The Apartment

Maggie had bought an apartment but hadn't yet finished it or moved in. (She lives with her family nearby.) She suggested that she could get it finished before I arrived and I could live in it. In China, most apartments are bought as a shells and then the owners put in the kitchen, bath etc.

The first night we got to her/my apartment and Maggie said "Sorry no elevator" and I said "How far?", she said "Seven" and I said "Seven?!?!?!" That was a long walk with luggage but later trips weren't bad. (I kept thinking of the Beatles song "The long and winding road" around the fourth floor.)

The first night required an adjustment in terms of noise levels. Where I live, the only thing I ever hear at night is the occasional disturbed duck or goose. When I arrived on Friday night there were both parties and construction going on. The noise subsided at 3:30AM and resumed at 5:30AM. After a few days, I got used to it and the noise stopped earlier on weeknights.

This is the living room. Maggie had told me that this apartment was "very small" so I was expecting something much smaller than this. It was a very nice place.

The bedroom. The bed hadn't arrived yet so Maggie supplied a tatami.

From the balcony on the kitchen-side you see the part of the complex that is finished. There were dance exercise lessons in the square in the mornings. There were always a couple of taxis waiting at the far end of the street.

From the living room window you see the parts still being constructed.

Maggie supplied a nice home theater system but we were usually too busy to use it. I have no idea what this show was about.

An in interesting collection of Video CDs. I like Mr. Bean and I was surprised that Maggie liked him too. (I was surprised that she had even heard of him!) We watched a few episodes.

Here's someone moving in. The Chinese have a tradition of setting off 1000 fireworks/firecrackers when moving in. This happened about 20 times while I was there. The first time I thought it was something military. Some of the "firecrackers" are the size of a stick of TNT. Eventually, like everyone else, I just went to window and watched in amusement.

I really liked staying in the Apartment. When you stay in a Western-style hotel, China is something you see through the window. The apartment made me feel like I was really there day and night.