Friday, October 22, 2010


TOKYO---Do you know what made me feel young again? (You'll never guess because I never expected it either!!)

A small flat in the middle of town.

I saw a real estate ad for an 825 sq ft NYC flat in the west 50s off the park and thought about how our tiny dog flat in Hong Kong had made me young again.
(A Manhattan flat will not hurt either!!)

I spent a few weeks in our completed dog flat in Hong Kong and perhaps because of the location and size, it has made me feel like a kid out of university. We really bought this place for the dogs and maids to live in while we spend time in Japan. Of course they had to give me a room!

I used to live in a flat three times its size in Repluse Bay where we faced the ocean and were surrounded by mountains and greenery. Had to take a taxi everywhere which is not bad considering a 20 minute taxi ride in HK is 'long."

I now take the bus to Central, which takes about 10 mins, because ít stops in front of our building. There are so many shops and restaurants on my street that I don't really need to leave my 'hood except to go to yoga, shop at Dries, Roger Vivier and Rick Owens. (More reasons to overfill my already tiny, cramped closets in the dog flat)

The great thing about 'playing house and pretending to be young" (take note PRETEND) is that I can still come home to dogs that have been walked, fed and brushed plus have home cooked meals that I don't have to prepare myself because I hate cooking.

Of course the cost of a flat will drain your bank account so not only will you feel young, you'll be broke which is just like it was when you were young!!

When I start feeling old in Tokyo and there is the tendency feel that way because everyone IS OLD and so polite, I can always decamp to Hong Kong. And when I feel Hong Kong is too uncivilised and dirty, I can always come back to Tokyo where garbage trucks are so clean they can be pale blue and garbage collectors wear matching jumpsuits (yes!! pale blue---amidst all that garbage!!)

Perhaps when we leave Tokyo a small flat in town would continue to keep me young...
The Japanese lesson that has left me speechless:
It is not enough for Chinese and Japanese to have articles like 'the'' ,'"a"or ""an"". They have to make learning their language so difficult there are modifiers/measure words for everything from dogs, sheep, shoes, houses, cars, trees, people, etc...

RO-PON(G)-GI simply translates as 6 trees. PON is the measure word for anything long (trees, pens, ties, sticks, bottles) which does not exist in Anglo-Saxon and Romance languages (if you think un, une, den, der, dem is bad enough...)

The thing with Japanese, is the answer has nothing to do with the question. This is where Lost in Translation plays a bigger part than Suntory did in the movie.

Q: Nan (how many)----biki (measure word for 'smore animars)? (dogs and cats)
A: Everything from piki to hiki but only one ends in biki.

Q: Nan--bon (the ófficial' measure word for long things--see Roponggi example above)
A: Everything from PON to HON but only one bon.

Q: Nan ---ba (measure word for 'smore birlds"")
A: Wa, Pa but not Ba.

So I asked my tutor if there was an easier way to learn this system.
"Äh..that is Japanese counting. So answer is no."

The money is also so difficult to phrase (aside from count!) that the Bank of Japan is probably still counting money from the 80s. I'm afraid that they will find out that there will not be enough for everyone to buy a Chanel bag.


Calex said...

let me know when you will have a sale so as not to cramp your HKG flat. cheers and more power!

Anonymous said...

I love how you're in an Empire State of mind in HK. We're pretending to be young, as well. We ain't fooling anybody bout ourselves, but we knew that already.