Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Ascension House Part Three

The thought of dragging my suitcases back up the stairs and through the mud to eventually end up at Chungking Mansions was a dismal one that must have shown on my face, because Eugenia smiled. "We will honor your reservation," she said, "Don't worry."

We agreed to work on a week-by-week basis and I paid her for a week. Pang led me back through the rain to Ascension House and took me to a room that was in a private wing, with its own bathroom down the hall. He gave me sheets, a towel, an adaptor plug, and the wifi password, showing me the faucet at the kitchen sink that dispensed drinking water. Then he left me in complete silence, except for the sound of dripping rain.

I killed a spider when I made my bed and hoped desperately that there would be no reprisals. I unpacked my belongings and found that even the copies of the New York Review of Books that I'd brought with me because of the review of Ma Thanegi that they contained were very, very wet. Fortunately the books I brought as presents for two little girls I'd put in a plastic bag so they were still perfect. I hung up my damp garments in the bathrooms and prayed they would dry. The pervasive smell of incipient mildew did little to reassure me that they would.

But the wifi worked and the kitchen was fully equipped, right down to instant noodles, for sale at ten HK dollars a pack. I put my bag of Seattle coffee on the counter and felt hopeful.

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