Friday, July 13, 2007

And the search continues....

As you might know, I have been on a search to find an apartment before I leave (soon reach, almost there). As such, I have seen quite a few apartments that do not appeal to me. I have a pretty good idea of what I want, and I have expressed that to my real estate agents. Two bedrooms (three is okay if the price is right), two "rooms" (in China, one living room, one dining room, is two rooms) and two bathrooms. So, in an ad my ideal apt looks like this 2/2/2 新的,有电梯,4500元。

For those of that don't understand, my ideal apartment is new (as in they have recently redone the apartment, not the building is new), has an elevator (because I want to be on a higher floor) and costs that amount or less per month. There are also a few other specifications. A nice, clean, larger kitchen is important. The kitchens here are often tiny, and so when I say larger, I mean with enough counter space to chop vegetables, season meat, you know...cook. Something bigger than my bathroom. Most of the kitchens have sliding doors between the kitchen and the dining room, so with the doors open one doesn't feel claustrophobic. And of course, I want a nice building, which is also usually on the advertisement.

There is an apartment complex within walking distance of my job, where about half of the teachers live. It fills all of my specifications. The apartments are generally spacious, it has about 15 floors, and I like the location. Oh, and the other thing I like is that the apartments are north-south, with the comparatively large balconies facing south. I love would like a larger balcony, because then I can use it to do more than dry my clothes, and facing south helps with the drying of clothes aspect, but also makes it a nice place to sit, and helps a lot in the winter (sliding glass doors, sun exposure).

So, with all of that said, my agent was having a hard time finding an apartment that I liked. We looked at a few, but nothing that worked for me. One bathroom, too small, too expensive, kitchen needs to be redone, etc. Finally, yesterday she told me that she found an apartment in the above mentioned complex. I was a little excited, because I thought that unless the actual apartment was just horrible, my search was over.

Unfortunately, my agent was having a hard time getting the landlord to tell her a time when we could come and see the apartment. I was out, and didn't want to go home, because it would have been a waste of time if I was going to look at the apartment. So, I ended up standing in the metro station because it was pouring outside, calling the agent trying to pin down a time. Finally, my agent told me that I wouldn't be able to look at the apartment. Oh no! Why, you ask. Well, the landlord doesn't want to rent to black people. S/he prefers a Chinese or Taiwanese, maybe other Asian, but she definitely does not want tenants with dark skin. That is a quote.

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