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Posts: 175

Governor

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Q: What are your living conditions here?

I'm asking about the overall big picture, not looking for people to whine about little stuff.

Did you buy a house? How long do you plan to keep it?
Want to settle down long-term or move around?
Is your housing provided by the job? Live alone?
Do you split rent with roomates? Are they Chinese?
Does your home have a squat toilet? You live like the locals?
Are there other foreigners in your building? Do you know your neighbors?

I've been through a few of these stages and I'm curious about other foreigners experiences.

7 years 46 weeks ago in  Housing - China

 
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much like other places in the world.
for the city we greet our neighbors if we run into them.
the toilet is like you have back home.
depending where you go you may live in a foreigners compound.
We found it wasn't the best option for our kids however if we didn't have to worry about them we would not hesitate to stay full time.
for every day life   this site is the best travel guide you can hope for.
the bigest problem at first is isolation till you get a hang of things.
but all in all you can have a ball

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7 years 46 weeks ago
 
Posts: 2256

Emperor

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My apartment is provided by the school. It has 3 rooms, along with the "living room" and a decent sized kitchen, so it's quite big for just one person. I'm the only foreigner, so I assume that most of the people living in this complex have their families with them. I also have a small washing machine. As for living like the locals, I eat at local restaurants...does that count? I don't know the neighbors, but sometimes I smile to them and pet their dog. Once a pair of older ladies wanted the bee's nest that is next to my air conditioner (which fell and they began rebuilding it before it got too cold). I feel pretty isolated because of this, but I talk with some of my students and we eat meals together. I also have the internet, so I can talk to people online.

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7 years 46 weeks ago
 
Posts: 961

Shifu

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I only live part time in China 2-3 month a year and plan to end up about half and half between China and Australia, visa permitting. My partner has an older style 2 bedroom apartment. It is close to the modern centre of town but it has no security and the other residents are just regular working folk. It has a western toilet and is fine for me. I only speak a little Chinese but do say hello to many of the locals and they ask my partner a few questions about me and get her to say a few things to me.

We will be moving into a new high rise  in the modern shopping district, Zhong Jie, in Shenyang later this year and it will be our residence whenever we visit. Will have lots of modern things close but also a few streets away there are still street stalls and markets. Should also have a nice view of a night when you can't see  the smog. Not many foreigners around but would like to meet a few for a bit of friendship and variety when I stay longer in the future. Could not live full time in China as I miss too many things about Australia. But 50/50 endless summer is fine.   

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7 years 46 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1318

Shifu

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Live alone in a two bedroom apartment (the complex was very nice back when it was new).  Western toilet and washing machine.  I rent by the six month period.  As far as living like the locals, I depend on buses and little dragons to get around, and if I eat a place that is nicer than plastic stools, then it's because it's a business dinner.

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7 years 46 weeks ago
 
Posts: 6321

Emperor

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Not bad, I only have one bedroom but the configuration of my apartment is a two story apartment. Lower level is the kitchen, livingroom and  bathroom. Second level is a loft with a private bedroom in the back. I only pay for utilities.
What is REALLY nice is that unlike guilin, we have internal heat during the winter!

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7 years 46 weeks ago
 
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I live in a complex that was bought by a conglomerate of the local unis out this way (university village), so most of the other tennants are teachers (or students) and their families.

I rent a 3 bedroom unit (from a teacher!) which is fully furnished (to MY standards...). I have an ensuite (but the toilet doesnt' work, and the shower isn't connected to the hot water :( ). Both are western toilets. Washing machine etc is in the bathroom - typical Chinese style, but a much larger room!

Lounge room is quite spacious, kitchen is tolerable (but I have a pantry outside).

My loungeroom gives me a nice view of the apartment block next to it, and also the hills behind - which is cool!

I don't see a lot of my neighbours, but across the hall from me is a lecturer in law, who speaks pretty good English, and her husband has limited English (but we still try).

I only sometimes go to the local restaurants, but more likely the street food - it's easier to order Tongue (I tend to cook my own stuff).

Most local shops are used to me, but I'd really love it if the old guy at the vegie store would stop shouting his Chinese at me, and just tell me the damn price, instead of just showing me the calculator!!! Of all the Chinese I know, numbers are by far the easiest!

Otherwise, I tend to go to the local expat place for a restaurant... at least, while the weather isn't too great. Once it gets better, I'll try to get around more!

(btw, I live alone... and totally refuse to get others into the other 2 bedrooms... I like my space!)

And, yes, the housing allowance covers my rent (once I get a fapiao, I'll even get a bit more out of it.

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7 years 46 weeks ago
 
Posts: 3339

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I live in a modern, western apartment overlooking the third ring road. Kick arse view, modern, quality furniture and clean as a whistle cause the last renter was a neat freak. Over the years I've acquired things like an oven, beater, blender, and such. We have one of those weird dishwashing machine things and a clothes washer that also dries. 

I was SO glad when we found the place. I was giddy. I would say, though it's taken awhile I am finally living like I did back home in terms of comfort and convienience. 

I

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7 years 46 weeks ago
 
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I am married, we own our own apartmentment and it has all the things we want, fitted kitchen, washing machine, western toilet and air-conditioning. In our community I am the only western guy here, as far as I know. We shop like the locals at the local street market for food each day and although I only speak a tiny amount of Chinese I manage to get along with most people. We eat out at local restaurants when we want and generally have a good life. There is an expat group here who I meet up with for lunch sometimes, so western company is not a problem. My work is back in the UK and we go back twice a year for about six weeks each time to earn the money and then come home. Not everything here is perfect, but then not everything is perfect anywhere, all in all life is certainly better here than back there. We plan on staying long term, at least ten years and maybe the next thirty.

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7 years 46 weeks ago
 
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