Two weekends ago I moved house from Hong Kong Island to Lamma Island. Lamma is a quick 25 minute ferry ride from Central, HK. It is an… interesting place, to say the least. The island’s inhabitants are an eclectic mix of Cantonese locals, expat teachers from all corners of the globe, and semi-retired/retired Methuselahs seeking shelter from chilly winters in their homelands. I’m not quite sure where I fit in to all of this just yet, but I’m enjoying the strangeness of it all and getting some good writing done, so it makes for a decent home.
The move from Hong Kong was pretty simple, partly because I’ve been trying hard not to accumulate too much stuff. A year ago, I arrived in Hong Kong with only my laptop, cat, and two bags of clothes. In the interim I’ve accumulated stuff, more than I would like, but necessary stuff. Still, everything was packed away in less than a day. The movers made short work of the boxes and furniture, hauling everything down to their truck in an hour. One of the movers was so old I thought he might die, but he survived.
So far, so normal. But the next bit was kinda cool. Lamma Island is only accessible by boat (or helicopter in an emergency). All my possessions were unloaded at the Lamma ferry pier. Normally each bit of cargo on the boat has to be paid for. The cargo price list is odd. It lists things like Roast Pig ($30), Coffin ($15), Playstation ($80), etc. Who decides that a Playstation should cost more than a roast pig anyway? Weird. All my stuff ended up costing less than $300! Awesome nonsense, thanks in full to my lovely Cantonese moving assistant 😉 (Btw, all these prices are in HK $, so $300 roughly equals US$36 – Cheap, considering how much stuff I had.)
Next, movers and the stuff waited for the boat. Normally, cargo is only allowed on the “slow” ferry, which travels at a pokey 16knts. By some stroke of luck the “fast” ferry (22knts, woo!) came in its place… and the movers were allowed to load the stuff! Next thing you know all my possessions are crammed into the passenger compartment at the front of the boat! It was pretty funny to witness normally unperturbed Hong Kong residents suddenly confronted with the unexpected: Furniture where they want to sit. Some brave souls actually crawled over my things to get at the blocked seats. They then spent the harbor crossing in fear of their lives as mattresses and cabinets, rocked by the waves, threatened to fall on their heads.
The cat hates being inside her carrier. The last time she was in there she had to endure a 30+hr trip from Los Angeles to her new home in Hong Kong. She was not pleased. Eventually, she and all the other cargo were unloaded at Lamma and schlepped, by hand, to the new abode. Once in her new home the cat was quiet happy. She now has a massive outside roof deck that she can easily access, a sea view, and lots more room to lounge around.
Above you can see the new view, my new office, and the view out my office window to the street below. That woman is selling dried fish or something similar. This part of Lamma is great. Itâ€™s a little noisy and busy when compared to some of the more remote parts of the island, but also very convenient. There are no cars on this island, so you either walk or ride a bike whenever you need to go somewhere. Just outside my door are a dozen different places to eat, several grocery stores, and more than a few bars.
Living and working here has been great so far. Already I’m more than half-way through the Oz screenplay and really liking what is coming out. There are zero distractions during the day, so the island is a perfect place to write. Speaking of, need to get back at it…