Before leaving for China I didn’t have high expectations for my very first apartment. I was told by family and friends that while visiting China their accommodations were pretty small so when I arrived to my bachelor apartment I wasn’t very surprised. My excitement with being in a new place pretty much overshadowed any flaws my apartment had.
As the months passed, so did my initial excitement and I quickly became fed up with my first apartment. The first part of my disappointment, which by the way almost led me to leave China and head back home, was the loud banging upstairs that I would hear every single morning at 4:30 am on the dot. Since using my broom to bang, in Morris code “SHUT UP!” didn’t work I decided to complain to my boss. A day after my class, my boss and my Chinese co-worker decided to pay the culprit, who was denying me of a good night’s rest, a friendly visit. We headed upstairs and my boss banged on the door. An old man in his tighty whiteys showed up and my boss confronted him about the loud noise, he acknowledged her then proceeded to slam the door. Needless to say, the 4:30 am banging didn’t stop. One day after coming from the grocery store I saw the same old man, this time clothed, squatting on the pavement in front of the building with a hammer in his hand banging what seemed to be some sort of tool, I decided to record it on WeChat and send it to my co-worker. My boss promised me that after our summer vacation she would get me a new apartment.
After coming back from vacation, as promised my boss had found me a new apartment. I was ecstatic! I expected to have a larger apartment, no banging noises, maybe even a bedroom. Nope, I ended up in the building adjacent to my old building. This new apartment pretty much had the exact same layout as my old apartment but appeared to be a lot nicer. Now, for the few months I had this apartment, I had a few ups and downs such as trying to get used to showering bedside my toilet. The “sexy sounds” I would hear from the apartment across the hall which really entertained my friends on Snapchat, and the fact that my kitchen didn’t have hot water so I would have to go fetch hot water from the bathroom. So when I got back to Toronto I was more than grateful to be able to take a shower that didn’t give me the option to sit on my toilet simultaneously.
Overall, I was grateful for the apartment which my boss had given me. It was safe and people knew who I was. I had two convenience stores below me and I couldn’t have asked for nicer people to be surrounded by. While living in China, I learned not everyone showered beside their toilets and a lot of my expat friends had larger accommodations. I know for next time and I will double-check and verify my contract to ensure it mentions my accommodations would be similar to North American standards.
Stay Restless my friends!