley, Tai Po.
The good stuff first:
One of my blog readers lives in the neighboring village and stopped by to offer all sorts of useful tips on transportation and shopping around here. It was a nice welcome.
We’ve met all of our immediate neighbors – the family living upstairs and the two families next door. I compare that to my four years in Mid Levels, when I never knew my neighbors, even the ones on the same floor. To me that’s one of the big plusses of village life.
Last night we went out for dinner. When we got back and parked in the village car park, I pointed out the village temple to my gf. We walked over to take a closer look. Sitting in front of the house next door was a British guy and his Filipino girlfriend. They said hello, we told them we had just moved here this day, and he went into his house and came out with bottles of Jack Daniels and Absolut and glasses with ice. We soon met another British neighbor and sat out in the town square enjoying the evening. They told me that the little shop or restaurant or whatever it is at the end of the village sells big bottles of Tsing Tao for HK$10 and that’s the local hangout.
Of course lots of firecrackers all last night and all day today.
We headed into Tai Po early and were very pleasantly surprised to find some places open. The big Cantonese seafood place had a huge line out front, people waiting for combination Sunday/New Year dim sum. We found a little cha chaan teng nearby with no English menu but friendly staff and customers and had breakfast there. We saw signs of some shops opening up even though it’s the first day of CNY and also some guy on the street wanting to give me free copies of the Watchtower magazine. Thanks but no thanks.
The slightly smaller space of the flat plus the lack of any closets is temporarily driving me crazy. The second bedroom will become our closet but for right now everything is still in cartons and suitcases still we can get some stuff from Price Rite. The third bedroom, the one that will be my office, is packed from floor to ceiling and I’m going a bit crazy figuring out how to arrange everything and what to throw out – which is why I’m taking a break to write this now.
Which, by the way, I’m doing on my laptop tethered to my iPhone, because PCCW fucked me, pretty much as expected.
Once I knew I was moving, at least 3 weeks in advance, I called PCCW first. I only selected the move day of February 9th after they confirmed they could hook everything up that day.
One week before the move they called to tell me there were only two lines going into the house, not the four I would need, so I told them to give me the landline and the internet and we could wait on the NOW-TV.
So February 9th arrives. And half an hour before the time slot for PCCW to arrive, the installer calls up to tell me he can’t install that day. ”But you must!!!” – I might have screamed. ”Cannot.” I tell him to have his manager call me.
Meantime I call the main service number and get some guy on the phone who says he can only book orders for new relocations. He gives me the name and phone number of the guy who originally took my order. I ask if he’s working on a Saturday – no idea.
I call that number, get a voicemail, but the guy calls me back within 15 minutes. He checks into the system and says that the junction box is too far from my house and they need more time to run cables there. I ask him how that is possible when it was confirmed to me one week earlier that at least two lines were okay. He doesn’t know. I ask how this is possible when this is not a new house, when other people lived here before me, surely they must have had service. He doesn’t know.
He says he’s sorry for any inconvenience. I tell him it’s not just an inconvenience, that I work from home, and what is PCCW going to do about my lost income? I tell them to do something temporary, run a cable or something to my house, till they can have the permanent fix. He says he’ll have his manager call me.
An hour later, same guy calls me back. He says he’ll transfer me to the manager. He puts me on hold and every 10 minutes comes back on to see if I’m still there and to apologize. After 30 minutes he says he can’t get the manager on the phone but he will definitely call me back that day.
Which never happens. No one else calls me.
And now it’s Chinese New Year. And this year it’s a four day holiday instead of three.
Fortunately, the mobile phone signal is a lot stronger here than it was in my previous two villages. So I get enough signal for email, Facebook, that sort of stuff. Not enough for uploading or downloading.
And as of now I have no idea when everything will be installed.
Oh well. Back to unpacking.