July 2nd, 2007

And so I bring the computer over to the office just on the other side of Xidawang Lu and all of a sudden China Uselesscom gives me maximum signal and a halfway decent connection. So I guess I’m going to be spending a lot of my spare time here.

Well, every apartment has its quirks, and although our new apartment is really nice and we like it a lot, its no exception to that rule. One thing I don’t like about it, apart from the like of a China Uselesscom signal, is that the first thing you see when you walk in the door is the bathroom. There’s something just fundamentally odd about that. Still, looking at the overall design of the building, it’s hard to see how our apartment could be set up any better.

The only other gripes I have right now are just as minor and aren’t so much about the apartment as about the area. It’s a nice area, but it seems to have absolutely no xiaomaibu whatsoever. I’ve looked, I can’t find one. There’s normally one or two ground floor apartments whose inhabitants sell stuff out their window, but not in our area. There’s a market very close by to the southwest, but there’s no gate that we can find on that side of our compound, meaning we have to walk all the way around to the east gate and onto Xidawang Lu and around the outside wall of the compound.

See? Minor gripes. Actually, we’ve found everything we need and then some. Not difficult considering I was living in this area when I met lzh. And it’s really good to feel so settled in so quickly. I only wish our compound had a gate on the west side or there was a xiaomaibu inside. I suppose, though, the extra walk to the market is going to be good for us, so there’s no sense complaining.

2 Responses to “hah”

  1. Jamieson Says:

    G’day mate ! Yukes and I moved in to one apartment that had the kitchen (unlockable) across the coridoor from our front door ! We even lived in an unutterably squalid slum (800 kuai a month, get the picture?) after we were given 2 weeks notice to vacate by the landlord because he had sold the joint and conveniently voided our rental contract.

    The kitchen had a ceramic trough with only a cold water tap, no living room, a tiny ‘vestibule’, 2 bedrooms with ancient musty
    ?cum-stained? mattresses, a twin-tub washing machine and a shoulder-high green fridge with grossly rusted rails on the inside (and a vile smell). And a non-functional putrid 2 burner gas stove which we replaced and I hooked it up to the gas main with flexible tubing and hose clamps.

    Of course the hot water system in the bathroom shit itself a week after we moved in, spurting water all over the electrics. That was quickly turned off and the landlord grudgingly bought a new one. The microwave damn near burst into flames the first time I used it. Sold it to Mr. Rag and Bone man, another 15 kuai in the purse.

    OK. Buy new beds for us and Mei-Mei, trash the shitty beds – Shifu : Yours for 20 kuai, just get them outa here. Buy an air conditioner,get it installed, and replace THE fuse in the fuse box outside with 20 amp fuse wire (naughty), get a digital satellite TV system installed and then give Yuki crystal-clear instructions on my non-negotiable requirements for new digs.

    We bailed from the Suzhou equivalent of Soweto after about 6 months to a 4.5 star apartment complex, stayed there a while, then moved to our current 5 star chalet, 4 aircons, tastefully and fully furnished (Paintings even…), 2 Bedrooms, study, 2 bathrooms including an en-suite in the master bedroom. I refuse point blank to move again, same refusal for KTV. 2,900 a month is what I’d pay for a sh*t apartment surrounded by Single Mothers, the unemployable and junkies back in Oz, i.e. $125 a week.

    BTW, weather in Suzhou is also unbearable with humidity and heat, at least the air pollution seems to be much less than BJ.


  2. wangbo Says:

    Wow, Jamieson, I think that must be the most entertaining comment I’ve ever received. I’ve never had to stoop so low in my search for accomodation, not even in my student days, the closest I’ve ever come was in Taiyuan, where my university was very conveniently located in the middle of an industrial slum (run-down factories that still used steam locomotives to haul stuff around on three sides, Soweto’s Taiyuan branch on the fourth) but my apartment there was alright, if you ignored the gaps under the windows so large you could literally see through them and the thick layer of coal dust that covered everything.

    Beijing seems to have cleared up today, so sorry, but you’re no closer to convincing me to move down south.