Tuesday, November 04, 2003

[Sing Pao Special Report]

Evergreen Mak recently sold his home in Tai Pao Chai for three-fifths of the price he paid. When he bought it, he borrowed a loan from the government and in order to be near to work, he chose to live in Clear Water Bay, but when he got married and started a family, he moved to Tai Po Chai to be near his mother-in-law. After a few years, he hopes that he can quickly pay off his loans and that his work will go smoothly to enable him to be able to buy his own property again.

At the moment Evergreen and his family live in a rented apartment around a thousand square foot and although the building is a little older, the location is convenient and it has three bedrooms and two living rooms, laid out in a more efficient way than the new apartments, especially the kitchen. He has removed the maid's room to make the kitchen even bigger and even with three bikes in the kitchen, it still does not seem cramped.

Evergreen showed the reporters around and as he walked around he said: "Earlier this apartment was rented by an Indian and the decoration in greens and yellow was difficult to bear, so the two of us had to repaint all the walls and replace all the doors, cabinets, cooker, extraction fan, aircon, lights and curtains." You invested so much even with a rented property? Evergreen and his wife had discussed it through and they hope that their family can live in comfort. When the landlord saw that the painting was so pretty, they offered to pay for replacing the doors."

Inside the home, the furnishings have an antique feel with very precious paintings on the walls as well as antique cabinets and wall hangings together with an abacus dating back around fifty years, showing the couple's fascination with the past. Evergreen says: "My wife's fanaticism is stronger than mine..." At which point, Mrs Mak said: "My father is an architect and he loves painting, the one in the dining room was painted by him and my cousin! This one is by a famous artiste from Fujian that I brought back from my old village over twenty years ago, as it had not been kept very well, I asked a renovator to prepare it."

Evergreen picks up the abacus and says: "This abacus is older than me, it was an heirloom from my grandfather and I used it when I was studying in Guangzhou. I came to Hong Kong when I was twelve and I have kept it until now." Mrs Mak loves to collect antique items and earlier when Evergreen was filming in China, he saw a set of 'Four Seasons, Four Flowers' pottery that he bought for his wife for $140, he would never have thought that the same set would be on sale in the Chinese Department Store in Hong Kong for nearly $2000, he definitely has an eye for a bargain!

The three rooms have been used as a master bedroom, study and kids bedroom and Evergreen keeps all his treasures in the study, including film posters, Chow Yun Fat autographed photos, comic books and model planes and cars. Evergreen says he gets excited when people mention cars and at the moment he has three cars, his ambition being to buy a Ferrari. When Mrs Mak hears this, she smiles and says: "I am happy if he buys cars because it proves our financial position isn't bad, at least playing with cars is better than playing with women."


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