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hoping for help from all you hk yummy mummy's

  1. #1
    indi'n'zai'smum is offline Registered User
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    hoping for help from all you hk yummy mummy's

    Hi,
    I have just found out i am moving to hong kong in jan.( i am from melbourne, australia) I have never used a forum thingo before so i have very little idea how this all works, but i have SO so many questions about hk living with kids. Do i just ask questions and see who answers???? :)
    well i guess to start i was wondering about furniture in hk, can i purchase reasonably priced stuff for the kid , ie beds, esp bunks or trundles - does any one know a good store where i could view stock online. Not sure whether to buy in hk or bring existing furniture.
    also - totally unrelated - the whole helper thing is so bizare ( tho appealing!!) to me - it sounds a bit complicated getting one - what happens if after a few weeks u think they are not right for you????

    also is jan a good time to move? should i wait until chinese new year - ??

    I have a lot of random questions - and am quite overwhelmed by all the things to figure out - like where to live!!! I have lovely little 5 yr old girl - and newborn baby boy. Mum chats are always the best way to find out any thing and every thing so i hope there are some mums who have done all this and can help me with some questions from time to time!!!

  2. #2
    sea princess is offline Registered User
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    Hi
    Sounds a very familiar story, was in exactly the same boat a year ago moving from Melbourne too!

    Furniture is reasonably priced here. We chose to take our beds as we are fussy about beds, but purchased dining room furniture and extra itmes based on what our living space size was. There is Ikea for more budget furnishings, to Queens Rd East for more expensive things. Also, try Horizon Plaza at Ap Lei Chau (near aberdeen off Hong Kong Island). It has pretty much everything you need here to suit all budgets and styles. We bought some lovely things from "Tree" they have a website (just look it up) and have just made a new children's range of furniture that may interest you? Indigo another shop may have a website too?

    I probably wouldn't buy online, furniture making here is quick and efficient and you can see what you get before you buy.

    The helper thing is a big one, it's been the biggest adjustment for me and I would strongly suggest you go without for a while and really see if you need it. Had I have done that, I would not have emplyed a full time live in helper because for me it's too much of an invasion of my personal space (we have a very open plan apartment so it doesn't work so well). As a consequence, we are thinking of putting our helper off and getting a part time person who can come and clean and iron a few days a week and do occasional baby sitting. I have met quite a few women who opted to go this way and are very happy with their decision.

    As to where to live. It depends on your budget and requirements. Where will you or your partner be working? We chose Southside, mainly because when we arrived it was at the end of the year when pollution is high and I almost died! I went to the place which offered the best air quality with small children. But that may also depend on schooling for you. Most kids travel by school bus and travel 30-40 minutes per trip.

    Feel free to PM me (that's personal message me!) about anything, I'd be really happy to chat or give any further info.

    Best Of Luck :)

    As for the time for moving, I'm not sure if there is a good or bad time! It really depends on what you have organised for your 5 year old for schooling? The quicker you get settled, the happier she will be no doubt. Our daughter was 3 and a half and we went to a serviced apartment for 3 months first in an area we were not likely to live in. So it was unsettling as we found it hard to form any real friendships when we were moving again and I decided not to put her in to kindergarten as the commute to the place she was accepted from oiur serviced apartment was too long!

  3. #3
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    1) helpers are a totally personal thing. the previous poster hasn't been able to adjust, but for us it is a necessity. there is just no way that i can work without having a helper. we are now in the process of hiring a second one (her husband) as there is just too much work for the three adults we have in the house. (we run a dog boarding business from our home and hubby works 24/7. as well, i run a playgroup centre, so i work about 50 hours/week.) we really could not get by without our helper. she just returned from 2 weeks away and i ended up having to stop workign for those 2 weeks as we had no one to watch our eldest daughter.

    2) i would be REALLY careful bringing furniture over. you have no idea what the living space will be like and depending on your budget, it could be much smaller than you are used to.

    3) i've been in hk for almost 15 years and it can be frustrating, annoying, difficult and depressing BUT it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences you ever get to have. it is a great opportunity for your entire family. it will open up new horizons and possibilities you never thought possible. whenever i consider a move back "home" i get scared as it is no longer a place that i know. i've been gone my entire working life (i moved here when i was 22) and at times the prospect of moving back to canada feels really daunting.

    good luck! it seems to me you have the right attitude, which with a move like this, is half the battle won.

  4. #4
    kjg
    kjg is offline Registered User
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    Hello
    HK is a wonderful place and most of us love the lifestyle and just accept the pollution!
    I think you have been given some good advice from the other two posts, especially when it somes to helpers because it is so personal. I think if you are interested in having one, look for an apartment that has a closed off kitchen space so you can achieve some privacy. I understand Sea princesses frustration with her open plan apartment, we had the same issue. And it does feel as though you have no space from people you are working with (a bit like living at the office!). I think allowing yourself some time to settle in and work our what you want first is really good advice.
    As I wasn't working (unlike Carang) didn't see having a helper a necessity, but thought it might give me and my husband some flexibility to go out and have babysitting. Having said that, moving here with children and having done it all by myself previously, we really don't utilise our helper very well when it comes to child care. I still do the school runs, cook, feed, bath, story tell and then wait till asleep, then go out and that's about once a month if I'm lucky!
    As for furniture. I took two beds & then the bare essentials. Beds here are rock hard (i'm sorry, but they are!) so I was really glad to have mine like Sea princess! But like Carang said, you really don't know what space you'll have so be practical.
    Good Luck.

  5. #5
    aussie mum is offline Registered User
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    For me, having a full time helper is one of the best things about living in HK!! I was looking forward to it before we came as I was living in London with no family nearby and juggling work and being a mum on my own. And now I think it will be thing i miss most when we eventually leave.
    Its GREAT for my relationship with my husband. we are both very social and love going out and in HK get to do it ALL the time. we have a dinner date night every week and go out with friends a couple of times a week too. We are fortunate that the lay out of where we lives means we get a lot of privacy. And there was definitely an adjustment period. I remember crying in the first few weeks, then it probably took a full 6 months for me to be completely comfortable with the whole thing.

    Good luck with everything. You'll get lots of advice and information from all the mums on geobaby.

  6. #6
    solidstars's Avatar
    solidstars is offline Registered User
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    welcome to hk! i loved melbourne! anyways you'll get a bit of culture shock, tight spaces and all, but you'll like it on a different level.

    for budget furniture, IKEA or local furniture shops could work, or if you're brave enough you might order furniture from across the border for cheaper than what you can find in HK!

    you might find some chinese new year furniture sales, as it is a custom to change old furniture/clean out old things right before cny. but if you're looking for moving companies, etc, they will cost more during that period.

    anyways, welcome!

  7. #7
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    if you can even find local movers for CNY... most things shut down for 3-10 days (depending on the business).

  8. #8
    slamdunk is offline Registered User
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    agree that open plan does not work for a live in (and may also be quite intrusive even for a live out as they are rarely 'out of sight' so would bear that in mind when home-hunting. When we had our first baby, we ditched the whole sociable open plan kitchen layout for closed kitchen, helper room at back (with own bathroom) etc. and the arrangement has worked out v well. gives them the privacy any adult needs too.

    not sure what your husband does but many jobs in HK involve lots of regional travel. i found having a live in helper helped me cope with the extended periods my husband was away. and as mentioned by previous poster, is GREAT for date nights, catching a late movie etc. and giving us the sort of freedom parents of young children in most countries might not enjoy...

    and yes, you can fire them if things don't work out with 1 mth's notice. it takes around 4-6wks to hire/rehire another one. better to hire one when you are here when you know your living arrangement.

    moving in Jan is fine if that means you're not moving into your home yet and staying in a serviced/temp appt. would wait after mid Feb to move locally. Chinese New Year is an interesting time to be in HK and lots of the big sales start afterwards (for everything).

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