Now that I’ve been in China for over nearly 2 months I thought it was high time I posted some pictures of where I live.
As I have previously mentioned I live on the 13th floor of a huge apartment building (32 floors) in a compound of similar high rises. I am living in a relatively affluent neighbourhood within easy reach of the Central Business District (20 minute bus) but I’m far enough out to benefit from cheaper shops, local non-chain restaurants (2 minute walk), proximity to a number of parks (15 minute walk) and within easy reach of my school (25 minute walk along a river).
My building is within a gated community that includes access to a communal ‘garden’ area, tennis court, a basketball court, club rooms and a swimming pool. I count myself very very lucky as I know that most people (including my fellow teachers at school) would count themselves lucky to be in my position.
The flat itself isn’t great. It’s very dark inside and the build quality leaves a lot to be desired. With thousands of similar developments in Chengdu (most completely empty) and with such shoddy building quality I wonder what they’ll be like in 5-10 years’ time. As we don’t use the communal living room (I live with an American teacher called Husna) I have tried to make my room my little sanctuary with pictures of family and friends. If I had to pick the biggest negative of my room it would be my 1 inch thick mattress, the biggest positive would be my balcony.
We have a kitchen but I literally have never used it – with no utensils/pots I can’t cook in so eat out every meal which costing on average £2.00 for a great local noodle dish isn’t too bad!
Our bathroom situation took some getting used to. I won’t go into details but as you ca see from the absence of a throne I have had to get used to the “squat” and will confess to not having used a western toilet since my arrival. Whilst it took some getting used to I would go as far to say that the squat toilet feels more natural and having read some articles that say it’s a healthier position I would have to agree. Having to squat as a necessity would certainly be a massive incentive to stay healthy, flexible and to lose weight. Although I can’t see it ever catching on at home.
So there you go, now you know where I ‘hang my hat’ every day.