With Todd finally joining me in Shanghai we are moving apartments. I don’t see a problem with his closet in the current apartment and why when I bring it up he tells me we can switch closets? I don’t understand, I don’t find mine much of a prize and all that much different.
More space would be nice. When he came to visit this past year with just a suitcase we were stepping over things. I am glad we are moving for there are 2 empty lots across the street that are now both under construction. I can hear pound pound pound from 6am till 11pm at night, non stop it drives me crazy. Watching TV is a problem, working is a problem, just being in the apartment is a problem with the noise. When I signed the lease on my current apt I asked about the lots and when they were starting construction the Donald (apt owner) told me they are not going to build for a long time, maybe she said they are building for a long time I can’t remember when they weren’t working on the lots but lately it has gotten mad for they are working on both at the same time, double the noise.
We are moving to a slightly larger apartment (114m to 180m) located in the former French Concession (FC). The French Concession is said to be to Shanghai what Greenwich Village is to New York. The French Concession was established in 1849 in Shanghai as just that a French Concession and remained until 1946. It has distinct European architecture, there are few high rise buildings, mostly lane houses and Chinese apartments. The draw for many are the tree-lined streets, the distinct European architecture, boutique restaurants, shops, and Western-style bars. The streets are small, many one-way and there are no major highways near by. It can fool you a little to think you are not in China but it has local markets, shops, and of course the traffic/bikes that remind you are in China. It is really lovely area.
The downside of the new place is I am no longer able to walk to work I need to take the metro 2 stops, which is not all that bad. The plus side of my walk to the metro is it is along the block that is the US Consulate, a little piece of home (well kind of) in Shanghai, it flies the US (and Chinese) flag. I feel it is a very safe walk for I pass 4 Consulate guards on my way, the guards are Chinese. They stand on these little boxes, arms at their side in attention, and move their head from side to side constantly. How does their neck not get tired or sore? Certain times of the day there is even a changing of the guard ceremony where many of them march in formation, how Buckingham Palace of them but not as much flare. It is fun to see them march along, it is like a parade.Todd is going to be taking a metro line till it ends in
Pudong PuJersey ( I think 7 stops) however his office building just opened and is very nice with restaurants and shopping he really never needs to leave except to come home for we don’t live there.
I can now get into any cab and say where I live to the driver and they understand and take me there. I am very proud of this. Now I need to learn a new address a little stressful and it includes the number 4 which is very difficult to stay in Chinese. It sounds like the noise a snake makes and I struggle with it. I avoid saying it. When I bargain and I want something to cost 40, or 400 I will say 30/300 or 50/500 for I just can’t get the 4 down. The apartment complex doesn’t have a name, it goes by the address. I call the apartment Prince’s place for it is just the address like when Prince was just a symbol. Since Prince’s place will not work with the taxi drivers or really anyone else, I am going to have to learn to say it for it starts with a 4. To learn my last address my boss would say the address and I would mimic what she says until I got the tones down. I will have to set up a lunch with her and learn how to say my new address.
The apartment has a full kitchen meaning a real big girl oven and normal size refrigerator. Well the oven is not as large as the ovens we are normally use to but it is larger than a toaster oven and I will make cookies as soon as I move in! The fridge is full sized. The apartment has a nice layout, flow to it, feels warm and like a home. I am told this is because the complex was built with feng shui in mind. Don’t know how true it is but many people talk about the complex and the story of feng shui, it is a good story. The apartment is unfurnished so we get to pick out furniture and we negotiated to be able to paint the walls. The bedroom walls are currently sea foam green and that is just not going to work. It is exciting and now off to pack.