I have been busy. This is the view from my new window. In the foreground is the local campus of Harbin Institute of Technology. Back in the mist is Yangtai Mountain, which i cycled past a couple weeks ago when i was checking out Xili. If you squint you may see a pagoda.
After bashing my head against the wall with a bunch of snobby real estate agents who kept wanting to put me into gated communities whose prices for a studio started at 3500元 (my maximum remains 3000元 - one third of the Shenzhen average salary), i found a spot in the University Town district between Xili central and my office. The only things in University Town district are the grad schools of HIT, Tsinghua and Beijing U, plus a brand new condo cluster and Pingshan village, which is where i now live.
I'm paying 2700元, which is a little more than i was paying in my last place, but the apartment is way nicer. The kitchen is pretty much non-existent, but i'll figure something out. The best part (aside from the view) is that the bed is up in a loft area so it feels like i'm in a little tree hut when i go to sleep. I still haven't figured out what to do with all the empty floor space downstairs, but maybe i will get a little folding table to go with my little plastic stools so i have more space to prep food.
Today i was back in my old place cleaning it up. I met my landlord and got my deposit back, and then accidentally fucking left my bank card there, so i will need to head back at some point. Sigh. I did take a photo of all the sexy cards i collected over the year or so that i lived there.
I wonder if i'll get sexy cards under my door here? There are way more single people in my building here - i presume they are either well-to-do grad students or faculty. Regular students live in the dorms across the way or in the dark alleys of the village out back. I don't get the sense there are as many lonely old men.
It's cool to live in an urban village. I am right on the gentrified edge facing out, but just behind the building is a warren of alleys and a few wider streets lined with restaurants. There's always something going on, always a hustle and bustle, and the food is spectacularly better than anything i could get near my old place. I already found a 麻辣烫 i like, and a 沙县小吃, and a 煎饼 guy, and a 烧饼 guy, and a 包子 guy, and and and...
The other thing is i can now walk to work in half an hour and bike in half that. Work is still frustrating and exhausting, but i am hoping being able to sleep in for another hour every morning will leave me in a better mood.