Friday, October 23, 2015

Crappy Real Estate Photography

Check out my latest Chinese apartment!
My room! And the most made my bed will ever be!

I moved in over a month ago, so it's high time I showed everyone around. This place definitely has charm, but it also has plenty of weird features that can't be explained. Too many features that no one has ever asked for.

Let's start with the basics: 2 bedrooms (although one bedroom is 2 rooms), 1 bathroom, 1 study that I converted into a yoga studio by keeping it empty), 1 kitchen, 1 living room. There's a washing machine on the balcony, and plenty of pole to hang drying clothes from out there. Closet space galore; this whole apartment is covered in cupboards. The kitchen came with a stove (1 working element) and fridge, and I bought a little oven as well. 
Big enough for a Thanksgiving duck
Now for the interesting stuff. First, the bathroom. Take a look!

Did you see it? Look again. In case you didn't notice it, I've highlighted it for you in this next identical picture. 

A urinal! Yes every guy thinks he wants a urinal until he has to clean a barely functioning urinal all the time. This immediately made my "Do Not Pee In" list. Next up, the shower.

I feel bad using the word shower, because it's so much more than that! It's really more of an experience. CD player, in-shower speakers, rainfall faucet, interior water jets... AND NONE OF IT WORKS. The doors slide closed to create an airtight chamber, so what I'm left with is a shower too short to stand up in, and too narrow to turn around in comfortably. There is a small seat in there as well, which has actually come in quite handy and made weeping alone a lot more relaxing. Yes sir this is really where all the magic happens, and by that I mean David Blaine once spent 50 moonless nights locked inside underwater. 

Next, the lighting. Tired of boring overhead lights at your entrance which conveniently allow you to see everything as soon as you come in the door? I thought so. How about lighting up your shoes instead? Not good enough you say? I'll throw in a glass floor panel with fake grass underneath! IT'S LIKE YOU'RE STILL OUTSIDE! Walking Christmas lights, trophy case lights, palm tree sconces... if you want inadequate, fancy lighting, you'd feel right at home squinting your way around here!
Come on in!
Overall, I'm a fan of this apartment. Spacious, nice views, river adjacent, and a nice quiet community. The cockroaches are only winning 3-2 (3 sightings, only 2 killings), and the previous tenants left me with a lot of useful stuff. I'm really starting to feel settled and at home here. Maybe one day I'll figure out my address! 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Forgot About Hong Kong

If you're going to visit Hong Kong, take it from me: it has so much more to offer than just China's visa office!
Recently I flew down to HK to get a new visa that will allow me to continue working in China, which really isn't the best way to go, but between waiting in line and paying for photocopies, some other teachers and I were able to catch a bit of that big city colonial HK charm on our quick two-day trip.
You read it right- that's blueberry syrup!
Biggest I've ever had and top ten overall
Even though I'd only been back in Asia for a month, HK offered a paradise of Western civilization that I haven't had a chance to miss yet. Big breakfasts, bigger pizza, supermarkets with chocolate chips... actually yeah it was mostly just food. Oh and I played basketball with some locals, which is something I try to do everywhere I go! We were also able to check out some tourist spots, like riding the tram up to Victoria Peak, shopping at the popular Ladies and Temple Street markets, and taking the Star Ferry to scope out the bay.
When we weren't busy doing all that, we were chilling at my friend's magnificent hotel. It had a slight edge over my 9 beds to each bathroom hostel, so we opted to meet there instead. From enjoying the view from the rooftop pool to enjoying the warm peanuts and raisin medley and FREE WATER in the hotel bar, it really felt like I was doing HK in style. Shout out to having one rich friend in the group! Thanks again Sean!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Abandoned German Mall in China

If you have any idea how an entire mall with German architecture got uprooted from Western Europe and plopped down onto an island in the middle of a river in the middle of a Chinese city, let me know.
Hiding behind the bridge
When I heard that there was an abandoned mall in my new home city of Fuzhou, I needed to be there. I have no idea what happened, but today this mall is almost completely empty, save for a few people trying to make a go of running their own stores on the property, and a couple of squatters we woke up accidentally.
Fine line between looting and getting a bargain
When you go up the broken escalators to the top, you're able to get onto the roof and even up a tower to enjoy some wonderful views of the city.
There's that bridge again!
... and some parts are pink!
Next time you're in Fuzhou, check this place out! Then do some parkour? Then send me the video.