The landlord bought it for the purpose of moving into it themselves so it's well designed. Their plans changed and so had to rent it out. They want us to live here for the next six years if possible.
Since they planned to live here themselves, it's plush by Chinese standards. It's not a typical rental.
But in order to outfit it for living we've had to purchase:
- two couches
- coffee table
- queen bed
- wardrobe closet (no China apartment rooms have closets)
- patio chairs and table
- water cooler
- clothes washer
- laser printer
- Internet connection, hub and router
- other household items
We still have no dining table or chairs and our second bathroom and two bedrooms are completely empty. Whoever visits us will have to bring their own towel and sleeping bag. Sorry, but that's just the way it is.
The good news is that, with the exchange rate, all this stuff came to about $1500 U.S. dollars . . . and that includes delivery. In the States you might pay that much for a fridge. (Well, you might pay that much but I never will!)
There is a beautiful courtyard below. Since we have not yet purchased a dining room table we eat on our patio furniture on the covered lanai.
The apartment spans the entire building so we have windows on both sides. Openings on each side gives us a cross breeze and lots of light. We love light.
At 8:30 a.m. I left for a day out on the town. After a harrowing 30 minute ride on the moped through gobs of people, busses, taxis, bicycles, and vendors we arrived at the bus terminal. From there we traveled another hour to see a friend.
The return trip was the same except we stopped at a local restaurant for a bite. It was unusual in that you pick out whatever vegetables you want and they lightly boil them and serve them to you along with a hot dip. We also ordered seasoned meat on a stick and washed it down with beers. Then we jumped on the moped for the 30 minute ride back home.
I realize that I can't plan too much in a day. In the States we might shop in several stores, visit a friend, and then go out to an evening meal. Here everything takes longer. For one thing, you need to use either the bus, moped or taxi to get around. And for another thing, you have to carry whatever you buy or need for the day on your back.
The streets are always under construction so the trip on a moped is not just dicey but often torturous. Cars from the narrow side streets dump into the main avenues, sounding their arrival with a piercing horn blow. They rarely look. Slow moving old men on three wheel bicycles, heaped with cardboard, block the only path through. I slow, then stop, then go, then zip around him, just missing a piece of metal sticking out from the construction site. It nips my shoe.
Horns, dust, and stench assault my ears, eyes, and nose. My senses are overloaded. I'm exhausted, yet I've only made it through half the day.
I'm glad to be home.
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, do the other trees make fun? - Anonymous