Our apartment in Shanghai is located theoretically next door to our school. Because of a canal and many gates it’s actually a 20 minute walk to get to work. A couple days of facing environmental elements have made it not that fun, but overall I like walking to work. There are no major grocery stores or western restaurants or coffee shops or the like within walking distance of our apartment but there are a few smaller convenience type stores, lots of noodles, dumplings, other Chinese restaurants, and an endless string of random storefronts that offer a specific niche of items like picture frames, bedding, or office supplies. A 15 minute or so cab ride though can take us either to the subway or to the closest more western area of town with the essentials, a larger supermarket/department store, coffee shops, “the western place” (the first western restaurant we discovered nearby and so thats what it became referred to as), a great place to get a manicure, etc.
I will write posts in the future about some of my favorite finds around town, but here I’ll show you around my apartment. The apartment was completely furnished, we just purchased linens, kitchen items, etc.
getting off the elevator
welcome to our home.
after passing the downstairs half bath, you see our living room to the left. the windows are huge, 17′ long looking out into our complex and across to the main street. and yes, we have a huge purple couch. you would see heinous pink and white satin curtains too but I found a way to take them down and turn them around so you only see when matte white lining. Chinese decorating bewilders me.
one of my favorite things I brought from home that hangs in the living room.
homage to a city and people I dearly love and miss.
next when you turn back to the right you will see our dining area where Molly and I share many a laugh before we leave for work and at the end of the day. when the skies are clear we have a wonderful view of downtown (pictures don’t really capture it, I quit trying, you’ll just have to come visit).
then you will turn right from the dining area and into the kitchen. that thing that looks like an oven is not really an oven, by the way, it’s a dish sanitizer which we never use and which is not the same as a dishwasher, we don’t have one of those either, so I wash dishes a lot. we found out the hard way we don’t have an oven, but at least at the end of that lesson, brownie batter tastes just as good as baked brownies. the wok and the pot are sitting out not because we are cooking but because those are the only pots and pans we own (aside from the now obsolete brownie pan we bought), so they just stay out on the stove.
we have lots of great counter space and cabinets, but only 1 drawer, so we have a junk cabinet instead that has many random things it it.
next you’ll walk from the kitchen back towards the front door and you will pass our washer. where is the dryer, you ask?
here it is. the succulent was left from the previous tenant. I think it’s cute and makes me smile when I go to hang up everything to dry and when I go to collect it all and everything smells like smog. it’s the little things.
to the right is my bedroom. thank you IKEA.
I have the same massive window that is downstairs.
Back in May when I saw this cover of Texas Monthly I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. Now it hangs in my bedroom here in Shanghai.
my closet makes up for some things I do without.
I would put a picture of my bathroom here, but there was just no good angle to get a picture. so imagine an all white modern looking bathroom. it’s great too.
I feel I should make a disclaimer that our apartment is not 100% typical of China. It was designed by a German architect and is fairly new. It is A LOT nicer than I expected and just happens to be the closest complex to work, however the trade off is we are not conveniently located next to a subway, so ups and downs but mostly up. It really feels like home and is where I look forward to coming to at the end of the day.