No Place Like Home

Given that my last post was about our search for a flat it only seems natural that this one would follow on in the housing theme.

We got a new apartment, woop! Now that the happy part is out of the way it’s time for more moaning! So, we got the place, and (unsurprising to anybody in the world ever) as soon as the agents got the money from us, they went from having all the time in the world to help us look for flats and drool over the thousands of Yuan that could be theirs, to being constantly busy and about as helpful as a chocolate teapot in the Serengeti.

Since we’d been promised a clean apartment complete with new mattresses and a new sofa, the sight that greeted us upon moving in did not fill us with joy. Dust all over the place, no sofa and one mattress in particular that looked like it had been dragged in off the street after an especially mean dog had taken a disliking to it.

After a few calls, we received the sofa the next day, and my, oh my: what a beauty. It is basically a bus seat that has been covered in pearl pink faux velvet. I honestly don’t know where they got it, but I’m willing to guess somewhere in the vicinity of the 9th circle of hell. Who knew you could encapsulate all that was wrong with the 70’s into one plywood bench covered in highly flammable pink disgust? I didn’t, that’s for sure. Once you have made the adequate mental preparations, feel free to take a look at said sofa (below). Look closely for the lovely mottled effect… Welcome to Style town.


 The mattress, on the other hand, took a bit longer to get. The agent’s attitude was “I’ve handed over my money to the middle man, so it’s no longer my responsibility.” If the mattress is so dirty that it has new life forms on it then YES IT IS. Logic, however, is not a valid argument in these situations. Luckily, due to her rigorous practice on me, my girlfriend understands the method that works best: Constant nagging. And voila! Within two days our ancient mattress was hauled away – presumably to a natural history museum – and replaced with a new (albeit rock solid) one.

Next up was the washing machine. I’d just completed a wash when my girlfriend came in to do her set of clothes. “I’m not going to wash anything in that” she said “its way too dirty.” Initially I brushed it off as her impeccable hygiene standards, but after she said she really wanted somebody to clean it out I relented and we got somebody in.

My. Word.

That thing was filthy. I mean FILTHY. Somehow there was hard, caked on grey scum on the bottom of the drum, which I can only imagine got there from generations of just throwing mud into the washing machine and putting it on a spin cycle. I feel sorry for the poor guy who spent a good hour of his life cleaning it out, and infinitely grateful to my girlfriend for not being of the belief that “If you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.

So, several kitchen towels, pairs of chopsticks (used for scraping grey gunk out of the washing machine) and minutes of disgusted awe later we stood in our flat with a clean washing machine, a new mattress and our gaudy sofa. Exhausted but content.

It still isn’t perfect, but we’re those few steps closer to calling it home, and all the more happy for it.


About Greg

A simpleton from West Yorkshire, England living in Beijing. I try to document the oddities, frustrations and funnies that happen to me whilst out here. Hopefully you enjoy reading these little episodes as much as I enjoy writing them.
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