Tradition says I must write a report showing my apartment! I was VERY lucky in Thailand, to find a really nice place, and it was obvious my place here would never be as good. Indeed, the first apartment I went in here was bug-riddled and quite off-putting, so I swopped the three bedroom, two bathroom for this much smaller apartment. Having said that, I do live alone, so there is still ample space, and no bugs!! My "belongings" from Thailand finally arrived at the beginning of November, and everything is now unpacked and in a home! The only thing I still need to get is a "tree" or two… I need some nice big plants! I’m really pleased with what I have now, hope you like it too!
Almost all developments in Shanghai are "compounds". That means a collection of high rises or villas, or both, within a "confined area" with a gate and security. The compound I am in, "Apple Court" is a combination of two high-rises and a number of villas, with a central gym/pool complex. This photo was taken when the pool was closed for winter… usually it looks great with the sunloungers out and the fountain on! As I am now on the 9th floor of one of the high-rises, the view from my balcony looks out across the city. (Looks good at night too with all the lights).
Although the complex is a fair distance from the city centre, I have the advantage of a busstop immediately opposite the complex gate, which goes via Carefour (the main supermarket) and links to two of the three metro lines that crisscross the city, so getting around is pretty easy. Both the bus and the metro accept a Shanghai travel card, and prices are 15p on the bus and 20p on the metro – so it’s cheap and convenient. To travel to/from school I have my bicycle, which was an absolute bargain. Cycles are heavily subsidised by the government, and so my 21 gear bicycle, brand new, cost me just £14. Shanghai has cycle lanes on all main roads, so although its still an ‘experience’, cycling is certainly not a problem. Of course I may change my mind and decide to use taxis when the snow arrives!
A small entrance area with shoe cabinet leads into the main living area. Dining table at one end, settees and balcony at the other. The bookcases and cd racks etc are all mine, but the sofas / dining table chairs / tv table etc all belong to the apartment. Floors are all laminate flooring, so it’s fresh, clean, and easy to clean (very easy to clean in fact, as a nice lady comes twice a week to do it all for me!!!!). The kitchen is pretty old-fashioned, and has no oven, but a microwave was provided together with a washing machine and a tumble dryer. There is certainly plenty of kitchen cupboard and drawer space, something I was desperately short of in Thailand.
The bathroom is fine, small, but clean and tidy. My only "winge" is the lack of water pressure means the shower is little more than a dribble. If I knew I was staying here some time, I would investigate the cost of investing in a "Power Shower" as I really do love a proper shower, but the apartment contracts are just for one year, and there is talk of school buying apartments for teachers so they don’t have to pay rent.
Bedrooms are of a good size, with useful wardrobe and shelving space which I supplemented with a set of drawers. The computer desk is of course mine! The first two photos are of the "guest room"
(anyone fancy visiting?), the last two are of my room. (Of course, if you are female, young and attractive, I may let you share as long as you don’t tell my mum!). So there you have it, my apartment in Shanghai. On a serious note, do let me know if you’d like to visit. One friend is already booked, but there are plenty of weeks in a year, and I do have room!
Take care and Keep in touch!