Saturday, July 9, 2011

Getting settled in Beijing

On Thursday evening Lotte and I moved into our apartment.

The former tenant, some famous Korean golf-player that had been teaching golf in China, had moved out earlier the same day.

Our landlord, Mr. Li, has been the most helpful. He came and picked us up at our hostel and drove all of our luggage to the apartment. He speaks English very well, since he lived in the US for two years when he doing his master's degree in business and administration. We also went to the police station together and registered the whole renting deal - a lot of paper work in China! But my impression is also that people are pretty efficient. He also drove us to China Unicom's head quarter to pay for internet. He is the most sweet and decent man.

I've taken some photos of the joint.

Mind you, taking photos of apartments isn't exactly my forté.

But here's a small tour!

Our apartment is 121 square meters and is on the 17th floor. The rent is in total 7000 Yuan per month, which divided on the two of us makes about 2900 Norwegian kroners per person per month.

There's a spacious living room with a dining area, and a big window which is more like an indoor-balcony.

The view from the living room window

There's a big refrigerator standing in the living room and a kitchen with two gas stoves and a microwave-oven.

Lotte peeking out of her room
at the end of the hallway

Lotte also has kind of an indoor-balcony

Lovely fake flowers in my room

The view from my room to the right..

.. and to the left

More than enough room for my
manpower-logo sleeping position

I also have a big closet. There was also a big and bulky TV, which I carried out and put in the large storage room we have in the apartment.

Lotte and I are very excited!

Right outside the gates on the ground floor, there's a bunch of shops: convenient shops, atm, hair salons, massage parlors, pharmacy, travel agency and other small shops that'll cover most of your needs.

I even bought this mirror in one of the small shops that has everything
(don't mind the fact that I haven't closed my closet)

And 300 meters from our apartment there's a shopping mall with a big supermarket, department store, cinema etc.

In many ways I'm currently living a dream, staying in a nice apartment in a fancy building in a big and busy city like Beijing, and being a student at a prestigious university - getting to feel all important.

You're the smith of your own happiness!


Yesterday I decorated my face..

.. and then Lotte and I went to meet up with some of our friends and classmates, which we haven't seen since we left Norway.

They didn't have a Chinese phone number yet, and we'd planned to meet outside some fancy mall in Wudaokou, so Lotte and I went there, perched at the curb and scouted for our friends.

.. I took one photo to the left..

.. and one straight ahead.

I'm sorry, but I have to remind myself to take photos that aren't portraits of people, of my finger nails or something edible.

But to me, taking photos of places, streets, buildings etc. is so boring - any idiot can do it!

Then Lotte and I noticed our friends.

And let me tell you, I go to school with some of the most ridiculously beautiful Norwegian girls!


Silje & Hanna

We went to some fancy restaurant and had awesome food.

When in Rome..
I ordered some beef tripe,
also known as cow's stomach
just for the heck of it.
I'll eat anything as long as it tastes good
and doesn't make me sick.

But cow's stomach.
It's chewy,
greasy, and hasn't got much flavor

I don't get it

Today! Today I went around the corner and bought myself a brand new bicycle that costed 220 Yuan. I haven't photographed the wonder yet, but I think I'm in love. Oh, the freedom! We've already noticed how hard it is to get a taxi in this city. With the bicycle I can go most places, and I don't have to walk my ass off. (My feet are already full of blisters)

But it's a bit terrifying bicycling in Beijing.

The streets are always so busy, and while a lot of the main roads have their own separated bicycle lane, most of the time you have to ride your bike in between the busy cars and the cars parked at the side of the road.

For the first ten minutes riding, having just bought the bike, I clutched the steering wheel so hard and talked out loud to calm myself down (*sure, all of the cars and trucks and buses that are passing you within a meter's distance are honking like crazy - but it's not because they are about to hit you, but because they're just letting you know that they are passing and don't want you to make any creative sudden moves*).

I'm too young and pretty to die in a traffic accident in Beijing, so I'm riding like a grandma.

Tomorrow we have to go to the university early in the morning to register for the summer school which starts on Tuesday.

At the supermarket earlier today I picked up some lychees, which seems to be in season right now.

These ones were enormous!

I get so excited I squeal like a little kid.


Cow's stomach or lychees?


Anonymous said...

It really is a dream scenario!
Looks like you'll have a great time, everything up till now sounds great! :D

But don't get run over by a car on your bicycle! xO

Den sleipe krÄkebolle said...

For en luksus leilighet, heldig griser. Saa misunerlig :)