(Written on 3/2/2011 by Leah K)
Nick and I are finally settled into our apartment in SR International New Castle. Here is a small portion of the apartment complex that we live in. This development hosts 40 skyscrapers, a school, many fountains, an underground parking garage, footpaths, and a couple convenient stores. Sounds cool right? Except for the fact that only half of it is built. The area looks like a ‘war zone’ as Nick likes to say. None of the footpaths are built. And there are random bricks and a plethora of garbage decorating the landscape. I still think it’s pretty rad. We live on the third floor of building 306.
Hello and welcome to our humble abode. Our front door is decorated for Chinese New Year (Which was in the beginning of February). That’s our room number right there at the top. Yep, that’s right, room 1-3-4. Not quite sure how their room numbering system works, but hey thats China for ya. Let me take you in for a tour!!!!
When you first walk in you are greeted by our WHITE family room. It is very large and very WHITE. I’m sure Nick and I will spruce it up so it doesn’t look so depressing within the next couple of weeks here. You can see a water filter there on the right. It has cold and hot water options, however only cold water comes out. We are afraid to drink it because we don’t know how long it has been sitting there. Our furniture is super nice and we have a beautiful tree of life tapestry, which many of you reading this blog may recognize! Oh I can’t forget! In between the water filter and the door is this intercom system. We can’t really figure out how to use it, considering it is in Chinese and neither of us know the language. We can, however, view the world from the front steps of our apartment building. Sometimes it is fun to yell ‘Ni Hao!’ through the intercom to the front of the building! Let me take you to the kitchen for a cup of tea…
Oh wait, I can’t do that because our gas hasn’t been turned on yet! (ha!) But here is a view of our kitchen. We bought those (4) bowls and (2) cups drying on the counter today along with dish soap and sponges for a grand total of 18 yuan. That’s approx $3.00.
Here is our kitchen table and refrigerator area. We usually have 4 chairs, the other two are by our bedroom window where we can get internet access. Notice the polaroids on the wall! These are pictures of our best good pals down in Columbus, OH.
Here is our bathroom. We have a Western toilet, washing machine and shower combo! Right here behind the door on the left is a shower head. There is no actual shower, so when we shower the whole ground is wet, all the way up to the toilet. I have never lived in a house with a shower like this, but apparently it is pretty normal in China. I think it’s pretty funny. There are two drains on the floor to help all the water drain as fast as possible. Nick and I couldn’t figure out what that thing is above our toilet for about 4 days. Apparently it’s our water heater. It has this weird tube just hanging out of it. I’ve never seen the tube in action so I’m not really sure if it has a purpose. There aren’t dryers in China, so when we do our laundry we just have to hang our clothes to dry. This isn’t a big deal for either of us. When I lived in Ecuador there were no dryers either. All in all our bathroom is nice. It has a fan so it doesn’t get too steamy/smelly in there.
This is our spare bedroom. We took the mattress off of this bed because the mattresses are hard as a rock. We thought that if we put the mattress in this room and the mattress in our room on top of each other it would make them feel less hard. Not sure what kind of logic we had there…we ended up buying mattress pads at the Wal-Mart across the street. This room is temporarily used for storage and will be the Nicefinger’s Lab in the future. Nicefingers is Nick and his buddy Dave’s DJ name. Nick is going international with his Djing. =)
And here is the master bedroom! Check out Nick over there in the corner. This is the only place our internet works! Hopefully Nick will figure out a better internet option for us in the future. Our room is pretty self explanatory except for our awesome HANGER RACKS! I will show you a picture of them next. We bought a DVD player from Wal-Mart for $20. DVDs on the street come in 8-packs. That means 8 movies per pack. They are $1. The only bad part about that is that some of them aren’t in English. Ok, actually most of them aren’t in English. We figure that you can’t go wrong with a couple good DVDs for a dollar even if some of them don’t work. That little nook that Nick is in is all windows, so it gets very bright in our room. I love the sunlight. It wakes me up every morning at about 6 or 7am!
And here are our hanger racks! This is my favorite part of the apartment. There is a little pulley system where you can crank each rack up and down. The rack in the back is Nick’s and it is all the way up to the ceiling. I only cranked mine down half way for the picture, but they go down much lower for short people. Notice Nick in the corner again (ha!).
Here is the view outside of that large window in our bedroom. Nothing too exciting, just some more of the 40 building apartment complex!