Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Moving Furniture

Well, we've been here long enough to get the apartment rearranged, the refrigerator filled (I found ice trays!!!), and a few necessities purchased (extension cords, lamp, soap dish ). Here is a floorplan which shows the furniture placement.

We are anxiously awaiting the return of the administrative guru who will negotiate the bureaucracy so that we will have internet access in the apartment. Right now, we have successfully located wifi points around the city. This has been by complete happenstance -- seeing people with laptops when we pass by shop windows. We did find a Starbucks on the 2nd day, which provided a much needed iced tea and free internet. As it turns out, it is near a shopping area that we will visit fairly often because there are some western goods available.
I am still looking for a place that sells green plants.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Update on Settling In


So, I think I mentioned in my emails to friends & family that we got our key to the apartment on the very first day. We were thrilled as sometimes this process doesn't work so quickly. In fact, we got 2 keys!, no need to find a locksmith, what a relief. Despite having access to the flat, we elected to stay in our hotel for a few nights while we acquired provisions to actually "live" there.

I will post pictures of the apartment very shortly. You will see the place pretty much as we did when we first opened the door. I am also working on a floorplan so everyone can see the layout. We are on the 2nd floor of a building that was previously used to house military personnel?

Despite it's original purpose (?), the accommodations are very nice. We are ecstatic to have both a refrigerator (with freezer!!!) and a washing machine. Both unusual and highly prized appliances. Our first purchases were fans. Though the temperature here is 80 to 85, the humidity is about 90 percent ... UGH!!! And I thought I was escaping the DC weather. I am anxiously awaiting the September breezes.

Even though it is only Sunday (8/10) and we are beginning our 4th day, we have accomplished a good bit. Each day brings a least one big push to acquire the items we need to set up house. When our sponsors said "completely furnished," they didn't mean pots/pans, dishes, towels, sheets, etc. We are just about ready to cook our first meal at the house (now having checked out of our safety net hotel -- after 3 nights). What an adventure to negotiate the household goods aisles at various department stores. We will be posting pictures "after" we get the apartment setup -- this will be a big contrast to the first set of pix upon arrival.

Furners (foreigners)

We are foreigners with a capitol F ... known in Chinese in wei guo (weigh gwo). It is amazing to us everyday that we stroll the avenues, shop in the stores, hail cabs and enter the hotel, that we are the ONLY westerners on the streets. I know Dalian is a huge conference city, but I think the western visitors must stay at the conference and in the conference hotels because the are NOT on the streets with the local Chinese. In a city of about 3 million folks, we rarely see another western face -- when we do, we point at each other it is such a rarity. The residents think we are pretty amazing as well, as we draw stares wherever we go. Sometimes mothers will bring there children up to shake our hands with a friendly "nihao" (knee how) ... hello. Pretty amazing!