Tuesday, July 26, 2011

850 Square Feet

Good news: we found out we'll be able to get into our apartment as soon as we arrive in Hong Kong. Because we have to arrive early to finalize school arrangements, we're heading over earlier than we really need to for the Fulbright grant. Lignan University has graciously allowed us to move in when we arrive, even though they don't have to - which is a huge relief.

Even more good news: our apartment will have three bedrooms. In a crowded city like Hong Kong, where real estate averages about $10,000 per square foot, that's pretty luxurious. And, with two boys, the ability to send them to separate spaces (no matter how small those bedrooms are) will almost certainly come in VERY handy.

The not so good news: as the title suggests, our apartment is pretty small - about 850 square feet. And as you can see from the picture of the living room above, there's not even enough comfy chairs for all of us to sit in at the same time. Even if we get a bean bag chair (not much room for anything else!), I imagine there are going to be some good fights over who gets what chair.

Nonetheless, we're pretty okay with this. One of the reasons we're going away for the year is because we want the boys to see how other people live, and in the rest of the world, McMansions are not the norm. Hopefully, we'll all be a little more grateful for the space we do have when we get back - rather than wishing for more of this or that. I think our attitude about the apartment has been helped by the video that my sister sent me from the Wall Street Journal about a family of four living in Hong Kong in 150 square feet and an article from CNN about coffin homes in Hong Kong. In that context, 850 square feet sounds pretty swank. Nonetheless, I am book-marking that article about coffin homes, so that I can remind myself of this on some rainy afternoon in Hong Kong when we're all on top of and ready to kill each other.