Dave's Travel Journal

A vacation is what you take when you can't take what you've been taking. - Earl Wilson


Movin' In

It's been a busy five days since the last post.  We've moved into our new apartment.  It's not just new to us but in fact it's never been lived in.

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
  • fridge
  • water cooler
  • clothes washer
  • laser printer
  • Internet connection, hub and router
  • other household items

The Chinese 100 bills is oil slipping through our fingers. Will it ever end?

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!)

The new place is very comfortable. We are very happy here. It's really quiet too since we are far enough from the main road that we don't hear a lot of traffic noise.

 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.

Today it is a pleasant 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit) with a gentle breeze. It's very dry so it doesn't seem to be that hot.

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.

...dave
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, do the other trees make fun? - Anonymous

2 Responses to “Movin' In”

  1. # Blogger Tim

    the porch looks great. we can imagine you two there sipping some joe (until it runs out next week). a couple of questions: has it come down to this? separate couches? and where's the shower curtain?  

  2. # Blogger daveterry

    Ah, the shower curtain? Good question this. Fact is, most bathrooms don't have any. We have since put up a rod and curtain so we can use the rest of the bathroom ... dry.

    As far as my coffee habit is concerned . . . I've found a supplier for raw coffee beans and am now researching how to roast them myself. Details to follow.

    Living here means everything is manual.

    ...dave  

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