Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Ammo

I spent the morning doing laundry and re-packing my stuff. Jenny Quinton, Peter's neighbor on Lantau Island planned to meet me at the Mau Wo ferry at 11:50am to take me up to his house.

I was happy to meet her and excited to see my new home for the next 4 weeks. Peter was on his way home from visiting his family in the UK and wouldn't be arriving until the evening, so I had the day to acquaint myself with the area. The ferry over to Lantau Island was much smaller than the Kowloon boat and wasn't shy about diving head first into wake, sending myself and the other passengers all over the seats... quite a fun ride might I add.
When I walked down, I noticed the immense amount of bicycles parked at the docking station. The roads were so narrow and the town was so small that there really was no use for vehicles on the island anyway. The walk up to the house took about 32 minutes from the time I met Jenny, to the moment we opened Peter's front door. Passed the flats and smaller houses, a road cleared and turned into sidewalk. Winding and whirling on a small concrete path, the greenery thickened with ripe vines, and the trail ascended into the hills. A small stream run off trickled down closely to the sidewalk as plemello trees, ginger lillies, and Mother-in-law plants grew up from the moist shrubberies. The climate that day was very similar to Florida's humidity, aside from the fact that the mountains weren't very visible due to the smog.

That little white spec would be the house I was living in.

As we strolled higher and higher up the hill, each house was probably at least a quarter of a mile away from each other, and we passed four neighbors until Peter's house, the last one at the tippy top. His villa in particular is probably the most beautiful. Typically, the Chinese country houses have three floors. The storage room and the bathroom are outside on the first floor, with the living room and bedrooms divided by screens in the main quarter. There is only one spicket for the wash basin outside as well. No sink area, dishwasher, stove, etc, but there was a couple of free range burners seated on a bench in the courtyard for cooking.

I had time to poke around and survey what I was getting myself into... still a couple hours until Peter would get back.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention about today... so I got a little lonely before Peter got home and walked down to Jenny's house seeking warmth and reassurance. I found out very quickly how a heated home could feel so cold. Jenny was zipping past me, yelling at her children, stopping only to just acknowledge my presence, then, moving on. Either way, I spent my first afternoon in Lantau waiting on her doorstep, with their puggle, Bella, a cup of tea, and a book instead. This was way more comforting than hanging out at Peter's where I wasn't even exactly sure what was accessible or off limits yet. At least I knew Jenny's doorstep was fair game. Nevertheless, I stole the book out of their rubbish bin outside and pocketed the novel after 15 pages read. I am happy to say that this book has become my so-called bible so far.

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