Apartment clean-up


Need to clear up a few things about our apartment. Some of these questions go way back to March when I first posted pics of the place.

  • The pictures of the streets are not “public” streets and explains why they are devoid of people. Every photo from yesterday’s post was taken within the walls of the complex. There is one gate in, another gate out and they both have guards stationed at them. The guards are so sweet, I have my favorite.  The whole Oakwood complex takes up maybe a small city block?  There are cement walls and iron gates. It’s not like a prison or anything, actually we barely know they’re there. The other night Anders and I were walking back to our apartment and there were 4 little kids running around, totally unsupervised. They were maybe 2,3 4, and 6 years old. We commented how nice it would be to raise kids here because there isn’t any way someone who doesn’t belong here is getting in or out. It’s incredibly safe.
  • The palm trees took me by surprise too. I remember driving from the airport the first time and thinking that I didn’t expect palm trees. They just aren’t what you associate with China. But there are plenty of them in this part of the country.
  • Our apartment is average sized in the ex-pat community. We saw places that were bigger, lots bigger as a matter of fact, but too big for what we needed. Compared to most Chinese apartments? We are living in the lap of luxury. Ben lives in a 3-room apartment with his wife, baby, and mother-in-law. (Oh we’ve had good conversations about that!) I also think that even without the one-child policy China would be a nation of one-child families 😉 Just think, you’re living in a tiny apartment and your mother or mother-in-law moves in for the first 3 years of your child’s life to help raise him/her while you both work. So not only is there a lack of privacy to do what you gotta do to have another baby but would you really want to repeat the process of having your mother or MIL move back in with you again for 3 years? Every time you had a child?
  • Having a washer & dryer is the norm for ex-pats but by Chinese standards, no way. Most people hang their clothes to dry on their balconies if they have one.  I do too but not out of necessity. I feel sorry for them. In the winter time it takes forever for clothes to dry outside because there’s no sun, no hot air, and way too much humidity. Which leads me to another thing: most Chinese don’t have a wardrobe the size of Delaware.
  • The microwave is high off the counter but I can reach it. I pretty much only use it to warm up my coffee. The worst part is that I occasionally bump my head on the shelf! 

So this concludes the post about the apartment. I think that if you have more questions you need to visit and get the answers for yourself!

5PM – 81°


About vikarenously

I am an ex-pat living in Guangzhou, China. I am married to the man of my dreams who has indulged my love of travel by working hard enough to snag two international assignments. Oh yes, I also have two amazing children who accompanied us on our first one to Switzerland and are now mature and responsible adults which makes it so easy for us to experience this adventure as empty-nesters. Experience it vicariously with Karen.

2 responses »

  1. I felt this post should have started- Dear Sue. Now if for some reason you have other friends who question all the nitty, gritty details of your life please allow me to continue to think that I am special and don’t spoil it for me, telling me the truth. (can you imagine if one of my sisters got wind of my “special” comment? They would immediately follow up with just how “special” I am!)

    It was almost like you could read my mind. After writing something you knew I would have follow up questions, so in your next sentence you addressed and answered it-like after describing the walls and fence. You knew I would immediately say, “like a prison”.

    I had no idea you get live in help for 3 years after having a baby. After moving and setting up shop in another home, how many mothers or MIL’s just stay after their 3 year stint? What does the mothers do with their husbands during those 3 years? What if your son in law is less aggravation than your husband and you don’t want to go back to where you came from? 🙂

    On to the microwave? Are most microwaves put 30 feet in the air or just yours? Maybe you had a very tall maintenance man installing it, and that was his eye level.

    I love starting my day reading your adventures! ………. and comparing the temp outside.

    • Oh Sue, you are indeed special. You are also very insightful. The “prison” sentence was written exactly for you because I knew you’d say that!!!!! We haven’t lived next to each other or in the same town) for 22 years and we’re still amazingly connected.

      I think the FILs just fend for themselves if they’re living by themselves. Or in a lot of cases, they’re all living together. It is very common for 3 generations to live together. The older generations kind of depend on the younger ones to help them in their old age. It’s very different from the US.

      As you know, the whole temperature thing is just for you. I had to go and buy a new thermometer so I could continue after you moaned about the loss of the first one.

      I look forward to your comments as much as you look forward to the blog! You NEVER fail to make me laugh.

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