This past Wednesday, we parked ourselves in Jing Li Hotel in Nanjing, China for 3 nights. Within that time we had to find an apartment in Nanjing, and we did!
We were told the average price for a 6 month lease where we wanted to be in Nanjing’s Gulou District is about $615/month (4,000 RMB). We were shown one apartment by the realtor recommended by Eric’s school, and we signed the lease on the same day. The final price for 5 months, excluding security deposit, was about $2,900 USD (19,000 RMB) and we were asked to pay a substantial amount up-front.
Two days later, I hauled 150 lbs of luggage from the hotel through some alleyways, and up way too many steps. Take a look inside our new home!
The entrance to our place is absolutely hysterical to me. I don’t mean that in a negative way, because it’s honestly a great deterrent to potential thieves, I just mean it would NEVER fly in America as an entrance to an apartment building. I fondly refer to it as the bat cave.
The inside of our place is much, much nicer than the outside, which is typical of Nanjing buildings, it seems. We were told it’s because there’s no housing authority telling building owners they have to maintain outer appearances, and no one seems to care.
When you first walk in, you see this big dining table with wooden chairs that have what looks like the Mercedes-Benz logo on them. The shelving is really cool and came filled with decorative items like vases, candles, etc.
In order to make the 3-prong plug for my laptop work with the outlets here, I bought this inexpensive adapter in advance.
The kitchen is clean and modern with metal countertops and a stainless steel fridge. The place is fully furnished, so we’re stocked all the way from a water heater to soy sauce. Even though we could survive on what came in the apartment, I’m glad we brought 2 of these chopsticks, 2 of these tea strainers, and this weird device.
We’re abnormally stoked about our wok, gas stove and vents! I know vents are not that exciting, but we didn’t have them in our apartment in San Francisco, so it used to get super smoky inside when we pan-fried meat.
You may notice there’s no microwave – I think this is fairly typical of a Chinese kitchen.
The bathroom speaks for itself. In America, this would be the strangest bathroom (unless you live in a Tiny House), but as we use it more and more, it’s making sense. The room dries surprisingly quickly after you shower!
Oh, and Mona Lisa toilet…
This apartment has two bedrooms, but it’s just Eric and I, so we’ll be using the spare bedroom as an office/the place where we sit when we want the fastest Wi-Fi (AKA the router room).
The bedroom is super awesome! I love our huge wooden dresser (Or would this be considered an armoire? Chest drawers? Anyone? Bueller?). Either way, it’s way more clothing storage than we had in San Francisco, and if we lived here long-term I would put so many shelves in this thing. I had to buy about a dozen hangers to make this work for us, but they were so cheap from the store nearby.
Downside to the bedroom: our mattress is hard as a rock. It’s about 2 inches thick and made of some kind of hard foam. We solved the issue by buying two mattress pads and layering them one on top of the other. The first night I slipped into bed we also realized the comforter was essentially a sleeping bag tucked poorly into a duvet cover, and one of the pillows has a gross sandy texture. It only took one night of sleep before we bought a new blanket and pillow. I was tempted to use this during that one night…
Attached to the bedroom area is a sun room, which is more like a laundry room. The washing machines I’ve seen here have been in-home, compact units like ours.
People here don’t typically have dryers, which is why we’ve got retractable poles attached to the building below our window. When you look at an apartment building here, you’re seeing dozens, if not hundreds, of articles of clothing on any given day, and that’s because of the no dryer thing.
That just about sums up our apartment! Let me know if you have any questions about living in China – I’m happy to answer them to the best of my ability, or ask questions to people who have lived here longer.
Thanks for reading! Talk to you soon 🙂
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