The Apartment

Our apartment in China is about 1300 sq ft, which is a good size. We have one big living/dining room area, with a small modern kitchen off one end, a hallway to the guest bedroom, and a second hallway to the master and bathroom. All the walls are painted or wallpapered in a neutral beige/off white combo. In the living room, there are two different patterns, both sparkly, a theme which is picked up by no less than 54 strings of crystals forming a feature in the entrance. A section of the ceiling that cuts across the middle of the room is also wallpapered but it’s fairly understated. At either end of the room is a bronze-coloured chandelier. The owners must be particularly fond of chandeliers because there are 5 of them, including one on the glassed-in deck and a feathered number (with more crystals) in the guest room.

The glassed-in deck houses our washing machine and a very clever clothes drying rack that is suspended from the ceiling and operates with a pulley system to raise the lines up and down as needed. It takes about a day for towels to dry but come winter, it may take longer.

We have air conditioning in the bedrooms which helps to keep the whole place cool, especially with the help of a standing fan we bought. We’re not too sure if they are also used for heat in the winter but we think so. I hope so, since there is no other form of heat. We may be buying a space heater…or perhaps a set of Snugglies?

Our bathroom is modern, with a duo-flush toilet and a double sink, one side of which has a built in wash board for hand-washing (people are very frugal with energy as it is billed monthly). There is a rain shower which can be switched over to a hand-held or a simple spigot to fill the large, oval-shaped bath. Ah, the bath. How to describe it? Try to imagine a hand-crafted tub with 4 colours of glass tiles laid out in a striped pattern. The pattern runs across the tub and starts in straight rows from the top to the bottom. Because it curves, there are necessarily some places where the tiles no longer fit. These areas are filled with grout. To say that it is “busy” is an understatement. Please have a look at the video attached.

While the walls are neutral, the furniture is anything but. Our settee, chair and dining room furniture is upholstered in bright olive green velour. Drapes are a muted flocked purple velour. More velour drapes in bedrooms. Entirely serviceable.

What is absolutely astonishing is the amount of advertising that is so prominent in our complex and building. As you approach the gate, there is an electronic reader board. Between the elevators is another reader board. In the elevators, 3 of the walls have paper ads for high-end cars: Infinity, BMW, Mazda (okay, 2 of the 3 are high-end). Along the walk/roadways are another assortment of static plastic mini billboards. No opportunity missed to sell, sell, sell!
When we came home tonight, the grandparents were playing mah jong in the lobby. We were invited to sit down and watch and try to make sense of it. It appears to be a bit like Gin Rummy but played with tiles. I hope to learn to play–it would be wonderful to sit with these elders and join in their game!

At the moment, Geoff is making a video of our apartment, essentially making this blog redundant, but he cannot be stopped. Watch it for the live version.

10 thoughts on “The Apartment

  1. Dave Mickie

    Great video Geoff…sounds like a great start to your adventure. Geoff let me know what email address you are using. Are you on Facebook? Dave Mickie

  2. Lynne Cregg-Guinan

    Apartment looks much larger than I had imagined. Looks good. Love the bath Terry. Know you will spend lots of time relaxing in that – just wear an eye mask! Great photos and nice video intro to the apartment Geoff.

  3. kenrhaycock

    In preparation for my visit, will the purple velour drapes and feather chandelier be removed from the bordello, aka guest bedroom? Just curious! And heat in December? Should I bring my own Snuggly (if I meet her)? Just curious!

  4. Trish

    Hi Terry – really enjoying the blogs! Loved your description of the apt. and Geoff’s video. Looks to my like you guys need a couple of comfy chairs to relax in. Trish

  5. Pingback: Shanghai! | The Jiaxing Express

  6. Val Goodridge

    Geoff, loved the videos. It is hard to image all those people living in one massive city! The balcony/laundry room is really quite clever. I wish I had that drying rack in my laundry room. My friend, Kelly, who teaches in Shanghai always laughs about the laundry scale that is posted every day. I guess it is something like the smog index report in Los Angeles. Terry, I am enjoying your blog! It sounds like you are having a blast.


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