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Fish were already agitated up from the bank of El Terreno, on the Spanish island of Mallorca, and delivered through a blue-and-white aperture into a beautifully appointed fishmonger. That access has become a window, and the architecture is now home to above Hong Kong citizen Cecilie Gamst Berg.

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Norwegian Gamst Berg, who teaches Cantonese through her Happy Jellyfish Language Bureau, calls herself a Cantonese fundamentalist and likens her retreat to Mallorca as an exile. After 30 years in Hong Kong, she larboard in allotment because of what she calls the city’s “Mandarinification”.

To Gamst Berg’s relief, the alteration to the Mediterranean has not been ever challenging.

“Mallorca is actual like Hong Kong: it’s abounding of expats and it’s accessible to accommodated people,” she says. “And best of all, it’s admirable – I had to animate in a admirable place.”

Lamenting the amaranthine develop­ment that is authoritative Hong Kong “ugly”, she says alike Lantau has not able the edge of concrete, citation the boiler planned for Shek Kwu Chau and the bogus islands pro­posed for abreast Kau Yi Chau and Hei Ling Chau. “I couldn’t angle by and watch it,” she says.

Yet she hasn’t absolutely able Hong Kong in Mallorca, accepting met adolescent Cantonese speakers as able-bodied as begin a few places breadth she can adore yum cha. And she continues to address and advise (an ex-neighbour on Lantau still takes acquaint with her, online), “because the action goes on”.

“I’ve been hounded out by able forces,” she says about what she feels is a accident action to accumulate Cantonese animate in Hong Kong.”But it’s not too shabby,” she adds. “I’m by the Mediterranean and it’s not so bad.”

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Gamst Berg’s 1,400 sq ft busy home is on a baby street. “The breadth acclimated to be the Lan Kwai Fong of Palma in the 1970s, [but it] had gone to seed. Now it’s on the up again,” she says. The abode is at atomic 120 years old, although Gamst Berg says it could be earlier because acreage annal in Mallorca, as far as she can tell, go aback alone as far as 1900.

Although it wasn’t adulation at aboriginal afterimage with Mallorca, it was with the house, and its history. Run by the owner’s grand­mother aback it was a fishmonger, the two-storey abode now appearance on the arena attic an anteroom, a ample active area, a kitchen and a media room. Upstairs are two bedrooms and an office, as able-bodied as balconies on either ancillary of the building, one of which offers angle of azure seas.

The acceptable Mallorcan house, with arresting aboriginal tiles and a beginning blue-and-white colour scheme, was in such acceptable action that there was little Gamst Berg had to do, abreast from accouter it, put up shelves and install a abrasion apparatus and heater, afore affective in. Its apartment are now abounding with memories of Hong Kong and acreage China.

Much of her appliance had been calm from alone apple houses on Lantau, or accustomed to her by friends. She busy with colourful mementos and photographs taken on her travels, as able-bodied as with blooming window blur akin decrepit glass.

There’s aloof one added affair that needs rectifying, however. “The cooker is electric,” exclaims Gamst Berg. “The worst!” As a abecedary of Sichuan affable – and as any Chinese chef will apperceive – a gas cooker is of the essence.

Living roomCecilie Gamst Berg confused to Mallorca, Spain, with her dogs, Lasi (pictured) and Koldbrann. The active allowance appearance Ikea’s Billy bookcases on either ancillary of the bottle doors that advance to the garden. The table was bought on Facebook Marketplace in Mallorca.

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The bank was alien from Hong Kong, accepting had new legs put on by Gamst Berg’s helper, who additionally corrective the lime-green chair. The striped blooming beanbag was fabricated to adjustment in Shenzhen. The two photographs on the bank were taken by Gamst Berg in China. The armchair at the added end of the table was a allowance from Andrew Brown, who in 2003 became the aboriginal non-Chinese to be adopted a apple arch in Hong Kong.

Living allowance detail The paintings on the window panes are by Hong Kong artisan Firenze Lai and were bought from an art boutique in IFC Mall, Central, that no best exists. The dog book is by a adolescent painter who was alive in Shenzhen’s Dafen Art Apple and was a gift. The photo­graphs were all taken by Gamst Berg.

The basin stool was begin in an abandoned abode in Hong Kong and the chair, which Gamst Berg refers to as her Spanish Inquisition chair, came from her Mallorca acreage abettor and amount €10 (US$11). The window was already a aperture through which angle were delivered. The panes are covered in custom-built window blur (Chesham-patterned window blur from purlfrost.com; €18.50 per pane), which gives the bottle a ancestry arctic look.

Kitchen The kitchen bare little work, and the tiles are original, but Gamst Berg added the dejected acrylic highlights to what was apparent wood. The lime-green anhydrate is a burst of her accepted favourite colour. The beam fan was a Shenzhen acquirement and amount about HK$40 (US$5). The photograph of the chillies was taken by Gamst Berg.

Exterior The terraced acreage boasts a aback garden and balconies on both sides.

Bedroom The bed came with her from her aboriginal busy home in Mallorca. The bath is to the right. The balustrade offers abundant angle over the Mediterranean. The Härö table (HK$199.90) and Tärnö chairs (HK$99.90 each) came from Ikea.

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Office The ample board was bought in 1993 from Ikea, which was additionally the antecedent of the Forsa lamp (HK$199.90). Gamst Berg has accustomed the doors that advance to her bedchamber a Victorian feel with window blur in an Albert stained-glass design.

Hallway The chest of drawers came from Gamst Berg’s new landlord. Gamst Berg uses the mannequin head, which she begin on a alley in Guangzhou, as a hat angle for her Sou’wester, a allowance from Norwegian friends. The board totem bowl, by Hong Kong-based Colombian artisan Lina Benjumea, contains keys and apart coins.

A beginning lick of acrylic It’s accessible to prime and primp Ikea’s Frosta stools (HK$69.90 each) but these ones were customised by Cecilie Gamst Berg’s acquaintance Lina Benjumea, a Hong Kong-based Colombian artist. She deconstructed the stools, demography their four legs bottomward to three, and corrective anniversary allotment in her colourful style.

This commodity originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the arch account media advertisement on China and Asia. For added SCMP stories, amuse download our adaptable app, chase us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Copyright (c) 2018. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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