Tuesday, August 24, 2010

move-in day

Hi everyone: Alison will update y’all later about the events of the last few days, but she graciously allowed me to post about OUR NEW APARTMENT. I want to give a virtual tour.

(But, before we begin with the apartment showing, here is ph
otographic evidence of the mule tacos. Turns out, Alison and I continue our trend of picking out matching clothes unintentionally even when we live together).Here we are looking back at the entrance of the complex. You need an electronic swipe key to enter: Entry way to our building… …with another swipe key to enter our actual building from the lobby, seen below (Mom and Sandy, look how safe we are!)
We’re on the 3rd floor. Off the elevator, we see a fluorescent green hallway. Our door is the one on the left with the red mat. All Chinese doors have those signs on them;
I don’t know what they say, but I imagine it’s some sort of welcome/good luck sign.

Now, we enter our actual apartment! There’s a little hallway, then
you see this part of our enormous living room, with view of a very quiet street. Two factors sold us on this apartment more than the other nice ones we went to: 1) the immense natural light we get every day from not being directly next to a building, a la Manhattan. And 2) the garden (to be shown later). Moving on with our “tour,” here is our master bedroom (with the most normal bedcovers to be found in all of China…Other options included techno zigzags, 1970s green floral patterns, etc) and ½ of the enormous window in our bedroom.
Here’s the second room with bed and a smidge of the fold-out futon.
Come on guys, doesn’t it look like it’ll be a nice place to crash for a week or two? (Subtitle: COME VISIT!) I actually forgot to take pictures of the kitchen and bathroom, but they’re nice too! We are in love with the apartment and also our landlord, who speaks English and has been very helpful. And if he’s not, our realty agency specializes in foreign residents in Beijing, so part of our contract in the housing says that we can contact them at any time for help with any issues.

Back to the fun tour! Now, we’re going to take you out the back entranc
e and into our second favorite part of the apartment…the community park! It is a quiet haven in Beijing—filled with grandparents entertaining grandchildren (or vice versa), people playing Chinese checkers (or Chinese people playing checkers...tomayto tomahto), and people just enjoying the Zen-like gardens, no matter the time of day. Here are a few pictures:
Of note, in the picture above us, the building in the background with the steel is one of Beijing's art districts, so we're super close to a really cool part of town, which, knowing our uncool selves, will never be graced with our presence.

Finally, here's a picture of the crazy place Carrefour, which all visitors will come to with us (refer to last post for reason why). In this pic, Alison is trying on a winter coat next to a man who is changing clothes midstore:

And today, I went to work for the first time. Sarah had a genius idea of making a seating arrangement of our office because we were having an impossible time remembering names (not made easier because one guy is Liang Li and he wants to be address as LiLiang and the other is Liangyi Wang, addressed as Liangyi). We started reading and then went to the cafeteria, where they serve you your 5 yuan (80 cent) feast in a plastic bag. After lunch,
Sarah and I were dismissed home to prepare for our big day tomorrow of meeting the head of the Chinese Fogarty here. All I could think of when I got home, however, is that there may be problems in the future as the hospital only has squat toilets and the lunch induced a gastrointestinal "situation." Wish me luck for tomorrow, both for the meeting…and for the afternoon stomach problems!


  1. The apartment looks great and I happen to love the bedding.. How can a hospital not have proper toilets? You may have to become friendly with some patients and use their facilities. I guess the cheap lunch may not be so cheap after all. have a great night/and first day... love you

  2. I cannot wait to sleep in that second room! The apartment looks wonderful! I can't help but notice y'all are continuing the matching in pictures tradition all the way to China...coincidence!?

    Can't wait to see y'all and I'll keep my mouth shut about Mockingjay until everyone has finished reading :)

  3. Adam, I think you should consider being a tour guide! The pictures are great and the apartment looks terrific! I love your choice of comforter pattern - nice and bright! The apartment seems fairly new or at least its been kept up nicely. Of course I love all of the safety measures!! I hope your stomach gets better, or at least adjusts. If the mule tacos weren't a problem, I can't imagine what you ate for lunch!! PB&J sounds good for the rest of the week.
    Enjoy and keep those blogs coming!!

  4. adam! your adventures sound fun!
    the red diamonds on the doors say "fu," which means prosperity. it is typical around chinese new year to hang it upside down on a door as a chinese pun, meaning "fu has arrived."
    anyway, i can't believe you met two people with "liang" in their name! i don't even feel special anymore.

  5. Did your apartment come furnished or did you guys purchase all that stuff? Looks awesome (and like a palace compared to the NYC apts) Alison, is that my winter coat from Prague!?!?! Looks just like it, haha!

    Love you guys!

    PS- My friend just got back from Japan, Taiwan, and Bali and she was telling me all about the chicken feet, frog ovaries, stinky tofu, etc. that she ate...the Mule tacos were a good start, but come on guys, don't let me down! ;)