Silvia, Anna and Ariel at Nanluoguxiang, a great walking street of cafes and shops near the Central Drama Academy.

The messy, not-moved-in-yet living room with kitchen, bath and two bedrooms nearby. (Every Chinese kitchen does not have a refrigerator inside and never has room for one, so it's always in the hall or living room near the kitchen.)

The currently very cluttered, but actually very spacious top floor with two great balconies, high ceilings and plenty of space to paint large.

Class notes.


A lot has happened.

We have a apartment now, actually the penthouse, in a massive, very Chinese apartment block in the old city center. Wooden floors, two stories tall, three bedrooms, two bath and lots and lots of studio space for painting. I'm actually going to finally paint bigger since I really have the space for it now. It's by far the nicest place we've rented in China and the three of us completely love it, although it's a bit more money. (2000RMB each for a much less sparse, cell block, cheaper, concrete and fluorescent overhead lighting deal like we had at Dongzhimen.) Tomorrow we move all our stuff, which is currently in storage in a hospitality management school's dormitory, although I don't know why. I'm so happy we made this decision for a nicer place and we've already paid three months up front, so no money worries.

For work, it's going to be simple. There is an even bigger lack of foreigners than before, it seems, and I've already gotten job offers even though I haven't started looking yet. I want to work less than before, and since my pay was too low for my last job, I think I can get more for my hours with tutoring or part time school teaching.

In more interesting news, I started Intermediate Chinese classes full time and absolutely love my teacher. She's funny and witty and constantly proposes marriage and dating advice to all the male students; anything to get the rest of the bookwormy, mostly South American and Kazakhstani class to talk. I never brag about my own abilities, but I have the best pronunciation in the class, by far. I am surprised as some of the students who are going to major Chinese language universities for over a year that know so many words and have great grammar, (which I don't) but sound terrible and mispronounce everything when they speak. However, I also get nervous too easily and speak far too slowly, but I've been way too hard on myself as far as pronunciation goes.

We don't have a working Internet connection yet, so until we do posting will be sparse.


Anonymous said...

More pictures of the apartment, please.

scott said...

Dear Ross,

The new place looks great- I'm sure you'll all be very comfortable there. The loft area seems particularly nice...perfect studio space.

High ceilings are a good thing when you're tall, aren't they? One of the reasons why I prefer living in pre-war apartments is the spacious feeling you get from the 9' ceilings.

Do you like your new neighborhood? Is it an area you were previously familiar with,
or is everything new to you?

Thanks for the school/Mandarin update. I agree that you tend to be too hard on yourself when it comes to your accomplishments with language. It seems you have a better idea about where you stand now, and what you've achieved to this point. You've done really well Ross.

Good luck with your new teaching gigs.