Our friends bought a bowl full of fruit and some fresh-cut pink and white carnations. So when we walked into the apartment there was a sweet fragrance in the air. The weather was a perfect 77 degrees with a gentle breeze.
This place is about 1,000 sq feet. About twice where we live now.
We walk the next morning to do some shopping. Within a 10 minute radius walk we registered with the police (a must), had photo IDs taken, bought SIM cards for our jail broken and unlocked iPhones, and ate lunch at a restaurant.
Making coffee takes more of an effort than home. Because the water is not safe for foreigners to drink, every morning I have to boil a pot of water. I use the apartment's french press which has two parts to it, both of which are left out on the counter while I boil the water. The bag of coffee, a table spoon, and my mug wait patiently. Having all this out on the counter makes my my coffee making procedure look more like a science lab experiment.
It's strange really, the things that take the longest in the U.S. take seconds here but the things that take seconds in the U.S. take much longer.
The SIM card purchase with a China phone number was just a matter of picking a phone number I liked from a computer screen and handing over $15. The card comes with 100 minutes, rechargable any time just down the street or on the Internet. Cost of phone service in China for a month? About $5-$10!
But making coffee is another matter. Because we can't use water out of the tap, we have to boil it and clean the cups with the boiled water before making it in the french press maker. A bit of a hassle.
Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world. - Gustave Flaubert
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