WHILE I WAS at the office, someone stole my life.
Well, perhaps "stole" is not the right word. It would be more accurate to say that they took everything I own and made it no longer accessible to me.
And I know who the guilty party is.
This is how it happened. I went into my office in Hong Kong as normal, planning to get things sorted out before I start my big trip to Australia -- for a book launch/ publicity tour/ literary festival, which was set for the crack of dawn on Friday morning.
I came home to find that everything I own had dismantled and sealed in plastic. It was all still physically there--but nothing was accessible. Every book, every CD, every piece of paper, had been placed in boxes or piles and then covered with thick plastic sheeting and duct tape.
The guilty party? It turned out that my wife, who is in the UK at the moment, thought that this would be a good time to get the decorators in to spruce up Vittachi Mansions. Since I would be on tour in Australia, they could have their wicked way with the flat while we were both out.
Unfortunately, the timing didn't quite match. The upshot being that everything got sealed before I had even begun packing my bags.
This was pretty scary. Not only were the tickets and paperwork and props all missing, but a lot of the data was on my home computer--which, along with everything else, had been unplugged and sealed in a huge tent of plastic. (Fortunately, they had been told to leave my bed unwrapped.)
In the end, I had to make some holes and actually climb into the plastic "tent cities" to try and find things. I even managed to somehow reconnect the computer inside this strange, white, opaque world, and scribble out various things I needed--although I couldn't print anything. Curiously, it wasn't claustrophobic at all -- I think because although the space was tiny and cramped, the walls were light and translucent.
I managed to extract enough of the crucial things to enable me to get on the aircraft this morning and fly to Sydney, anyway -- I am writing this from the hotel bedroom, where I have just arrived.
The silliest moment was just before I left, when the phone rang a couple of times. I wandered around the apartment looking for it. The workmen had sealed it into one of the giant plastic-covered piles of furniture, but without unplugging it. This meant that people could call--but would never receive an answer. Well, I'm afraid that's how it's going to stay for anyone who calls me at home for the next week or so...