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 photographic 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 entrance 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!