The dining room is the only room where the main piece of furniture is not ours. I gave away our very traditional and very large dining table, chairs, buffet, and china cupboard. The fact that I even used the word china cupboard is an indicator of how traditional it was. I hope to buy a table and chairs while I’m here. I already have them chosen, the problem is that they’re too big for the space. I’ll work it out, no worries.
The main problem was where to keep my ceramics that I collected in Europe and which I use daily, and where to put my cookbooks. I really kept the number of cookbooks that I brought to a minimum. Even so, there sure isn’t room for them in the kitchen! So, it’s Target cubes to the rescue again. It looks OK but I would not want the dining room in its current state to be my forever dining room.
I do like our living room. It’s all about the view. It’s also a very large space which is good. We don’t have a family room, den, and living room like so many homes in the US. I’m not complaining either. Our lifestyle is such that we don’t need all those rooms anymore so it’s good to have one large space. The entertainment unit belongs to the apartment complex and again, I hope to replace it. I bought a coffee table a few weeks ago and I love it. It’s a 100 year-old horse feeding trough from northern China that’s been converted into a usable pice of furniture with the addition of an old door. It looks great but makes the modern (and ugly) TV table stand out even more. Huge speakers are a pet peeve of mine too and they must go. Sorry Anders, you can’t have a satellite dish and gigantic speakers too.
We found an amazing store a few weeks ago that specializes in Chinese antiques and they also make their own furniture It’s quite possibly my favorite store in the whole world and I’ve been avoiding it since we bought a few things. I would gladly furnish my whole apartment with items from this store and Anders is in trouble. As I was looking at the photos and trying to decide which ones to post, I saw the apartment in a different way. I see that this needs to go and wouldn’t the buffet we saw at Phinn’s look great in its place?! And oh my, those Target cubes really aren’t gonna cut it when I get that dining table. The best part (for me at least) is that the owner of the store said that as it gets closer to the time when we get kicked out of China, not her words, we can buy things and they’ll store them for us until it’s time to get packed up. I love this woman!!! She explained to us that antiques are not easy to find because the Chinese just chuck stuff out and want all new. Her prices are surprisingly cheap, by US standards anyway. I not only like her merchandise but can afford it! I’m just not sure I can afford EVERYTHING I want.
I love the terrace. It’s tiny and there is barely enough room for the few things we do have but I sit out there as much as possible. Yesterday I sat on the terrace and studied Mandarin for 5 hours! I’m glad it’s finally warm enough to do that. The only problem was that it was so humid that my papers were damp after the 1st hour. I turned down other apartments that didn’t have any outdoor space and am so happy that I did.
This has nothing to do with the apartment but I just had to say that I thought my head was going to explode in Mandarin class today. Not only was I speaking Chinese but my teacher had me doing math! Doing math in my head has never been easy (gotta see those numbers written) but to have to do it in Chinese added an element that I do not want to repeat. Also, today at the wet market I understood every time someone told me how much my fruit and veg cost! That’s a first. There has always been at least one time (if I’m lucky it’s only one) that I just give them a 10 because I have no idea what they said. But today man, I was on and was able to either give exact amounts or knew what change I was getting. That is progress.
5PM – 76°