14 July, 2009

The Hunt is On ........

Life’s pretty insane right now. Yeah – what’s new huh ?

This insanity, however, as we’ve realized over the past month or so, is a lunacy of a different kind. It is the kind of mental illness, the manifestation of which is brought about when one is on the lookout for a place that one would end up calling “home” …. say for the next two years or so.

Oh Yes !! The Nutty family has been busy househunting.

And we’ve pretty much begun to appreciate the troubles our ancestors must have had – in terms of the hunting business. We go househunting once every four years or so and it drives us up the wall. Our ancestors (I mean when they were evolving from apeland) had to even go hunting for food – that too – every single day !! Hats off to them, I say. But then again, I’m quite sure that hunting for food then must not have been half as daunting as hunting for an apartment in Hongkong.

I’ve realized that this househunting business - it brings about a psychosis of a rather unique kind. The kind of psychosis that has me looking at windows of each and every apartment block rather than looking at the lanes, while crossing them. The kind of psychosis that brings a hopeful smile to my face when I see a pair of windows without curtains on them – a sure sign that the apartment is unoccupied. The kind of psychosis that has caused drivers to be careful when I’m walking around. I mean, I don’t pay attention while crossing the lanes – which means the kind and considerate drivers have to be extra careful !!!

Yet again, this househunting business has brought us into contact with a certain breed – a breed which is unique in itself, in the way it conducts itself, in the way it inflates and exaggerates simple things to such an extent that the whole thing seems manic. Yes Yes – I am talking about this breed of Property Agents. And we’ve been overdosed with them over the past month or so. Such a strong overdose that I’ve actually started to imagine that my cell phone is ringing when it really is not.

They hound you with calls. Calls that are so well timed that they invariably catch you when you are doing something really really important. You drop everything, run to the phone, check the caller display, find it is an agent, hope soars at the prospect of there being another apartment in the market, you press the Call Receive button on your cell phone and you hear the agent on the other end laughing rather manically like Santa Claus high on Ecstasy and then the agent tells you

“I call to say I looking for youuuu.”

“You looking for me ?” I ask, rather bewildered.
I mean, is the agent not supposed to be looking for houses. “Why in the name of God are you looking for me ?” I want to ask but refrain – for it would only serve to confuse the agent even further.

“No No No” ….. goes the agent “I mean …. I not looking for you ….. I looking at house for you”.

“Well …. if you looking at house for me ….. why I not there looking at house for me with you ?” I want to scream.

“No No No ……. I mean …… I not looking at house for you …….. I looking for house for you”.

“Well, I happen to KNOW THAT” I think to myself – calling upon every ounce of self control to stop me from shrieking and screaming and yelling at the now disembodied voice on the other end of the phone.

I don’t do that, of course. We are the ones looking for a house, remember ???

These agents, I’ve realized, epitomize hyperboles. For instance – one agent the other day was extolling virtues of the apartment that he was about to take us to. All along the way he kept saying “velly nice sea view”, “velly nice – you can to see the Victolia Harbour flom your window”. We reached the apartment, looked here, looked there ….. all the things that one looks at while househunting. Not that it mattered to me, but since he’d been praising and commending the “sea view”, I wanted to know exactly wherefrom he “saw the sea” from this particular apartment.

“Oh !! The sea view here here” he said and scuttled away – reminding me of those gazillions of hermit crabs that one sees on the beaches – scurrying aimlessly as though the term “sense of direction” has no meaning. He scuttled from room to room – finally ending in the smallest room of the house and with a flourish said “see the sea view here”.

Curiosity made me peep out of the said window and the sea I could definitely not see. In fact, I was craning my neck at such weird angles that I was in danger of having my neck locked in one of those weird yogic asanas …. the kind that might actually require another person to unwind my neck from my own body. I could still see no sea. “Yeah and I’m the Queen of England” I muttered under my breath ….lest he hear me. Else I’d have had to launch into an explanation of how I became the Queen of England !!! (sigh).

That brings me to the question “what’s with this sea view business anyways ?”. With days zipping past without one even noticing that a day has actually gone past, does anyone actually have the time to sit and stare out of the window at the “sea view”. And this “seaview” automatically raises the rent / sale price of the apartment by a few cool thousands / millions – as the case may be. And just to make sure that you get your money’s worth, one would have to allocate a time for oneself wherein one would have to drop whatever it is that one is doing – just to sit and stare out of the window at the “sea view” for which one has ended up burning a hole in one’s pocket. Gee !!! I’d rather stare at the fishes in my aquarium”. Atleast they don’t charge us a few extra thousands !!!!

“I have apartment with basic electrical and furniture” crowed another agent, with pride dripping from his voice, a few days back. We went along to take a look at the “furnished apartment” and found the house empty ….. save for the wardrobes (which, incidentally, are built in wardrobes in every apartment in this particular piece of real estate).

I did ask the nutty siblings to look around as well – just in case my eyes were playing tricks on me. “There is no furniture here. Nothing. Tch Tch Tch … nothing” they said. Ha !! I thought to myself “see …. me and my kids actually have something that we agree on”.

“Flom this apartment window, you can see the swimming pool. That’s why this apartment so expensive.” said another agent the other day. Huh !!! So we shell out a few thousands more every month because we get to look at half naked men and women at the pool from our apartment window ?? What kind of sense does that make ? I mean, if one wanted to enjoy the pool – one would actually GO OVER to the pool. One would SO NOT sit within the sweltering confines of one’s home and stare out of the window at the scantily clad population cavorting in the cool blue pool like a bunch of seals.

(sigh) To cut a long story short ……. the search is still on.

If the nutty family manages to find a house by the time their current lease expires AND more importantly, if the nutty family manages to stay sane and healthy by the time that happens, then we’ll see you all on the other side ….

If I were to describe my mental state of late, I’d simply quote what Lady Caroline once said

“Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know” !!!!!

:D :D

2 voice(s) said so:

Parul said...

Thanks for the link!

Hehehe, glad that we in Mumbai have kindred spirits in HK. All the best, hope you find a suitable place soon.

Just Like That said...

LOL! Sorry to laugh at your predicament, but it was funny.
hope you get a good 'home' soon, G. :-)